Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe (with vegan option) (2024)

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Creamy Vegetarian White Chili recipe that is cozy and filling (with vegan option). Ideal for healthy weeknight meals or chilly afternoons.

Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe (with vegan option) (1)

First post of 2017 – woot woot! How are you all feeling? Refreshed? Excited? Or overwhelmed at the thought of all the things you put off at the end of 2016? I’m honestly feeling a little bit of all three. Instead of getting a head start on my taxes and working ahead on freelance projects, I’ve been spending most of my free time researching what to do / eat / see on our west coast trip next month.

I’m headed out to the west for a weekend blog retreat but it seemed silly to fly so far just for two days so Wyatt is going to meet me out there for a week of adventuring afterwards. We’ll be traveling down the coast, starting in SF, making our way through Big Sur, and then eventually ending up in LA. Knowing I want to see the ocean, cliffs, and Redwoods is the easy part – trying to figure out how to cram everything into 48 hours in LA / SF has been the trickier part…

I’m what you would call a bit of an over-planner (and really love it) so I have an Evernote going of our trip that is broken up into 4 hours segments (yup – I’m crazy, I know). Is it too crazy to plan 3 breakfasts in one day? Because the brunch scene in SF seems pretty insane according to Pinterest. Also, got any suggestions for us? Where are the best vegetarian places to eat in SF and LA? Please let me know because I don’t want to miss ANYTHING!

Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe (with vegan option) (2)
Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe (with vegan option) (3)
Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe (with vegan option) (4)

Okay, now back to why you came here – this Creamy Vegetarian White Chili! One of my 2017 goals is to share more vegetarian main recipes with you all and this chili fits the bill. I make this vegetarian chili recipe often in the winter and was honestly starting to fill a bit burnt out on it. Then, the other week, I came across this chicken white chili recipe and just knew I had to develop a veg version. Honestly, I didn’t even know ‘white chili’ was a thing until I saw this recipe! All the amazing flavor and spices of chili + creaminess? Sign me up! And you know what? It didn’t disappoint. Loaded with tons of nutrient-rich veggies, protein-packed beans, and flavorful spices, I can already tell this is going to become a regular in our house.

Love the sound of this but want to make it vegan? Swap in your favorite non-flavored dairy-free milk for the whole milk in the recipe. Also, feel free to add as many or as little toppings as you’d like. I personally prefer lots of texture and variety in my bowl but it would also be delicious if you wanted to keep it simple with just a little cilantro and pepper. Lastly, if you have the time, don’t forget to make it with a side of cornbread or a veggie bread loaf!

Creamy Vegetarian White Chili recipe below:

Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe (with vegan option) (5)

Creamy Vegetarian White Chili

Creamy Vegetarian White Chili recipe that is cozy and filling (with vegan option). Ideal for healthy weeknight meals or chilly afternoons. /// Adapted from Gimme Some Oven and The Food Network



Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 235 kcal

Author: Shelly Westerhausen


  • 1Tbspolive oil
  • 1white onion, diced
  • 1green bell pepper, diced small
  • 1jalapeno, diced
  • 3garlic cloves, minced
  • 1Tbspcumin
  • 1/4cupall-purpose flour
  • 4cupslow-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 15-ouncecans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 4-ouncecan chopped green chilies
  • 3/4cupfrozen corn
  • 2cupswarmed whole milk(use non-dairy if wanting to make the recipe vegan)
  • Salt / Pepper, to taste
  • Lime juice, to taste
  • garnish options: cilantro, avocado, tortilla chips, pickled jalapenos, radish slices, hot sauce


  1. Heat olive oil over medium in a large stock pot.

  2. Add onion, pepper, and jalapeno and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and onions translucent.

  3. Add garlic and cumin and saute for another 30 seconds.

  4. Next, add flour and toss until the vegetables are coated. Slowly add in vegetable stock, while stirring, and then add in beans, green chilies, and corn.

  5. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer for 15 minutes.

  6. Stir in warm milk and let simmer for another 2 minutes.

  7. Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Divide between serving bowls and garnish before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Creamy Vegetarian White Chili

Amount Per Serving

Calories 235Calories from Fat 45

% Daily Value*

Fat 5g8%

Saturated Fat 2g13%

Cholesterol 8mg3%

Sodium 667mg29%

Potassium 585mg17%

Carbohydrates 36g12%

Fiber 7g29%

Sugar 6g7%

Protein 11g22%

Vitamin A 575IU12%

Vitamin C 23.1mg28%

Calcium 168mg17%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe (with vegan option) (7)

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Creamy Healthy Vegetarian White Chili Recipe (with vegan option) (2024)


How do you thicken white bean chili? ›

Use All-Purpose Flour or Cornstarch

"Transfer some warm liquid [from the chili] to a separate bowl. Whisk in the flour or cornstarch, then slowly stir it back in the pot," advises Wofford. Bring the mixture back to a boil, which will "activate" the ingredient, instantly thickening the dish.

