vegetarians & meat-eaters CAN live together. deliciously!


Vegetarian White Chili with Optional Chicken

It didn’t really occur to me how much we like chili in this house – and how much I must make it – until I realized that this is the third chili recipe I’ve posted here in as many months.

I guess there are worse things to be a little obsessed with.

This healthy vegetarian white chili is among my favorites. White kidney beans and hearty pinto beans simmer together with a rich vegetable broth, green chiles, diced fresh jalapeno pepper, and warming, comforting spices like cumin, oregano, and – believe it or not – a little touch of ground cloves. Add in some chopped cooked chicken at the end of the process, and – look! – vegetarians and carnivores can live together.

Topped with a little shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and a wedge of lime, this white chili is plenty satisfying without the chicken. But it’s nice to have options, right?

Print Recipe

Vegetarian White Chili with Optional Chicken

White kidney beans and hearty pinto beans simmer together with a rich vegetable broth, green chiles, diced fresh jalapeno pepper, and warming, comforting spices like cumin, oregano, and - believe it or not - a little touch of ground cloves. Add in some chopped cooked chicken at the end of the process, and - look! - vegetarians and carnivores can live together.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 45 mintues

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 4-ounce cans diced mild green chilies
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 14 oz. cans cannelloni (white kidney) beans, drained
  • 1 14 oz. can pinto beans, drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 jalapeno pepper with seeds, finely chopped*
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken (optional; this enough meat for half of the chili)**
  • Assorted toppings such as Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, salsa, and fresh lime wedges for squeezing over the top

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, until soft.
  2. Stir in the garlic, cumin, oregano, cloves, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook for another minute.
  3. Add diced green chiles, beans, and vegetable broth. Continuing over medium heat, let the mixture come to a boil, then reduce the heat to love to keep the soup at a steady simmer. Simmer uncovered for about an hour.
  4. Add the jalapeno pepper.
  5. If adding chicken to a portion of the recipe, scoop just under half the chili into a separate, medium saucepan. Add the chicken to that half.
  6. Simmer both versions for another 30 minutes uncovered.
  7. Serve with assorted toppings.
  1. I add one jalapeno - with seeds - for just a touch of heat, but you might want to add two (or more) if you really want some fire.
  2. I rub bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper, then bake them at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until a fork inserts easily into the meat and the juices run clear. Then I remove the meat from the bone, discard the skin, and chop.

Adapted from Simply Recipes and the Beyond Parsley cookbook

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9 Responses to “Vegetarian White Chili with Optional Chicken”

  1. Heidi @ Food Doodles posted on May 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    This looks fantastic! I’ve actually never tried a white chili before, but it looks so good.

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  8. Charity posted on April 30, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Made this last night. So freaking good! I ran out of cumin so I subbed in some smoked paprkia and chipotle powder. I also added 1/2 bag of frozen spinach at the end to up the health factor.

    For the chicken, I cooked up some chicken thighs in the oven and then threw them in the KitchenAid mixer to shred them while still warm (love that trick!) and then added to the chili. Thanks for the recipe…will totally make again!!

    • Karen Troughton replied on May 2nd, 2014 on 5:02 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! What a great idea for shredding the chicken. And the spinach, too! I’m totally trying that. :)

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