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Easy Leftover Turkey Chili

This recipe is, without a doubt, the best way to use up leftover turkey!

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Pot of leftover turkey chili next to some cheese biscuits.

There’s something so special about a turkey dinner.. for me, that something special is building this epic Leftover Turkey Chili with the leftover turkey meat!

I couldn’t even tell you what inspired me to make a leftover turkey chili the very first time. I probably had way too much leftover turkey and was secretly wishing for a giant bowl of chili rather than making another turkey pot pie or eating another freaking turkey sandwich. Who knows? I sure don’t. All I do know is that this has become my very favourite way to use up that leftover turkey meat.

Why it works

  1. Turkey chili is just like your favourite chili con carne with turkey replacing the ground beef.
  2. It’s delicious! Loaded with veggies and spice, this leftover turkey chili is the best way to use up leftover turkey!
  3. It freezes great! I love storing away the leftovers for an even easier meal when I’m short on time.
Big pot of leftover turkey chili next to cheese biscuits and a single bowl of chili.

Ingredients

  • onion
  • celery
  • red pepper
  • garlic
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • black pepper
  • sea salt
  • sugar
  • kidney beans
  • beans in tomato sauce
  • diced tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • corn
  • green beans
  • leftover turkey

Leftover Turkey Chili recipe

Start by heating the oven to 225°. Using a large stove top and oven safe dish like a cast iron dutch oven, heat a tbsp of oil on medium-low heat. Dice up the onion, red pepper and celery, and add to the pot once hot.

Cook until the onion is translucent, then stir in garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, black pepper and salt. Cook for a minute or two, then stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, rinsed kidney beans, beans in tomato sauce, sugar, corn and diced green beans. Bring to a simmer, stir in the chopped turkey, fit with a lid and place the whole dish into the preheated oven.

Bake for 3.5-4.5 hours, stirring once halfway through, then serve hot.

Expert Tips

  1. Make sure your pot is oven safe! I like to use a cast iron dutch oven which can be used on the stove top as well as in the oven.
  2. I like to add grated cheddar cheese to the top of my chili or a spoonful of sour cream.
  3. This recipe does not make a spicy chili. If you like it spicy, add cayenne pepper to taste.
  4. I like my chili super thick. If you prefer it a bit thinner, you can add water to thin it out.
Single bowl of leftover turkey chili with grated cheddar on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can this Easy Leftover Turkey Chilli be made in a slow cooker?

You bet it can! If I need to be away from the house for the afternoon, I will make my chili in the morning and let the slow cooker finish the job.

If you like, you can just toss all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or you can do it my way:

Heat a skillet on medium heat and add some oil. Once hot, add diced onion, red pepper, celery and cook until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and the spices, mix well, and cook until aromatic, about one minute. Scrape the goods into the slow cooker and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

2. How long does leftover turkey chili last?

This leftover turkey chili will last, if properly stored in the refrigerator, for 3 to 4 days. Make sure it is properly stored in an air tight container and when you want to eat it, reheat the chili until the internal temperature reaches 165°.

3. Can you freeze turkey chili?

You sure can! Just like soup, I like to freeze chili in freezer safe ziplock bags to maximize freezer storage. Wait until the chili has cooled to room temperature before dividing into single portioned sized packages, then place in the freezer. Leftover Turkey Chili will last for 4-6 months in the freezer.

Single bowl of leftover turkey chili with grated cheddar cheese on top.

What goes good with Leftover Turkey Chili?

Nothing pairs better with chili than bread. At least that’s how I feel! Here are my favourites:

Here are some other recipes you might like:

Spinach, Feta and Chicken Cannelloni with Rosé Sauce

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast

Pepperoni Stuffed Pizza Crust

Healthy Chicken Teriyaki Noodle Bowl

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This delicious and easy Leftover Turkey Chili will have you begging for more turkey dinners... just so you can make this dish again!

Easy Leftover Turkey Chili

This delicious and easy Leftover Turkey Chili will have you begging for more turkey dinners… just so you can make this dish again!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8 bowls
Author: Aleta

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 x 398 ml cans beans in tomato sauce
  • 1 796 ml can diced tomatoes
  • 2 x 156 ml cans tomato paste
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 3 cups or 300 grams leftover cooked turkey

Instructions

Equipment Needed

Directions

  • Heat oven to 225°. Add oil to the dutch oven and place on medium-low heat on the stove. Dice the onion, red pepper and celery and add to the pot once the oil is hot. Mince or press the garlic, dice the green beans into inch long pieces, rinse the kidney beans and chop up the turkey meat.
  • Once the onion is translucent, stir in the garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, black pepper and salt. Cook for a minute or two, then stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, rinsed kidney beans, beans in tomato sauce, sugar, corn and diced green beans. Bring to a simmer, stir in the chopped turkey, fit with a lid and place the whole dish into the preheated oven.
  • Bake for 3.5-4.5 hours, stirring once halfway through, then serve hot.

Notes

Expert Tips

  1. Make sure your pot is oven safe! I like to use a cast iron dutch oven which can be used on the stove top as well as in the oven.
  2. I like to add grated cheddar cheese to the top of my chili or a spoonful of sour cream.
  3. This recipe does not make a spicy chili. If you like it spicy, add cayenne pepper to taste.
  4. I like my chili super thick. If you prefer it a bit thinner, you can add water to thin it out.

22 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    With all the holiday turkeys that will be eaten over the next month or so, we always need great recipes for the leftovers. This sounds delicious. Chili is such a great comfort food. Great for dinner after being out in the cold all day skiing or playing in the snow.

  2. 5 stars
    What a wonderful way to use leftover turkey! Your chili looks warming, delicious and comforting! Just what I look for in a chili!

  3. 5 stars
    such a cozy and satisfying recipe for this time of the year! And really great way to use up any leftovers!

  4. 5 stars
    This is a great idea! I’m bookmarking this for post-Christmas, when we always have leftovers. Now I know what to do with them!

  5. mmmm my stomach is rumbling looking at this chilli!! And you’re right, you can only at a boring old turkey sandwich so many times. So I really like what you’ve done with here!

  6. 5 stars
    I love this! I have so much leftover turkey and I hate wasting food! I love that I can make it in the crockpot and freeze it! Perfect leftovers! Thanks for such a great recipe!!

  7. 5 stars
    This looks so good. I love the flavors you mixed here and all the spices you used. This must taste super delicious. I must save this recipe to try. Can’t wait.

  8. 5 stars
    I make turkey chili a lot with ground turkey, I should try this recipe for our leftovers!

  9. Load mine up with extra spices and cheese, please! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, one of my favorite things about the holiday season is all of the leftover recipes we get to make! This sounds delicious – perfect for dinner after being out in the cold all day at light parades and so on.

  11. Yum, this chili looks amazing!! Love how easy it is to make AND that you can freeze any leftovers!

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