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Quick and Easy Southwestern Chili

Your whole family will love this Southwestern White Bean Chili! It is a quick and easy recipe that works for a weeknight meal or for Sunday dinner.

Your whole family will love this Southwestern  Chili! It is a quick and easy recipe that works for a weeknight meal or for Sunday dinner. It's loaded with flavor and is naturally gluten-free. 

overhead image of southwestern white bean chili

This Southwestern White Bean Chili is brought to you in partnership with Randall Beans.

Southwestern Chili

What makes this chili southwestern, you ask? It has a few ingredients inspired by traditional southwestern flavors: corn, bell peppers, tomatoes (well, diced tomatoes), jalapeños, and a few simple spices to give it a southwestern chili flair.

We top this chili with sour cream, shredded cheese, diced scallions to give it more of a Tex-Mex feel.

In addition to a few unique chili ingredients, it has all the classics: ground beef, filling beans, chili powder. All the flavors meld together seamlessly and this chili recipe is ready in 40 minutes from scratch!

Just trust me that this is delicious!! It is family friendly and kid-approved—I've had a coworker say her kids ask for this chili on repeat!

overhead shot of southwestern chili with white beans

This southwestern chili with white beans is amazing for game day or for any day when you're in need or a comforting hot bowl of food.

Related recipe: Instant Pot White Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow or red onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and pith removed, diced (optional, skip for no spice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or less, to taste, if you want less heat)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 lb ground beef (90-93% lean is best!)
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water or beef broth
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced (or use any color bell pepper)
  • 1 14-oz can white beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-oz can whole corn kernels, drained and rinsed
  • Salt to taste (about 1 ½ teaspoons, reduce if using salted broth instead of water)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado

Related recipe: Sweet Potato Chili

Southwestern white bean chili

Instructions

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, and diced jalapeño, and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the chili powder and oregano, and stir well.

Step 2: Add the ground beef and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to break up the ground beef. 

Step 3: Add the diced tomatoes and water, and bring to a boil.

Step 4: Add the diced bell pepper, beans, and corn. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the chili has thickened to your liking. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro leaves. 

Step 5: Ladle into bowls, and top with your favorite chili garnishes.

Related recipe: Slow Cooker Cassoulet

Chili topping ideas

Try these awesome toppings on chili:

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced scallions
  • Diced raw onions
  • Tortilla chips
  • Cooked crumbled bacon
  • Fresh or pickled jalapeño slices
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Sliced avocado with lime juice
  • Guacamole
  • Squeeze of lime juice

What to serve with chili

We love serving this chili with some polenta fries for dipping, or with cornbread (try savory spicy cornbread with jalapeno, or this cheddar sage cornbread).

Some people eat chili with cinnamon buns. Would you be willing to try that?!

Other comfort food recipes you will love:

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

image of southwestern white bean chili in a bowl
Print Recipe
4.54 from 30 votes

Southwestern White Bean Chili

Your whole family will love this Southwestern Chili with White Beans! It is a quick and easy chili recipe that works for a weeknight meal or for Sunday dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 6
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion (red or yellow), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeds and pith removed, diced (or sskip for less spice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder or less, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 lb ground beef (90-93% lean is best!)
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water or beef broth
  • 1 red bell pepper seeds removed and diced (or any color pepper)
  • 1 14-oz can white beans drained and rinsed (or pinto beans or kidney beans)
  • 1 14-oz can whole corn kernels drained and rinsed
  • Salt to taste (about 1 ½ teaspoons, or less if using salted broth)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves chopped
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado see notes below for more ideas

Special equipment

  • Large pot

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, and diced jalapeño, and saute over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the chili powder and oregano, and stir well.
  • Add the ground beef and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to break up the ground beef.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and water, and bring to a boil. Add the diced bell pepper, beans, and corn. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the chili has thickened to your liking.  
  • Remove from heat and add salt to taste. Stir in the chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Ladle into bowls, and top with your favorite chili garnishes and toppings.  

Notes

Chili topping ideas: tortilla chips, sliced avocado, guacamole, diced green onions, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh or pickled jalapeño, sour cream, shredded cheese, fresh lime juice, diced raw onion

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal (17%) | Carbohydrates: 12g (4%) | Protein: 17g (34%) | Fat: 21g (32%) | Saturated Fat: 7g (35%) | Cholesterol: 54mg (18%) | Sodium: 100mg (4%) | Potassium: 351mg (10%) | Fiber: 4g (16%) | Sugar: 3g (3%) | Vitamin A: 1457IU (29%) | Vitamin C: 26mg (32%) | Calcium: 27mg (3%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)

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CyDogg

Sunday 12th of January 2020

This recipe is fire. We did it vegetarian and added more beans. I also added a tablespoon of cumin. Served with thin restaurant style tortilla chips and sour cream. Delicious. 🔥🔥🔥

Kate

Monday 13th of January 2020

So glad to hear you liked it!! This made my day. :)

Michele

Friday 11th of October 2019

And it's low carb. Gotta love this recipe

Natasha @ Salt & Lavender

Thursday 9th of February 2017

This looks like a big bowl of comfort right here!! Great photos too... it's really hard to make chili look appetizing haha.

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