Ground Turkey and White Bean Stew 4.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Feb 28, 2018

Step aside, lightweight chili and dry burgers: This could be the best thing you’ve done with ground turkey in a long time. The stew is hearty without being heavy and offers a quadruple-protein bonanza. It is cooked in one pot, where the quinoa (protein No. 2) absorbs the tomato-y broth in about 10 minutes. Cannellini beans (No. 3) provide a creamy chew, while the spinach (No. 4) completes the set with nice color.

We tested this with sweet paprika and with the smoked kinds, both sweet and hot; gotta say that the latter won the day among our taste testers in the WaPo Food Lab.

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Make Ahead: The stew will thicken as it cools, so when you reheat it, you may want to add water, tomato juice or broth.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes 9 cups

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons hot or sweet Spanish smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, plus their juices
  • 2/3 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • One 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added cannellini beans (1 3/4 cups)
  • 5 ounces frozen spinach (bagged)


Cut the onion into 1/2-inch dice. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion. Cook for about 8 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add the smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes, then season lightly with salt and black pepper.

Stir in the turkey, using a spatula to break up any large clumps. Cook for about 6 minutes; not all the meat may be cooked through.

Add the tomatoes one at a time, crushing each one with your hands over the pot, letting the chunks fall in, then add the can juices.

Rinse and drain the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, then add to the pot along with the water; once the liquid begins to bubble at the edges, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the quinoa has expanded and becomes tender.

Rinse and drain the beans, then uncover and stir them in, along with the spinach. Cook just long enough to warm them through.

Taste, and add more salt and/or black pepper as needed. Serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Based on a recipe from

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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