Turkey-Tomatillo Stew

It’s that time of year again—the week when you just can’t seem to find enough uses for Thanksgiving leftovers. Now don’t get me wrong. I think one of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Then again, I’m one of those funny people who actually prefers the leftovers to the feast itself! But I must admit that towards the end of the week it’s a struggle to find yet another unique twist that’ll make that turkey as un-Thanksgivingy as possible.

This hearty and flavorful stew does the trick. The ingredients are as decidedly non-Thanksgiving as they can get. Tomatillos add a nice tang, while the warming spices give it a little kick that gets the blood flowing. I like to simmer the turkey in the broth until it is meltingly tender and has soaked up a wonderful depth of flavor. Look for tomatillos in the produce section of a well-stocked grocery store or Hispanic market. If you can’t find fresh tomatillos, use green tomatoes (if you’re like me, you might have lots of them lying around after the pre-frost, final garden harvest). You may also use canned tomatillos or chile verde tomatillo salsa in a jiffy.

Turkey-Tomatillo Stew

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves 6


For the tomatillo sauce:

  • 2 lbs. tomatillos, husked and rinsed well
  • 1–2 fresh jalapeños (optional), roughly chopped (remove seeds for less heat if desired)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 lime, juiced

For the stew:

  • 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1½ teaspoons dry oregano
  • 4 cups leftover turkey meat, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth, plus extra if stew gets too thick
  • 3 cups tomatillo sauce
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Shredded cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat the broiler or grill to high. If broiling: cut the husked and rinsed tomatillos in half and toss with a little olive oil. Spread them with the cut side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil about 6 inches from heat, watching carefully until blistered, blackened, and soft, about 6–8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. If grilling: place whole tomatillos on grates. Turning over once or twice with tongs, grill until blackened and soft, then transfer to a bowl.
  2. Place roasted tomatillos and any juices into the bowl of a food processor. Add jalapeños, garlic, salt, and lime juice. Process until smooth. If not using immediately, store in the refrigerator after it cools.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté until tender. Add cumin, coriander, and oregano. Cook for 1 minute. Add roughly chopped turkey, stirring until the meat is coated with spices. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add chicken broth and tomatillo sauce. Season with additional salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until turkey is very tender. If necessary, add more liquid as stew cooks, about 30–40 minutes total.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in chopped cilantro and stir through. If desired, serve with sour cream and shredded cheese. This stew is especially good over a bowl of steamed rice.


To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:

  • chemical- and hormone-free meat
  • wild-caught fish
  • pasture-raised, organic eggs
  • whole, unrefined grains
  • virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
  • whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
  • pure, clean, spring water
  • sea salt
  • raw and/or cultured milk and cream products

Briana Goodall, CPC

Briana Goodall is Chef and Owner of Green Cuisine Personal Chef Service. Visit her website at www.mygreencuisine.com.

Related Topics

organic food | whole food nutrition | whole food recipes

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