Creamy, healthy White Bean Chili with green chiles and corn is a hearty vegetarian version of the classic, packed with flavor and plant protein! An easy one-pot-meal perfect for chilly nights.
My soul needed this chili like you wouldn't believe! Like my Sweet Potato Chili, it's a hug in a bowl with mega flavor that makes the coziest meal on chilly days. Serve with my fave Skillet Cornbread if you're feelin' fancy pants.
My friend's mom growing up made a mean white chicken chili. It reminds me of high school football and low-rise jeans and getting my first flip phone and ya know, the glory days!
How to make white bean chili
This soup yields four good-sized bowls of soup. If you're feeding a crowd, you can easily double it!
- First, we blend a can of beans with a cup of broth to thicken the chili.
- Then sauté onion in oil for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1 minute. Add spices and cook for 1 minute. Add corn, chiles, remaining beans, broth, and the blended beans.
- Bring chili to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
- Stir in cilantro, yogurt and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy with all your favorite chili toppings!
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Onion: The aromatic flavor foundation of our chili! Yellow or white onion works.
- Garlic: I like lots of garlic. You can use more or less depending on your preferences.
- White beans: I use Great Northern beans, but cannelini also work. You could also swap in one can of chickpeas.
- Green chiles: Canned fire-roasted green chiles are a must here. They add so much flavor to white chili! We're not draining them since the liquid is packed with spices.
- Spices: We're using oregano, coriander (dried cilantro, which is also my secret weapon for the best guacamole), and cumin to spice up our chili. If you want more heat, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Broth: Using a rich, flavorful liquid makes a huge difference in whether your chili is delish or not. Chicken or vegetable broth work great. Better Than Bouillon base is my favorite because I can whip up broth whenever I need it and it's much more affordable than cartons of broth.
- Plain Greek yogurt: For richness and creaminess. The higher in fat it is, the better the texture will be. I use whole milk Greek yogurt. You could also use sour cream or 4oz cream cheese.
- Cilantro: Much needed herby goodness to bring everything to life.
- Lime: A bright acidic touch that balances all the flavors.
Can I make it vegan?
Yes! To make vegan white bean chili, simply use 4oz dairy-free cream cheese instead of yogurt. I wouldn't recommend vegan yogurt here as they're usually thin.
Serve with my Vegan Skillet Cornbread!
Can I make it in the Instant Pot or slow cooker?
Yes! Both methods work great.
- Follow step 1 of the recipe. Add oil to Instant Pot and press SAUTE. Once hot, add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add cumin, coriander and oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add corn, chiles, remaining 2 cans of beans, remaining 2 cups broth, and the blended bean mixture.
- Cover and seal Instant Pot. Press manual, and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release any remaining steam. Remove the lid and turn the machine off. Proceed with step 4 of the recipe.
Don't miss my Slow Cooker Curried Butternut Chili, too!
- Follow step 1 of the recipe.
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker except lime juice, cilantro and yogurt. Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Proceed with step 4 of the recipe.
What makes this healthy?
As a dietitian, I go nuts for chili every fall not only because it's a delish and filling hug in a bowl, but also because it's packed with fiber for gut health and is an easy way to get a few servings of vitamin-rich veggies. Talk about a wholesome dinner idea!
Chili is a stellar canvas for heart-healthy toppings like avocado and cilantro, too. Winning!
My favorite way to enjoy this chili is with:
- crushed tortilla chips
- shredded white or regular cheddar cheese
- fluffy cornbread muffins
- jalapeño slices for texture and heat
- extra cilantro
Soup season forever and ever!!Print
Creamy, healthy White Bean Chili is a hearty vegetarian version of the classic, packed with flavor and plant protein! An easy one-pot-meal perfect for chilly nights. Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, and/or avocado. This chili is mild; for more heat, you can add a seeded diced jalapeño or ¼ tsp cayenne pepper.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 cups corn (I used frozen)
- 2 (4oz) cans mild green chilis (or try one hot!), not drained
- 3 (15oz) can Great Northern or cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups vegetable broth (I use 3 cups water + 3 tsp Better than Bouillon)
- heaping ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (whole milk/full fat is best)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place 1 can of drained and rinsed beans in a blender. Add 1 cup of broth and blend until mostly smooth. (You can also mash with a potato masher and do this in a bowl if you don't have a blender.) This helps thicken the chili. Set aside.
- Warm oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add cumin, coriander and oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add corn, chiles, remaining 2 cans of beans, remaining 2 cups broth, and the blended bean mixture.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
- Stir in cilantro, yogurt and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I added ½ tsp salt) and enjoy topped with tortilla chips, cheese, and/or avocado!