20-Minute Vegetarian White Bean Chili
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
I’m always surprised by how complex this tastes considering it only takes 20 minutes! Three kinds of beans add interest to this simple (and fast) vegetarian/vegan white bean chili recipe. A weeknight go-to around here!
- 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 (if not vegan)
- 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!
You can use any mix of beans – for instance, if you only have 3 cans of cannellini beans, go for it! It’ll still be great.
* I like low-sodium vegetable broth because it allows me to control the saltiness of the final product.
Stir in cooked, shredded chicken to the meat-eaters’ portions.
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