This healthy white turkey chili is made with ground turkey, fresh veggies, cannellini beans, and warm spices in a cheesy, creamy broth! Cooked in one pot on the stove, it’s easy, delicious, and perfect for chilly fall and winter days.
Table of Contents
- Healthy White Turkey Chili Recipe
- What Is Red vs White Chili?
- What Goes in White Turkey Chili?
- Skip the Dishes, and Make White Turkey Chili in One Pot Instead
- Topping Ideas
- Serving Suggestions
- How Long Does This Recipe Last?
- How to Freeze and Reheat
- Common Questions About This Healthy White Turkey Chili Recipe
- More Soup and Chili Recipes to Try
- Healthy White Turkey Chili Recipe Recipe
Healthy White Turkey Chili Recipe
Are you a fan of chili? Here in Minnesota, it’s a staple when the weather turns colder, and everyone has their own twist!
For example, we have several different recipes including our Middle Eastern beef chili, slow cooker chili, and slow cooker white chicken chili! However, this healthy white turkey chili recipe is one of our faves when we want something a little on the lighter side yet still warm, cozy, and filling.
Made with a variety of ingredients for lots of flavor and textures and a creamy, cheesy broth, this white turkey chili is:
- Made with minimal prep time and a cook time of around 20 minutes.
- Full of protein.
- Loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber.
- Great to make ahead of time.
A fun twist on traditional white chicken chili, we know you’re going to be obsessed!
What Is Red vs White Chili?
Red and white chili are two different variations of chili, typically made with beans, meat, and spices. While they’re both called chili and feature similar ingredients, there are distinct differences between the two.
Red Chili is the more widely recognized form of chili and is typically made with red chili peppers or chili powder, which creates a red color. Common ingredients include ground beef or other meats, kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a blend of warm spices.
It tends to have a richer, spicier flavor than white chili and can range in spiciness from fairly mild to super hot, depending on the type and amount of chili used.
This is a popular variation of red chili that does not include chili peppers or chili powder. Instead, it it typically made with white beans such as cannellini or navy beans and white meat like chicken or turkey.
Other common ingredients in white chili recipes include chicken broth, green chiles, onions, garlic, and spices. Some also include sour cream and cheese for added creaminess and flavor.
As a result, white chili lacks the bold red color of red chili and is typically white or beige in color. In addition, it has a much more mild flavor with just a touch of spice from the green chilies.
What Goes in White Turkey Chili?
No two chili recipes are the same! For this recipe, we utilized lots of veggies and warm spices for a hearty, filling recipe full of nutrients and flavor.
- Ground Turkey – We recommend using lean ground turkey (90% or higher). Chicken can also be used if preferred.
- Onion – Use white or yellow.
- Jalapeños – Make sure to remove the seeds and core!
- Bell Pepper – We prefer to use orange or yellow bell peppers as they have a sweeter flavor, but red and green will also work.
- Garlic – Whole, fresh cloves are best.
- Canned Green Chile Peppers – You can typically find these in the Mexican section of your local grocery store.
- Seasonings – Ground cumin, dried oregano, ground coriander, black pepper, and sea salt help enhance the savory flavor, adding extra depth and just a touch of heat.
- Chicken Broth – We recommend using a low-sodium variety to avoid overpowering the dish. Vegetable broth can also be used.
- Cannellini Beans – Make sure they’re fully cooked! To save time, we opt for canned beans. All you have to do is rinse and drain them before adding them to the pot.
- Cream Cheese – Plain, full-fat varieties work best to create a rich flavor and silky texture.
- Shredded Cheese – We love grated white cheddar cheese, but any cheese you like best will taste great.
- Cilantro – Technically optional, we use this as a garnish for extra freshness to balance out the spice and heaviness of the fats.
Skip the Dishes, and Make White Turkey Chili in One Pot Instead
Part of the appeal of chili is how easy it is to make. Just toss everything in a large pot, let it simmer, and it’s ready to eat!
- Sauté the veggies. Heat a small amount of oil in a large pot, or grease it with non-stick cooking spray. Then, add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeños. Sauté just until the onions are translucent.
- Brown the turkey. Add the turkey to the pot, and cook until browned, breaking it apart as it cooks. Add the minced garlic, ground cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, and black pepper. Continue to cook until fragrant.
- Create the broth. Stir in the green chile peppers, and cook for an additional few minutes. Then, add the broth and beans, and simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the cream cheese and grated white cheddar cheese until they’re melted and creamy and the chili has thickened. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
- Garnish. Divide your white turkey chili into bowls, and add a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, extra cheese, and a dollop of Greek yogurt or light sour cream!
We load our turkey chili up with a variety of toppings mentioned above, but the options are endless! Some common additions include:
- Sliced Jalapeños
- Green Onion
- Fritos or Tortilla Strips
Full of protein, vegetables, and fats, this healthy white turkey chili recipe is a complete meal on its own. However, it also pairs fabulously with sides like tortilla chips, cornbread, olive focaccia bread, or pita for dipping.
How Long Does This Recipe Last?
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, leftover white turkey chili will last for up to five days.
How to Freeze and Reheat
Once cooled, transfer your chili to a freezer-safe container, and transfer it to the freezer for up to two months.
To reheat, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, warm it in a pot over medium heat, or heat individual portions in the microwave.
For the best results, we recommend omitting the cream cheese and grated cheese until you’re ready to serve!
Common Questions About This Healthy White Turkey Chili Recipe
Turkey chili is generally lower in calories and saturated fat than traditional beef chili. As a result, many people consider it the healthier option. You can make this recipe even lower in fat by using fat-free cream cheese, Greek yogurt, or light sour cream! Of course, talk with your doctor if you have any specific concerns.
We haven’t tested it, but it should work! Just be sure to sauté the veggies and brown the turkey first. Then, combine the ingredients in a slow cooker, and let them cook until the chili thickens and the flavors blend. Stir in the cream cheese and cheese just before serving!
Sure! Follow the instructions below, and adjust the cooking time as needed until the mixture thickens.
More Soup and Chili Recipes to Try
Looking for more filling comfort food recipes? Try out the options below!
- Middle Eastern Orzo Soup
- One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup
- Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Healthy White Turkey Chili Recipe
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper diced
- 2 jalapeños diced and seeded
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 4-ounce can canned green chile peppers, chopped
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup grated reduced-fat white cheddar cheese + more for garnish
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- In a large pot over medium heat, add a small amount of olive oil or use non-stick spray to prevent sticking. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and jalapeños. Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until the onions are translucent.1 onion, 2 jalapeños, 1 orange or yellow bell pepper
- Add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Break it apart with a spoon as it cooks. Add the minced garlic, ground cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, and black pepper. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.2 pounds ground turkey, 4 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 Tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Stir in the green chile peppers and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.1 4-ounce can canned green chile peppers, chopped
- Pour in the low-sodium chicken broth and add the cannellini beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.6 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Add the cream cheese and grated white cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheeses are fully melted and the chili has thickened.2 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup grated reduced-fat white cheddar cheese + more for garnish
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or spices if necessary.
- Serve the healthy white turkey chili hot, garnished with fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of grated white cheddar cheese. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt or a light sour cream substitute on top for added creaminess, if desired!Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.