White chili is trending on Pinterest this winter, and we always get excited about the latest Pinterest food trends. Except our household is vegetarian, so chicken is definitely off the table… Is there still hope for a perfectly comforting meal, that’s protein-packed while also being meatless?
Spoiler alert: there is hope. Lucky for us, this beautiful vegetarian white chili recipe wasn’t very far. We found it in Megan Sadd’s cookbook, Vegan Yum: The Secrets to Mastering Plant-Based Cooking. The book comes with 75 vegan recipes that will blow your mind, as they did ours. All your favorites are reworked into perfectly tasty, perfectly vegan recipes that even meat-lovers will enjoy. Think Crispy Southern Chickpea Sandwiches, Meat Lover’s BBQ Pulled Jackfruit with Avocado Slaw, Spring Linguine with King Oyster Scallops, Roasted Vegetable Romanesco Lasagna, or of course, this Comforting White Bean “Chicken” Chili!
The Perfect White Bean “Chicken” Chili Recipe for Cold Winter Days
“This flavorful chili is also a lesson in how to make creamy soups without dairy. You will be amazed by how easy it is! Here, we use cashew cream for creaminess and pureed beans to thicken the chili while the corn and zucchini keep the meal nice and light. This is one of my most loved childhood meals. I hope it becomes one of your family favorites too,” says cookbook author Megan Sadd. And we have to agree – this recipe is definitely making its way into our winter meal rotation!
White Bean "Chicken" Chili
Reprinted with permission from Vegan YUM by Megan Sadd, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Megan Sadd
- 1 jalapeño
- 1/2 white or yellow onion
- 12 oz (340 g) prepared vegan chicken strips (see Fresh Tip! for substitutions)
- 1 tbsp olive oil or 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) vegetarian chicken broth
- 1 can green chilis, drained 4-oz [113-g]
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp (4 g) cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 2 small zucchini
- 2 cans white beans, drained, rinsed and divided 14-oz [400-g]
- 3 cups (720 ml) vegan chicken broth, divided
- 1/2 cup (68 g) fresh or frozen corn
- 1/4 cup (40 g) raw cashews soaked for 6+ hours or boiled for 10 minutes
- 1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) lime juice
- 1 cup (120 g) shredded vegan mozzarella or Cheddar
- 2 avocados diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup vegan sour cream or cashew cream
- 10 oz tortilla chip
- 1 lime cut into wedges
Slice the jalapeño in half width-wise. Deseed then mince half of it. Thinly slice the other half and set aside for garnish. Dice the onion and the vegan chicken. Preheat a pan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the oil, onion, green chilis and minced jalapeño. Sauté for 2 to 3minutes, until the onion is softened.
Add the vegan chicken, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and cayenne. Mix well and cook until the chicken is slightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slice the zucchini into 1⁄4-inch(6-mm) half moons, then add them to the pan. Mix well and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Set aside 1 cup (262 g) of beans and 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) of broth. Add the remaining beans, broth and corn to the pot. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Simmer for8to 10 minutes until the zucchini is softened. Meanwhile, in a high-speed blender, blend the reserved beans, broth and cashews on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Stir the mixture into the soup to thicken. Add the lime juice. Taste and adjust the spices, if desired.
Simmer for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle, then ladle the chili into serving bowls. Top with shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, reserved sliced jalapeños and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges.
For a whole-food, plant-based version, swap the vegan chicken for a can of chickpeas or extra corn, zucchini and white beans. Use vegetable broth in place of vegan chicken broth if needed