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Southwestern Bean Chowder

Even though there is a bit of heat from the spices and green chiles, my young children love this soup as much as my husband does. I like using white kidney beans—they have a terrific texture. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 35 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings (2 quarts)


  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Minced fresh cilantro and additional shredded cheddar cheese, optional


  • In a small bowl, mash 1 can beans with a fork; set aside.
  • In a Dutch oven, saute the onion, celery and pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the mashed beans, broth, corn, carrot, chiles, cumin, chili powder and remaining beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Combine cornstarch and milk until smooth. Stir into bean mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Serve with cilantro and additional cheese if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 236 calories, 8g fat (4g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 670mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 6g fiber), 11g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

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  • Tanya
    Jun 11, 2020

    Thank you, Margaret and Suzanne. After reading your reviews, I left out the milk/cornstarch mixture and added a chopped jalepeno and cheese directly in the bowl when I served it - I also switche the measurements on the cumin and chili powder - and the result was delicious! I'll definitely be making this again.

  • Margaret
    Dec 27, 2019

    Making this right now and it smells delish! I think the problem is adding the milk--that is what will make it bland. Dairy takes away the heat/flavors from foods. After reading the reviews, I am leaving out the milk/cornstarch mixture and will add cheese to our bowls when we serve it. Since I am freezing this soup for later, it is better to leave the milk out anyway. I guess it will be more of a chili than a chowder now but I think the taste will be better. Thanks for a good recipe!

  • Suzanne444
    Apr 11, 2016

    I have this recipe in a Taste of Home "Best Loved Healthy Recipes" cookbook. The picture and ingredients led me to try this chowder -- it is a little bland as other reviewers said. I even used extra sharp white cheddar cheese and the cilantro. It was good; but next time, I may add a little taco seasoning to see if that spices it up - maybe even a fresh jalapeno.

  • crankyankee
    Nov 30, 2014

    not as spicy as I thought it would be.

  • mwkov
    Mar 12, 2014

    Its different....i don't know that I will be making it again.

  • crlynwllc
    Feb 18, 2013

    My husband and I are both diabetics and I am always looking for good tasting recipes. I picked up the taste of home diabetic family friendly cookbook at my local grocery store. This is the first recipe I tried, if the others are even half this good, I'll be happy. Thank You Taste od Home

  • danid
    Feb 1, 2012

    I can see where some of the reviewers said this was bland. I think the extra cheese and cilantro really add to it, so make sure you put it on. Otherwise, it def. needs something.

  • dfausnacht
    Sep 22, 2011

    Like some other people have said, it was a bit bland. I've had better southwest soup (e.g. southwest corn chowder on this site).

  • mamateach4
    Jun 15, 2011

    This was a delicious chowder! I have made it several times. Since I cook for 2 now, we had it as leftovers and it still tasted great.

  • JulieMarae
    Apr 27, 2011

    Very flavorful soup. We enjoyed it. I'm not a fan of cilantro so I left it out. Thanks very much for the recipe!