Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes: Turkey Chili

Thanksgiving leftover recipes: Use chopped leftover turkey to make chili. Repin to save!

Thanksgiving recipes are everywhere. In magazines, on TV, online… Don’t you think it’s a little overkill? After all, Thanksgiving is just one meal.

This year, I’m taking a different approach. A money-saving one, because that’s just how I roll.

Two words: Thanksgiving leftovers.

One of the most bang-for-your-buck tips to save money on food is to make use of leftovers. And what better time to do this than Thanksgiving, when your fridge is filled with overwhelming amounts of leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and the such?

First up, turkey chili.

About The Recipe

This is my go-to chili recipe. It’s hearty, healthy, spicy, and slightly sweet. If it’s not Thanksgiving time and you don’t have leftover turkey to use up, simply sub ground beef, another meat, or make this vegetarian.

Toppings: I love topping my chili with all sorts of delicious toppings, including sour cream, corn chips, and chopped green onion.

Get 80+ creative soup topping ideas

Got leftover turkey? Make this turkey chili. Repin to save!

But Wait… There’s More!

Here are some other Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving leftover recipe ideas:


Leftover Turkey Chili
Yield: 6 servings

Leftover Turkey Chili

As always, feel free to play around with the amounts of spices in this recipe. If you have leftover chili, use it to top baked potatoes, huevos rancheros or chili dogs, or freeze it for future use.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


For chili

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 can chicken broth (or 2 cups chicken stock or chicken broth made with bouillon)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups leftover turkey, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce

Chili toppings


  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in olive oil until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add jalapeno, chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, and turkey. Stir in vinegar, brown sugar, spices, and hot sauce. Simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to come together.
  2. Serve chili with your choice of toppings.

7 Responses to “Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes: Turkey Chili”

  1. 1

    Alyssa (Everyday Maven) — November 15, 2012 @ 5:11 am

    One of the things I love about Chili is how many variations there are and how all of them look good! My go-to leftover is Turkey Barley Soup – that is what I am most excited about for next week 😉

  2. 2

    Marla Meridith — November 17, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post 🙂

  3. 3

    Thanksgiving Leftovers: 50 Totally Awesome Recipes on — Family Fresh Cooking — November 17, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    […] Leftovers Turkey Chili Cheap Recipe Blog […]

  4. 4

    Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes | Foodlydo — November 20, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

    […] There are literally millions of things that you can do with roast turkey, and a person could make a library of cookbooks on the many uses of roast turkey.  My favorites are turkey chili and stew. First up: Turkey chili. This is my go-to chili recipe. It’s hearty, healthy, spicy, and slightly sweet….More at Cheap Recipe Blog » Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes: Turkey Chili […]

  5. 5

    Chili Recipes for every Style - Hobbies On A Budget — February 4, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    […] Turkey Chili from Leftovers […]

  6. 6

    Chris — November 29, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

    This recipe is simple and it is an absolute home run! So very delicious. My family scarfed this down as soon as it came off the stove.
    I made it exactly as written here with one change: I substituted kidney beans for the black and butter beans. Also, I skipped the cumin because I used a premium Pendery’s chili powder mix that included cumin.

    • Haley replied: — December 3rd, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

      Awesome! So glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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