New Mexican Stew with Ground Turkey + Green Chiles

New Mexican Stew with turkey, green chiles, and lime #glutenfree
Slurp worthy green chile stew with turkey.

Dust off the slow cooker.

Looking for a simple but truly fabulous slow cooker recipe to warm you up? Here is one my favorites. A New Mexican style stew with budget-friendly ground turkey spiked with roasted green chiles, lime, and cilantro. Make it as mild or as spicy as your taste buds prefer. It's perfect comfort food for any time of year.

Need more slow cooker inspiration? Check out the tasty gluten-free cookbook Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by fellow food blogger Stephanie O'Dea.

Karina's New Mexican Stew Recipe with Ground Turkey and Green Chiles

Recipe posted January 2009.

I used ground turkey in my version, but chicken would work, as would ground pork. Vegan? Skip the meat and add your favorite beans. Serve this hearty- but light- stew with my Yeasted Quinoa-Cornbread recipe.

Turn on your slow cooker to high or low as you prefer.


1 lb. fresh ground turkey, chicken or pork (use 1 15-oz can black beans for vegan)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder- hot or mild, to taste
1 1/2 cups peeled butternut squash, diced
2 large or white gold potatoes, peeled, diced
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 cup roasted chopped green chiles- mild or hot, to taste
1 quart chicken broth- or vegan broth
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

For serving:

Juice from 1 large juicy lime
2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1-2 teaspoons raw sugar or raw agave nectar, as needed


First- brown the ground turkey in a skillet and pour off the fat, if any. Add the turkey to the slow cooker/Crock Pot and add the remaining ingredients- through sea salt and ground pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and cook- on high or low- according to manufacturer's instructions until done.

About 20 minutes before serving, stir in the lime juice and cilantro; taste test. Add a dab of sweetener, if needed, to balance the spice. If you need a tad more liquid, add more broth. Heat through.

Serve with:

Pumpkin Corn Muffins
Yeasted Quinoa-Cornbread
Brown Rice Tortilla Chips
Blue Corn Muffins with Green Chiles

Serves 4.

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Recipe Source:

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xox Karina


  1. Yummy. What kind of chiles are you using? There are extra-special chiles in New Mexico, yes?

  2. Hi Alanna! The green chiles we use are Hatch chiles, autumn roasted. Hatch are the easiest to find, I believe. Around here they are available frozen, packed by Bueno in Albuquerque (fresh roasted chiles are available in late summer/early fall only).

    Canned Hatch chiles are available nationwide year round, though the canned aren't as flavorful as the fresh or frozen.



  3. This looks great! I have made a green chili with pork before but never with potatoes and butternut squash. Every august I buy up a bunch of hatch chiles and roast them to keep in the freezer for the rest of the year... this year we roasted over 30 lbs. I love anything with hatch chiles in it.

  4. Karina
    I think this will be on my menu plan next week. It's all stuff we like in a delightful new combination. Especially like getting that squash in the soup and the quinoa in the cornbread and packing in more nutrition.

  5. *drool* Your photograph is fantastic! I can't wait to try this. Thank you so much for the work you do, Karina. Your blog is such a gift.

  6. Stew looks delicious -- but I have two questions. What size slow cooker did you use, and how long did you cook the stew? I'm still a bit new to the slow cooker as a kitchen tool, so I need all the guidance I can get!

  7. Stephanie12:30

    I have to agree with Lydia here--how long does this cook?! I'd love to try it, and wonder if I could put the stuff together, have hubby plug turn it on in the early afternoon when he leaves for work, and have dinner when we all get home around 6?

    Also, would it work for dried beans? Maybe soak them overnight, then put them in and a little extra water?

  8. Kristin- Wow- lucky you! I wish we had a freezer big enough to freeze a batch of freshly roasted chiles.

    Wendy- Great! Hope you enjoy it.

    Alison- Aw, thanks. Much appreciated. And right back atcha.

    Lydia- and Stephanie- From my experience with slow cooker recipes, I'd have to say that there are so many different sized slow cookers/Crock Pots out there- that one really needs to consult the guidelines offered by the manufacturer of the particular Crock Pot/slow cooker.

