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Lamb Poblano & White Bean Chili

Lamb, Poblano & White Bean Chili

Lamb Poblano & White Bean Chili

This is a new and adventurous twist on a classic American chili. We use poblano chilis and ground pastured lamb here along with a slightly brothier chili base that is still nourishing and hearty.

This recipe originally came out of New York Times Cooking, but we found the original recipe to be a little fussy and a little bland on flavor. We’ve added a little more tomato base and more dried spices. We’ve also reduced the oil content they call for since chili doesn’t need to be oily at all.

The recipe detailed below is a Quick version using canned and rinsed small white beans (navy beans, though you also could use white kidney beans called canneloni). However, in the photos shown we actually used soaked and homemade dried navy beans from a local farm (slightly slower version requiring more pre-planning).

If you’d like to do that, because homemade beans are SO good, then simply soak 1 cup of dried beans overnight (or morning to dinnertime) & then simmer them in 5-6 cups of liquid, and some salt, until they’re creamy but not mushy – about 30-45 minutes. (You’ll need to keep an eye on the liquid – beans are notoriously unpredictable simmerers).

Toward the tail end of their simmering, start prepping and sauteing the veggies as the recipe calls for, in a separate skillet. Add spices and tomato paste and saute to warm, then transfer to the bean pot. Add your additional liquid (broth) to the bean pot. Finally cook and crumble the ground lamb meat in the now-empty veggie skillet, transferring it when no longer pink into the bean pot using a slotted spoon (leaving the excess fat behind).

Whether you use canned beans as a shortcut or simmer dried beans in advance, this is a nourishing recipe that is hearty enough for winter but just lightened up enough that it also hints at Spring.

I didn’t mark this kid-friendly due to the poblanos/spice, but you could easily make it so by using a less-spicy pepper and mincing the veggies finer. Of course if your older kids don’t mind some spice and a few veggie chunks, it’s as kid friendly as they come!

(Shown below garnished with a drizzle of Nancy’s Probiotic Organic Sour Cream, which is a bit…drizzly, some fresh cilantro, and some torn bread croutons for crunch in place of my old chili habit, Frito’s)

Lamb Poblano & White Bean Chili

Note: Because we cook the ground lamb separately and leave its excess fat behind, I suspect the fat nutrition is actually lower than calculated. But your mileage may vary. 🙂


Lamb Poblano & White Bean Chili


1 lb grassfed/pastured ground lamb, 15% fat or less

1 organic poblano pepper

1 organic red or green bell pepper

1 large yellow or red organic onion

4-6 cloves organic garlic

2T organic tomato paste

1/2 cup organic tomato sauce

2 cups organic vegetable broth

2 cups water (or more, depending on simmer time)

4 cups cooked white beans, such as navy or white kidney (about 3 cans drained & rinsed)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2T chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika



Prep veggies: Combine skinned, roughly chopped onion and de-seeded peppers into small food processor and pulse until minced (work in batches if necessary). Peel & mince garlic cloves.


Preheat large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat.


Add a small drizzle of oil and saute onion, garlic and pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.


Add all dry spices and saute 1 more minute until warmed and fragrant, stirring constantly.


Add tomato paste and saute 2-3 more minutes until thoroughly combined and a big chunk of veggie/tomato paste has formed.


Add broth, tomato sauce, cilantro & beans and bring just to boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer gently.


In separate skillet, saute & crumble ground lamb until no longer pink (does not have to be cooked through). Using a slotted spoon, transfer lamb meat into chili pot, leaving excess fat behind.


Simmer all until well combined – as little as 20 minutes or as long as 45. If simmering longer than 30 minutes, keep an eye on the liquid and add more water 1/2 cup at a time if necessary.


Turn off, taste & adjust salt & pepper to desired taste. Portion out using a ladle into 6 equal serving bowls or storage bowls. Garnish any bowls being eaten immediately with cilantro, sour cream, and/or croutons as desired.

Nutrition Per Serving







Dinner In Provence
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