Padma Lakshmi Shares Her Recipe for Chile Verde With White Beans


Padma Lakshmi’s new Hulu series, Taste the Nation, couldn’t come at a better time. In each episode of the ten-part docuseries, Lakshmi, also executive producer, travels to a different part of the country and introduces an immigrant community to viewers by way of the food they eat, bringing forth underlying themes of identity and connection. 

Between the Taste the Nation press circuit, Lakshmi—known for her 16-year run as the host of Bravo’s Top Chef, three award-winning cookbooks, and a memoir—found some time to share one of her favorite recipes: chile verde with white beans. “I came up with this dish because I love making salsa verde as a dipping sauce, and I wanted to find a way to develop it into the base of a green chili dish,” she tells me. “So I began experimenting.” 

Padma says she’s been a fan of the tomatillo since she was young and now regularly incorporates them into Indian recipes as well as into chutneys when regular tomatoes are out of season. “I went to school with a lot of Latin friends and must have tasted it at one of their houses. A few years ago, I noticed I much preferred green enchiladas over red, and the reason was the sauce. So I came up with my own version.”

Chili verde with white beans is in heavy rotation at the Lakshmi residence. “Everyone loves this recipe—my daughter, her dad, [and] I’ve served it at dinner parties. It’s always a hit.” Lakshmi classifies the healthy, comforting recipe as a good entry point for those who might not be super confident in the kitchen. “It comes together quickly, and it’s very forgiving.” She also says that while the vegetarian dish stands on its own given its heartiness, the dish also works well with ground turkey, veal, or pork.

I asked Laskhmi, just because I was curious, what her last meal on earth would be, and she had a hard time picking just one dish. “Right now it would probably be a thin-crust pizza from [New York City’s] Spunto, half cheese and half jalapeño. Or a simple roast chicken with mashed potatoes. Maybe fried chicken. Or a simple, comforting bowl of yogurt rice.”

Taste the Nation premieres June 18 on Hulu.

Padma’s go-to recipe 

Anthony Jackson

Padma’s Green Chile Verde With White Beans

Serves 4


1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed, quartered

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