    The standard settings are either Low or High (with sometimes, Warm) but the new digital cookers might have more choices. Low vs High influences the timing (Low is a longer cook time, High is shorter).

    The average time for a recipe like this might be 4 to 5 hours on high or 7 to 8 on low, depending on your size/style slow cooker.

    Here at high altitude, for instance I have to cook white/gold potatoes and carrots forever- at least 8 hours- you won't need to do that at sea level.

    Other factors influencing cook time are how big you cut up your veggies, and whether or not you keep a piece of meat as one piece, or cut it up; if you brown small pieces of meat/poultry first they'll cook faster, etc.

    When I cook a 2-lb roast with veggies, for instance, I have to cook it 10 to 12 hours at my altitude (I start on high for a couple of hours then switch to low).

    For soups like this it varies- some veggies cook faster than others. Average time might be 4 to 5 hours on High, or 6 to 8 on Low- but it really depends, as I said, on the cooker, and contributing factors.

    As for doing dried beans? I personally don't recommend it- it takes way too long; a pressure cooker is best for dried beans, hands down. Note: undercooked legumes can be toxic.

    Canned beans, however, work very well in a slow cooker in chili, soup and stew recipes.

    I know that's all rather vague! But I've found that when it comes to offering slow cooker recipes here on the blog, my approach is now:

    It's best to consult the pamphlet that came with your particular slow cooker. Its size and shape and liner material will all influence cook times.

    It all sounds more complicated than it really is. It's easy. And experience is your best teacher (along with your manufacturer's pamphlet).




  9. Can't wait to try this Karina!

  10. Oh goody! Ground turkey is majorly on sale right now and I needed some good recipes to use it in. Thanks!

  11. I just made the stew and it was amazing. I used four jalapeno peppers (made for quiet a spicy experience) and veggie broth (I thought it was chicken until I went to use it but it turned out great). My husband said, after finishing, that it was a "beautiful" stew! This is definitely going in the recipe box as a favorite.

  12. hi to your site! LOVe it so far! Does this recipe you just posted wheat free? I found out tonight I have to stop eating wheat and sugar! I am new to this and need as many recipes as I can find because I do not know how to eat this way!

  13. Mmmm. This looks FABulous! I'm going to try and rework it to make it nightshade-free, too. The photo is great, too. Making me very hungry...

  14. What a hearty looking dish!

  15. This looks so good I could lick my computer screen. I'm going to try it as part of the Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger with Book of Yum. I'm not a fan of butternut squash but this looks so amazing I'm going to give it a go. Who knows, I may love squash and just don't know it yet. I'll post on my blog about it and link to Book of Yum and will link back to here so people can get your recipe. Here goes....

  16. Sally14:42

    I'm eating this for lunch right now! I made it last night after I got home from work with a few changes: I left out the squash because I don't like the texture of it, I had to use canned green chiles (don't hate me, it's not my fault that my tiny urban market has no fresh peppers!) to counteract the lack of roasted chiles, I threw some Trader Joe's fire roasted corn in there at the last minute.
    Not quite your original recipe, but I love and appreciate it. It's working wonders on my cold.

  17. Anonymous18:55

    Hi Karina! I just made this for dinner and it was delicious. I didn't have any chiles so I subbed some Mrs. Renfros salsa for a little heat and it was scrumptious. My hubby is not a big bean fan so i'm always looking for hearty stews with turkey and this one hit the spot. Thanks!!

  18. wow,,you make me hungry Karina..
    this looks very great..

    thanks for share :)

  19. Kathleen15:26

    Excellent, just finished it for lunch. Great recipe to incorporate more turkey into our diet. Used canned Hatch chiles from Trader Joe's.

    I cooked it in the crockpot on low for 9 hours (sea level) and it was perfect.

  20. That looks really good. I am going to try it next week.

  21. Gina, Alisa, Vogtforvogt- Thanks so much. Enjoy!

    Jim and April- Yes, every recipe is wheat-free because every recipe is gluten-free (no wheat, rye, spelt or barley).

    Kim- That means no potatoes, yes? Chile peppers- are they nightshades or capsicum?

