Welcome, my friends, to the easiest white bean chili recipe you’ll ever lay your spoon on! Is it authentic? Definitely not. I mean, it has chickpeas in it – enough said. Is it absolutely utterly fantastically delicious? Yes yes yes.
I consider this to be a perfect pantry recipe – as in, you’re likely to have everything you need for this one right in your pantry. Canned beans and canned green chiles; a box of veggie broth (or some homemade goodness tucked away in your freezer). A few spices, an onion, some garlic, a lime, some goodies for topping if you like. Done!
I designed this recipe to maximize the flavor in the least amount of time (without an Instant Pot or the like – this one just uses the good old stovetop).
The dried oregano cooks up with the onion to bring out its earthy nuances; the cumin’s sautéed along with the garlic to help release its fragrant oils. Vegetable broth is always good for a bit of added complexity, and the hit of acidic lime at the end of the process is all this chili needs.
Well, and a bit of a mash-up too. In order to thicken this chili without simmering it for an hour, I take a masher to it and smash up a few of the beans. Then give it a stir, and voila. Gloriously thick and tasty white bean chili.
Sometimes I like to trash this one up with toppings (avocado, cashew sour cream, chopped onions, cilantro, a good glug of green Tabasco) … but it really doesn’t need the accoutrement.
20-Minute Vegetarian White Bean Chili
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion (diced) (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- 3 medium cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth*
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground (cayenne red pepper) (use less for less heat)
- Juice of 1 medium lime
Topping ideas (optional):
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges to squeeze over the top
- Sliced scallions
- Diced onions
- Grated cheese or vegan cheese
- Diced avocado
- Sour cream or cashew sour cream
- A dash or two of Green Tabasco
- Set a medium-to-large pot over low heat. Add the olive oil, onion, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, for another minute.
- Add the broth, beans, chiles, cloves, and cayenne. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-5 more minutes until thickened a tiny bit.
- Remove from heat. Run a potato masher or fork through 5-6 times just to smash a few of the beans and help thicken it all up. Squeeze the lime over the top and stir. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve with assorted toppings if desired. I'm partial to this vegan cashew sour cream - yum!
What makes this vegetarian, and not vegan, other than the toppings which are optional
It is both vegetarian and vegan – I just identified it as “vegetarian” because way more people search for that term over vegan. 🙂
Excellent chili! I have never been a fan of red chili so between this and my fave go-to Pumpkin Black Bean Chili, I’m set!!! Thanks, Kare !!!!
This recipe looks great and I plan to try it in the near future. I just might sub some Hatch green chili salsa for the Ortegas (because that’s what I have in the pantry), a LOT more garlic (to give it some distinction!) and a couple of diced jalapenos (because I have them in the fridge). I hope it comes out as well as I think it will! Thanks for the recipe. Perhaps a variant in the future could be some added roasted butternut squash. I tried that with a red black bean chili on Super Bowl Sunday and it was a hit…
Twenty minutes ? Vegetarian ? Chili ? keeper it is ! Thank you !
Thanks Kare, I love this version of white bean chilli. It’s simply nice, simple to make and it’s mild on chillies! xxx
So glad you liked it! 🙂
Do you have a recipe for Split Pea Soup
I do! 🙂 https://www.kitchentreaty.com/crock-pot-vegetarian-split-pea-cauliflower-soup-with-optional-ham-add-in/
This was so easy and so amazing! I made it for a chili cook off and everyone loved it… it’s so versatile… I think I’ll add a can of hominy the next time! I served toppings of lime, cilantro, sour cream and fresh avocado chunks.
Oooh I love that you entered this in a chili cook off! Thanks so much for your awesome review.
Just made this recipe and it was fantastic! Adding fresh cilantro at the end was perfect. Thanks so much!
I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks Samantha!
Have tried MANY vegetarian chilis. This really was delicious and made my meat people happy, which is saying something. I served with no accoutrement but next time I’ll chop up some cilantro just for a little zap of color.
So glad this one was such a hit! Thank you so much for your review.
Can this be made in an instant pot? Do you have a note on that?
So my new years resolution was to learn how to cook. This is my first white chili recipe! I forgot the capers and had to use chicken broth. I also added mushrooms and diced jalepeños! Topped it with green and red onions. We loved it!! Thank you so much for this easy and cheap recipe!
Love those changes – sounds delicious!
This recipe was OK. It didn’t taste much like chili to me and it lacked the punch of flavor I expect from chili.
I just finished making and eating this. I have never had a “white bean chili” before – and never had a “chili” that did not have chili powder in it. Anyway, this was quite good! I think I will bring this to our next Friday night (vegetarian) soup supper at church. Thanks for a great recipe, and God bless you!
So glad you liked it! Thanks so much!
I love, love, love this recipe! It’s quick and easy, and delicious!!! It satisfies the chili hunger without the meat. I have been cooking for my vegetarian husband for over 32 years! I am always on the search for delicious vegetarian recipes that even non-vegetarians can truly enjoy!!! This recipe can be inhansed with toppings to suit almost anyone’s taste!!
