When it comes to cold weather dinners, I’m on Team Chili, through & through. I mean…does it get better than a steamy, warm bowl of hearty chili, loaded with allllll of the fixins on a chilly winter night? Not in my book. So cozy, so satisfying, so hard to beat.
& while I’ll never turn down a bowl of classic chili, in all its rich & bold tomato–forward glory, white chili is really where my heart is: comforting, creamy, & filled with white beans (my favorite!).
That’s where this Vegan White Chili recipe comes into the equation: I took my absolute favorite spicy white chili, a recipe I shared here on PWWB years back, & gave it a little makeover with 2 kinda major plant-based twists:
- The addition of hominy, a traditional Mexican corn product, adds an extra punch of corn flavor & some great texture.
- The masa harina slurry, a combination of corn flour & plant-based almond milk, thickens the chili to a creamy, dreamy consistency without the use of any dairy products.
The result? A cozy & creamy white chili, filled with peppers, white beans, & rich corn flavor. The hominy adds some much-welcomed texture, adding a satisfying meatiness to each bite. It’s everything you want out of white chili, & more!
& the very best part? It all comes together in one pot in 40 minutes or less! The absolute perfect way to cozy in on a weeknight this winter & enjoy a really good & really good-for-ya plant-based meal. ♡ Read on to learn more about this white chili recipe, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!
Vegan White Chili ingredients
This vegetarian white chili recipe is so easy to make, calling for pretty straight-forward ingredients.
The line-up includes… (Note: the full Ingredients List, including measurements, is provided in the Recipe Card, below.)
- peppers, of course! – a blend of poblanos, jalapenos, & diced green chiles gives a great kick, & you can easily control spice levels by deseeding any/all of the peppers as desired.
- onion & garlic
- white beans
- vegetable stock & unsweetened almond milk
There are 2 extra ingredients that make this vegan white chili recipe totally shine: masa harina (Mexican corn flour used to thicken the chili) & hominy.
Hominy is one of my absolute favorite Mexican ingredients. If you’ve ever enjoyed a bowl of posole soup, you probably already know the gloriousness that is hominy!
Hominy is essentially corn kernels that have been treated to remove their tough outer skins. The treatment process causes the corn to puff up into big, beautiful kernels & creates a really amazing chewy texture. The texture is a key element of what makes this vegan white chili so great: it adds satisfying meatiness to each & every bite.
You can find canned hominy in the “international” aisle of most conventional grocery stores.
How to make vegetarian white chili
Making this white chili recipe is a pretty straight-forward soup-makin’ operation. You can do it in 40 minutes or less on any night of the week, & as a bonus, it’s very meal prep & make-ahead friendly – I included some tips in the Recipe Notes, below.
The basic gist of it goes something like this… (Note: full Recipe Directions, is provided in the Recipe Card, below.)
- Cook the veggies: Sweat out the onion & peppers in a large pot or your favorite Dutch oven. Always add a hefty pinch of kosher salt when you sweat veggies – it pulls the moisture out of the veggies & creates more flavor!
- Add aromatics: Add some garlic & spices to the veggies. Letting aromatics toast for a minute or two before you assemble a soup or sauce really helps enhance the flavor of the aromatics.
- Assemble the white chili: The rest of the chili ingredients get added to the pot (cannellini beans, hominy), along with your veggie stock of choice. If I’m not using homemade, I like to find a low-sodium veggie stock or broth so I can really control the salt levels happening in the white chili.
- Thicken & simmer: Once the chili comes to a boil, thicken it with a masa harina slurry (I’ll tell you all about that magic in a sec!), then simmer the chili for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve! Finish with a hefty squeeze of fresh lime juice & a handful of your favorite toppings & enjoy – easy!
How to thicken vegan chili (or make any chili creamy!)
If you’re wondering how can you make white chili thicker, all while keeping it 100% vegan, I have good news: it’s really easy!
2 simple ways to thicken white chili:
- Blend: Transfer some of the chili’s beans & broth to a blender, blend to combine, & return the mixture to the pot. The natural starches in the beans will help thicken up the chili.
- Use a slurry, or a combination of liquid & flour, to thicken.
I always opt for #2, using a combination of masa harina (Mexican corn flour, found in the “International” aisle in most grocery stores) & milk (I use my go-to unsweetened almond milk to keep this white chili 100% vegan). It adds a layer of deliciously complex corn flavor to the white chili & it’s so easy to do!
Simply whisk the masa harina & almond milk together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Once the chili comes to a boil, stir in the masa harina slurry. Let the chili do its thing, simmering for 10-15 minutes until it’s gloriously creamy!
Vegan chili toppings
The best part of any sort of chili feast, in my humble opinion, is the TOPPINGS!!! Life is all about the toppings!