    Chocolate Shavings and Diane- Thanks so much! D- you could always sub sweet potato for the squash, or pumpkin.

    Sally- Why would I hate you? ;) I've used canned roasted chiles when fresh and frozen were not available. It beats "no chiles at all"!

    Blogrecipe and Anon- My pleasure, thanks!

    Kathleen- Excellent- glad you enjoyed it.

    Karen- Let me know how you like it.

    Have a great night/day everyone.


  22. Hi Karina,

    Hope you're enjoying sunny CA. It's freezing here in Chicago (3ºF) and I just located kosher organic ground turkey at Trader Joe's so this recipe is back on my roster! How necessary is it to brown the meat first? I never brown [un-ground] beef for stews or roasts before crockpotting since I like the softer texture that results. I actually don't even know how to brown ground meat...

    And do you have any ideas for substitutions on the potatoes? I suppose sweet potatoes would work, but that's a lotta orange. :) I'm looking for something lower than potatoes on the glycemic indez (and butternut squash is already present). Something colorful would be awesome! Thanks!

  23. Hi Michelle- For browning- no not necessary; I do it to get rid of fat; but there's not much fat in turkey. As for subbing sweet potato...How about some zucchini? It would add some green- and if you wanted to, you could use both zucchini and yellow squash, cut into quarter-rounds. Adding a colorful pepper- red or yellow bell- might be an option, too.

    Karina xox

  24. Perfect, thanks! YUM!

  25. Hi Karina,

    This was phenomenal - spicy & soothing! I used zucchini and red pepper in place of potatoes, though next time I would add a bit more butternut squash, and maybe even some sweet potatoes (my husband adores sweet potatoes). Instead of ground meat, I used frozen chicken breasts, which i later shred by hand into bite size pieces. We served with cubes of avocado. Delicious!

  26. ~M- Wow does that sound good. I'm glad. Thanks for stopping back to share your tweaking. ;-)


  27. Thanks! PS- this freezes WONDERFULLY in glass mason jars and makes an AMAZING lunch.

  28. Anonymous11:12

    This soup was amazing! I had real chilis from New Mexico in my freezer, and it made this soup fabulous! Can't wait to try some of your other recipes.

  29. i loved this stew! i added a yellow squash and some green beans i had in the fridge, and a squirt of sriracha at the end for some more heat. Such a great meal and i'm looking forward to eating it the next couple days. Love all your recipes (and photos), keep em comin!

  30. Tried this tonight... SO GREAT!!! Thank you!!


  31. Meghan11:55

    If I roast the chilis myself, shouldI take the skin off before putting them into the stew? The recipe sounds delicious!

  32. Meghan, I would. Rub off the charred skins before you trim and chop the chiles. xox Karina

  33. Heidi Sheehan18:10

    Made this last night minus the chiles (still a wee bit sensitive to spicy foods) and it was awesome! Also made the brown rice tortilla chips and the cornbread. Thanks for these recipes and your entire website! Diagnosed in February - your website has been a Godsend!

  34. I made this this weekend for my cold, substituting sweet potatoes for the butternut squash, parsley for the cilantro (since I hate cilantro), and added half a cup of semi-dry white wine. THIS IS A FABULOUS SOUP. Its going into regular rotation, I'll tell you that.

  35. Hi there!

    I cant use potatoes...I was wondering if you had a good subsitute? I also cant have eggs, dairy or gluten...

  36. genevieve02:42

    my aspie kid, who wont eat meat off bones...or steak loved this...and if froze well!

  37. I made this with ground pork (had in the freezer) and it was very tasty. It was better the next day. My 19-yr old son loved this!

  38. Christie14:21

    I have made this four times now and it is delious! I serve it topped w Monterey jack cheese, fresh Jalepenos , cilantro and avocado! YUM!

  39. I made with ground pork & it was even better than the ground turkey. I sauteed the onion with the pork before putting in the slow cooker & I think it provided a little more flavor. Thanks Karina...another delicious recipe!! My husband is on his 3rd bowl. ( :

  40. This is one of my all time favorite recipes. I've been using your blog for about 2 years now and I can't get enough! I actually like to cook this one on the stove better than the crock pot. It tastes different somehow.


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