Turkey and White Bean Chili

Total Time:
10 hr 30 min
15 min
8 hr
2 hr 15 min

4-6 servings

  • 1/2 pound dried navy beans, picked over
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons Emeril's Southwest Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 2/3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans Ro'tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles (original), undrained
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, for serving
  • Chopped green onions, for serving
  • Emeril's Southwest Seasoning:
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

In a large kettle, soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches overnight. Drain beans in a colander and return to kettle with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Cook beans at a bare simmer until just tender, about 1 hour, and drain in a colander.

In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion and jalapeno until soft and beginning to caramelize, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the ground turkey, Southwest Essence, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is browned and cooked through, 6 minutes. Add the cornmeal and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, canned chiles, and cilantro stems and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After it has cooked for 30 minutes, add the cooked beans. Add the heavy cream and cilantro leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes longer.

Serve the chili in deep bowls, garnished with dollops of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, and green onions to taste.

Emeril's Southwest Seasoning:

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

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    86 Reviews
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    I made rhis today and it was simply divine! I added a small amount of molasses for taste.
    not rhis but this...let's keep it moving
    Emeril this White Bean Turkey Chili was absolutely delicious! I made some of your southwest seasoning and omitted some of the extra seasonings, especially the pepper as we don't like things too hot. I didn't have any corn meal so I got my chopper out and threw some Fresh Gourmet Santa Fe style tortilla Strips that is suppose to be a topping for salads. Cooking is so much fun when you can improvise!!
    Ok, I know heat is a subjective thing, but we left out the jalapeņos based on previous reviews. Then we added hot sauce when it was done because it wasn't spicy enough for any of us (3 people). We have tried numerous turkey chili recipes from this website, and this one definitely gives you the most bang for the time/effort committed. Next time I'm adding a jalapeņo with the ribs and seeds removed. I will definitely be making this recipe again.
    I have probably made this chili about 15 times over the last several years. Its great for special occasions because you can make it ahead of time and reheat when you need it. Great for the winter holidays because it comes out red and green. Good stuff!
    this was perfect! just the right amount of spice ...I did not use the heavy cream or sour cream(lactose intolerant) but it was still outstanding
    This is my go-to chili recipe, but now I'm watching calories right now. Anyone know what the calorie count is on this?
    This is my third time making this chili and I think that it is awesome. I pretty much follow the recipe, but tone down the spice a bit for my family. I love the flavor of cilantro and throw a whole bunch in (which I have tied up in a bundle while the chili is cooking. I have to say, I almost never use Emeril's recipes because the list of ingredients just go on and on. This one is a keeper.
    I was looking for a chili recipe using turkey instead of beef. I thought the "white" version would be a nice change from the tomato based chili. The first time I made it, I followed the recipe exactly, except for the green chiles, which I could not find. For me, it was too spicy, so I made some modifications: I use 1 can of the Rotel tomatoes with green chiles, and 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes. Because of this switch, I use only 2 cups of chicken broth, otherwise it is too loose. I leave out the jalepenos and only put in half of the chili powder that is called for. I usually add more fresh garlic than the recipe calls for. I use one can of cannelini beans and one can of small white beans, both rinsed and drained. It is much faster than using the dried beans. I love the cilantro in this recipe. It is so fragrant and gives a great fresh taste to the chili. Overall, my family loves this chili and thinks it is a great alternative to the traditional chili.
    I made this for my friends one weekend for a house party. They really loved it. Personally, I thought that the chili was a little bland or something, and I added some additional garlic to spice it up more. What really made it were the sides and toppings served with the dish - guacamole, light sour cream, shredded cheese, red onion, scallions, corn chips. Everyone had fun customizing their bowls to taste.
     The green chile was very good in this, but it wasn't all that spicy - might be good if you are serving children. I used canned beans instead of cooking from dried, as I was short on time. It was a lot better the next day. We had enough for 6 adults with leftovers.
