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This hearty white bean chili is made with a whole rabbit. No need to break it down beforehand, just place the rabbit, veggies, and spices in your crock pot and let it do all the work for you.
Looking for a stovetop rabbit recipe? Try my easy rabbit stew.
Rabbit is not a common meat in the US, but it is one of my favorite kinds of protein. If you have never eaten rabbit before, the flesh and flavor are similar to white chicken meat. You can mostly prepare rabbit the same way you would cook a chicken too, except that rabbit is much leaner so you do need to add some fat to your recipes to account for that.
Is it Easy to Make this Rabbit Chili Recipe?
Yes! This rabbit recipe is about as simple as it gets because you don’t need to break down the rabbit beforehand. As long as you use a large crockpot (at least 6 quarts) you should be able to fit the entire rabbit at the bottom of the porcelain insert. Top the rabbit with the seasonings, veggies, and broth, then seal your crockpot and walk away.
Shredding the Rabbit Meat
This chili cooks for 4 hours and when it’s done your rabbit will be fall-off-the-bone tender. At that point, remove the entire rabbit to a large mixing bowl using tongs and then remove the meat by using the tines of a fork to scrape off the flesh.
Add the shredded rabbit meat back to your crockpot. Finally, add the cornstarch slurry (to thicken the chili), cream cheese, and heavy cream before proceeding with the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- Pro Tip: When you’re shredding the rabbit meat don’t rush and don’t be too rough. The bones on the body are pretty small and fragile, so if you are too forceful when removing the meat you can accidentally knock off small pieces of bone. Work slowly and deliberately.
Can I Make this Recipe in the Instant Pot?
I have not tested this recipe in the Instant Pot because mine is not big enough to fit a whole rabbit. I have a 6-quart Instant Pot and even though that is the same size as my crockpot in terms of capacity, the shape of the Instant Pot insert is too narrow to fit the entire body inside.
I Can’t Find Rabbit, Can I Use Chicken Instead?
If you cant find a whole rabbit you can also make this chili recipe with chicken breasts. Just use 1lb of chicken, adding the whole breasts to the crockpot the same as you would add the rabbit. Cook as instructed, then shred the cooked chicken meat with two forks right inside your crockpot. Since there aren’t any bones to worry about there is no need to remove the cooked chicken breasts to another bowl to shred them.
What should you put on your chili? My favorite topping is diced avocado, but my family also enjoys adding shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and even crushed Frito or tortilla chips on top.
Whatever you would put on top of a traditional beef or chicken chili will work with this rabbit version.
What Goes with Rabbit Chili?
There are so many things that go well with a hearty rabbit chili. I recommend these 20-minute cornbread muffins or a batch of fluffy popovers! You can also serve this chili with a thick slice of toasted apple bread slathered with butter. Sweet potato biscuits, zucchini cornbread, and cheddar cheese cornbread would be some of my other top picks.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
Let the chili cool to room temperature, then transfer it to airtight containers and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
When you’re ready to reheat your chili, I recommend spooning the desired amount into a small pot and reheating on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through.
You can also reheat this chili in the microwave, just cover your bowl with a plate to prevent the chili from splattering and pause halfway through to give it a good stir. The amount of time required to reheat the chili will depend on how much you are trying to warm up at once so use your best judgment and test along the way.
Crock-Pot Whole Rabbit White Bean Chili
- 1 whole rabbit, about 2.5lbs, cleaned and organs removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth, or chicken broth
- 2 cans cannellini beans, 15-oz each
- 1 can can whole kernel corn, 15-oz
- 1 can mild diced green chilis, 4-oz
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup heavy cream or half and half
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Toppings: avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, etc.
- Assemble the chili. Place the whole rabbit in the bottom of your crockpot insert and top with the olive oil, onion, garlic, broth, beans, corn, chilis, and spices. (In other words, everything except the cream cheese, heavy cream, and corn starch.)
- Cook the chili. Give everything on top of the rabbit a good stir, then seal your crockpot and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Shred the rabbit meat. Remove the rabbit from the crockpot with tongs and place it in a large mixing bowl. With the tines of a fork, scrape off the cooked meat. Add the shredded rabbit meat back to the crockpot bowl with the rest of the chili.
- Make the cornstarch slurry. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the chili liquid into a medium bowl and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir briskly with a fork or whisk until the cornstarch has dissolved, then pour this slurry into the chili and give it a good stir.
- Finish cooking the chili. Add the softened cream cheese and cream, stirring until everything is well incorporated into the chili. Cover and cook another 30 minutes on HIGH.
- Cool. Let the chili cool for at least 15 minutes before serving so that it has time to thicken up a bit. 30 minutes is better.
- Serve with your desired toppings! I recommend diced avocado, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.