Worknight Dinners: White Bean & Apple Chili Recipe

by Maris Callahan on October 12, 2010

white bean and apple chili

There is nothing that will keep me from cooking. I’ll cook when I’m tired, when I work late and when I don’t have a lot of groceries in the house. The only thing that will ever make me postpone homemade dinner plans in lieu of something a little more, pizza is if a feeling of dread washes over me when I remember that if I cook, I’ll have to wash the dishes.

Enter the “one pot dinner.” Doing dishes sounds a lot more favorable when you only have to do a singular dish as opposed to a pile of pots and pans upon completion of your meal.


I originally posted this recipe in October 2008. After two years and the acquisition of hot chili powder from Spice House, I decided it was time for a little update and some new photographs.

Perfect for fall, this recipe offers everything you expect in a bowl of chili: simplicity, a little heat and apples for a mellow sweet flavor that will balance the spice from the chili powder. You’ll want seconds. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

white bean and apple chili

White Bean & Apple Chili
Serves 6

what you need:

3-15 oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
3 small apples, cut in tiny chunks, no need to peel (I used Empire)
2 tsp canola oil
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp. cornmeal
1 tsp ground thyme
1 Tbsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
1/2 cup plain non fat yogurt
Handful shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

what you do:

1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large saucepan until shiny. Add chopped onion and apple and cook until tender, approx. 5 minutes. Add thyme, chili powder, cumin and cornmeal and stir to coat.

2. Add cannellini beans to pot, 1 can at a time. For a creamier consistency, mash about 1/3 of the beans with a fork or the back of a spoon before adding to pot (this is also where you can expel your stress from the day).

3. Add in the broth and stir to combine. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until flavors are blended.

4. Just before serving, stir in yogurt and let cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring consistently. Serve topped with cheddar cheese, if desired.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

kelsey @ une-americaine in france October 12, 2010 at 4:24 am

This looks delicious! I’ll have to try it sometime this fall! :D One pot meals are ideal when I am eager to eat good food and then curl up on the couch!

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Daryl October 12, 2010 at 7:26 am

i LOVE the addition of apples in this dish. With somne hot crusty bread I can almost taste this now.

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Cate O'Malley October 12, 2010 at 8:07 am

Wouldn’t have thought to add apples to the chili, but I bet it makes for a great hint of sweetness – perfect Fall dish.

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marla {family fresh cooking} October 12, 2010 at 8:40 am

Hi Maris! I love the apple in this chili – such a great idea :)
Wonderful meeting you at BlogHer Food, you are such a sweetheart. Hope to see you again soon. xo

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Heather @ The Single Dish October 12, 2010 at 9:11 am

I love the addition of apples in this recipe, so fall and so delicious! I am like you-I cook/bake under any condition. I never understood the “I don’t have time to cook!”

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Camille October 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

This looks incredible! What a cool, creative twist on a classic!

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Rene October 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I envy you. When I am tired I look for every excuse *not* to cook. I’ll have to call on your spirit next time I start to turn to take-out. This looks like a good one. (And E-Z clean-up…)

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Joanne October 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I already want seconds and I haven’t even tasted it yet! I love how the apples are infused into this. way to make it into even MORE of a fall meal!

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Sues October 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Wow! I do love chili, but have never considered the addition of apples. It sounds absolutely amazing and fall-like :) Thanks for the wonderful idea!

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blackbookkitchendiaries October 13, 2010 at 6:01 pm

yummy! can i please come over for a bowl of this? sweet. thanks!

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Cookin' Canuck October 13, 2010 at 7:36 pm

The apple in this makes perfect sense to me, but I never would have thought of using it in chili. When my mum makes curries, she always sautes onions and apples before adding the rest of the ingredients. The sweetness adds a lovely balance to the heat.

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Heidi Renée October 13, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I have never done apples in a savory dish, but this is the perfect reason to try it!

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E.P. October 13, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I’ve never thought about using apples in a chili before, and now, I am genuinely curious as to how this tastes. Guess this means we’ll have to make it, huh? (I cannot wait!)

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Gina von October 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Looks great- I use a pear in one of my stew recipes and it is always a favorite!

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Sarah October 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I am definitely making this tonight! I have some apples from a local farm that I have been waiting to use and this is the perfect thing. YUM.

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Blond Duck October 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Between this and those pumpkin and black bean tortillas I’m in love!

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Lindsey October 17, 2010 at 6:54 am

I would never have thought to put apples in chili but this looks great!
I need to find myself some good, healthy one pot means b/c work has been crazy and I’m so tired by the time I get home. Sigh. At least the hubby does the washing up for me. :)

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leslie October 17, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I love love love the addition of the apple!

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Ellisha Caplan October 27, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Yum! Am definitely going to make this.

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