White Turkey Chili

The subtle heat of poblano peppers combined with tangy tomatillos, fresh cilantro, scallions and lime are the flavors that really set this white chili recipe apart from its more traditional red counterpart. Served with a sprinkle of shredded Monterey Jack cheese and a dollop of sour cream, it makes a light yet satisfying dinner that’s easy and fairly quick to prepare.

White Turkey Chili

White Turkey Chili

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This white turkey chili is a light, fresh alternative to traditional chili that gets its unique flavor from tomatillos, poblano peppers, cilantro, and lime.


  • 1 lb ground turkey, or chicken
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatillos, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 medium poblano peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can, 15 ounces low-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons cream or half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, about 1/2 cup
  • Sour cream


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and sauté for about 2 minutes, breaking up any large chunks with a wooden spoon as the meat cooks.
  • Add the salt, a few grinds of black pepper, cumin, coriander and cayenne. Combine well and continue cooking until the meat no longer shows any traces of pink, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet along with the onion. Sauté until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute additional.
  • Add the tomatillos and chicken broth and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the poblano peppers, combine well and continue cooking until the tomatillos begin to break down and the peppers are tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Stir in the cannellini beans and return the ground turkey to the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until heated through, then stir in the cream, lime juice, cilantro and scallions.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • To serve, divide the chili between 4 bowls and top each with some shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Tips for Making This Recipe

Resist the urge to adjust your seasonings until after you add the cannellini beans as they bring a little extra salt to the flavor.
Calories: 564kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g, Cholesterol: 138mg, Sodium: 689mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 6g
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