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35-Minute Creamy Three-Bean Chili with Sausage

4.78 from 27 community reviews

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A creamy, super-flavorful white chili recipe without tomatoes that’s ready to serve in about half an hour. You’ll love how easy it is to make with sausage, three different types of beans, chili spices and a touch of sour cream and cheese — it’s a one-dish dinner the family will crave. This chili can be prepared on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.

An overhead image of a white bowl and spoon serving a creamy white chili with kidney, pinto and white beans.

On special request, I created an easy three bean chili and everyone in the house is all over it. This hearty One my favorite soup and stew recipes is a warm and hearty meal, with a colorful mix of beans, crumbled 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 recipes that use tomatoes include them as a base for flavor and color, that it can be a challenge to find dishes that don’t have them.

An overhead image of a soup pot, linen napkin, cutting board with garlic and cilantro and a white bowl and spoon serving a creamy white chili with kidney, pinto and white beans.

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 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.

The best beans to use for chili

When it comes to white chili, there needs to be white beans in the pot (obviously), but a including a mixture makes more interesting, as well as colorful.

Image showing three small bowls of different beans, kidney, cannellini and pinto.

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 🙂

I use canned beans most of the time, but now that I have an electric pressure cooker I’ve been cooking beans from scratch more often.

After cooking batches of dried beans, I toss them into quick dishes like this one, or freeze some for using later.

Beans for three bean chili:

  • Cannellini: I love, love creamy cannellini beans. They’re tender and starchy-textured with a mild flavor that pairs well with bold spices. A 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 velvety.
  • 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.
An overhead image of a white bowl and spoon serving a creamy white chili with kidney, pinto and white beans.
  • You can cook your choice of meat for this recipe (including plant-based sausage). I’m a fan of subbing ground turkey thigh 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.

Cooking 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:

  1. Cook onions, red bell pepper, spices and turkey in a saute pan until the vegetables are softened and the sausage is no longer pink.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker insert along with remaining ingredients (except for sour cream, cheddar and garnishes).
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. When ready to serve, stir in the sour cream, cheese and herbs. Keep warm 1-2 hours before serving.

Storing chili in the freezer

  • 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.
White Three-Bean Chili with Sausage

35-Minute Creamy Three-Bean Chili with Sausage

Karen Tedesco
A simple, super-tasty 30-minute creamy white chili recipe without tomatoes. This recipe has three kinds of beans, turkey sausage and cheddar cheese. It's a family favorite! This chili can be prepared on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
Print Pin
4.78 from 27 community reviews
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Soup and Stew
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion, about 1 medium onion
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (remove the seeds for less heat)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 10-12 ounces (285 g) Southwest-style or chorizo bulk sausage, made with poultry, meat or plant-based
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can (425 g) pinto beans, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can (425 g) kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cups (475 ml) chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese or Monteray jack , plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, or cilantro

Instructions 

  • 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 slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and parsley. Serve warm in bowls and add more cheese if you like.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

Slow cooker instructions:
  1. Cook onions, red bell pepper, spices and turkey in a saute pan until the vegetables are softened and the sausage is no longer pink.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker insert along with remaining ingredients (except for sour cream, cheddar and garnishes).
  3. 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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. When ready to serve, stir in the sour cream, cheese and herbs. Keep warm 1-2 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 407mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2280IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 265mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this with shredded chicken in my dutch oven. Wonderful flavor, really like this recipe. Thanks

  2. How much is the serving size?

  3. Kevin Knasel says:

    5 stars
    I’m wondering what kind of sausage to use not necessarily turkey, would just a roll of hot Italian sausage be okay?

  4. This sounds delicious and I’m looking forward to making it for a small group of people. I’m lactose-intolerant though, and one of the group is vegan. For this recipe, I’d substitute vegetable broth/stock, vegan sausage, vegan cheddar shreds…but I’m wondering if vegan sour cream would work the way regular sour cream does. Might have to take the risk. 🙂

    1. If you don’t mind the taste, try coconut cream or thick coconut milk. Hope you enjoy!

  5. I grew up in Texas and know what you mean about some people’s thoughts about beans in chili. I happen to agree with you and put beans in mine. Your white chili sounds different and I’m sure tastes great.