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On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me: 5 different spices, 4 kinds of beans, 3 secret ingredients, 2 kinds of peppers, and a bowl of spicy white bean chili! (Ok that was a stretch.) Whether you are going to a potluck or just want something easy to heat up during the busy holiday season, this chili hits the spot. It doesn’t even take very long to throw together, and next time I’ll have to try it in the crock pot, for even less work. My secret ingredients (and this goes for a lot of soups, stews, and sauces) are vinegar, sugar and beer (or wine). You can’t taste that they are there, but they make the other flavors really pop. I called this Christmas Chili because of the large amount of red and green peppers, but also because this tasty stuff can help you avoid the dreaded holiday bulge. Each serving is about 215 calories and boasts 9 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein! Yummy, healthy, easy, inexpensive, and festive, woohoo!

Christmas Chili

makes about 10 servings

1 white onion

1 green jalapeno

1 red jalapeno

1 1/2 green bell pepper

1 1/2 red bell pepper

10 cloves garlic

1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro plus more for garnish

2 tbs olive oil

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp salt

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp white pepper

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp cayenne (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)

1/2 cup of beer ( I used a ‘holiday spiced ale’ but any beer on the lighter side will work well)

2 cups vegetable broth

1 tbs apple cider vinegar

3 pinches of sugar ( I used coconut sugar, because it almost has a salty/savory taste, but brown will work also)

1 16 oz. can navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 16 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 16 oz. can black eye peas, rinsed and drained

1 16 oz. can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup of fresh or frozen organic corn

Chop the onion, peppers, garlic, and cilantro.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook about 5 minutes. Then add the peppers and garlic, and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Add the spices and stir to combine.

As soon as the majority of the liquid has evaporated and you are having to scrape along the bottom of the pot o keep things from sticking, pour in half the beer. Stir and let it evaporate, then pour in the rest.

Cook an additional minute then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a low boil and reduce the heat to low.

Stick an immersion blender in the pot and give it two or three pulses. (Another option is to remove 2/3 cup of the chili, and pulse it in a blender a few times, then return it to the pot. This step gives it a thicker, creamier, stew like texture.)

Let it simmer for about 5-10 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

I love to serve it with fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, crushed tortilla chips, sriracha, and a big blob or tahini (instead of sour cream. I don’t know if that’s weird, but I think it’s delicious!) You can even use this as a yummy and warm bean dip. If you are into black bean chili instead of white, check out my other Hearty Black Bean Chili recipe.

Happy Holidays!

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