Vegan white chili is a great alternative to traditional-style chili and full of flavor thanks to fresh jalapeno, diced green chiles, onion, corn, and spices. It's creamy, satisfying, high in protein, gluten-free, and ready in 45 minutes! Recipe includes stovetop and Instant Pot instructions.
Why We Love It
This vegan white chili is extra hearty, satisfying, and rich in protein thanks to the addition of soy curls or TVP (textured vegetable protein).
Another thing we love about this recipe is the flavor added by the green chiles and jalapeño. The level of spicy heat is easily adjusted by including the seeds from the jalapeños.
You can also add a few dashes of cayenne pepper for extra kick!
Here's more good news: this recipe is actually pretty easy to prepare! Just chop and sauté a few veggies, then toss everything else in the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Vegan white chili can also be made in the Instant Pot. I've included instructions for both cooking methods in the recipe below.
The ingredient list may look long at first glance, but don't worry. About half of the items are spices and seasonings. Here's what you'll need:
See the recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
From the produce section:
- onions - white or yellow
- bell pepper - green peppers are traditional to white chili, but feel free to use another color if you like.
Packaged foods & spices:
- vegetable broth
- white beans - I used 1 can cannellini and 1 can great northern beans. Chickpeas are also delicious in white chili.
- corn - canned or frozen
- canned green chiles
- poultry seasoning - this is just a blend of herbs like thyme and sage
- cumin, chili powder, and oregano
- mushroom powder, optional - adds umami; I used Trader Joe's umami blend; these days there are tons of options in stores and online.
- liquid smoke, optional
- TVP (check the bulk bins) or soy curls (order online)
- raw cashews, optional - adds body and creaminess to the chili; see substitutions below
How to Make Vegan White Chili
Whether you're cooking the chili in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop, the process begins with a basic saute...
- Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the bell pepper and garlic, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Next, add the jalapeños and spices, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the broth, green chiles, TVP or soy curls, corn, beans, salt and pepper.
- If cooking in the Instant Pot, just give everything a stir, lock on the lid, and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Then carefully quick release the pressure.
For the stovetop method, bring the soup to a simmer, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the chili is cooking, blend the cheesy cashew milk. When the chili is done, stir in the cashew milk, then let stand for 10 minutes.
How to Thicken Vegan White Chili
There are many ways to add creaminess to soups and chilis without using dairy. For this recipe I decided to go with homemade cashew milk. If you need a nut-free option, I've included a few ideas below and in the Notes section of the recipe.
To make the cheesy cashew milk:
Blend raw cashews and water, then season with salt, nutritional yeast, and lime juice (or rice vinegar) for tang.
Tip: If you don't have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, you'll first need to soak the cashews in hot water for about 1 hour.
Cashews make the chili nice and creamy. This also adds a small amount of fat, which makes it more filling, and acts as a substitute for cream cheese, which is usually added to traditional white chili recipes.
If you're allergic to cashews or simply prefer not to use them, there are several other options.
Coconut Milk - replace the cashew mixture with 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk (the canned variety, not refrigerated).
Arrowroot - another option is to whisk 2 tablespoons of arrowroot starch into 1 cup of plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk. Heat briefly on the stovetop until thickened, then whisk it into the finished chili. Adjust salt and lime juice, as desired.
Flour - you can also thicken the soup by combining ¼ cup all-purpose flour with plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk. Whisk this into the pot just before adding the broth. The flour will thicken the soup as it simmers.
RELATED: if you enjoy Instant Pot soup recipes, don't miss this Lentil Cabbage Soup.
Just like any other soup or chili, the flavor of white chili gets even better overnight. So it's perfect for meal prep! Store chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
White bean chili can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Just make sure the chili is completely cool before transferring to a freezer-safe container. And don't fill the container too full.
Thaw the chili overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in a microwave.
You might like:
- White Chili Skillet Casserole
- Vegan Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
- Oil-Free Cornbread
- Seriously the Best Lentil Chili!
- Vegan Chili Mac
- Spicy Vegan Chorizo Potato Soup
- Best Vegan Taco Meat
I hope you enjoy this vegan white chili as much as we do. If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and let us know!
Vegan White Chili
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, optional - Omit or sub broth for oil-free.
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large jalapenos, stems and seeds removed, diced - Or keep some of the seeds for extra heat!
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon mushroom powder blend, such as Trader Joe's umami seasoning - Or sub powdered dried mushroom + a pinch of salt.
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
- 1 ⅓ cups TVP (textured vegetable protein) or 2 cups crumbled soy curls - Use your hands to break soy curls into smaller pieces.
- 2 (15 oz) cans white beans, such as cannellini or great northern, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups corn kernels, thawed if using frozen
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- black pepper
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
Cheesy cashew cream:
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup raw cashews or ¼ cup raw cashew butter - See Step 1.
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons lime juice or rice vinegar
- fresh lime juice
- diced avocado
- pico de gallo
- First, if not using a high-speed blender, soak the cashews in very hot water for about 1 hour. Drain and set aside until ready to make the cashew cream. Alternatively, use cashew butter to make the milk.
Instant Pot Instructions:
- In a 6 quart or larger Instant Pot, add the oil, if using, to the insert and turn on the saute function. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the bell pepper and garlic. Stirring frequently, cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, mushroom powder, poultry seasoning, and oregano. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the vegetable broth, green chiles, TVP or soy curls, beans, corn, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, then lock on the Instant Pot lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
- While the chili cooks, make the cashew cream. Combine water and cashews in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Add nutritional yeast, if using, salt, and lime or vinegar. Blend again to combine.
- When the Instant Pot beeps and the 4 minutes at high pressure are complete, carefully quick release the pressure, and remove the lid. Stir the cashew cream into the chili. Let rest for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings adding lime juice, salt and pepper, and/or liquid smoke, if desired. The chili will thicken as it sits.
- Preheat a stock pot over medium heat. Add oil, if using, and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
- Add the bell pepper and garlic and, stirring frequently, cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, mushroom powder, poultry seasoning, and oregano. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the vegetable broth, green chiles, TVP or soy curls, beans, corn, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes to soften the vegetables and allow the flavors to mingle.
- While the chili simmers, make the cashew cream by combining water and cashews in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Add nutritional yeast, if using, salt, and lime or vinegar. Blend again to combine.
- Stir the cashew cream into the chili. Taste and adjust seasonings adding lime juice, salt and pepper, and/or liquid smoke, if desired. Let rest for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chili will thicken as it sits.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.