Tomatillo Turkey Chili

tomatillo turkey chiliThis Thanksgiving, don’t throw away those turkey leftovers!

Remember the meat from those turkey wings and drumsticks I used the other day to make gluten-free turkey gravy? All that meat didn’t go to waste – it was used to make a delicious, warming turkey chili!

I actually purchase a larger turkey than necessary for Thanksgiving each year. I love the leftovers. They make great filling for enchiladas, sandwiches, or even taste good eaten cold, straight from the fridge, late at night. Not that I would know or anything. But now, the leftovers star in a spicy, flavorful chili. Or you could add crushed tortilla chips and call it tortilla soup. Whatever you call it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you try it!

Of course, you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to make a chili like this. You can use any leftover chicken or turkey, or you can even purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and use it, if that’s your thing. It’ll all taste delicious in this soup. Heck, you could even go meatless, and use vegetable stock and add some cubed sweet potatoes or squash, and make a delicious vegetarian soup. It all sounds yummy to me.

If you can’t find tomatillos, you can substitute a 16-20 oz jar of bottled salsa verde/tomatillo salsa. Tomatillos are plentiful around here in Texas – but the cheapest ones are usually at the Latin groceries.

Tomatillo Turkey Chili, adapted from Simply Recipes

1 ½ lbs tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut in half

1 onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped

5-6 c cooked turkey or chicken, shredded

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 c chicken broth

½ c gluten-free beer (such as Bard’s Tale) – optional, but it adds a wonderful flavor

2 c diced tomatoes or tomato puree

1 t ground cumin

1 t ground coriander

1 t dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

½ c chopped cilantro

 Place the tomatillos and jalapenos cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Scatter onions and garlic around tomatillos and jalapenos. Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes or until skins on tomatillos blacken. Remove, and when cool, pour tomatillos, jalapenos, onion and garlic, including any juices, into a food processor. Pulse until well blended.

 Heat a large stockpot to medium heat and add tomatillo mixture and chipotle pepper. Stur around for a minute or two, and add turkey, beans, broth, beer, tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

 Immediately before serving, taste and adjust salt and pepper seasonings as necessary, and stir in most of the cilantro, reserving a bit to use as garnish.

Optional: Top with sour cream and cheese.

 Serves 5-6.


Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Soups

55 responses to “Tomatillo Turkey Chili

  1. Tasty looking chili. I like it. I’ve been craving tomatillos for a while. Sadly, no one in my farmer’s market has some. I’m hoping they’ll have some this weekend. *crossing fingers*

  2. I love the lighting in this photo!

  3. MMmm this soup looks so hearty and so healthy too! We love replacing beef with turkey when we make our chilis too, I will definitely be bookmarking this recipe. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. This sounds delicious and like a great thing to use my GF Beer for!

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  6. Wow, you got the recipe from Simply Recipes? She was there at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival last weekend. Your turkey chili looks so hearty… so glad it’s winter and we can eat hot foods in comfort.

  7. The soup looks like a great comfort for a rainy cold days! The picture looks really beautiful!

  8. Oh this looks soooooo good!

  9. Pingback: Tomatillo Turkey Chili « Tasty Eats At Home | Turkey Live

  10. What a great way to use leftovers from Thanksgiving including the turkey bones. That photo is positioned for me to grab a spoon. Thanks 🙂

  11. Mmm! Great flavours =D. This looks delicious!

  12. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing the variations, too–

  13. I love turkey chili and the use of tomatillos and jalapenos makes this recipe a real winner. Great job with this!

  14. Mmmm. Sounds like a great way to use up leftover turkey.

  15. I have never tried tomatillos before…I shall put them on my todo list!

  16. great way of using leftover turkey, I think with leftover turkey you have endless possibilities of what to do with it.

  17. this looks soooo good! i saw some tomatillos in the store earlier this week – now i know what to do with them!

  18. tastyeatsathome

    Christine – Tomatillos rock. They’re slightly sour, like a lime, with less “bite”.

    Krissy – You got to meet Elise? Cool! I love her blog. I used her recipe as a “guideline”, but if you look at it alongside mine, there are quite a few changes.

    Katrina – You mean, besides just drink it? Because I’m totally up for doing that too! (someone had to drink the rest of the bottle used for this recipe…guess who that was!)

    Jenn – I’ll cross my fingers for you too!

    Brie, Jessie, Linda, Danielle, April, Lauren, Simply Life, Angie, Joy and Iris – Thank you so much!

  19. wow I love this and the picture is like its right here mouth watering!

