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Vegetarian White Bean Chili Recipe

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If you’re looking for a vegetarian white bean chili recipe that checks all of the boxes, this one is it! It’s loaded with flavor (lime, cilantro, spices!). It’s loaded with protein and fiber (beans, corn!). And it’s loaded with simple ingredients that you may already have in your pantry (broth, onion, garlic). Serve this vegetarian white chili with a ton of toppings and you’ve got a delicious, filling, and nutritious meal.

If you love chili as much as we do, be sure to try my homemade chili (made with a secret shortcut ingredient!) or chili con carne next time.

Bowl of white chicken chili with toppings.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

What You’ll Love About Vegetarian White Bean Chili

  • Vegetarian but filling
  • Great source of protein and fiber
  • Made with basic ingredients
  • Just 25 minutes cook time
  • Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan

Is white bean chili vegetarian?

Most white bean chili recipes are also made with chicken, but this is a vegetarian version that still has all of the flavor and is still plenty satisfying and filling.

Ingredients

You’ll need just 8 ingredients and some spices for this vegetarian white chili recipe:

  • Onion – I recommend using a yellow onion, but a white onion would also work well.
  • Garlic – Use fresh garlic for best flavor or use frozen or jarred garlic for a convenient shortcut.
  • Spices – Ground cumin, chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika, sea salt
  • Great Northern White beans – I’ve used canned white beans to keep it easy, but you could absolutely cook your own white beans. You’ll need about 9 cups beans total. You could also use white navy beans, white kidney beans, or cannellini beans.
  • Broth – I’ve used a vegetable broth to keep this white chili vegetarian, but you could also use chicken broth or chicken bone broth for a richer flavor if you prefer.
  • Green chiles – Look for canned green chiles. Typically they will be near the salsa, tortillas, and taco ingredients section.
  • Corn – I’ve used frozen corn, but you can also use canned corn (rinse) or fresh corn of the cob.
  • Cilantro – This adds great bright flavor. You can also use it as a topping if you prefer to omit it from the soup.
  • Lime – This also adds great bright flavor, don’t skip it. Use fresh lime for best flavor.
  • Toppings – see a whole list below!
Ingredients to make white bean vegetarian chili

How to Make Vegetarian White Chili

Ok, let’s make this white vegetarian chili:

  • Saute onions. Heat oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onions, season with sea salt, and cook until soft.
Soup pot with sauteed onions.
  • Season soup. Add garlic to onions and cook until fragrant. Sprinkle in cumin, chili powder, oregano, and smoked paprika and stir until onions are coated with spice mixture.
Onions and seasoning for white bean vegetarian chili seasonings with onions in pot
  • Add remaining ingredients. Add white beans, green chiles, and broth to pot. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
Pot of white bean chili
  • Blend soup. This step helps give the soup a creamy texture, without adding any dairy! You can do this easily with an immersion blender, but you can also carefully transfer 3-4 cups of the soup to a blender and then pour back into soup.
Vegetarian white bean chili blended in a pot
  • Finish soup. Stir in corn and simmer. Right before serving, stir in lime juice and cilantro. Taste and season with salt to taste or if it tastes a little flat.
  • Serve vegetarian white bean chili recipe with plenty of toppings (ideas below).
White bean vegetarian chili with toppings

Topping Ideas for White Bean Vegetarian Chili

I love to serve chili with as many toppings as I can! Serve it with your favorites, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Chopped onions (any kind)
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Frozen (but thawed) corn
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers or salsa
  • Hot sauce
  • Tortilla chips, corn chips, or corn bread
Bowl of vegetarian white chili with fresh toppings.

Storage Instructions

Store any leftover vegetarian white chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

How to reheat

Reheat chili in the microwave or a saucepan on the stove.

Can you freeze chili?

Yes, you can freeze this white bean chili. Store in freezer safe containers (souper cubes are perfect) and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

How to Serve White Bean Chili to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in. 😉

I have a few tips when it comes to serving soup to kids. One: for young kids, serve more chunks and less broth so that it’s easier to eat.

When I served this to my kids, I started with a really small serving (like 1/4 cup) because I wasn’t sure if they would like it. And then for sides (in case they decided not to eat any of it) we had all of the toppings (chips!) and we had some fruit and milk.

All of my articles on feeding kids can be found here and if you want a FULL list of all of the videos I have with hacks, tips, scripts, and ideas for feeding kids, check out my instagram or tiktok page.

Bowl of white bean vegetarian chili with toppings.

What to Serve with White Vegetarian Chili Recipe

If I was serving this as a weeknight dinner, I would round out the meal with a lot of soup toppings. BUT, if I was serving this to a crowd (maybe as part of a spread along with my more traditional homemade chili or chili con carne) I would add some sides:

More Easy Soup Recipes

If you like this white chili vegetarian recipe, you might also like some of these other easy soup recipes:

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Bowl of white chicken chili with toppings.

Vegetarian White Bean Chili

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Description

This delicious vegetarian white bean chili recipe is made with simple ingredients and loaded with protein and fiber, making it super satisfying.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 6 cans white beans, drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 oz. canned green chiles
  • 16 oz. frozen corn
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • Toppings: tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, avocado slices, jalapeno, lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, season with sea salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, and smoked paprika  to onion mixture. Stir to coat onions and toast spices.
  4. Add white beans, green chilis, and broth to pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Blend some of the soup with an immersion blender or transferring to a blender and then adding back into the soup. (This helps make it creamy, without adding any cream!)
  6. Stir in corn and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Right before serving, stir in lime juice and cilantro.
  8. Taste soup, add more salt to taste and serve with a variety of toppings. 


Notes

  • Serving size: 1 1/2 cups soup
  • Nutrition facts are an estimate and do not include toppings

Keywords: vegetarian white bean chili, vegetarian white chili, white bean vegetarian chili

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Photo Credit: All photos in this post were take by Loren at Sweet Rustic Bakes

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