White Bean Turkey Chili is hearty and healthy with lean ground turkey, white beans, fresh lime and plenty of spice! It’s gluten-free and freezer-friendly!

front view of white bean turkey chili in bowl

This morning was so cold and foggy that I wanted to stay indoors in my cozy clothes and skip spin class.

I sucked it up and went to class, and quickly went from freezing to feeling like I was in a sauna for an hour.  I walked out to my car glistening with sweat, which resulted in being much colder than I was before class.

I was cold to the bone by California standards, and all I could think about was a big warm bowl of this White Bean Turkey Chili!

A big slab of my skillet cornbread certainly wouldn’t hurt either. 🙂

overhead shot of white bean turkey chili with avocado on top

This white bean turkey chili recipe was inspired by Cooking Light magazine years ago.  It quickly became one of my favorite recipes because it was unlike any chili that I’d ever had before.

Most chili recipes are tomato-based and include pinto and kidney beans, but not this one.   The base of this recipe is chicken stock, and also includes white beans which are creamier and more mild in flavor.

If you love tomato based chili, be sure to try my recipes for pumpkin chili and chorizo chili. They’re both nice and hearty too!

white bean turkey chili in a dutch oven

There are several white beans on the market, including cannellini (or white kidney beans), navy beans and Great Northern beans.  Any of these white beans are viable options, but I prefer cannellini beans for their creaminess.

The white beans play two roles in this healthy white turkey chili.  The beans give the chili the heartiness that every chili needs and they work as a thickener.

Half of one can of beans is mashed and added to the chili, then cooked down for 20-30 minutes until the chili has reached the desired thickness.

Ground turkey is my favorite animal protein to use in my chili recipes because it’s got a lighter flavor and it’s nice and lean.

The ground turkey works perfectly in this recipe with the creamy white beans, chicken stock and warm spices.

overhead shot of white bean turkey chili with spoon

What really sets this White Bean Turkey Chili apart is the fresh lime juice and cilantro that’s added at the end.  This chili is hearty yet light, with a delicious pop of freshness!

Serve it with sliced avocado, extra lime wedges and cornbread, and you’ve got a meal that will warm you heart and soul.

It certainly did the trick for me. 🙂

white bean turkey chili in bowl with avocado and lime on top

 Try these chili and cornbread recipes too!

Did you try this recipe?  If so, be sure to leave a review below and tag me @flavorthemoments on Facebook and Instagram

front view of white bean turkey chili in bowl

White Bean Turkey Chili

White Bean Turkey Chili is hearty, healthy turkey chili recipe with lean ground turkey, white beans, fresh lime and plenty of spice! It's gluten-free and freezer-friendly

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  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 2 cans cannellini or Great Northern beans rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 ounces low sodium fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lime juiced, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté 5-6 minutes until onion is translucent and softened. Add the garlic and spices and sauté 30 seconds more.
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 large yellow onion, 2 cloves garlic
  • Add the ground turkey and 1/4 cup water and stir, breaking up the meat into pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes.
    2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 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, tomatoes and chicken broth, and stir until combined. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and simmer 20-30 more minutes until thickened.
    2 cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, 14.5 ounces low sodium fire roasted diced tomatoes, 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • Remove from heat and add the lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lime wedges and avocado if desired and enjoy!
    1 lime, ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro, salt and pepper


  • This is a great meal prep meal and it’s freezer friendly!  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 273kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 541mg, Potassium: 450mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1323IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 145mg, Iron: 6mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

**This post was originally published in January 2013.  I’ve updated the recipe and photos, but most of the text remains the same.

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