Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Recipe for Leftover Turkey (or Ground Turkey) and Pinto Bean White Chili with Lime and Cilantro

Turkey and Pinto Bean White Chili with Lime and CilantroThanksgiving is only two days away, and I'm through sharing Thanksgiving Recipes and have moved on to testing recipes for leftover turkey. I started yesterday with a tasty Turkey and Guacamole Quesadilla, and today I'm sharing this white chili recipe made with leftover turkey and pinto beans. This can also be made with leftover chicken, or use ground turkey if you don't have any leftovers. I used both dried and fresh cilantro for one of the seasonings, but if you're not a cilantro fan, there are plenty of other flavors even without the cilantro.

The first photo in this post is the version with leftover turkey breast, cut into small pieces and added towards the end of the cooking time. The photo directly above is the same chili made with ground turkey, browned well and added at the beginning of the cooking time. I'd have to honestly say I liked the version with the ground turkey best, but if I had leftover turkey and was tired of sandwiches, I'd definitely make the leftover turkey version too. I gobbled this up with cheese melted on top when I was testing the recipe.

Start by sauteing a chopped onion in olive oil, then when the onion is soft add some minced garlic and a can of diced green chiles and cook a few minutes more.

Then add dried cilantro, ground cumin, Mexican Oregano, and epazote and cook a few minutes more. Don't stress if you don't have all those herbs, use the ones you have. I'd say ground cumin is the most essential, but the combination was good.

If you're using ground turkey, brown it in a separate pan and add after you have added the dried herbs. (The rest of these photos are with diced turkey, which is added towards the end.)

Then add 2 cans pinto beans and the liquid from the beans, one quart homemade turkey stock or homemade chicken stock (or use canned broth) and one cup water.

Let this mixture simmer for 45-60 minutes at very low heat, until the mixture is slightly reduced and the flavors are well blended.

Add the diced leftover turkey and simmer about 5 minutes, then add the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer about 5 minutes more. Serve hot, with grated cheese melted on top and chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

Leftover Turkey (or Ground Turkey) and Pinto Bean White Chili with Lime and Cilantro
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1 onion, diced into small pieces (about 1 cup diced onion)
2 tsp. olive oil (plus more for sauteing ground turkey if using)
2-3 tsp. minced garlic
1 can diced green Anaheim chiles with liquid (4 oz. size, or use a 7 oz. can if you like it spicy)
1 T dried cilantro (optional but recommended)
1-2 tsp. ground cumin (I used 2 tsp., but I love cumin)
1 tsp. Mexican oregano (I wouldn't substitute Greek oregano for this, but you could use dried marjoram)
1/2 tsp. ground epazote (optional but recommended)
2 cans pinto beans with liquid
1 quart (4 cups) homemade turkey stock or homemade chicken stock (or use canned broth)
1 cup water
2 cups diced leftover chicken or turkey (or use 1 lb. ground turkey)
3 T fresh squeezed lime juice
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
grated Monterey Jack cheese or Four Cheese Mexican Blend for serving, optional
fresh chopped cilantro or sliced green onions for serving, optional

Chop onion into small dice. Heat olive oil in a heavy pan big enough to hold the chili, add onion and saute on low heat 3-4 minutes, or until onion is starting to soften. Add minced garlic and canned green Anaheim chiles and saute about 2 minutes more. Then add dried cilantro, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, and epazote and saute about 2 minutes more.

(If using ground turkey, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a separate frying pan and brown turkey well while you are sauteeing the onion, garlic, chiles, and herbs. Add the browned turkey after you've sauted the dried herbs.)

Add 2 cans pinto beans with liquid. (The dried epazote helps make beans less gas-producing. Normally I rinse canned beans, which also helps with this, so if you don't have epazote I would probably rinse the beans.) Add turkey or chicken stock and water and let chili simmer on low for 45-60 minutes, stirring a few times.

When chili has slightly reduced and flavors are well blended, add diced turkey and simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, add fresh lime juice and simmer 5 minutes more. (Don't simmer a long time after you've added the turkey or it will all break apart.)

Serve hot, with grated cheese melted on top and sprinkled with fresh chopped cilantro or green onions if desired.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Beans are a wonderful low-glycemic food, and everything about this chili is great for any phase of the South Beach Diet. I did use low-fat Four Cheese Mexican Blend for my cheese, but you're not eating all that much cheese with it even if you only have full-fat cheese. This freezes well, so you might want to double the recipe and have it on hand.

More Chili Recipes with Turkey:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Turkey and White Bean Chili with Chocolate from Kalyn's Kitchen
Turkey Chili from Simply Recipes
White Bean Turkey Chili from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Dave's Turkey Chili from Baking Bites
Black Bean and Turkey Chili from The Kitchen Sink Recipes
White Turkey Chili from Closet Cooking
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Since this turkey and pinto bean chili has my very favorite herb, cilantro, with Mexican oregano and epazote also adding flavor, it seems perfect to submit for Weekend Herb Blogging. WHB is under the management of Haalo, and is being hosted this week by Lynne from Cafe Lynnylu. Here is more about how to enter.
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  1. I'll be all ready this weekend with some good soup recipes to use with my left over turkey. Thanks!

