Vegan white bean chili

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Are you looking for a white bean chili recipe that is vegan friendly? Then check out this recipe for vegan white bean chili! This white bean chili is made with creamy coconut milk, white beans, and a mixture of fresh and canned vegetables.

This recipe for white bean chili uses coconut milk in place of dairy products so it is dairy free and vegan friendly. In addition to being vegan and dairy free, this white bean chili is vegetarian, egg free, nut free, and gluten free. 

A bowl ov vegan white bean chili. The white chili has beans, peppers, and corn in it. There is cheese, avocado, and green onions on the top of the chili.

What is in vegan white bean chili?

What is in vegan white bean chili? Here are all the ingredients you need to make vegan white bean chili?

  • White beans. Unsurprisingly, this vegan white bean chili is made with lots of white beans! We recommend using one can of navy beans and one can of cannellini beans for this recipe. This will provide some nice variety in texture. The navy beans will remain firm, while the cannellini beans will soften and become more tender.
  • Vegetable broth. You will need a vegan-friendly vegetable broth to make this white bean chili. If you are looking for bullion cubes that are gluten free and vegan friendly then we recommend Edward & Sons Not Chik’n bouillon cubes. They taste just like chicken!
  • Coconut milk. Some coconut milk is added to make this white bean chili nice and creamy. We recommend ordering cans of coconut milk in bulk if you regularly make vegan or dairy free dishes. It is generally cheaper than buying individual cans at the store.
  • Tomatillos. Tomatillos are used in this white bean chili. The tomatillos should be removed from their husks and roasted before they are added to the white bean chili. Roasting the tomatillos mellows out their natural tartness. 
  • Poblano. Poblano peppers are roasted alongside the tomatillos then cut up and added to the white bean chili.
  • Corn. Some corn is added to give the chili a little more volume. We recommend using frozen corn so that you do not have to cook the corn prior to adding it to the chili. This makes the whole process much easier!
  • Onion, celery, and garlic. Onion, celery, and garlic are added to the chili to give it even more flavor. The onion, celery, and garlic are minced into small pieces then sautéed before being added to the chili.
  • Pickled jalapeños. A small can of pickled jalapeños is added to this vegan white bean chili to give it a little extra spice. You should drain the jalapeños prior to adding them to the chili. If you add all of the liquid from the jalapeno can, it might make the chili too acidic. If your chili is tasting a little too acidic, try adding a pinch of baking soda to the chili. 
  • Onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, & cumin. The main spices used in this vegan white bean chili are onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and cumin. If you are looking for spices that are certified gluten free, we recommend using Spicely Organics or Morton & Bassett spices.
  • Salt & pepper. Finally, some salt and pepper is added to enhance the other flavors in the chili.
Roasted tomatillos and poblano peppers on a baking sheet. The tomatillos have been lightly charred to make vegan white bean chili.

How to make vegan white bean chili

How do you make vegan white bean chili? Here are all the steps you need to take in order to make vegan white bean chili.

  • Roast the poblanos & tomatillos. The first step in making vegan white bean chili is roasting the tomatillos and the poblanos under the broiler. The tomatillos should be removed from their husks and cleaned before being roasted.
  • Chop the vegetables. After the tomatillos and poblanos are roasted, it is time to chop the vegetables. The onion, celery, and garlic all need to be minced into small pieces. The poblanos and tomatillos should also be roughly chopped after they are cool enough to handle.
  • Sauté the vegetables. Next it is time to sauté the onion, celery, and garlic. The onion will need to be cooked for the longest amount of time, followed by the celery then the garlic. We recommend sautéing the veggies in a large pot or dutch oven so that you can simmer the chili in the same pot. We use this dutch oven by Cuisinart and it is a great option considering the price point. If you are looking for the best dutch oven that money can buy then Le Creuset is where it’s at.
  • Combine the ingredients. After the veggies are done cooking, it is time to combine all of the ingredients. Add all of the ingredients other than the cornstarch to the pot with the veggies.
  • Simmer the chili. Simmer the chili over medium low heat so that all of the flavors combine and the beans soften.
  • Add cornstarch. When you are almost done cooking the chili, it is time to add the cornstarch. The cornstarch should be mixed with equal parts cold water before it is added to the chili.