  20. I love this recipe, I buy ground turkey all the time, could you use that in this recipe? Delicious! Didn’t know about gluten free beer, I am learning alot about gluten free from you. Great info

  21. I love using turkey in chili and this recipe sounds really delicious.

  22. This soup really looks inviting, colour is vibrant.

  23. I love the distinct taste of tomatillos. This looks excellent! Spicy and so comforting.

  24. Yummy! So delicious and appetizing!

  25. I love the tomatillos, chipotle pepper, and beer in here. Like you, I buy a large turkey just so we can have plenty of leftovers. We usually make a huge batch of turkey soup and freeze it, which is welcome on many cold winter nights.

  26. I like the beer kick… perfect for a Fall day!

  27. Your photo really is awesome. The colors are stunning!!!

  28. I love great leftover recipes and this looks delicious! And tomatillos, adobo sauce and peppers…all my favorite flavors. Yum!

  29. Mmm Love tomatillos! And I just made some chili this past weekend too! Will post about it soon!

  30. I have so many tomatillo’s I preserved from the summer frozen in my deep freeze! I’m for sure going to pull some out to make this. Looks great!

  31. Huh, I have tamatillos sitting in my fridge. I was looking at them today wondering “what am I going to do with you?”. Now I know, Thanks!

  32. Lovely photo and your chili looks amazing!

  33. atxglutenfree

    This recipe looks fantastic. I will definitely be using this for all the turkey leftovers. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Jessica

  34. tastyeatsathome

    Angelia – you certainly could use ground turkey! I’d just recommend browning it first. I love these kind of recipes, though, because you can change up things as you see fit.

    Marillyn – Thanks so much for the award! I’m honored!

    Diana – What a great idea, to preserve the tomatillos. I am hoping to add them to my garden next year, then maybe I’ll have some in the freezer too!

    atxglutenfree, Winnie, Tasty Trix, Shelly, Chelsey, Stacy, Mathea, Cookin’ Canuck, Noelle, Reeni, Cheah, My Man’s Belly, and pegasuslegend – Thank you soo much!

  35. JL

    Wow that looks amazing and what a great idea for leftovers! For more recipes visit

  36. atxglutenfree

    Also– Thanks for the Foodbuzz Top 9!!! Just saw it on my e-mail. exciting 🙂

  37. I feel like I can smell this chili through your post and it smells amazing-killer idea!

  38. I made it! It’s wonderful, great post.

  39. If you can grow tomatoes, you can probably grow your own tomatillos. Love tomatillos in salsa, I’m sure this is great too.

  40. Congrats on Top 9. Awesome Tomato Turkey Chili…great idea for leftovers:) Thanks for sharing:)

  41. Wow! This just screams delicious & sounds like exactly the kind of thing I’ll enjoy making with our leftover turkey…

  42. tastyeatsathome

    Liz – it was great to eat reheated the next day too!

    Elin, atxglutenfree, JL – Thank you!

    Chelsey – Ooooh! I’m so glad. Thank you for letting me know you made it – always makes me happy to hear someone liked the recipe once they tried it out.

  43. Great idea and perfect timing. It’s good to be prepared for what to do with leftovers! Chili is such an ideal thing to incorporate odds and ends, as it’s as friendly to ingredients as it is comforting to our tummies.

  44. This looks delicious! Wish I could have a bowl for lunch on this cool day.

  45. Excellent use of turkey leftovers, and super delicious!

  46. I don’t like wasting too! You know, always thinking a way to use them. And duck bones, turkey bones and many others most suitable for making soup. And yours is such a great idea!

  47. I hate wasting food so doing things with leftovers is something I always try to do but I’ve never roasted a turkey so I don’t think I’ve ever had that much leftover. I’ll definitely keep this in mind when I do roast one! 🙂

  48. Alta, thanks for stopping by. The title of my post confused people. There is not a breakfast theme this week. I was just referring to the breakfast ideas I highlighted from last week! I like the ideas you left in the comment, though. Feel free to link up any recipe if you want.

  49. Chipotle, tomatillos, and beer—this has my vote for what to do with all of the leftover turkey!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  50. tastyeatsathome

    wasabi prime – Thank you, I love chili because it’s versatile and forgiving. And of course, yummy!

    lisaiscooking, Natasha, kristy, Lorraine, and Linda – Thank you!

  51. Your turkey chili recipe is out of this world! What better way to use up my left over turkey, of which we still have way too much!

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  53. Pingback: Kids in the Kitchen: “Texas Red” Chili « Tasty Eats At Home

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