Creamy White Bean and Apple Chili

If you are looking for a great new meatless main dish that will make the entire family happy, look no longer. This creamy apple and white bean chili is light and healthy and a delicious vegetarian main course. 

white bean and apple chili made in the crockpot slow cooker. Recipe by Stephanie O'Dea

Day 254.

I know. Another savory dish with fruit. I can't help myself. 

I'm determined to make fruit an okay part of dinner after the gingered peaches with chicken. Which I can't even type without shuddering.

I did not like it in a box. Or with a fox.

But anyhow, we are hitting apple season, and apple season brings lots of apples.


That it does.

This is a creamy, lightish chili that doesn't taste at all like there is fruit in there. The apples completely disappear.

I don't know if I'm really selling this...

This is a good approaching-fall chili. 

It is not too heavy, but it isn't so light that you walk away from the table hungry.


The Ingredients.
serves 4 to 6

these are the ingredients you need to make white bean and apple chili in the crockpot slow cooker. Recipe by Stephanie O'Dea

2 (15-ounce) cans of white beans, drained and rinsed (I used white kidneys)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 apples, cut in tiny chunks, no need to peel (any variety; I used Golden Delicious)
3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
3 tablespoons butter. Yes, butter.
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups chicken broth (unless you are vegetarian. then you should use vegetable broth. because the chicken would be wrong.)
1/2 cup plain non fat yogurt
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

The Directions.

Use a 4 or 6-quart slow cooker

Put the butter into the bottom of your crockpot. Dump in the drained and rinsed beans. Chop up the onion and the apple. Add the spices, and pour in the broth. Stir in the yogurt.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4-5. This is done when the onion has reached desired tenderness and the flavors have melded. Stir in the cheddar cheese before serving.

I think corn bread would be awesome with this dinner. I wish I would have thought of it before just this second.

The Verdict.

This is a good meal. The chili is quite mild---you might want to sprinkle some Tobasco on top, or add more chili powder if you want a kick. 

This was mild enough for the kids to eat.

I was pleased with both the tang and the creamy consistency the non fat yogurt provided. It didn't separate, and added a nice level of creaminess.

The apples sort of disappear but blend with the rest of the ingredients to make a creamy sweetish chili that is simply yummy and delicious!!


If you are looking for a great new meatless main dish that will make the entire family happy, look no longer. This creamy apple and white bean chili is light and healthy and a delicious vegetarian main course.

Do you love this article?

Please share it with your friends!

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at September 10, 2008

Sign up for the A Year of Slow Cooking newsletter and get the Top Ten Reader Favorite Recipes sent directly to your inbox!

What they say about this article

  1. okay, it SOUNDS disgusting, but I'll take your word that its actually good - LOL :)

  2. This sounds like a must try! Thank you!

  3. I am enjoying reading your blog every morning - I love your sense of humour! I have made several of your recipes: apple oatmeal (with some cinnamon - excellent); breakfast risotto (substituted coconut milk for some of the milk - excellent; Indian curry (no changes - excellent); Korean ribs (with pork side ribs, garlic, ginger - excellent)and the tomato soup (no changes - excellent).

    Thanks so much for all your work-it is much appreciated.

    I'm not looking forward to January 1!

  4. hey, this is my first time commenting, and I must say I LOVE your blog. It has become my go to place when I need something easy but good for dinner. My question, could you make this without the apples and would it still taste good? I am allergic to apples, so sadly those are out.

  5. lol, Marci! xoxo

    hdmac, you're welcome!

    Michelle, wow! I'm so glad you've enjoyed those recipes, you picked out all winners. Great idea about switching up the breakfast risotto with coconut milk; I'd like to try that.

    lb, sure, you can leave out the apples, but then you'd have to change the name. ;-) I think the apples brought about a bit of sweetness. I made white chili a earlier in the year that used similar ingredients (and green chiles, yum)---maybe you'd like to do a combo of the two?


  6. Hi I just found your blog and I LOVE IT!! I check it every morning and I can not wait to try some of your recipes!! Thanks Katy

  7. Anonymous9/10/2008

    wow. i love chili. that photo makes me hungry. i really have to make this for my family. everyone is a "meat and potatoes" person in my house, so they all like hefty dishes like chili.

  8. Anonymous9/10/2008

    This looks delicious! Love the idea of the natural sweetness of the apples.

  9. Anonymous9/10/2008

    I've been reading your blog for about a month now - I love it! I've just upgraded from a tiny 3 qt crockpot to the 5 qt Smart Pot - I think that's what it's called! I think I'm gonna try this white bean and apple chili - yum! Thanks for a great blog!

  10. Good morning! I really enjoy your blog. It's a regular part of my day.

    So I have a question for ya: Do you have the nutritional facts for this one? I'm watching my weight, and I'm trying to keep my sweet (and crazy skinny) hubby full. This looks like it may be a good match for us, but the butter makes me a little nervous.


  11. Anonymous9/10/2008

    This was dinner for tonight- your blog is PRICELESS! this is the third time this week I'm crockpotting b/c of your ideas- you rock!

  12. I really want to try this...but I'm not sure if It will fly with the kid. She refuses to eat soups/chili's of any kind.. Although.. she can always eat a PB&J :)

  13. I cannot stand fruit with any type of meat. However, what do I know? I just posted a recipe for Pickle Soup on my blog.