What is the difference between chili and white chili? ›

Regular chili has a rich base of red chilies (or chili powder) and sometimes tomato, while white chili calls for green chilies. We use canned Hatch green chilies, white beans, and tender shredded chicken to make our white chili recipe. It tastes quite different from red chili but is just as delicious!

Is vegetarian chili good for you? ›

Health benefits

As a Dietitian, I love a one bowl meal that has complex carbs, protein, plenty of veggies, and healthy fat all in one. This chili is packed with plant protein and filling fiber from beans and veggies, making it crazy hearty. Regular consumption of beans can help lower cardiovascular risk.

Should chili be thick or soupy? ›

Traditionally, we expect a robust, spicy base, meat and/or beans, perhaps some bonus veggies, and a thick, rich consistency. Unlike soups, which are brothy, or even bisques, which are creamy yet thinner, chili is meant to be more stew-like; it's a definite stick-to-your-ribs creation.

What is the healthiest way to thicken chili? ›

6. Add oats: If you don't have any leftover vegetables or beans, use quick oats to thicken your chili. Adding oats to your chili is also a healthy alternative to cornstarch and all-purpose flour.

What is the best ingredient to thicken chili? ›


A long-standing thickening agent for soups, stews, sauces, and chili! It gets the job done quickly without altering the flavor. How to do it: mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2-3 tablespoons cold water and add it to the chili. Stir thoroughly and simmer for 10 minutes.

Which chili is the healthiest? ›

Best: Pacific Foods Plant-Based Fire Roasted Vegetable Chili

This is because the vegetarian ingredients pack loads of fiber and still meet our minimum protein recommendations. Although this option falls a little short at 8 grams of fiber per cup, eating a full can will fill you up with 15 grams and only 360 calories.

Why do you put white vinegar in chili? ›

Stirred into the pot right before serving, a spoonful of vinegar brightens up the finished product, and gives it that full, rounded taste that was missing. Even if the chili recipe you're using doesn't call for vinegar, go ahead and add it anyway. You won't actually taste the tang or sharp flavor of the vinegar.

What can I add to chili to make it healthier? ›

Stir in Some Beans

Instead, use beans in your healthy chili to add fiber and stretch your dish healthfully and inexpensively. You can use one type of beans, such as kidney beans or black beans, or mix several types for a variety.

What are the healthiest beans for chili? ›

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are commonly used in popular recipes like chili and rice dishes. These slightly sweet, soft beans are loaded with nutrients such as fiber, folate, protein, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

Is vegetarian chili high in cholesterol? ›

Because strict vegetarian meals don't contain animal foods, they're cholesterol-free.

What liquid to add to chili? ›

Chili cooks low and slow, so you need enough liquid to tenderize the meat and keep everything from drying out. That liquid should also add flavor to the chili, so use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or beer.

What adds depth of flavor to chili? ›

Instead of adding water to your chili, add some more flavor with chicken or beef broth, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or even beet or wine. Each one of these options brings out different notes and levels of sweetness that will enhance your culinary creation.

Why do you put cornmeal in chili? ›

Cornmeal does an excellent job of absorbing extra liquids so adding a tablespoon of it to the chili will thicken the final dish. Mix 2 parts of cold water and 1 part of cornmeal, make it a slurry, and add this to the pot. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes after you add the slurry.

What to do if my chili is too watery? ›

If your chili is too watery, there are a few steps you can take to thicken it: Simmer Longer: Continue cooking the chili uncovered over low heat to allow excess liquid to evaporate. Add Thickeners: Mix a small amount of cornstarch or flour with cold water and add it to the chili. Cook while stirring until it thickens.

How do you thicken white bean paste? ›

Transfer the bean paste to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to stir occasionally to avoid browning the bean paste. Your goal is to evaporate enough water to thicken the paste.

How do you thicken white beans without cornstarch? ›

Yes, you can use flour to thicken bean soup. Start by making a slurry with flour and cold water, then add it to the soup and stir well. Allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes to cook out any raw flour taste.

Does cornstarch or flour thicken chili? ›

Cornstarch isn't the only way to thicken chili. You can also use flour, cornmeal, or masa harina as a cornstarch substitute.


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