A creamy, super-flavorful white chili recipe without tomatoes.
You’ll love how easy it is to make with turkey sausage, three different beans and chili spices – the family will be craving this one.
On special request, I created an easy three bean chili and everyone in the house is all over it.
This makes a creamy, warm and hearty meal, with a colorful mix of beans, crumbles of turkey sausage and just the right amount of spice.
It turned out to be SO tasty, and I’m really happy to share the recipe.
My inspiration was a reader who asked me for a tasty white chili recipe because they can’t eat tomatoes.
So many dishes depend on tomatoes, or include them as a base for flavor and color, that it can be a challenge to find dishes that don’t have them.
Maybe you or someone in your life dislikes tomatoes or has an intolerance for them — with this recipe you can still indulge in the comfort of a steaming bowl of chili.
Like my recipe for White Bean and Pumpkin Turkey Chili, a bowl of this hearty soup proves it’s not only doable to leave out tomatoes, but really delicious!
There’s something special about white bean chili, probably because it’s a welcome alternative to traditional chili and it never fails to get devoured.
I’m a fan of subbing ground turkey for beef in chili, mostly because it’s leaner but still meaty and flavorful.
Chicken is another alternative to beef that I like to use in chili because it pairs deliciously with big, smoky flavors like chipotle.
This time, I used some turkey sausage instead of plain ground meat for extra layer of flavor.
The best beans to use for chili
Let’s leave aside the fact that beans are pretty much forbidden in some regional versions of traditional chili.
In my kitchen, chili has beans! and the more the better 🙂
And when it comes to white chili, there needs to be white beans in the pot (obviously), but a including a mixture makes more interesting – and colorful.
After cooking batches of dried beans, I toss them into quick dishes like this one, or freeze some for using later.
These are the beans you’ll want to stock up on to make this chili:
Cannellini: I love, love cannellini beans. They’re tender and creamy-textured with a mild flavor that pairs well with bold spices. Big plus is that they help thicken the chili. Great northern or navy beans may be substituted, but generally they aren’t as plump and starchy.
Kidney: These beautifully colored dark red beans keep their shape well after cooking, and are a classic chili bean.
Pinto: Toffee-colored beans that are my second favorite to throw in the chili pot- they’re mild and starchy, perfect in a thick hearty chili.
Making white chili in a slow cooker or pressure cooker:
You can cook this chili right on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or other large sturdy pot in about 30 minutes.
But it’s easily made in a slow cooker or pressure cooker, too.
slow cooker/crockpot method:
- Cook onions, red bell pepper, spices and turkey in a saute pan until the vegetables are softened and the sausage is no longer pink.
- Transfer to the slow cooker insert along with remaining ingredients (except for sour cream, cheddar and garnishes).
- Cook on high 2-3 hours or on low 4-6 hours. When ready to serve, stir in the sour cream, cheese and herbs.
Pressure cooker method:
- Use the “Saute” feature on your electric pressure cooker and preheat on high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, red bell pepper and cook until the onion is softened, 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients (except for sour cream, cheddar and garnishes) and close the lid. Choose the manual setting and cook on high 10 minutes. Release the pressure with the quick release option.
- When ready to serve, stir in the sour cream, cheese and herbs. Keep warm 1-2 hours before serving.
Steps for freezing chili
- Cool the chili completely. Transfer to a freezer container, seal and freeze up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
- Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave on medium power until heated through, about 5-10 minutes depending on quantity.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (remove the seeds for less heat)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 pound fresh (uncooked) turkey sausage (any flavor), removed from casings
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
- Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, red bell pepper and jalapeno and cook until softened and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, oregano, coriander and garlic and cook until fragrant, less than a minute.
- Crumble the sausage into the pot an stir it around. Cook until the crumbles are no longer pink.
- Add all the beans, chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the sour cream and continue cooking 10-12 minutes, until the liquid reduces slighlty. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and parsley. Serve warm in bowls and add more cheese if you like.
Swap chicken sausage for the turkey if you prefer.
Slow cooker instructions:
Cook onions, red bell pepper, spices and turkey in a saute pan until the vegetables are softened and the sausage is no longer pink.
Transfer to the slow cooker insert along with remaining ingredients (except for sour cream, cheddar and garnishes).
Cook on high 2-3 hours or on low 4-6 hours. When ready to serve, stir in the sour cream, cheese and herbs.
Pressure cooker instructions:
Use the "Saute" feature on your electric pressure cooker and preheat on high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, red bell pepper and cook until the onion is softened, 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining ingredients (except for sour cream, cheddar and garnishes) and close the lid. Choose the manual setting and cook on high 10 minutes. Release the pressure with the quick release option.
When ready to serve, stir in the sour cream, cheese and herbs. Keep warm 1-2 hours before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 718Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 658mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 17gSugar: 8gProtein: 44g