Spicy White Bean Turkey Pumpkin Chili can be made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey or ground turkey! It’s full of flavorful spices, healthy vegetables and lean protein, to warm you up and fill your belly.
Spicy Turkey Pumpkin Chili with White Beans
Do you make way more food at Thanksgiving than you actually need just to have leftovers? I’ve definitely done that a time or two!
Inevitably, the ratio of turkey to sides isn’t quite equal, so when you’re left with extra turkey, it’s great to have new ways of using it up.
I’d been working on this chili recipe for a neighborhood cook-off using ground turkey (which is great for any time of the year), and it’s the perfect way to use extra roast turkey from your holiday meal!
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Ingredients for Spicy White Bean Turkey Pumpkin Chili
It’s time to raid your spice cabinet! Grab the olive oil, kosher salt and pepper grinder, plus these ingredients…
- Tomato paste
- White onion
- Red bell pepper
- Poblano chili peppers
- Turkey breast meat
- Cannellini beans
- Canned pumpkin puree
- Chicken stock
- Half and half
- Corn meal
And from the spice rack…
- Dried oregano
- Chili powder
- Smoked paprika
- Cayenne pepper
And my secret ingredient…Simply Organic Spicy Guacamole Mix Sauce. Unlike their dip mix, this comes as a liquid packet and contributes so much great flavor to the chili. It’s also available in a non-spicy version if you want to scale back the heat.
Steps to Make Spicy Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Because there are quite a few ingredients to this recipe, it’s important to have everything ready and organized before you begin. Here’s how I go about it:
Prepare the Poblanos
I find the easiest way to prepare poblanos is to roast them under a broiler. It takes no time at all, and as long as you keep an eye on them, it’s a no-fail method.
Set your oven to broil and adjust a rack to six inches below the broiler. Simply place cleaned poblanos on a sheet pan and set them under the broiler. Wait until one side is charred, then flip them over with long tongs and char the other side. Do this as often as needed since some chilis are more round in shape (with 3 sides).
After the skin is good and blistered, transfer the poblanos to a bowl and cover with cling film or a silicone cover and allow them to steam for at least 10 minutes. Now you can easily peel away the charred skin. Remove the stems and seeds, then chop the poblanos. Discard the skin, stem and seeds and set the rest aside for later.
Mise en Place
While the poblanos steam, you can collect and prep the remaining ingredients:
- Measure all the dry spices into a small bowl or plate as these are added to the chili all at once
- Dice the onion and red bell pepper; mince the garlic
- Shred or chop the cooked turkey meat
- Rinse and drain the beans
- Open the pumpkin puree
- Measure out the chicken stock
- Have olive oil, kosher salt, a pepper grinder, tomato paste, a bay leaf and the guacamole mix ready
- You can also measure out the half-and-half and corn meal into a small measuring cup now or wait until the chili is simmering
Place a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the tomato paste and all the spices. Cook for a couple of minutes to toast the spices.
Next, add the onion, bell pepper, kosher salt and black pepper. Sauté the vegetables until they’re tender and the onions are translucent, then add the minced garlic and chopped poblanos. Cook for a couple more minutes to mingle the flavors.
Then add the guacamole mix, turkey, beans, pumpkin, chicken stock and bay leaf. Mix to distribute, then increase the heat to medium-high. Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
At that time, whisk the cornmeal and half-and-half together then stir that into the pot. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes to thicken the chili. Discard the bay leaf before serving.
Substitutions for This Chili Recipe with Turkey + Pumpkin
For the chili cook-off, I used 20 ounces of 93% ground turkey and it worked like a charm. (So well that I snagged first place!) If you choose this route, sauté the ground turkey with a little salt + pepper before you do anything else. You can do this step in the same pot you’ll cook the chili in. Drain the turkey and set it aside, adding it into the chili during the same step as you would the leftover turkey. You could also substitute with leftover rotisserie chicken. Feel free to try it with grass-fed ground beef if you’re not a turkey fan — I’m sure the flavor would be amazing!
An organic salsa verde would make an excellent substitute for the guacamole mix. They share similar ingredients and flavors. Use half a cup of salsa verde in the recipe.
I’ve just always made this with cannellini beans, but any white bean…or kidney, pinto or black beans would work just as well!
Like most chili recipes…this one is even better the next day! Also, have fun personalizing your bowl with garnishes. I love this chili with some crumbled cotijo cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime. Some other yummy accompaniments…
- Diced avocado
- Sour cream
- Cheddar or Monterey jack cheeses
- A side of corn bread
- Rice or pasta
If You Like This Recipe, You Might Want to Check Out…
- Chorizo + Black Bean Chili
- Curried Butternut Squash + Granny Smith Soup
- Grilled Adobo Chicken Thighs
- Oven Roasted Turkey + Chorizo Roulade with Chimichurri
- Rotisserie Chicken Pho in the Instant Pot
Spicy White Bean Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- soup pot or dutch oven
- 3 poblano chili peppers
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1½ tsp cumin
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 1½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 large white onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 oz Simply Organic Spicy (or mild) Guacamole Mix Sauce or salsa verde
- 3 cup cooked turkey meat* cubed or shredded
- 2 cans cannellini beans (15 oz cans) or other white beans
- 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz can) not pie mix
- 3½ cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ⅓ cup half-and-half
- 2 tbsp corn meal or masa
- Begin by roasting the poblanos: set your oven to broil and place a rack about 6 inches below the broiler element. Place clean poblanos on a sheet pan and into the oven. Broil them for a couple minutes on each side, using tongs to flip them over. Keep an eye on them as it doesn't take long to char the skin.
- Once charred all over, transfer them to a bowl and cover with cling film or a silicone cover so they steam for about 10 minutes. You should then be able to peel away the skin quite easily. Remove the stem and the seeds and discard. Chop the peppers and set aside.
- Place a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne and sauté for a minute or two until the spices are toasted and fragrant.
- Add the onion, bell pepper and kosher salt (and more olive oil if needed). Cook until the vegetables start to become tender, then add the garlic and poblano. Sauté for another couple minutes.
- Add the guacamole mix, turkey, beans, pumpkin, chicken stock and bay leaf. Mix well and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- In a small measuring cup, add cornmeal (or masa) to half-and-half and whisk with a fork. Add this to the chili at the end of the 20 minutes. Stir well and continue to simmer until the chili thickens, about 3-5 more minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf. Serve with your favorite garnishes.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.