Slow-Cooker Leftover Turkey Chile Verde Recipe

Turkey gets a second wind in this slow cooker chili verde. Jennifer Olvera

This green chili recipe incorporates leftover turkey with a salsa verde base containing tomatillos, serrano peppers, onions and garlic that are blasted under the broiler. It's given backbone from ancho powder, smokiness courtesy of cumin, and aromatics by way of oregano. It's then thickened with cornmeal, bolstered by white beans, and finished with all of the fixings.

Why this recipe works:

  • A simple salsa verde base containing broiled tomatillos, serrano peppers, onions and garlic kick-starts flavor.
  • A touch of cornmeal helps thicken it and lend 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.

Note: 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.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 4 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 6 servings

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into large wedges
  • 4 serrano peppers or 2 jalapeños
  • 3 large, unpeeled cloves garlic
  • 2 pounds tomatillos, husked and cleaned
  • 1/2 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 chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can 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 the 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 1/4 cup cilantro. Pulse to combine.

  2. Add salsa verde to the slow cooker along with the turkey, stock, cumin, oregano, and chili 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.

Special equipment

Slow cooker

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