White Bean Carnitas Chili

There is something great about using leftovers to create a totally different meal.  This recipe is my own creation and is a perfect way to get a different meal out of that wonderful Carnitas with Houston-Style Green Salsa that I posted the other day.  If you are reading this post and did not see the previous post, definitely check it out because this soup calls for using the broth in which the carnitas cooked (this is perfectly safe since the meat cooked at such a high temp for so many hours).  When we removed all of the carnitas from the dutch oven the other day to shred it, I took a taste of the broth to see how it tasted and it was so flavorful…tangy, savory, garlicky and a little sweet from the orange juice (note: I had doubled the carnitas recipe so I had enough broth for this soup).   My mother-in-law (queen of using EVERYTHING and throwing away nothing!) must be rubbing off on me because there was no way I was dumping that broth down the sink.  It might be smart to strain the broth and refrigerate it until the next day to make the soup (because then the fat will rise to the top and harden and you can skim it right off to throw away before using it in your soup).  So here you go!  And if you want to make this and don’t have that wonderful broth, just use some chicken broth and kick up the spices a little.

White Bean Carnitas Chili (Serves 4-6)


2 cups green pepper, chopped

1 cup onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, diced

2 Tbsp olive oil (or some of the fat skimmed from the carnitas broth)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp mexican chili powder

1 tsp cumin (increase to 3 tsp if using plain chicken broth instead of carnitas broth)

½ tsp salt (increase to 1 tsp if using plain chicken broth instead of carnitas broth)

1 tsp oregano

1 4 oz. can diced green chiles

5-6 cups broth from carnitas, strained very well (or chicken broth) *note: to get enough broth from carnitas, you need to double the recipe

3 cans cannellini beans or great northern beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cans beans, 1 can of corn)

leftover carnitas or chicken

toppings: sour cream, avacado, cilantro, red onion, hot sauce, tostito chips


In large soup pan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium high.  Add green peppers, onion, jalapeno and garlic and sweat for about 10 minutes or until ingredients are softened.  In a small bowl, combine Mexican chili powder, cumin, salt and oregano.  Add to softened onion mixture and stir to combine for 1 minute.  Add broth and beans.  Bring to a boil then bring down to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Add salt to taste.   To make it a little thicker, use an immersion blender to puree the soup (totally optional).  When you reach desired consistency, add left over carnitas or precooked chicken.  Top individual servings with sour cream, avacado, cilantro, red onion, hot sauce or tostito chips.

White Bean Carnitas Chili Pureed with Immersion Blender.

White Bean Carnitas Chili Pureed with Immersion Blender.

*I used green peppers and onions from Ron Hord, the gentleman who delivers fresh produce in and around UA.  For more details, see my Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe or email Ron at