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The perfect white bean chili recipe! This vegetarian chili is packed-full of flavor and nutrition and is suitable for families – vegan and non-vegan alike! A fun new recipe to add to your game day rotation!

white bean chili in a white bowl topped with chili toppings.
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It’s a new year which means a new soup recipe from the soup queen herself…kind of! Does chili count as soup? It does in my house, where this white bean chili has quickly become a classic. I shared my top cozy vegetarian soup recipes a few weeks ago and realized I’m a little lacking in the veggie chili department. I do love this healthy veggie chili but sometimes you want to change it up.

This white bean chili is the answer to all your white chili prayers! Don’t believe me? Read on…

Why Make This Recipe:

If my family requesting this recipe on repeat isn’t enough, here are a few more reasons to make this white bean chili:

  • It’s healthy – not only does it taste great but it’s healthy too! White beans are a great source of protein and fiber.
  • One pot – it can be made entirely in one pot! Perfect for an easy clean-up weeknight recipe. Your dishwasher will thank you.
  • Freezes well – if you’re a meal prep queen like me you will love how easy it is to prepare this recipe and freeze big batches so you’re not scrambling for dinner.

White Bean Chili Ingredients

  • Olive Oil – for cooking your veggies
  • Onion – the base of any good chili recipe
  • Garlic – I like to go heavy on the garlic. Be sure to use freshly minced garlic if you can!
  • White Beans – cannellini beans, great northern or navy beans all work. You’ll remove 1/2 a cup to mash which will help give your chili a thickened texture.
  • Corn – you can use canned, frozen or fresh corn.
  • Green chiles – I use canned green chiles, which you can find at most grocery stores in the Mexican section.
  • Veggie broth – or chicken broth if not vegan or vegetarian.
  • Herbs + Spices – Ground cumin and dried oregano. Optional cayenne pepper for a little kick.
  • Salt + Pepper – Feel free to add more or less to sodium preferences.

How to Make White Bean Chili

STEP 1: MASH WHITE BEANS

Remove 1/2 cup white beans and add to a small bowl. Use a fork to mash up beans until a thick paste is formed. This will help to thicken chili.

mashed white beans in a blue bowl.

STEP 2: COOK VEGGIES

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent (roughly 5 minutes). Add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in white beans, corn and green chiles and cook for 1-2 more minutes.

onions, garlic, white beans, corn and green chiles in a white dutch oven.

STEP 3: SIMMER CHILI

Add in herbs, spices, salt and pepper and stir to coat veggies. Top with veggie broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally until chili has thickened to desired preference.

white bean chili simmering in a white dutch oven.

STEP 3: ADD TOPPINGS + SERVE

Top chili with desired toppings (suggestions below) and serve warm. See instructions below for storage.

white bean chili topped with avocados, shredded cheese, cilantro and tortilla chips in a white bowl.

White Bean Chili Toppings:

Here are my go-to suggestions for white bean chili:

  • Tortilla Chips – Tortilla chips are always a good idea for chili!
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt – I find the two are interchangeable but use what you have.
  • Cheddar Cheese – I like to use shredded cheddar cheese but Monterey Jack or any preferred cheese works.
  • Avocado – Cubed or sliced!
  • Jalapeños – Pickled jalapeno peppers would also be great!
  • Cilantro – Feel free to skip if you don’t like cilantro or pile it on top if you do.
  • Limes – give a squeeze of lime juice onto each bowl.
  • Cornbread– technically not a topping but every chili recipe needs a side of cornbread! Might I suggest this healthy pumpkin cornbread?

Easy Swaps + Substitutions

  • Make in Slow Cooker – Add all ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours until desired thickness is reached.
  • Make in Instant Pot – Add all your ingredients to your Instant Pot and seal valve. Pressure cook on HIGH for 8 minutes. Quick release steam. White bean chili should be ready to eat!
  • Add Protein – If you’re looking to add some animal protein to your white bean chili I’d recommend using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Shred chicken and then stir it in in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Storage Instructions

Refrigerator: leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stove top.

Freezer: store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in fridge or on countertop for several hours. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.

More Chili Recipes

Print

White Bean Chili

The perfect white bean chili recipe! This vegetarian chili is packed-full of flavor and nutrition and is suitable for families – vegan and non-vegan alike! A fun new recipe to add to your game day rotation!

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 cans of white beans, rinsed and drained (cannelini beans, navy beans or great northern beans all work)
  • 2 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned and drained)
  • 2 x 4oz cans green chiles
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • optional: pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Toppings: see above for ideas.

Instructions

  1. Remove 1/2 cup white beans and add to a small bowl. Use a fork to mash up beans until a thick paste is formed. This will help to thicken chili.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onions and cook until translucent (roughly 5 minutes).
  4. Add in garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  5. Stir in white beans, mashed white beans, corn and green chiles and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  6. Add in herbs, spices, salt and pepper and stir to coat veggies.
  7. Top with veggie broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Lower heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally until chili has thickened to desired preference.
  9. Top chili with desired toppings (suggestions above) and serve warm.
  10. See instructions above for storage.

Keywords: white bean chili

overhead image of white bean chili in a white bowl with a spoon and lime.

Meet the Maven

Hi! I'm Davida and welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm a wellness blogger, yoga teacher, certified herbalist, and green beauty lover.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe! My husband and I are cutting back on our meat intake. When I perused this recipe, it seemed like it would be delicious. And indeed it is a great tasting veggie chili! Instead of using salt, I added a 3/4 teaspoon of Badia Cilantro Lime Pepper Salt. That’s the only modification I made. I also made a hot skillet blueberry cornbread. YUMMY! Again, thank you!