How to make White Bean Turkey Chili totally epic
Transform your white bean turkey chili into something extraordinary with 2 key ingredients: pumpkin and sage. By adding these 2 flavors your chili pot will explode with fall harvest flavors! This is a great way to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving too.
How to Make White Bean Turkey Pumpkin Chili
This chili is total comfort food. Plus it’s such a great recipe that uses a lot of leftover turkey after the holidays. You can make it in a pot on the stove or bring it together in a slow cooker. If you are proficient with your instant pot, give that a go.
- Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large heavy bottom soup pot over medium flame.
- After the oil starts to shimmer, saute 2 large onions (diced) for 3 – 5 minutes. The onions should be soft and transparent.
- Then stir in 5 garlic cloves, chopped. Cook the onions and garlic for 2 minutes.
- Add a bay leaf, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/2 tablespoon minced oregano, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 3 lbs diced cooked turkey, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 2 cans of 100% pumpkin puree. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- Take 15 sage leaves and tie them together in a bundle with kitchen twine and add them to the chili mixture.
- Stir in 4 cans of cannellini beans (white kidney beans) and 12 cups of broth (chicken, turkey or vegetable).
- Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Bringing the chili to a low boil. Then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Simmer chili for 45 minutes.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of sour cream.
- Serve with a garnish of fresh sage leaves, a dollop of sour cream, green onions, and/or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
*Note: Many people like green bell peppers in their chili. If you do, great! Add some! I prefer not to add them because they can cause heartburn in so many people. If you’re not one of us, lucky you! Add 1 1/2 cups diced green peppers and enjoy!
White Bean Turkey Chili Alterations/Variations
Most of the time, I don’t have trouble finding sliced raw turkey breasts. This makes a great alternative to leftover Thanksgiving turkey. When that’s not available, use turkey sausage or lean ground turkey.
Of course, you can use chicken in a pinch, but the combination of turkey, pumpkin, and sage is so fantastic it’s worth seeking out the big bird. Definitely add 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning if you are making these substitutions. Roasted turkey has so much more flavor than ground turkey or turkey sausage.
You can also sub out the chicken broth for turkey broth or vegetable broth in a pinch. If you like your chili with a bit more kick, add a can of green chiles or Rotel diced tomatoes
It’s gettin’ chilly, so let’s have chili!
You wouldn’t believe the razzing my husband got over this line. Several years ago, Jerry and I started talking about how fun it would be if we had some friends over for chili on a crisp fall evening. As we talked about it our plans for it grew to include a band, luminarias, 2 kinds of chili (a traditional red bean chili soup & a white bean pumpkin chili), and a beer wagon.
Jerry came up with “It’s gettin’ chilly, so let’s have chili” and since that was met with major eye rolls and “UGHHH!!!” from the kids, we had to use it!
I thought about making the white bean pumpkin chili in a pumpkin. As much fun as that is, for a large crowd it’s not practical. It looks great, but it doesn’t hold enough chili. The first time I made it this way, I didn’t allow for any ventilation with the pumpkin lid and that created a lot of pressure.
When the lid came off there was a “mild” explosion of pumpkin chili soup. I say mild because none of it hit the ceiling like what happened when I made Asparagus Soup for Easter. Yikes!
Having a chili party is really easy if you keep the menu simple. Plus, just about all the major food prep can be done days or weeks ahead and frozen. Check out our menu below.
Traditional Red Bean Chili Soup
White Bean Pumpkin Chili
Baked Potato Bar
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Just about any chili can be frozen and chocolate chip cookies freeze great too. I like to freeze most things, (especially soups) in gallon freeze bags flat. That way when they’re frozen solid, they stack up like books on a shelf and they’re easy to pull out of the freezer.
STORAGE TIP: Make sure you label the bag or container before you fill them. You also want to make sure the label is the first thing you see. Label it several places if you’re not sure how it’s going to go in the freezer. Medium width black sharpies are best for this.
The trick to having a great party is keeping it as simple as possible. You can see I kept the menu really easy. When going to a food-themed gathering, why have a bunch of other stuff?
The main focus of the Chili Fest was to enjoy a warm bowl of chili by the fire, listen to a couple of fine musicians, and make some wonderful memories with really great friends.
White Bean Pumpkin Chili
I was shocked that the favorite chili was the White Bean Pumpkin Chili. I just kinda made it up on the spur of the moment before the party. It seems lately every Fall we’re bombarded with Pumpkin This, Pumpkin That. It’s hard not to have pumpkin on the brain.
As much as I love Jerry’s Red Bean Chili Soup, I wanted to offer our guests something a little different… and I love sage.
I really like sage and turkey. Hmmm… sage… turkey… pumpkin… white beans. The rest is history and ended up in a big soup pot. The recipe is below.
Next year I’m tempted to try a white bean butternut chili, but I don’t know.
I had almost as much fun preparing for the Chili Fest as I had once it was in full swing. That never happens! Usually, I’m running around like a chicken, stressing myself out, but not this time.
It was such a relaxed evening. Everyone helped themselves to whichever chili they wanted and to what they wanted to drink.
Our friends chatted with people they knew and mingled with people they met for the first time that evening. The musicians played acoustic old and new favorites. And the weather was perfect. We’ve got to do this again!
Pumpkin White Bean Turkey Chili
A delicious low fat pumpkin white bean turkey chili recipe. Made with pumpkin puree and sage. This can be made on the stove or in a crock pot. Makes great leftovers and tastes even better the next day for lunch! | www.lakesidetable.com
- 2 large onions chopped
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tbsp fresh oregano minced
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes to taste
- 3 lbs cooked turkey (not ground) chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 2 cans 100% pumpkin
- 4 cans cans of cannellini beans (16 ounce cans) rinsed and drained
- 15 leaves fresh sage* tied with kitchen twine
- 12 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- extra salt and pepper to taste
- optional: fresh chopped sage, red onion, white cheddar cheese, sour cream
Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium flame. When hot, spray with oil.
Add onions, garlic, saute about 5 min.
Add turkey, pumpkin, salt, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, and fresh sage and cook for 2 minutes.
Add beans, broth, cook uncovered about 10 minutes.
Lower heat and cover, simmer about 45 minutes mixing occasionally.
Add sour cream and cook 5 more minutes. Adjust seasoning and salt to taste.
Top with chopped red onion, chopped fresh sage, sour cream, and cheddar if desired.
*In place of fresh sage you can you 2 drops of Essential Oil of Sage. Be careful EO are extremely potent! A little goes a very long way.