  14. Anonymous9/10/2008

    That actually sounds pretty interesting. I've heard of chicken chili with white chocolate in it so why not chili with apples in it.

    What do you think about adding some ground turkey or chicken to the mix? Do you think it would still taste good? I'm kinda a meat in my chili kinda person.

    I think I'm going to have to plan this in my menu for next week! Thanks!


  15. I have been looking for a recipe like this! Thanks! I love your blog!

  16. I read your blog daily and have your link on my blog. I surely hope that you're writing a cookbook about this year's experiment!

  17. That looks unique and delicious. I never would have thought to add apples to chili, but I might now that I know how it turns out. :-)

  18. Oh, this sounds soooo yummy! I think it'll be on next week's menu! Thanks! :)

  19. Anonymous9/10/2008

    Apple butter is on my list of things to try in the crock pot. Just not sure if it would thicken enough.

  20. Anonymous9/10/2008

    this has nothing to do this with recipe, but I'm hoping someone can help.... I am planning to make candy chicken tomorrow night, but am using 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. Boneless skinless chicken breasts always seem to come out dry in my crockpot, and I will be sad if it happens tomorrow - any ideas on how to prevent this? I'll be home all day, so can adjust temps as needed if needed.


  21. Hi Jen,

    the candy chicken (brown sugar chicken) has a lot of juice. If you're home, I'd cook on low and flip the pieces over half way through cooking time so both sides soak up the juice nicely. When it seems the chicken is fully cooked and the juice on the sides of the pot gets a bit dark, switch to warm.


  22. Anonymous9/10/2008

    mmmmmmmmmmm...this sounds so delicious. creamy and cheesy! thanks steph!

  23. Anonymous9/11/2008

    If you want to use up more apples and try another meat/fruit combo, Bavarian pot roast is one of our favorite crockpot meals.

  24. Anonymous9/12/2008

    Oops, that Bavarian pot roast link didn't quite work. Let's try this -

  25. Anonymous9/12/2008

    My Dad would often put fruit in his chili...sometimes apples, sometimes prunes! He cooked them so long they were indistiguishable, but added the touch of sweetness he was aiming for. I've used Mexican chocolate (Ibarra, for example)to the same effect.

  26. This chili was soooo good! I added some Sriacha Hot sauce for some xtra heat and green chilis to the pot.... my husband and I couldn't get enough!! It's great alternative to the tomato heavy alternative :)

  27. Mmmm - this looks good. I'll have to give it a try.

  28. Anonymous9/30/2008

    Sounds delicious....Could you put raw chicken cubes in with all that also, without harming anything? Thanks for your help...

  29. Hi anon, absolutely. there is enough liquid and it's plugged in long enough to cook chicken properly.

  30. Anonymous10/10/2008

    I tried this a few weeks ago and my family loved it. I'm actually making this again tonight. I added some cooked and drained ground turkey and it was delicious and stretched the meal a bit further.

  31. ACK! I wish I'd seen this yesterday. It would've been the perfect meal for tonight (I was going to do the Obama chili, but had no kidneys or ground meat....)!

    (I made the curried potatoes & tomatoes last night - YUM! And apple butter, then pumpkin butter on the weekend - double YUM!)

    Your blog is amazing.

  32. I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog! I have been making recipes from it for awhile now. I'll be sad when the year is over!

    I hope it is okay with you if I link your journal on my own blog when I try out a recipe.

    If you don't like that, please let me know and I will remove the links.

  33. I made this yesterday, on a blustery fall day. It was delicious. I also made skillet cornbread to go with it, and wish I'd added some jalapenos to that, but otherwise...let's just say I'm looking forward to lunch.

    I didn't have plain yogurt, so used some non fat sour cream in its place. I pureed half and added it back in.

    Next time out I will skip the butter, and stay out of the house while it's cooking. It smells GOOD.

  34. We're having this for dinner tonight, and it smells really good. I'm having a particularly frustrating sort of day, and I'm SO glad I don't have to worry about dinner.


  35. I just made this last night and it was very good. I do think I prefer regular chili but this was an interesting difference. It's odd how the apples disappear. I'll be posting it on my blog in a week or so, thanks again for another great recipe!

  36. This is one of my go-to recipes. I am finally posting a comment, but I have made this chili about 4 times, and we love it. Thanks!

  37. I made this today. It tastes good but mine had a very soupy consistancy. I can't figure out why.

  38. Jennifer Lewis9/05/2011

    Wow! I can't stop making and eating this chili! Thanks for the great recipe. LOVE, LOVE this one!

  39. This is great! I added some grilled chicken and shook in some barley. Tasty indeed. :-)

  40. I was SO excited to make this chili. I just went apple picking this weekend and was looking forward to using the fresh apples in an easy recipe. I put it in the crock and everything was going well. It smelled great, looked great...until...the yogurt curdled! I was so sad. I think it might be a fluke since I didn't see any other readers say this happened. I used greek yogurt (since they didn't have "regular" yogurt in a small size at the grocery store). I also cooked my chili at low for 6 hours, then turned it up to high for about 45 minutes. I don't know how it happened, but I may try to make this recipe again in the future because it did sound really good :(