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!