Lamb Chili with White Beans

I am a big fan of chili, winter or summer, and have been known to experiment with different kinds of meats, beans, and vegetables. Turkey chili has been a long-standing favorite and a go-to recipe when I need some easy-to-make yet tasty comfort food. One of the other things I like about chili is its freezability, as well as the fact that it makes great leftovers.

While perusing chili recipes online the other day, I came across this one for lamb chili, something I’ve never tried before. I found the recipe in the Dining section of the New York Times, and it came out wonderfully. Served with a bit of yogurt, it reminded me of a trip to Greece last year where we frequently ate lamb skewers and Tzatziki. (Tzatziki is another favorite recipe of mine, but I’ll have to get to that one later.)

No pictures this time as chili doesn’t necessarily appear the most appetizing on an iphone, but I thought the recipe should be documented as a favorite nonetheless!

Lamb Chili with White Beans


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground lamb

Kosher salt and black pepper

1 onion, finely chopped

2 or 3 bell peppers, seeded and diced

1 small bunch cilantro, cleaned

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 small jalapeños, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped (or sub 1.5 T of dried chili flakes)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 1/2 cups cooked white beans (homemade or canned)

Plain yogurt, preferably sheep’s milk, for serving


Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook, breaking up with a fork, until well browned, 5 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Transfer meat to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add the onion and bell peppers. Cook until the vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Finely chop 2 tablespoons of the cilantro stems and add to the pot. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño (or chili flakes) and cook 2 minutes. Add coriander and cumin, and cook 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it begins to turn brown.

Return the lamb to the pot. Stir in 4 cups water, the beans and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes; add more water if the chili becomes too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Ladle into bowls, and top with a dollop of yogurt and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.


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