An easy recipe for paleo and low carb leftover turkey chili, a thick, aromatic stew of leftover turkey, onions, tomatoes and spices. Ready in 45 minutes!
A warm and comforting leftover turkey chili is one of my favorite ways to enjoy leftover turkey on the days after Thanksgiving. During the year, I simply use chicken instead of turkey.
How to make leftover turkey chili
I really like this paleo and low carb leftover turkey chili. It’s a thick, aromatic stew of leftover turkey, onions, tomatoes, and spices. While there are many healthy and delicious ways to use up leftover turkey (here’s a link to my leftover turkey recipes), a big bowl of chili is especially appropriate for the season. It’s hot, spicy and comforting.
I usually use white meat in this turkey chili, but you can also use a mix of white and dark meat. Just make sure the meat is skinless. The skin would taste rubbery and unpleasant in a chili.
This is a very easy recipe, ready in just 45 minutes. I prefer to cook it quickly because the turkey meat is already cooked and I don’t want it to become overcooked. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions.
Is this a low carb recipe?
I do consider this leftover turkey chili as a low carb recipe – 15 grams carbs and 5 grams of fiber per serving. If you would like to reduce the carbs even more, use a small onion and just 1 bell pepper. Use just 1 can of diced tomatoes and add 1 cup low sodium chicken broth instead.
This lower-carb version has 265 calories per serving, 11g carbs, and 3g fiber. But I don’t know if it’s worth it. I think it will not be as flavorful, and you only save 2g net carbs per serving.
Is this a healthy recipe?
What to serve with this leftover turkey chili?
It’s actually substantial enough that you can simply serve it in bowls. It’s a complete meal. If you want to serve it with something, try these keto cheese muffins, or these yummy almond flour cheese biscuits.
What about leftovers?
Most leftovers, when properly refrigerated in a shallow airtight container, keep for 3-4 days. But since we’re using leftover meat to cook this recipe, leftovers of this turkey chili could potentially spoil faster.
To be safe, I never keep them for longer than a day. So if I make some on Friday and have leftovers, I make sure to finish them all up by Saturday.
Leftover Turkey Chili
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red peppers
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium bell peppers, chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 24 oz cooked white turkey meat, skinless, cubed
- 2 (15 oz cans) diced tomatoes, no salt added, undrained (3 cups)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 cups water
- In a small bowl, with a fork, mix together the seasoning ingredients to create a paste.
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, bell peppers, and one teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the turkey and the seasoning mixture (use a small spatula to scrape it off the bowl) and cook, stirring, 1 more minute.
- Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, the remaining salt and the black pepper. Add enough water to bring the chili to a thick stew consistency, 1-2 cups.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve the leftover turkey chili immediately.