Smoked Tomato and White Bean Chili

How to Smoke Tomatoes for Chili

Smoked Tomato and White Bean Chili

Want to knock your own socks off? Make this recipe for Smoked Tomato and White Bean Chili. It’s delicious and a whole lotta fun to make. Of course, I think anything that involves a grill, hickory wood chips and luscious, garden-fresh tomatoes is a good time. Simple pleasures, you know.

Smoking tomatoes on the grill. The first thing you must do for this dish is smoke the tomatoes. Get yourself a bag of wood chips — I chose hickory, but there are many varieties available at most grocery and hardware stores. Soak the wood chips for 30 minutes or so. This prevents them from catching fire while you’re smoking. Preheat the grill (I usually start on high, then turn it down to medium). 

  • Drain wood chips and place in a roasting pan. Use enough to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Put the pan on the grill for 10-15 minutes or until chips begin to smoke

Now it’s time to add those lovely tomatoes!

  • Select four large, ripe tomatoes and quarter them, removing as many seeds as possible
  • Place tomatoes on a sheet of aluminum foil. Curl edges to prevent juices running into the pan and burning
  • Place tomatoes on a rack that fits inside of the roasting pan and cover tightly with a lid or foil
  • Close the grill and allow tomatoes to smoke for 15-20 minutes on medium heat

They’ll look wildly beautiful and delicious when fully smoked, like this:

Smoked Tomato and White Bean Chili

Make the beef and bean chili base while tomatoes are smoking.
Begin by heating a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of finely chopped shallots and a clove or two of finely minced garlic in a large saucepan or French oven. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 pound of ground chuck and cook until no pink remains. Drain. Return the ground beef to the saucepan and add 4 cans of cannellini beans and 1 cup of beef stock.

Smoked Tomato and White Bean Chili

Now back to those delectable tomatoes.
Put smoked tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor with 6 ounces of tomato paste and 1 cup of heavy cream. 

Smoked Tomato and White Bean Chili

Puree until smooth. Pour creamy tomatoes into the French oven with beef and bean mixture. Gently stir to combine, adding:

  • 1 teaspoon crushed, dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground sage

Simmer for 30 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of thinly sliced fresh basil just before serving.

Smoked Tomato and White Bean Chili

 My family loved this recipe and it was delicious reheated on day two, also. I can’t wait to smoke tomatoes again — they’d be wonderful in homemade tomato sauces, added whole to a rustic pasta dish … hmmm, endless possibilities. Here’s a quick “cheat sheet” for smoking tomatoes — so go forth! Stick these in your grill and smoke ’em. And be sure to leave me a comment about your wood chip experience! 

Here’s a link to the recipe and don’t forget to Pin the image below!


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Jennifer Kiko

Jennifer lives on a rural route with her husband, kids, horses, cows and faithful Labs, Cash and Carter. She's an aspiring foodie and enjoys making good food for great friends. She lives next door to a winery, plays the piano, and admits to growing too many tomatoes.

2 thoughts on “How to Smoke Tomatoes for Chili”

  1. Looks delicious! Can’t wait to give this a try. Thank you for another great idea!

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