White Bean Turkey Chili


This morning when I looked outside, there was fog everywhere.  I wanted to remain in my nice warm sweatshirt, sweat pants, etc. for as long as possible.  That’s exactly what I did until I was forced to change into clothes suitable for my spin class.  I was freezing cold until I’d been spinning for the first 10 minutes, then I felt like I was in a sauna for the next 45-50 minutes.  About 15 minutes after class was over, I’d cooled down.  Guess what?  I was cold again.  Ugh.

From now on, if it’s chilly in the morning, it’s chili in the evening.  Did you catch that?  I used bold font to help you.  Tonight it’s White Bean Turkey Chili for dinner, and I’ve been craving it for a while now.  One of my all time favorite chili recipes is the White Bean and Turkey Chili recipe that a friend of mine forwarded to me years ago from Cooking Light.  The recipe was published in 2006 before I subscribed, because I would never have passed that one up.

This chili is different mainly because it’s not tomato sauce based.  It’s full of Great Northern beans, ground turkey, and chicken broth, and it’s spiced up with cumin, chili powder, and some oregano.  I think what really makes this chili shine is the fresh tomato, cilantro, and lime juice added at the end.  The tomato and cilantro add a nice freshness, and the acidity from the lime juice just makes it pop.  I better get cookin’, because all this talk about nice, warm chili is making me hungry.

First things first, we saute the onion and garlic in a large pan in olive oil for 8-10 minutes, till it’s nice and tender.  Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and a pinch of cayenne pepper and saute another minute.  These are some spiced up onions!


Next, add the ground turkey, and break it up with a wooden spoon until it’s in bite size chunks.  Stir until the onions are well incorporated into the turkey.  The turkey will cook with all of these wonderful spices and get tons of flavor from them.  There is no bland turkey here!  Cook until the turkey is no longer pink, about 6-8 minutes.


There are two cans of white beans in this recipe, rinsed and drained.  You’ll need to take one cup of the beans, and mash them in a bowl with a fork.  You can do this in a food processor or blender if you prefer.  Add the mashed beans, whole beans, and chicken broth to the turkey mixture.


Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, and add the lime juice, fresh tomatoes, and chopped cilantro.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with lime wedges, and maybe a side of corn bread.   I’m happy to announce that I after I ate this chili, I was warm from the inside out.  😀


White Bean and Turkey Chili
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This chili is hearty, healthy, and pops with freshness! Ground turkey, white beans, chicken stock, and plenty of spices are cooked together, then freshly diced tomato, lime juice, and cilantro are added at the end. Appeals to even the pickiest eaters.
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • (2) 15.5 ounce cans of cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons), plus additional lime wedges for serving
  • 1 large plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute 8-10 minutes, until onion is translucent and tender. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper and saute one more minute. Add the ground turkey, and break up the meat into bite size chunks with a wooden spoon. Stir just until the onions are combined with the turkey. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
  2. While the turkey is cooking, mash one cup of the rinsed and drained beans in a bowl with a fork. When the turkey is cooked through, add the mashed beans, whole beans, and chicken broth, and stir until combined. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and simmer 20 more minutes. Remove from heat, and add the lime juice, tomato, and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lime wedges.
  3. Recipe adapted from Cooking Light's White Bean and Turkey Chili, November 2006