How to serve vegan white bean chili

Are you looking for ideas regarding how to serve this vegan white bean chili? Here are some of our favorite ways to serve white bean chili. 

  • Topped with vegan cheese shreds. Our absolute favorite way to eat vegan white bean chili is to top it with some vegan cheese shreds when it is still hot. The hotter the chili is when you top it with the cheese shreds, the faster the cheese shreds will melt. If you do not maintain a vegan diet, you can also use regular cheese. 
  • Topped with mashed avocado. Don’t have any vegan cheese shreds? Mashed avocado is another great way to add a creamy element to this vegan white bean chili recipe. Unlike the cheese shreds, the avocado should be added to the chili after it has started to cool. 
  • Topped with tortilla strips. Adding some tortilla strips is a great way to add some variety in texture to this vegan white bean chili. If you can not find tortilla strips, you can also use tortilla chips to scoop up bites of chili. 

How to store leftover white bean chili

How do you store leftover white bean chili? Leftover white bean chili can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Leftover chili should be stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag to ensure that it does not go bad.  

How to reheat leftover white bean chili

How do you reheat leftover white bean chili? We recommend reheating this white bean chili in the microwave. You can also reheat it on the stovetop, but it will take more time and the texture and flavor will not be significantly better. Depending on the size of the bowl of chili you are reheating, the chili should be reheated for somewhere between 45 and 90 seconds on full power. 

A bowl ov vegan white bean chili. The white chili has beans, peppers, and corn in it. There is cheese, avocado, and green onions on the top of the chili.
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5 from 1 vote

Vegan white bean chili

This easy one pot recipe is gluten free, dairy free, vegan, egg free, and nut free.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 can navy beans (15 oz can)
  • 1 can cannellini beans (15 oz can)
  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz can)
  • 2 cup veggie broth
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • vegetable oil
  • salt (to taste)

Fruits & vegetables

  • 4 tomatillos
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 small can pickled jalapenos (6 – 7 oz can)

Spices

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Instructions

  • Remove the husks from the tomatillos and clean under the husks. Broil the tomatillos and poblanos on high until the skin starts to char. This should take around 5 minutes.
  • Cut the celery, onion, and garlic into small pieces.
  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat then add vegetable oil. Sauté the onions over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the celery and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
    You should cook the vegetables in the same pot you plan to simmer the chili in. No need to dirty any extra dishes!
  • Roughly chop the poblanos and roasted tomatillos.
  • Add all other ingredients other than cornstarch and the salt to the pot you used to sauté the vegetables. Simmer the chili over medium low heat for 20 minutes.
  • When the chili is almost done cooking, mix the cornstarch with equal parts cold water in a separate bowl. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the chili and stir the chili a few times.
  • Taste the chili to determine whether it needs more salt. If the chili tastes bland and the favors all blend together, that is a sign that the chili could use a little more salt to enhance the other flavors.
    The exact amount you need will vary based on the salt content of the beans and vegetable broth you use. We recommend adding 1 – 2 pinches of salt at a time then tasting the soup.

Substitutions for vegan white bean chili

  • Coconut milk. If you do not have coconut milk, you can use another plant based milk in place of the coconut milk. We recommend using a plant-based milk with a relatively high fat content to make the chili extra creamy.
  • White beans. We recommend using one can of cannellini beans and one can of navy beans. This provides a nice contrast in texture because the cannellini beans tend to be softer than the navy beans. If you can only find one kind of white bean, then you can use two cans of the same kind of bean.
  • Pickled jalapeños. If you do not like your chili to be spicy then you can omit the pickled jalapeño. The pickled jalapeño is the main source of acidity in this chili, so you may need to add some lime juice or vinegar to the dish to cut through the creaminess if the coconut milk. We recommend adding 1/2 tsp of lime juice at a time then tasting the chili to determine whether you need more.

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