We call it this a white chili because there's very little tomato in it, but the addition of cumin, beer, tons of beans and a topper of creamy avocado keeps it just as satisfying as a traditional red chili.
Recipe courtesy of Patrick Decker
Winter White Turkey Chili
1 hr
15 min
45 min
4 to 6 servings
1 hr
15 min
45 min
4 to 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 to 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey (all lean or a mix, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can fire-roasted green chiles
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle light beer, such as lager or ale
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and ground black pepper 
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, to garnish
  • Ripe avocado, chopped, to garnish


Place a large pot over medium heat with the oil. Add the bacon to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and then add the turkey, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, cumin and chili powder to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the chili, stirring occasionally, until the liquids have thickened and the chili is very aromatic, about 20 minutes.

Serve the chili garnished with chopped cilantro and avocado.

Cook's Note

I find there are two schools of thought when making chili - "to brown the meat or not to brown the meat?". As you'll see here, I prefer not to brown the meat ahead of time - I just add it in with the vegetables. Neither method is right or wrong, I just feel you get a more tender finished product when the meat cooks more gently along with the vegetables. It's also easier to break up into smaller pieces so that you don't end up with a giant hunk of cooked ground turkey on your spoon. I also opt not to take the bacon out after it has been browned - I want to simmer that bacon flavor in with the chili. You could certainly take the crisped bacon out of the pot if you wanted to and reserve it to be a crispy garnish for serving.

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