White Bean Chili

Chili is one of my favorite dishes. There is just something so satisfying about sitting down with a big bowl of chili and some cornbread. Which is why it is such a disappointment to me that my school makes such poor chili. Good chili should have some kick to it, something that makes you feel warm inside. My mom makes the absolute best chili, but when she isn’t around I have to improvise. This recipe is full of flavor with the perfect amount of heat. The base of this recipe is the ground pork. Ground pork tends to be cheaper than ground beef so by using ground pork instead you save a bit of money while still ensuring the dish has plenty of flavor.

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Once you have all of your ingredients prepared and ready to go, the first thing to do is to start sautéing the onion in about a teaspoon of oil. Cooking the onion on its own first allows it to soften and get a bit of caramelization going which will result in a slightly sweet flavor that plays nicely with the acidity of the tomatoes later. Give the onions a few minutes by themselves before adding the minced garlic. The goal with the onion and garlic is to add a lot of flavor before we get to the heavy hitters – the pork and tomatoes. Plus the smell of onions and garlic cooking is a favorite of mine, guaranteed to make my mouth water.  

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Now it is time to add the pork. I find it is best to cook the pork all the way through before adding any liquid ingredients. This allows you to brown the meat adding another flavor element to the dish. Once the meat is cooked through it is time to add the seasoning to the dish. This is where the bulk of the “chili” flavor is developed. To the meat mixture add the chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and half of the oregano. Reserve the remaining half of the oregano to add with the broth later. IMG_1142

While the meat is browning, it is time to strain and rinse the beans. IMG_1143

Once the meat is browned and delicious it is time to add the bulk of our chili – the cannellini beans and the tomatoes. Most chili recipes call for crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, but I find the diced tomatoes add a nice element to the chili.

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Let the tomatoes and beans cook with the meat and onion mixture for a minute or two to really meld the flavors together. Now it is time to add the chicken broth, remaining oregano, and crushed red pepper for some heat. 

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After about twenty minutes it is time to add the flour slurry. This will thicken the broth up nicely. Once the broth has thickened it is ready to eat. Serve and enjoy! I like to pair mine with a nice cornbread muffin. 

Potential Variation: When corn is in-season I like to add it to just about everything. One potential variation for this recipe is to add about a cup of corn 🌽 (fresh or frozen will do nicely) to the dish when you add the crushed red pepper to the pot. I find corn adds a nice bit of brightness to the dish. 

White Bean Chili

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp.  dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 14.5 oz. can of cannellini beans
  • 14.5 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 16 oz. of chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. all purpose flour

Directions

  1. In a medium pot heat 1 tsp. of oil over medium-low heat and add the diced onion. Heat until the onions have softened and start to go translucent about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Once the onion has softened add the minced garlic and stir.
  3. After about 2 minutes add the ground pork and stir, breaking the meat apart with a spoon.
  4. Once the meat is cooked through add the chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and half of the oregano.
  5. Add the beans and tomatoes to the pot of seasoned meat. Cook on low for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
  6. Add the chicken broth, remaining oregano, and the crushed red pepper. Simmer on low for 20-25 minutes.
  7. While the broth is simmering make a flour slurry by combining 1 tbsp. flour and 1 cup of the hot broth. Whisk until completely combined. Add the slurry to the chili and stir.

Enjoy!!

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