Slow-Cooker Leftover Turkey Chile Verde Recipe

Turkey gets a second wind in this slow cooker chile verde.

A bowl of slow-cooker turkey chile verde topped with sour cream, herbs, and chopped red onion

Serious Eats / Jennifer Olvera

Why This Recipe Works

  • A simple salsa verde base containing broiled tomatillos, serrano peppers, onions, and garlic kickstarts flavor.
  • A touch of cornmeal helps thicken the chile verde and lends texture during the last hour of cooking.
  • All of the requisite garnishes lend contrast, from crunchy tortilla chips to sour cream and pepper jack cheese.

Nobody feels like cooking full meals the day after Thanksgiving, which is where leftovers come in. But you don't have to stick with the same old reheat-eat-repeat. By letting your slow cooker do most of the work for you, you can take those leftovers and transform them into brand new dishes with just a little bit of time and effort on your part. This turkey chile verde recipe is one of my favorites, but for more variations, try this bright soup with turkey, lemon, and couscous, or this turkey riff on andouille gumbo.

With this green chili recipe, you'll barely recognize that old bird. It's made with a salsa verde base containing tomatillos, serrano peppers, onions, and garlic that are blasted under the broiler (of course, if you want to make this even easier still, you can go ahead and replace the purée with your favorite jarred brand of salsa verde. You'll need 2 to 2 1/2 cups of it). It's given backbone by ancho powder, smokiness courtesy of cumin, and aromatics by way of oregano.

After a few hours of cooking, the whole shebang is thickened with a little cornmeal and a can of white beans is tossed into the mix. An hour later, top it with all of the fixings—cilantro, sour cream, red onions, and pepper jack cheese. Finish it with a shower of crumbled tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime and you're good to go.

November 2014

Recipe Details

Slow-Cooker Leftover Turkey Chile Verde Recipe

Active 15 mins
Total 4 hrs 30 mins
Serves 6 servings

Turkey gets a second wind in this slow cooker chile verde.


  • 1 large onion, cut into large wedges

  • 4 serrano peppers or 2 jalapeños

  • 3 large, unpeeled cloves garlic

  • 2 pounds tomatillos, husked and cleaned

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided

  • 3 cups cooked turkey meat, preferably dark and light

  • 2 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken or turkey stock

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (14.5-ouncecan cannellini beans, drained

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips

  • 1 cup pepper Jack cheese

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. Preheat broiler to high setting and adjust rack to the upper-middle position. Line a baking sheet with foil and place onion, peppers, garlic, and tomatillos on the tray in a single layer. Transfer tray to oven and broil, flipping ingredients and rotating tray halfway through, until lightly charred and fully softened, about 15 minutes total. Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, cut stems off of peppers and peel garlic. Transfer ingredients to a blender, along with oil and 1/4 cup cilantro. Pulse to combine.

  2. Add salsa verde to the slow cooker along with turkey, stock, cumin, oregano, and chile powder. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low setting for 3 1/2 hours. Stir in beans and cornmeal and continue cooking for another hour.

  3. Ladle soup into bowls and top with remaining cilantro, sour cream, red onion, tortilla chips, and cheese. Serve with lime wedges.


Store-bought salsa verde can be used in place of the homemade. You will need 2 1/2 cups salsa verde. Start recipe from Step 2.

Special Equipment

Slow cooker

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
435 Calories
17g Fat
41g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 435
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 92mg 31%
Sodium 772mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 30mg 151%
Calcium 280mg 22%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 1195mg 25%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)