    I have unconditional confience in his recipes, but this one was a bit disappointing. Both my husband and I thought that it was way too meaty; we felt like we are having a soupy, spicy bolognese sause. The flavor was not as complex as I had expected, either. I may reduce the amount of meat by half and instead throw in chopped vegetables like carrots, paprika, etc. next time, but then agian, I might as well try different recipe. I feel terrible writing this, but I though I would share it regardless.
    You can't be trusted to provide an unbiased review because you obviously do not use spell check!
    Perfectly seasoned. Highly recommend.
    I've been looking for a go to turkey chili recipe and this is definetely it. Loved it.
    Big hit with friends right before Christmas for a casual get together. I was in a hurry so I put the beans in a pot covered with water, brought to a boil and let sit for an hour while I was working on the rest of the recipe.
    absolutely wonderful! i used canned cannelini beans to save time and it was delicious.
    Delicious- used canned cannelini beans and leftover turkey from thanksgiving. This will be THE only way to use up all that leftover turkey in the future!
    I tried this recipe after the turkey breast we got a the local meat market had been brined to the hilt and was too salty to eat! They failed to tell us it had been brined and there was nothing on the label...ugh! 
    With a little improvisation, this recipe saved the day! I diced the turkey into small pieces and cooked away....out came a delicious, spicy chili! And a nice departure from the traditional turkey sandwich, turkey this and turkey that after Turkey day! 
    Must admit, will probably take it a little easy on the peppers the next time we make it. We like a little heat, but not too much. 
    And, as always, Emeril's recipes are always consistent and delicious. 
    Many thanks again Emeril!
    I use this recipe all the time. It's the best chili I've had and my family and friends love it too. Great for any occasion.
    Emeril's recipes ARE ALWAYS elegant and very delicious. I have made so many from him.. I made this chili is quickly by just using canned white beans that I drained and rinsed in a colander. special tasting--way above avg.
    Just made this today, but with 1 slight mistake. I picked up ground pork instead of ground turkey (oops, and MAN, is it good!  
    I also used half and half instead o f heavy cream - didn't figure it needed the full fat.
    This is my first time to make or eat Turkey Chili and it was delicious and my son loved it as well. I will be making this again.
    I love this recipe and make it all the time. I usually use less cream (or use fat-free half and half instead), and sometimes up the peppers by adding fresh serrano, poblano, and jalapeno. DELICIOUS!
    PERFECT! And even more perfect the second day.
    My whole family LOVES this recipe!!! It takes some time to prepare but absolutely worth it!
    This is an awesome chili! I used 2 serrano peppers and added some diced yellow peppers. I shredded the leftover thanksgiving turkey in my tupperware chopper (mostly dark meat). The taste was similar to Brunswick stew so I added a can of corn. I had no cornmeal so I left it out. This chili had just the right amount of spice that the kids were able to handle. Sooooo Good! This will be a Thanksgiving tradition from now on. A party of flavors!!!!
    I absolutely love this Chili recipe! It is by far the best turkey chili I have made. Emeril has done it again.... He is awesome! The only things I did with the recipe is take the seeds and ribs out of the jalapeno and use a mild rotel tomato. I love spice but was afraid it was going to be too spicy to enjoy the flavors. I'm glad I did it. If anyone out there is reading this, I hope you take the time to make this chili. If I could give it 10 stars, I would.
    I absolutely love this recipe for turkey chili. Layers of flavors are perfect - and healthy! I shared this recipe with my own family and they too love it. I recently entered a chili cook-off at my office and guess who won....I did..with this recipe! One of my staff even forwarded the recipe to Denmark :)
    the ONLY chili in my opinion. make it all the time :)
    This is a great alternative to regular chili. I love this recipe. I have made this several times and my family keeps asking for more. I subsitituted canned beans for dry beans to cut down on cooking time. Would definately recommend this recipe.
    I made this yesterday and added the beans and cream this morning. It's outstanding! I didn't find it too spicey at all and the cream did something just wonderful to the sauce. Thank you Emeril!
    I just made this as well and am loving it. The cilantro is a must to make this come out the way it was intended. I did make it a little less spicy by using only one can of the rotel diced tomatoes and chilis as well as one can of the green chilis. i ended up putting a can of regular drained diced tomatoes to make it a little more hearty. I also did not have the essence mix so i added most of the spices from the cupboard (except for the coriander). I also used half the turkey that the recipe called for and just halved the spices that was called for in the recipe i.e (instead of 2 tablespoons of cayenne I used one). I also instead of making the beans myself used a can of cannelini beans and a can of pinto beans at the very end. This came out beautifully! I did not add jalapenos however i think that maybe one tablespoon of it would have given it the perfect kick. Otherwise it came out delicious with just a hint of heat. Wonderful!!!
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