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Rating: 5 stars
9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

There are two things that make for a great Thanksgiving leftovers recipe. The first one is, it shouldn't remind you of the original meal. Plus, and just as important, it should be super easy and simple to make. Not only does this turkey chili mac satisfy those two requirements, it also happens to be incredibly delicious and pretty nice to look at. Garnish with grated cheese, onions, sour cream, and cilantro if desired.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
50 mins
additional:
5 mins
total:
1 hr 10 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until it starts to soften and turns translucent, about 5 minutes.

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  • While onion cooks, make the spice mixture by combining chili powder, chipotle pepper, cumin, black pepper, cocoa, cinnamon, and oregano in a small bowl.

  • Add garlic and the spice mixture to the onion and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Stir in 4 cups chicken broth, diced tomatoes with chiles, and tomato sauce. Raise the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

  • Add the leftover turkey meat along with additional chicken broth if needed, and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes.

  • Taste for salt and other seasonings and adjust as needed. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in pinto beans and elbow macaroni and cover tightly with a lid. Cook, covered, until the pasta is just barely tender, about 5 minutes.

  • Turn off the heat, remove the lid, and stir very well. Cover back up and let sit with the heat off for 5 minutes. Uncover, stir in Cheddar cheese, and serve immediately.

Chef's Notes:

Feel free to use homemade turkey broth instead of chicken.

You can use tomato puree instead of sauce.

If you want your chili to be a little more soupy, all you need to do is add a little more broth or stock.

Nutrition Facts

373 calories; protein 32.2g; carbohydrates 29.9g; fat 13.9g; cholesterol 73.6mg; sodium 1864.5mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (8)

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9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2021
I made this with ground turkey and my family loved it! It's a unique blend of flavors just perfect as written, and this is now in our regular rotation! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2020
Absolutely delightful! Chef John, you never miss a beat. My boyfriend devoured it and said it was a 5 star recipe!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2020
Made recipe as is and it was great! My family really enjoyed it as well. Great way to use up leftover turkey. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2020
Made as recipe calls for, added ground coriander and half the chipotle Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2020
Simple recipe, but creative use of leftover turkey. I loved to spice mix, thank you for this recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2020
I made twice the amount for my family and there's only enough left for 3 more bowls. Great recipe! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2020
Simply Amazing! Chef John, Thank you so very much for your delicious recipes! We used the leftovers from your marvelous deboned stuffed turkey. (BEST TURKEY RECIPE EVER!) with bacon stuffing, no beans, no cocoa, no cinnamon, double the amount of mac noodles, and double cheese to make a food so good we are adding it to the list for turkey leftovers! We made it last night and only two bowls survived the night to find out it is great for breakfast too! Hope you have/had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Chris & Carla Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/30/2021
I've made this three times now, and my family LOVES IT! Since I only had turkey the first time, I've used chicken the two other times. Once, a shredded rotisserie chicken and once chicken breasts I simmered and shredded. It is a little spicy for me, but not for everyone else in the house, but I have a hard time with the spiciness of Rotel tomatoes lol. It is spicy but delicious and it doesn't stop me from eating it! Very easy and very yummy! I've added it to my dinner rotation, and every one is happy when they see turkey or chicken chili mac on the menu! Read More