This Vegan White Bean Chili is a plant protein-packed white chili recipe with a thick chili texture thanks to one easy technique. Top with an abundance of toppings, enjoy for meal prep or freeze for later.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Plant-powered, vegan meal that highlights cozy and comforting vegetables
- Adorned with a generous amount of spices to really ride home that chili flavor
- A one pot wonder that’s ready in less than 40 minutes!
- Leftovers get better as the days go on – making it the perfect meal prep recipe!
Pantry Staple Ingredients
I love to think of this as a clean-out-the-pantry recipe because it makes use of so many pantry staples that you probably already have on hand. Easy and economical!
For white bean chili, you will need:
- olive oil – olive oil or avocado oil both work – use whichever plant-based oil you have on hand.
- onion + garlic – for savory goodness and aromatics.
- ancho chili powder – a bit different than regular chili power, ancho chili powder is smoky-sweet with fruity notes similar to a raisin. Regular chili powder can be used in its place or even chipotle chili powder, for a spicy-smoky kick.
- ground cumin + coriander – these two Mexican spices go hand in hand. Lots of cumin gives this recipe the traditional white chili taste.
- cayenne pepper – for some heat and depth.
- salt + pepper – to really bring out the flavor of the rest of the ingredients.
- great Northern beans – I love great Northern beans or Navy beans as I find the texture of store-bought canned versions to be better than the occasionally mushy cannellini beans. That being said, cannellini beans are still a great option if that is all you have on hand. We will be mashing half of them anyway, which we will talk about later.
- chickpeas or garbanzo beans – for another dose of white beans, plant-based protein and a little different texture. I found three total cans of beans to be just the right quantity, so use a mix-and-match of whatever you have.
- yellow potatoes – feel free to peel the potatoes, if that is your preference. The skins on baby yellow potatoes are fairly thin, so I left them on.
- canned green chilis – this is that extra special ingredient that really enhances the chili essence. I know we all have a can of Hatch or Goya green chilis stashed away in our pantry.
- corn – for texture, color and sweet pops of corn flavor. Use canned, fresh or frozen.
- low-sodium vegetable broth – go for low-sodium vegetable stock to keep the recipe entirely vegan and vegetarian or use low-sodium chicken stock, if not a dietary concern.
- limes – the final burst of lime juice truly rounds out all the flavors. Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
- cilantro – it just wouldn’t be chili without cilantro – add it at the very end to keep the bright green color intact.
For vegan toppings, gather together:
- vegan sour cream – for creamy goodness and tang. Forager is my favorite brand.
- vegan cheese – either cheddar or Monterey jack work wonders. Vio Life is one of my favorite vegan cheese brands.
- avocado – slice, dice or smash to your liking.
- tortilla chips – crumble some tortilla chips on top for added crunch factor.
- green onions – slice on the bias for en eye-catching presentation.
- fresh cilantro – a little more fresh cilantro never hurt either.
How to Make
This vegetarian white chili recipe is truly so easy to make. The most prep you have to do is chopping the potatoes and onions. The rest mainly comes from canned veggies.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to make this delicious chili recipe.
Saute aromatics and spices
Heat large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot to medium-high heat. Add oil, onions, garlic, chili seasonings plus salt and pepper; sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Mash the white beans
Meanwhile, take one can of white beans and mash; set aside.
Add beans, vegetables and simmer
Add in remaining whole white beans, chickpeas, chopped potatoes, green chilis, corn and vegetable broth; bring to a simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.
Check for seasonings
After 20 minutes of simmering, taste test (you might find you want additional salt here). Check potatoes are tender.
Finish with mashed beans and lime juice
Add in mashed beans, lime juice and cilantro. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then serve with favorite toppings.
How to Thicken Chili
The secret to making thick chili without having to simmer it for hours is to mash a whole can of white beans and add it at the very end. The natural starch in the beans thickens the chili to just the right texture.
You can also mash the chili a bit before serving as well which will get you an even thicker chili.
Along with all the fun and colorful vegan toppings, this chili pairs perfectly with vegan cornbread. I like to dip a square (or two!) while eating and enjoy all the crumbly bits that fall into the bottom of the chili at the very end.
How to Store
This vegan white bean chili will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just like all chili recipes, the flavors actually get better the longer they sit as the ingredients have a chance to marry together.
To freeze, transfer to a freezer safe container, cool completely, seal tight, label, date and stash in your freezer. The chili will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying.
Microwave: Place the chili in a microwave-safe bowl and reheat on high in 1-minute increments in the microwave, stirring each time in between, until warmed through.
Stove Top: Place a large batch of chili in a saucepan over medium heat and bring up to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
More Chili Recipes You’ll Love:
- Healthy White Chicken Chili
- Vegan Enchilada Quinoa Chili
- Vegan Black Bean Pumpkin Chili
- Healthy Turkey Chili
- Butternut Squash Turkey Chili
If you make this Vegan White Bean Chili recipe, be sure to leave a comment and review on the blog! I love hearing from you, and it helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (can sub chili powder)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3/4 tsp salt, to taste
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 (15 ounce) cans Great Northern Beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed, divided
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 6 small yellow potatoes, chopped
- 1 (4 ounce) can green chilis
- 1 (8.75 oz) can corn, drained and rinsed (about 1 cup cooked corn)
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- vegan sour cream
- vegan cheese
- tortilla chips
- green onions
- fresh cilantro
- Heat large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot to medium-high heat. Add oil, onions, garlic, chili seasonings plus salt and pepper; sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take one can of white beans and mash; set aside.
- Add in remaining whole white beans, chickpeas, chopped potatoes, green chilis, corn and vegetable broth; bring to a simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.
- After 20 minutes of simmering, taste test (you might find you want additional salt here). Check potatoes are tender.
- Add in mashed beans, lime juice and cilantro. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Option to use a masher in the whole pot of chili to thicken some more. Serve with your favorite toppings!