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Simple, smoky leftover turkey corn chowder with bacon

Need a leftover turkey recipe that is delicious enough to make you forget you’re using leftovers? Our smoky turkey corn chowder with bacon, inspired by Epicurious, will make you want to roast a turkey more than once a year just so you can feast on this belly-warming soup.

Studded with colorful vegetables, smoky bacon and shredded turkey, this quick and easy chowder comes to the table with mouthwateringly bold flavor. Though many corn chowders are heavy on corn, white potatoes, and cream, our turkey corn chowder features satisfying mouthfuls of onions, peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots and turkey cooked to tongue-tantalizing perfection in a lighter soup base. Delicious and nutritious, this chowder is a welcome reprieve from hefty holiday eating.

ALSO TRY: Thanksgiving leftovers? Make our easy leftover turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes

We all know bacon makes everything better so we start our turkey corn chowder with it. The bacon adds a distinct smoky depth of flavor that makes your tastebuds wake up and take notice. Also, if you made homemade turkey broth with the Thanksgiving turkey, now is your chance to put it to use. Turkey broth lends a meaty intensity to the chowder but you can also use homemade or canned chicken broth.

Tip: Which turkey should you use, the white meat or the dark meat? White meat is leaner and healthier but dark meat is richer in flavor. If you have white and dark meat available, use both so you don’t have to choose.

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Start with the bacon

Cook bacon in a large pot until it is crisp, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel. Drain off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pot.

Start with the bacon


Saute vegetables

Add onions and carrots to the pot with the hot bacon fat. Sauté until they are softened. Toss in the chopped bell pepper and cook until soft. Stir in the jalapeno and toasted cumin. Take a whiff! The flavorful aroma will make you swoon. Sautéing vegetables in bacon fat infuses them with smoky, salty bacon flavor that goes deliciously beyond the bacon bits.

Saute vegetables


Add turkey broth

If you made homemade turkey broth with the Thanksgiving turkey, now is your chance to put it to use. Turkey broth lends a meaty intensity to the chowder but you can also use homemade or canned chicken broth.

Add turkey broth


Cook the sweet potatoes

Add the sweet potatoes, diced green chiles, oregano and bay leaves. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Cook the sweet potatoes


Time to add the turkey

Add the shredded turkey and corn to the pot and cook until hot. Stir in the half-and-half. Adjust your seasonings and add more half-and-half, if desired.

Time to add the turkey


Garnish and serve

Serve your chowder hot with crumbled bacon, scallions and fresh parsley sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Garnish and serve


Cook a pot up in no time!

Cook a pot up in no time!


Hearty and full of flavor

Hearty and full of flavor


Try some today!

Try some today!


Smoky leftover turkey corn chowder with bacon

Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 medium jalapeno, finely chopped, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted
  • 6 cups (48 ounces) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans mild diced green chiles, drained
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 cups shredded turkey
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 3/4 cup half and half, plus more to taste
  • Sliced scallions, for garnish
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, 8 to 10minutes. Drain on a paper towel and set aside, reserving one tablespoon of fat in the pot.
  2. Return the pot to medium heat, and add onion, carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about five minutes.
  3. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for three minutes more.  
  4. Add jalapeno and cumin and cook, stirring, one minute more.
  5. Add broth, sweet potato, chiles, oregano and bay leaves and bring mixture to a simmer.
  6. Cook until the sweet potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the turkey and corn. Cook until warmed through, three to five minutes.
  8. Stir in the half and half. Continue to cook until just warmed through.
  9. Taste and adjust seasoning, thinning the chowder with another 1/4 cup half and half, if needed.
  10. Serve turkey chowder garnished with crumbled bacon, scallions and parsley.

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