Turkey, White Bean, and Roasted Garlic Chili

Early morning apartment cleaning. New candles burning bright. And I’m enjoying a midday espresso with the light sounds of pitter-patters on the window sill. 

It’s a perfect rainy Saturday here in Brooklyn.

So, what better way to kick off soup, stew and chili season than with this awesomely quick and easy recipe for some White Bean and Roasted Garlic Chili. Keep in mind that you can always use less stock to create a thicker more hearty chili, or feel free to use more stock and not thicken with cornstarch to make it lighter soup. Oh…and choose your chiles wisely. The first time I made this, I used some chile peppers with a major KICK. ;) 


Adapted from Melissa d'Arabian’s White Chili with Quick Roasted Garlic

Recipe makes about 6-8 servings.


Roasted Garlic

  • 12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  • OPTIONAL: 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 12 shallots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Anaheim chile peppers, or whatever type of pepper you prefer
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 15 oz. can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1, 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach or kale, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • OPTIONAL: 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese, for garnish

Roasted garlic
This trick is AWESOME. You can use this roasted garlic in almost any recipe…or even just spread onto some lightly buttered toast for a snack.
  1. Toss the 12 cloves garlic with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover, leaving a vent, and microwave until soft, about 90 seconds. Let cool, covered.
Roasted chile peppers
This can be done a couple different ways. I usually prefer the latter since it is quicker and easier for me, however, this first option requires less of your concentration if you’re looking to multitask. :)
  1. BroilerPreheat the broiler. Cook the shallots in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the chiles on a foil-lined broiler pan and broil until charred on all sides, turning, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel the peppers with your fingers or a paring knife. Stem, seed and chop.
  2. Gas StovetopUsing your gas burner on the highest setting, either balance the chile pepper directly on the metal grates over the gas burner or use a long skewer pierced through the length of the chile to roast over the open flame (like a ‘mallow). Let the chile pepper sit on the burner or rotate over the open flame as its skin begins to bubble and turn black. Allow the chile gets blistered or charred on all sides. Then, place the chiles in a bowl and cover with a plate or put the chile in a plastic ziplock for 5-10 minutes. The steam from the hot chile will help the peel come off more easily. Remove the chile from the bowl or bag and use your fingers or a damp towel or damp paper towel to rub off the charred peel. Try to avoid running water over the chile itself, as doing so may wash away some of the chile’s flavor. Make a slice into the side of the chile and cut away and discard the stem, seeds, and veins, and mince.
  1. While your chiles are steaming in the bowl/bag, use this time to brown your ground turkey in the large soup pot or dutch oven you are cooking in. Remove from the turkey and set aside. You can also keep this recipe vegetarian by skipping to the next step.
  2. In the same pot, heat oil, the minced garlic and the shallots and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes.
  4. Increase the heat to high and add the wine; simmer 2 minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the pan.
  5. Add the minced, roasted chiles, 6 cups of broth, the ground turkey, chili powder, cayenne, paprika, navy beans, and salt and black pepper to taste. Return to a simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, squeeze the soft pulp from the roasted garlic into a blender or food processor. Add the remaining 1 cup broth and process until smooth. Add to the soup and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes, adding the spinach/kale during the last 5 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. OPTIONAL: Thicken by mixing cornstarch and water in a small bowl (about ½ cup) until all the powder has dissolved. Gently stir into simmering soup.
  9. OPTIONAL: Add cream at the end and garnish with cheese.

Stay cozy.