  2. I want to try south beach diet!! do you have any experience!?!

  3. You are getting me more and more excited about the leftovers. I am going to have to raid the dinner table once the meal is over just to make all these delicious things! This looks so hearty and flavorful.

  4. A perfect way to enjoy some turkey leftovers. I always like using leftovers to create a completely new dish!

  5. This soup recipe looks so very good. I'll be saving that one. I'm such a fan of cilantro. Thanks for the post.

  6. terrific set of recipes you are posting, very timely and they sound and look terrific.

    Hope I have some leftovers, may need to cook a second bird!

  7. I'm not roasting a turkey this year, but I always have ground turkey in my freezer. And I always have dried epazote and Mexican oregano in my pantry, too. This will be a great chili for a cold December day!

  8. I just stumbled across your recipe for crockpot mashed potatoes and love it. I'm going to make it for Thanksgiving. Then I started looking around and your site is awesome. It's exactly the way I like to cook and eat -- healthy and delicious, without too much hassle. Thank you!


  9. Your soup looks wonderful. Full of so many good things. Love your bowls too.

  10. Thank you everyone for the nice feedback on this recipe. It was really good. Actually I froze about half the chili, but I've already pulled it out of the freezer and eaten most of it! (Just enough left for lunch today.)

    Now I'm just hoping my sister will give me the turkey carcass tomorrow so I can make more!

  11. Thanks for sharing this. Now I know what to do with the leftover turkey. :) Sounds like a yummy soup.

  12. Looks delicious and a perfect way to use leftover turkey!

  13. instead of canned pinto beans how about cooking up some Rancho Gordo pinto beans for this recipe. A great idea instead of the usual turkey tetrazini.

  14. I made this recipe with the turkey leftovers, it was amazing.

  15. Glad people are liking this, and yes any type of dried beans would be great here!

  16. It's on my list for tonight's supper. I am craving soup.

    I love the total flavor transformation the turkey makes when you use it in chili or enchiladas. You don't think you're eating "leftovers".

    Thanks for the great recipe Kalyn!
    And happy belated Thanksgiving.

  17. CJ, you're welcome. Happy Thanksgiving to you too, enjoy your leftover turkey!

  18. This looks very flavorful. I think the only thing I would change is to use fresh cilantro (my favorite too). It looks amazing. I like the marjoram suggestion.

  19. Love this! I've been seeing so many turkey recipes that I am starting to actually miss turkey! Yeah, it is very rare and expensive to buy turkey here. Most are imported from the states. This is a perfect way to finish off Thanksgiving :o)

  20. I just made this recipe in the crock pot the other day. It turned out seriously good! I added some jalapenos for some extra spice and my husband loved it! Thanks for posting this.

  21. Lori, I love fresh cilantro, but using both fresh and dried cilantro really gives nice cilantro undertones besides the fresh cilantro flavor.

    Marilyn, glad to be able to remind you of home! I can imagine turkey is hard to come by there.

    The Harings, so glad to hear it was a hit!

  22. Made this tonight, excellent! I love the combination of flavors and probably saved some leftover turkey that was a little bland (I didn't make it..). I will be having this for lunch for the next few days.

  23. I made this tonight and we absolutely loved it. A definite repeat. Thanks!!

  24. Claire, so glad to hear you enjoyed it; thanks for taking time to let me know.

  25. Hi, Kalyn, I made this over this past week. We really enjoyed it. However, where do you find epazote? Is there somewhere that I can order it online? Not too much is available here in Hilo. Thank you. I am enjoying your website. Aloha, Linda

  26. Hi Linda,

    Epazote comes from Mexico, and it's definitely optional in the recipe but it does add a nice flavor (and also supposedly reduces the gas-causing effects of dried beans. You can buy epazote from Penzeys, one of my favorite places to buy spices online.

  27. Hi Kalyn!!! First, you rock, and your recipes ROCK my household!!! Thank you for sharing your great tasting recipes. With this recipe I used ground Turkey but wondered if it would be okay to add petite diced tomatoes? Or would that just throw it off? Wanted to add something else in there and saw in your Black Bean Chile recipe it included the petite diced tomatoes. Thank you.

  28. Thanks for the nice feedback! I do think petite diced tomatoes would taste great in this if you want a more tomatoey chili recipe. (Is tomatoey even a word. Anyway, you know what I mean!)

  29. by any chance would you know the calories for this dish. It looks great thanks.

  30. I chose South Beach to manage my weight so I would not have to calculate calories, points, carbs, or fat grams, so I don't have that information.


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