Creamy Vegetarian White Chili

In a hurry? Click here to JUMP TO RECIPE!

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

vegetarian white chili

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!

vegetarian white chilivegetarian white chilivegetarian white chili

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:

vegetarian white chili

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
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 235 kcal
Author: Shelly Westerhausen
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion , diced
  • 1 green bell pepper , diced small
  • 1 jalapeno , diced
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 15- ounce cans Great Northern beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 4- ounce can chopped green chilies
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups warmed 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.


vegetarian white chili


Shelly is the creator of Vegetarian Ventures. She is also the Creative Director of Driftless Magazine and likes to wear wolf shirts, drink peppermint tea, and dance to Stevie Nicks.



  1. Reply

    Karl Cooks

    January 4, 2017

    This looks so warming and beautiful <3

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      Aw thanks, Karlie!

  2. Reply


    January 4, 2017

    I’ve lived in SF & currently living in LA. Two great cities to be a vegetarian in. I would definitely recommend Gracias Madre for phenomenal vegan Mexican cuisine. There is a location in SF’s mission district and in LA’s West Hollywood.

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      Thanks, Kristin! I think I might hit it up in West Hollywood because I’ve received a ton of recs for SF but not many for LA which I’m of kind surprised by.

      • Reply


        January 27, 2017

        There’s also a really cute vegan place called Elderberries on Sunset. Crossroads has great veg options and if you’re looking for something sweet- pomegranite is SO good.

  3. Reply


    January 4, 2017

    In San Francisco, Ike’s Cafe is great for sandwiches and Gracias Madre is great for Mexican food! Do you mind sharing where you got that beautiful bowl from?

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      Thanks for the recs, Lisa! I’ve had a few mention Gracias Madres so I’ll definitely be going there. And of course on the bowl – it was a holiday splurge to myself from Herriot Grace (I’d buy the entire store if my wallet could handle it!):

  4. Reply

    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

    January 4, 2017

    I think three brunches a day sounds perfectly reasonable given the circumstances. Lol. Beautiful variation of white chili. Sounds (and looks) amazing!

  5. Reply


    January 4, 2017

    It looks so satisfying and comforting!
    By the way, for Sf I have a few recommendations here ^_^
    Have a wonderful trip!

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      oh my and it’s a VEGAN guide! Yes yes yes – can’t wait to dig in! Thank you!

      • Reply


        January 6, 2017

        You’re more than welcome!! Unfortunately the weather is going to be quite bad 🙁

  6. Reply

    Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    January 4, 2017

    A white chili! Yum.

    I used to live in SF! I really recommend Al’s Place; it’s not entirely vegetarian, but the menu is pretty vegetable focused and just really incredible. Plus, a lot of the taquerias in the Mission have vegetarian options and are pretty amazing. Hope you guys have fun! xo

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      Thanks for the recs, Michelle! Just looked up Al’s menu and it looks amazinggg! <3

  7. Reply


    January 4, 2017

    The chili looks amazing.

    Just one note, the list of ingredients is missing the flour. How much did you use?

    Thank you.

    • Reply


      January 4, 2017

      Thanks for catching, Mara! It should be 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and I have now added it to the recipe.

  8. Reply

    Grace W

    January 4, 2017

    I just made this and YUM! So warming and delicious!
    Have a great time on your trip!

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      Yay! Thanks, Grace!

  9. Reply

    Abby @ Heart of a Baker

    January 5, 2017

    I’m 100% in support of all those meals on a vacation, that’s what it’s for right?! I’ve been needing a good white chili recipe, so this looks perfect for these cold temps we’ve been having!

  10. Reply


    January 5, 2017

    Wait, white chili is a thing? This sounds so freakin’ good!! And I’m jealous of your trip to the coast coming up. I’ve been to the Oregon coast and it’s one of my favorite places on earth, but sadly I’m no help at all for California. I bet your trip is going to be wonderful, though. I trust you’ll share tons of pics when you return? 😉

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      Oh you know it! I’m planning to bring TWO cameras because I’m a crazy person. ha!

  11. Reply

    Vibrant Bean

    January 5, 2017

    This looks so yum!! Adding it to our meal planning for next week 🙂

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      Thank you, Gina! 🙂

  12. Reply

    Considering The Radish

    January 5, 2017

    Until this moment I had not heard of white chili, but it sounds delicious. And this one in particular looks amazing. I wish I had a bowl right now to hunker down with.

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      Ha I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one this was new to, Allyson. So so so good though! Very glad to have discovered it. Hope you’ve been well!

  13. Reply


    January 6, 2017

    Dosa’s for great Indian food w/lots of veg options. Yes to Gracias Madre (all veg) Although Slanted Door (Vietnamese) isn’t entirely veg they have wonderful veg options.

    • Reply


      January 6, 2017

      Thank you for these recs, Diana! Indian food is my favorrrrrrite! And yes – I’ve been getting lots of suggestions for Gracias Madre! I don’t think I’ve ever had Vietnamese either!

  14. Reply

    Nicole @ Kneading Home

    January 8, 2017

    This looks so good! I want to try it with cashew or almond milk.

  15. Reply

    Gabi Valladares

    January 24, 2017

    YUM! I grew up with my mom who’s vegetarian, so I always feel like I’m still on the lookout for veg options. This chili looks so good! And she’d be able to enjoy it with her meat-eating family 😉

  16. Reply

    Kirby Bittner

    January 25, 2017

    Your trip sounds amazing (as does the chili)- I’ve lived in California all my life and have yet to make the legendary coastal drive. But I can assure you, you’re going to love it.