Thank you from the bottom of my BOWL!!!😋
Loved this! I’m vegan and my mom is allergic to tomatoes. We had a neighborhood chili cook off and neither of us had many options so it inspired a search! I added some roasted corn (from the freezer section at Trader Joe’s) and served with their “Fritos like” corn chips. It was delicious!
I have made this recipe a few times now, and it is one of my favorites. I thought the addition of clove was an interesting ingredient, and I think it really makes it.
I only make two changes: First, I misread the Olive Oil amount and used 2 Tbs. instead of 2 tsp. I love the extra Olive Oil, so I keep it this way. Second, I use Better Than Bouillon NO-Chicken (vegetarian chicken bouillon). I like the “chicken” flavored broth.
Thanks for a great recipe. My wife and I highly recommend it!
Super delicious and flavorful chili! I look forward to trying this quick meal again!!
I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks so much for coming back and giving it a review. 🙂
Fantastic easy recipe. Very tasty.
I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks so much for the review. 🙂
This chili was a hit and the lime really sets off all the flavors while adding a subtle aromatic smell and light feel. This was my first time using this recipe but I added some red, yellow and orange peppers that needed to be used and it complimented the recipe wonderfully. I will add some spring mix into this next time – but this is a very versatile, tasty , easy and quick recipe.
The pepper addition sounds lovely! I’m so glad this one was a winner for you. Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review!
Wow, this was simple and good. So many spices! My kitchen smelled amazing. It is also delicious and filling. The green chilies build for me, but my significant other slammed it. I agree that the avocado is a great topping. I also added sour cream, he just wanted cheese. We will definitely try it with cilantro next time.
I’m so glad this was a hit! Thanks so much for the comment. I definitely think the avo is a must! 🙂
Loved this! I meal prepped a batch for a week of work lunches, and it honestly tasted better every day. The only topping I had on hand was avocado, which is a must – such a creamy, delicious addition. Thanks for an easy and healthy recipe!
Woo hoo! So glad you liked this one! Thanks, Audrey!
I can’t wait to try this! My husband and I have been trying to eat vegetarian for the past month or so, and I’m akways looking for new practical vegetarian meals. This looks like a winner!
I hope this was a hit for you two!
it’s another recipe winner. Thanks! Stores of dry beans (hooray for Instant Pot for help with that and for homemade stock too), a can of white kidneys and spice cupboard staples gave us a lovely meal last night. 🙂 Wish I’d had that avocado to top with (sniffle), but sour cream, cilantro and minced red onion were still smashing as toppings. Brilliant “what’s in our fridge/pantry” veg meal during these crazy COVID-19 days. Cheers, Kare
Hey Kare! This was wonderful! We only added a pinch of cloves just because we are sensitive to the taste but this was a real winner with my husband, no chicken required!! We served with avocado and red onion and had some vegan corn bread on the side and a nice fruit salad and it was just perfect! Thank you so much!
Hi Jessie! I’m so glad this was a hit for you guys! Thank you so much for the review.
So good! I added a can of hominy and served with cornbread and fruit! Absolutely delicious dinner!
Yum! I’m going to try this with hominy next time – great idea!
Great recipe, loved it!
I’m so glad it was a hit for you! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review.
I loved this recipe! It was so good! I served it with cornbread and sour cream. Thank you for such a delicious recipe and quick too!
I’m so glad you liked it!
This was so easy and delicious! My kids (1 vegetarian) liked it too!
So yummy! Affordable and healthy too. Thanks for sharing this recipe. 😊
Delicious!!! I made this tonight & loved it! 😁
So the only reason this got a 3 is because the first time I made it, it was amazing! However, I didn’t add cloves or green chili’s because I didn’t have them, so I used some diced tomatoes with green chili’s instead. I was so excited to make it again true to the recipe but to my dismay, it was almost inedible. The cloves totally over powered everything and the green chili’s didn’t do much for me. I will make this again but the same way I tweaked it the first time. It is a good fast filling meal and will become a regular.
This is the easiest most delicious recipe. I make it often and freeze half in individual containers for quick lunches. The heat from the jalapenos is my favorite part.
10/10!!! Had to use cinnamon because I didn’t have cloves and it was still great! Used a little less though…yum!!!
Made a double batch of this last night for a few friends and it was a hit! A few modifications that might help others: (1) grocery was out of navy beans so I subbed a can of white chili beans in mild sauce (2) cooked in instantpot, sautéed veggies in the pot per the directions, then once you add broth/beans, I put the lid on and cooked for 5 minutes on manual. (3) I used the potato masher but that didn’t thicken it enough for my liking so I took some of the liquid out, mixed with cornstarch and added back in until it was the thickness I liked.
Seriously delish recipe!
Taste great! I can’t wait to try this again with chicken or pheasant
I made this last night! Pretty effin tasty! Thank you for sharing. ♥