Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey has pinto beans and refried beans and is and flavored with cumin, green chiles, and cilantro!
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A reader named Katherine from Sacramento sent me the link to green chile chicken and pink bean stew that inspired this Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey, but of course I had to change it up a bit when I tried the recipe!
I used ground turkey instead of chicken thighs, and Rancho Gordo Yellow Indian Woman Beans instead of pink beans, but I kept the generous amount of garlic, cumin, and diced green chiles from the original recipe. I also added a can of refried beans to thicken the stew, and although it ended up being not not overly photogenic, this turned out to be the kind of comforting stew I’d love to have in the freezer for a quick dinner. Don’t skip the lime wedges for serving this; they’re the perfect finishing touch.
How to Make Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- You can use 2 cans of pinto beans if you prefer, but I cooked the beans in the slow cooker and used three cups of them to make this.
- Brown 2 lbs. of ground turkey very well. It will take 12-15 minutes to get nicely browned turkey, so don’t rush this step.
- Then push the ground turkey over to the side of the pan, add a little more olive oil, and brown the onions.
- When onions are lightly browned, add garlic and ground cumin, mix the onions with the turkey, and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
- Add the chiles and 3 cups cooked beans. Add 3 cups chicken stock, reduce heat to very low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring a few times.
- At this point I wanted a thicker stew, so I decided to add a can of refried beans. I mixed the refried beans with 1/4 cup of water to thin it for easier mixing into the stew.
- I stirred in the refried beans, then simmered the stew about 25 minutes more on low.
- Then I added about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and simmered the stew about 5 minutes more.
- Serve hot, with pieces of lime to squeeze into the finished stew.
More Bean Stew Recipes to Try:
Slow Cooker Cowboy Pinto Bean Stew from The Food Charlatan
Pressure Cooker Pinto Bean and Ground Beef Stew from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Brazilian Black Bean Stew with Roasted Sweet Potatoes from Foodie with Family
Slow Cooker Sausage and White Bean Stew from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pueblo Vegetable Stew from The Perfect Pantry
- 2 T + 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 lbs. ground turkey
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, to season ground turkey
- 1 onion, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 T minced garlic
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 3 cups cooked pinto beans (see notes)
- two 4 oz. cans diced green chiles
- 3 cups chicken broth (see notes)
- one 15.5 oz. can refried pinto beans
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or more)
- sliced lime wedges, for serving
- Heat the 2 T olive oil in a heavy frying pan with high sides, add ground turkey, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and cook over medium heat until the turkey is well browned. This will take 12-15 minutes; don’t rush the browning step.
- While turkey browns, peel a large onion and chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
- When turkey is well browned, push it over to the side of the pan, add 1 tsp. more olive oil, add onion pieces and cook about 5 minutes, until onion is lightly browned. Stir in minced garlic and ground cumin and cook the mixture about 3 minutes more, stirring a few times.
- Add 3 cups cooked beans, 2 cans diced green Anaheim chiles, and 3 cups chicken stock or broth.
- Stir to combine, then reduce heat and let the mixture simmer about 30 minutes.
- Combine 1 can refried pinto beans with 1/4 cup water to thin the beans, then stir refried beans into the turkey and bean mixture. Simmer about 25 minutes more.
- While mixture simmers, chop 1/4 cup (or more) cilantro.
- When the stew is as thick as you’d like it to be (about 25 minutes for me), stir in chopped cilantro and simmer 5 minutes more.
- Serve hot, with lime wedges to squeeze lime into the stew when you eat it.
I cooked beans in the slow cooker, then used some for this recipe, but you can use two cans of pinto beans. I would use homemade chicken stock if I had it, but you can use two cans chicken broth and a little water if you don’t have homemade stock.
This recipe was adapted from Green Chile Chicken and Pink Bean Stew by Melissa Rubel Jacobsen for Food and Wine.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 706Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 178mgSodium: 707mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 16gSugar: 4gProtein: 58g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey is too high in carbs for traditional low-carb eating plans, but it’s a great main dish for any phase of the original South Beach Diet. Although low-glycemic dried beans are approved for all phases for South Beach, the recommended serving size for phase one is 1/3 to 1/2 cup beans.
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