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?
Vegetarian White Chili with Optional Chicken
- 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)
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, until soft.
- Stir in the garlic, cumin, oregano, cloves, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook for another minute.
- 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.
- Add the jalapeno pepper.
- 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.
- Simmer both versions for another 30 minutes uncovered.
- Serve with assorted toppings.
- 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.
- 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.