Some of my favorite toppings for this vegan white chili:
- diced avocado (or take things to the next level with a big ol’ dollop of guacamole!)
- thinly sliced jalapeno peppers (deseed them if you’d like to cut back on extra spiciness)
- tons of finely chopped cilantro (the more, the better!)
- crushed tortilla chips (with extra for scooping up bites of chili because why not?)
- & a sprinkling of your favorite vegan cheese (yum!)
Other Chili FAQs:
How long should white chili simmer?
I suggest letting your vegan white chili simmer for 10-15 minutes on the stovetop, after having thickened it with the masa harina slurry. The chili will thicken up quite a bit as it cooks. Keep an eye on it, stir it occasionally, & pull it from the heat once it has reached your desired level of thickness.
Is vegan chili gluten-free?
This varies, of course, based on the recipe, but YES, this creamy white chili recipe is naturally 100% gluten-free. As always, if you’re allergic or sensitive to gluten, be sure to double-check the labels of the specific products you use to verify that they’re certified gluten-free.
Can white chili be frozen?
Yes, I’ve had great success freezing & thawing this vegetarian white chili!
To freeze, transfer the cooled chili to a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Place the chili in the refrigerator to thaw overnight, or thaw in the sink by running warm water over the chili until it softens.
You can easily reheat in the microwave, though I prefer bringing it to a simmer on the stove, adding an extra splash of veggie stock or almond milk as needed to reach your desired consistency.
I really hope you give this Vegan White Chili recipe a try very soon. It makes for the perfect cozy & comforting winter meal…I know you’ll love it!
If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know by leaving a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! Happy cooking! ♡
More Recipes Like This:
Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes
A dairy-free, gluten-free, & totally healthy vegan white chili recipe, heavy on plant-based goodness. This creamy white chili recipe gets tons of rich flavor & hearty texture from poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, tons of white beans, & hominy.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 poblano peppers, diced (deseeded as desired)
- 2 jalapeno peppers, diced (deseeded as desired)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles (mild or hot – your choice!)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 14-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 28-ounce can hominy, drained & rinsed
- 32 ounces low-sodium vegetable stock or broth
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened nut milk of choice)
- 1/2 cup masa harina
- 2 limes, juiced
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: diced avocado or guacamole, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced jalapeno, crushed tortilla chips, etc.
- Cook the veggies: Add the olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, poblano, & jalapeno peppers. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occassionally, for 5-6 minutes, until the veggies are softened.
- Toast the aromatics: Add the garlic, diced green chiles, ground cumin, & bay leaf to the pot, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring occassionally, for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Assemble the white chili: Add the cannellini beans, hominy, & vegetable stock to the pot, stirring to combine. Increase the heat to high to bring the chili to a boil, then reduce to medium-low to simmer.
- Thicken the white chili: Make the masa harina slurry by whisking together the almond milk & masa harina in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. While stirring the chili constantly, slowly pour the masa harina slurry into the chili. Let the chili continue to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occassionally, until thickened slightly, 10-15 minutes. Once thickened, stir in the fresh lime juice. Taste & season with additional salt or ground black pepper, as needed.
- Serve: Portion the chili into bowls, serving with your favorite chili toppings: diced avocado or guacamole, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced jalapeno, crushed tortilla chips, etc. Enjoy!
- Storage: This Vegan White Chili keeps incredibly well, since the flavors of the chili really meld together over time. To store, transfer cooled chili to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- 10-Minute Meal prep: The majority of the prep time involved in this recipe is chopping veggies. Chop all the veggies in advance, storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. At dinnertime all you have to do is get cookin’ – seriously so easy!:
- Dice 1 medium yellow onion
- Dice 2 poblano peppers (deseeded as desired)
- Dice 2 jalapeno peppers (deseeded as desired)
Keywords: Vegan White Chili Recipe, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, healthy, vegetarian, weeknight
Trying to eat more plant-based meals? Here are more easy & delish vegan recipes to try:
- Easy & comforting vegan soup: Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- The BEST vegan Tacos! Roasted Sweet Potato + Cauliflower Tacos with Chipotle Cashew Crema
- A 25-minute dinner wonder: Lemony Basil Creamy Vegan Pasta
- My favorite! Easy Sheet Pan Chickpea & Veggie Shawarma
- All PWWB Plant-Based Recipes
Love this creamy white chili? Here are more hearty soup & chili recipes to try:
- The BEST!: PWWB Spicy White Chili with Beer
- Also vegan, dairy-free & gluten-free: Creamy Mushroom Vegetarian Wild Rice Soup
- More Tex-Mex goodness: Weeknight Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Another great chili recipe: Chipotle Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chickpeas
- All PWWB Soup, Stew & Chili Recipes