    As far as LA goes, it’s nearly impossible to find a menu that doesn’t accommodate vegetarians. I moved here last year and so far my fav places have been: Sqirl Kitchen in Silverlake-ish (a total hipster haven so get ready to stand in line), Sage Vegan Bistro (buffalo cauliflower ON POINT), Trejo’s Tacos, Wusrtküsh for sausages, Mercado, Pho Cafe (bring cash), Ramen Hood, and then Crossroads does the Impossible Burger that I have yet to try.

    Have so much fun on your vacation!

  17. Reply

    Marla Jirak

    January 27, 2017

    Great chili and I added other vegetables such as zucchini carrots and celery
    . I added the zucchini as one of the last vegetables. Good tasting recipe. Thanks!

  18. Reply


    March 10, 2017

    Can this be made in a slow cooker? Maybe make as written and then just add milk before serving or would the flour mixture not fare well in a slow cooker?

  19. Reply

    Wilma Klinedinst

    March 16, 2017

    What a beautiful presentation with all the accompaniments. I love that you veganized the original recipe. I found the chili to be more soup like needing more spiciness. I plan to make it again using about half the broth and soy milk and keeping everything else the same. Definitely worth another try. 🙂

  20. Reply


    March 31, 2017

    vegetarian food is pure food helps to regain pure and clear mind

  21. Reply


    July 25, 2017

    I made this tonight and my husband and I loved the flavors. I can’t wait to take the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! I know that I will make it again and I think that I can get away with using less milk. A few less calories can’t hurt, right?! I would love to know if you have ever tried to adapt the recipe for a crockpot and, if so, what suggestions you may have? I am thinking saving the milk and flour until the end of the cooking time but am not sure how I may adjust the total liquid volume or if this is just a bad idea.

    • Reply


      July 25, 2017

      Yay! So glad it was a success for you! I actually have not tried a slow cooker version yet BUT your comment is inspiring me to. I’m adding it to the list of recipes to work on developing! Let me know if you try it out and how it ends up for you. I do agree that you’d probably put everything but the milk into the slow cooker (maybe even the flour?) and then just add the milk at the very end.

  22. Reply


    August 18, 2017

    This sounds so delicious! Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try!

  23. Reply

    Sabrina B,

    September 13, 2017

    this is really nice, love how different this is from most chili recipes, beyond it being vegetarian, saw this in a new post on foodiecrush featuring a collection of chili recipes, this certainly is one of the most interesting recipes in the collection, thank you for this recipe!

  24. Reply

    Kelly M.

    September 25, 2017

    Can this soup be frozen?

    • Reply


      October 18, 2017

      Good question! I would love to know the answer, too. Anybody have any experience with freezing this chili?

      • Reply


        February 4, 2018

        It freezes beautifully! Just as delicious when thawed as it was fresh. 🙂

  25. Reply


    November 17, 2017

    Just made this and the taste is great, but followed directions to a t and mine is more soupy than thick…mine definitely looks different from the picture, any thought of why? Should I use more flour than the 1/4 cup? Thanks!!

  26. Reply


    December 11, 2017

    When does the corn go into the recipe?

  27. Reply


    December 12, 2017

    I actually made this in my instant pot the other day and it turned out well! I cooked it on manual pressure for 9 minutes and added the milk in afterwards. Super easy!

  28. Reply


    January 11, 2018

    I am not very good at cooking, yet this turned out great. Recipe is easy to follow, relatively healthy and very filling. Garnished with heavy cilantro and also topped with parmesan. I think using good dairy is key. I used an excellent brand of organic milk from a family farm. Worth the extra $

  29. Reply


    January 24, 2018

    For non-dairy version, would you suggest coconut or unsweetened almond milk? I have a bag of dry northern beans. Do I need to soak these overnight? This looks delicious btw. Can’t wait to try it.

  30. Reply


    January 28, 2018

    This is great! I puréed two cans of beans with two pickled jalapeños and just one can wholes, omitted the jalapeños in the soup, used about 2 cups stock and omitted milk. The beans made up the creaminess. Oh and added carrots and a red pepper and paprika.

  31. Reply

    Terri Beverly

    February 2, 2018

    I have all the ingrefients for the Creamy White Chili.. I am making it tomorrow.. I will let u know how it turns out. However this is my first time buying beans in a can I always get the bag to make fresh Bean Soups so I’m anxious to see how this turns out.

  32. Reply


    February 3, 2018

    This is more soup than chili. Not at all thick.

  33. Reply


    February 26, 2018

    Made this last night, the flavours are even better today. The flavours are delicious. I opted for the vegan version using almond milk, served with diced avocado. It is more a soup, but this recipe is a keeper. Thank you.

  34. Reply


    February 27, 2018

    This is a fantastic recipe! It’s going in my handwritten book. I agree that it’s very thin and not” chili like”. But that’s easily remedied by leaving out some of the liquids.

  35. Reply


    March 1, 2018

    I wanted to love this, but it was watery and missing a depth of flavor. I followed the directions exactly as stated. Maybe heavy whipping cream instead of milk and some more seasoning would help.

  36. Reply


    March 13, 2018

    Has anyone tried to add quinoa to this recipe?

  37. Reply


    April 9, 2018

    Super delicious and easy! Trying to eat different kinds of beans and this is a great recipe for white ones, so thanks a lot. Will definitely be making it again :*