Nov 27, 2019
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Today we are making a warm and inviting turkey chili that’s good for you and packed with incredible flavor. This is a great recipe to make with turkey leftovers when you want something to fill you up without weighing you down.
Like my All Meat & Veggie Chili, this chili recipe is paleo-approved and will please a crowd, but there’s no ground meat, tomatoes, or tomato base. Instead, the broth is seasoned with an assortment of peppers, lime juice, and chili spices. It’s a delicious variation with just the right amount of smokey flavor and heat.
P.S- no worries, it’s not spicy, but to be on the safe side, you can omit the jalapeños.
Is Turkey Chili Healthy?
This turkey chili is a low-carb recipe made with no beans and a lot of veggies. The jalapeños and poblano peppers give it that smoky flavor, while the roasted turkey and zucchini provide ample hearty texture. It’s a light and satisfying meal you can serve as is or top with all your favorite chili toppings.
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Leftover Turkey Chili Ingredients
I can’t think of a better occasion to make this soup than the day after Thanksgiving. Most of us are already left with a pound or two of roasted turkey meat, and this will hit the spot without leaving you overly full.
Here’s everything you need to make this healthy leftover turkey chili:
- Olive oil
- Jalapeño pepper- omit if sensitive to spicy foods
- Poblano pepper
- Ground black pepper
- Ground coriander- optional but adds a unique flavor
- Ancho chili powder
- Low-sodium chicken broth– swap for homemade chicken broth or stock
- 3–4 cups leftover roasted turkey- swap for shredded rotisserie chicken or baked chicken
- Chopped cilantro
Feel free to add other vegetables like cubed potatoes, corn, beans, or anything your family will enjoy.
How to make Turkey Chili
Grab those ingredients and let’s make this easy turkey chili:
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic. Sauté until soft and fragrant.
Add the seasonings and stir into the veggies to toast the spices. Stir in the chicken broth, lime juice, zucchini, and roasted turkey. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve the chili topped with cilantro and sliced avocado.
Watch how it’s made in the video below. When I filmed this, I was making my Dutch Oven Chicken Chili but the process is exactly the same, just swap the chicken for your leftover thanksgiving turkey pieces!
This is definitely a day-after-Thanksgiving recipe, so if you need a plan for those leftovers, this recipe is perfect!
And if it’s not Thanksgiving Day yet, but you’re looking forward to a delicious bowl of soup, grab the recipe below along with your copy of the Giving Thanks: a Thanksgiving Menu. It has over 23 mouthwatering recipes to choose from and a prep guide to help you stay one step ahead.
How to Thicken Turkey Chili
While it’s hearty, there’s not a whole lot of starch going into this chili. If you want the consistency a bit thicker, you can make a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and add it to the chili just before serving. Stir and simmer until thickened.
How to Freeze Leftover Turkey Chili
This turkey is a freezer-friendly meal you can make in batches and freeze the extra for future lunches and dinners. Here’s how to freeze turkey chili, so it lasts longer and is easy to reheat:
- Transfer the chili to freezer-safe airtight containers leaving 1 ½-inch of room from the lid. Allow it to reach room temperature before sealing the container.
- Freeze for up to 2 months.
- To reheat, remove the desired amount from the freezer and allow to defrost in the fridge overnight before heating on the stovetop or microwave.
Tip: if using a gallon-size zip bag, make sure to freeze the filled bag(s) flat on a baking sheet before stacking and storing in the freezer. This prevents the chili from freezing into a solid blob and taking up unnecessary room.
More Recipes with Leftover Turkey
Want more delicious ideas to make with leftover turkey? The recipes below are simple to prepare and make the most of what’s left from your Thanksgiving Day feast.
Leftover Turkey Chili Recipe
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper seeds removed and minced
- 2 medium poblano peppers chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 limes juiced, plus lime wedges, for serving
- 3 large zucchini peeled and diced
- 3-4 cups roasted turkey shredded
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves plus more for garnish
- 1 avocado sliced
- In a large 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, onions, and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Continue to sauté for an additional minute to toast the spices.
- Stir in the chicken broth, lime juice, zucchini, and shredded turkey. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes of simmering, taste for seasoning, adjust if necessary.
- Serve the chili in individual bowls topped with avocado slices and chopped cilantro.
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