By Sara Sanders


The days post-Thanksgiving bring with them weather conducive to making my all-time favorite type of meal…the soup. It’s warm, hearty and filling, and there are always leftovers. Over my maternity leave, I took on a larger part of the role of keeping the family fed on a budget. This included probably what my husband would say was too much broth-based food. I tried my hand at a lot of them, and found that my favorites were the kind I didn’t have a recipe for.

Growing up, there was a lot of congregating in our kitchen while dinner was made. Both of my parents worked full-time, and evenings were pretty packed with things to do. Some nights were sports practice, some included dance or piano lessons, and there was always homework and laundry, as well as TV to watch. With all of the hullabaloo, my parents were sure to make a filling meal to keep everyone going. My mom would dig through her recipe box and pull out a familiar classic, while my dad generally just threw together “this” and “that” as he deemed necessary.

I remember wanting to not only give my kids that same memory, but to be able to throw things together and make a delicious meal without a recipe. This took a lot of time, practice, and in all actuality, recipes to perfect. Every time I made an entrée, I’d change it by a pinch of this, or a dash of that. Soon enough, I had my own favorite dishes which I could make without thinking about that old tattered recipe card.

Now, standing in my own kitchen over a hot gas stove, I work to make something magical from our Thanksgiving leftovers. My sweet family gathers and we talk and laugh with the sound of that soup pot boiling in the background. It warms my heart — and brings a happy tear to my eye — to see our babies interacting together in our cozy little kitchen, and I know they’ll have the same fond memories starting in this wonderful room.

Most people will turn to the classic turkey noodle soup, or even a turkey and dumplings the day after Thanksgiving, but I thought I could make a great white turkey chili. This recipe is chock full of good, lean protein and tasty complex carbohydrates to keep you going in the cold. Just remember…make it your own!


White Turkey Chili

Roughly 1lb leftover turkey, shredded

2 (32 oz.) boxes chicken broth (or use your turkey stock)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1 (16 oz.) can black beans, drained

1 can northern beans, drained

1 can white hominy, drained

1 can diced or stewed tomatoes drained

1 can sweet corn, drained

1 (4 oz.) can green chiles

About 1 tsp dried minced garlic

Dash of Worcestershire

1 ½ tsp cumin

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp dried cilantro

Sour cream and cheese for garnish


1. Heat olive oil in stock pot and add chopped onion to caramelize. Cook about 5 minutes or until translucent.

2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant

3. Stir in broth, corn, hominy, tomatoes, and green chiles, cumin, and chili powder

4. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10-15 minutes

5. Add turkey and beans, simmer 5 minutes

6. Season with Worcestershire, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste

7. Serve with sour cream and cheese as preferred