White Bean Turkey Chili with Cheddar Cornbread

A game day go-to recipe that you will want to make over and over again, all winter long – white bean turkey chili that’s full of spices and topped with fresh, vibrant garnishes. I’m serving it with the most delicious, simple cheddar cornbread…because you really can’t have chili with cornbread, right?!

White Bean Turkey Chili

The Super Bowl has always been a day where we make chili. Usually, my grandma makes us her classic chili, and we eat it in a bowl or with tortillas, with lots of fixings and cornbread on the side. It’s one of my favorite meals because it’s just so comforting and always reminds me of a cold, cozy Super Bowl Sunday.

I wanted to make my own version, one with lots of fresh, healthy flavor. Something that could be made for a simple weeknight meal as well and eaten as leftovers all week long.

Enter this white bean turkey chili.

White Bean Turkey Chili

White Bean Turkey Chili Breakdown

  • Start by making the cornbread…because every chili needs a good cornbread. This recipe is simple and straightforward, resulting in a tender, light, very flavorful cornbread. It is delicious.
  • While the cornbread is in the oven, start to brown the turkey in batches. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan, so I usually do the white meat first and then the dark. And I like using both kinds of meat for a mix of flavor (all white meat tends to be too dry).
  • After the turkey browns, it’s all about layering flavors – first with some onions and peppers, then with the spices, then some fire-roasted canned tomatoes and chicken stock.
  • The chili simmers for about an hour (the perfect time to cut the cornbread, prep the garnishes, and clean up) and then gets a final touch of white beans and fresh lime juice.

White Bean Turkey Chili

It’s all topped with some very necessary fixings: sharp cheddar cheese, creamy avocado, spicy chili peppers, fresh radishes, and a little cilantro.

It’s a no-fuss, approachable kind of recipe that is bold and flavorful. Serve it with the cheddar cornbread on the side, maybe a big batch of chips & guacamole, too…and I’d say your Super Bowl is pretty complete!

PS…the leftovers of this white bean turkey chili are even better than the real meal, so definitely make a full batch of this even if you’re only cooking for 1-2 people so you can enjoy it all week long!


White Bean Turkey Chili with Cheddar Cornbread

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a healthy, flavorful weeknight or game day white bean turkey chili with the most delicious cheddar cornbread

serves: 6

  • Author: Kayla Howey



Cheddar Cornbread

  • 1 cup medium ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 6 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

White Bean Turkey Chili

  • olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs ground turkey breast (white meat)
  • 1 ½ lbs ground turkey thigh (dark meat)
  • kosher salt
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, cored and diced
  • 1 red fresno chili pepper, cored and minced
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 qt chicken stock
  • 2 (15 oz) cans white beans
  • 2 limes, juiced


  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • diced avocado
  • shaved radishes
  • sliced red fresno chili peppers
  • cilantro leaves


Cheddar Cornbread

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° Grease a 9×13” baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In another mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the honey and whole milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, using a wooden spoon to combine until just incorporated.
  4. Fold in the melted butter and cheddar cheese. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  5. Cut the cornbread into squares and serve warm or at room temperature with the chili.

White Bean Turkey Chili

  1. Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to just coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, add the ground turkey breast. Season with a pinch of salt. Let it brown on all sides, using a wooden spoon to break apart the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Transfer the ground turkey breast to a plate.
  2. Pour out and reserve any turkey juices. Add a little bit more olive oil and add the ground turkey thigh. Repeat the above process. (I like to cook the turkey separately simply so that the pot is not overcrowded.)
  3. Once all the turkey and juices are out of the pot, add a little bit more olive oil. Toss in the sliced red onions. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the red peppers and red fresno chili peppers. Season with a pinch of salt. Let sauté for another few minutes.
  4. Add the turkey back in and stir in the spices. Cook for another minute. Pour in the tomatoes and chicken stock, stirring well. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot, leaving a little crack on one side. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the lid and continue to simmer the chili for about another 40 minutes, or until thickened.
  6. Stir in the white beans and lime juice at the very end. Let the beans heat through. Serve the chili with shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, shaved radishes, more sliced red fresno chili peppers (if you like extra heat), and cilantro leaves on top.


This dish gets even better as it sits, so even if I’m just cooking for 1-2 people, I like to make the entire batch and heat it up for leftovers all week long! Just add the garnishes right before you eat it.

White Bean Turkey Chili

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