Kalyn's Kitchen

Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey

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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Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey finished stew in serving bowl with limes

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.

Ground Turkey and Bean Stew with Cumin, Green Chiles, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Then push the ground turkey over to the side of the pan, add a little more olive oil, and brown the onions.
  4. When onions are lightly browned, add garlic and ground cumin, mix the onions with the turkey, and cook for 2-3 minutes more. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. I stirred in the refried beans, then simmered the stew about 25 minutes more on low.
  8. Then I added about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and simmered the stew about 5 minutes more.
  9. 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

Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey finished stew in serving bowl with limes

Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey is perfect for a cold day and this stew is loaded with Mexican flavors!


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. While turkey browns, peel a large onion and chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. 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.
  4. Add 3 cups cooked beans, 2 cans diced green Anaheim chiles, and 3 cups chicken stock or broth.
  5. Stir to combine, then reduce heat and let the mixture simmer about 30 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. While mixture simmers, chop 1/4 cup (or more) cilantro.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve hot, with lime wedges to squeeze lime into the stew when you eat it.


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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

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.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Stew Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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    30 Comments on “Mexican Bean Stew with Ground Turkey”

  1. This looks so tremendously satisfying and filling. I bet my guys would adore it!

  2. Love the refried-beans-thickening-idea!! You're a genius!

  3. I tried this tonight because I was trying to find something tasty to do with ground turkey. I amended the recipe to fit what I had on hand. I think the secret of this recipe is the browning of the turkey. Taking the extra time to develop well browned turkey really gives it flavor. I used cannelini beans, Italian seasoning and canned tomatoes instead of the pink beans and cumin and omitted the chiles. I deglazed the pan with a little red wine. I also added some frozen spinach, dreamfields elbow macaroni and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. So there are definitely Italian favors going on. My husband LOVED it! Thanks for all the inspiration your website provides!

  4. Sofia, I think using turkey sausage in this sounds great!

  5. I have this simmering on my stovetop right now… it smells and tastes great! We replaced half of the ground turkey with a lean turkey sausage.

  6. How nice to hear people are liking this. (And I always love to hear that the blog is useful to people.)

    I didn't have the superbowl in mind when I made this, but I also found myself thinking it would be a good option.

  7. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to find your site. I'm starting back on SB after several years and needed ideas. I have to say that this stew is the favorite. I'll double and freeze in small batches next time (if there is any left). This tasted way too good to be legal! I've sent the link to several SB'ers so that they can enjoy it too! This is perfect, the fam has requested it for the Super Bowl Sunday.

  8. Mmmm i loved this! I just wished that I could have added more spice. Delicious and great idea. 🙂