Our white bean chilli recipe makes a chilli con carne with ground pork rather than beef and white beans instead of kidney beans. We use butter beans and cannellini beans, as well as corn kernels to add a little sweetness and crunch. Gently spiced, it’s a crowd-pleasing bean chilli, but you could always turn up the heat with more chilli.
This easy white bean chilli recipe will make you a white chilli con carne and it’s one of our best canned beans recipes. This gently spiced crowd-pleasing chilli is perfect for feeding a group of friends or family, including kids.
Follow our white bean chilli recipe and you’ll get a flavourful bean chilli that has warmth but isn’t fiery, yet if you like your bean chillies to be hot and you’re a spice-lover, you can easily dial up the heat.
While you can make this white bean chilli recipe in an hour and you’ll have an incredibly delicious bean chilli, if you want an even more deeply flavoured chilli you can do a few things: cook the ground pork longer, bump up the amount of spice, and increase the chilli.
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Now let me tell you more about this white bean chilli recipe.
White Bean Chilli Recipe for a Gently Spiced Crowd-Pleasing Bean Chilli
If you’ve been making a classic chilli con carne or even a vegetarian bean chilli with kidney beans for years, then try this white bean chilli recipe, as I know you’re going to love it. While it has less heat than a classic beef-based red kidney bean chilli, the spices give the chilli depth of flavour while the beans and corn provide plenty of texture.
Terence and I have been making big pots of his chilli con carne for as long as we’ve been together, and in more recent years I’ve been making my vegetarian bean chilli. The first night, we tuck into a big old bowl of chilli with plenty of garnishes and toppings, salad, salsas and hot sauces, then the next night we spread the bean chilli on nachos or quesadillas.
But it’s only recently that I’ve been making this white bean chilli and serving it up in the same way we’ve been dishing up the chilli con carne and veggie chilli, and I absolutely love it. It proves that a good chilli doesn’t have to be fiery to be delicious, in the same way a Southeast Asian curry doesn’t need to be.
Tips to Making this White Bean Chilli Recipe
As usual, I only have a few tips to making this white bean chilli recipe, as it’s very straightforward. I’m using minced pork but you could use ground chicken or turkey, any white meat works for a white bean chilli.
I love butter beans and cannellini beans but by all means try whatever white beans you have in the pantry. I love butter beans as they’re so creamy and soak up the flavours, and I like my cannellini beans a little bit firmer, which is why I add them later.
I’ve used canned beans as they’re so affordable and convenient, but do start from scratch with dry beans if you prefer. If you’re sticking with tinned beans, do keep the brine as it’s terrific for loosening up the chilli when it gets too dense.
Do taste your white bean chilli before serving it and if you think the seasoning needs adjusting, add more salt or white pepper or spices to suit your palate. If you want to heat things up, add more ground chilli.
When you’re satisfied, distribute the white bean chilli between bowls and garnish with fresh coriander sprigs, diced avocado, sliced medium green chillies or jalapeños, pickled shallots or pickled cabbage, and dollops of sour cream or Mexican cotija (white cheese).
Serve immediately with your choice of tortilla chips or Mexican red rice, red salsa or hot sauces, and perhaps a bowl of authentic guacamole, and wash it all down with classic margaritas or micheladas. Enjoy!
White Bean Chilli Recipe
- 2 tbsp soybean oil
- 1 large white onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 400 g minced pork
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- 400 g can of butter beans – drained but keep the brine
- 400 g can of cannellini beans – drained but keep the brine
- 400 g can corn kernels – drained
- fresh coriander
- Heat the soybean oil in your favourite chilli pot, skillet or a large round flat-bottomed wok, add the onions, fry over medium heat for a few minutes until soft and fragrant, add the minced garlic, and continue to fry until the onions are translucent, then add a cup of water.
- Add the minced pork, stir to combine, and fry until the pork is just cooked, then add the ground cumin, coriander, white pepper, salt, ground paprika, chilli powder, turmeric, drained butter beans, and half the butter bean brine.
- Turn up the heat to high and allow to bubble for 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick, and adding more brine if needed.
- The chilli should have reduced substantially by now, so add the cannellini beans and corn kernels, the rest of the butter bean brine, stir well to combine, reduce to medium heat, put the lid on, and leave the chilli for another 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
- Taste the white bean chilli, and if needed adjust the seasoning and spices to suit your palate, stir well to combine, then leave to simmer for another 10 minutes so the flavours really meld and chilli thickens. If the chilli gets too dense and begins to stick, just add a little of the cannellini bean brine you saved, but keep in mind you may need to adjust the seasoning again. When you’re satisfied with the density and depth of flavour, it’s ready to serve.
- Distribute the white bean chilli between bowls and garnish with fresh coriander sprigs, diced avocado, sliced medium green chillies or jalapeños, pickled shallots, and dollops of sour cream or Mexican cotija cheese.
- Serve immediately with your choice of tortilla chips or Mexican red rice, red salsa or hot sauces, and lime quarters.
Please do let us know if you make our white bean chilli recipe in the comments below as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.
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