This delicious vegetarian white bean chili is loaded with beans, vegetables, and tender chunks of jackfruit! Plus, it’s ready in less than one hour! Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free.
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This vegetarian white bean chili is one of our favorite soup recipes and I’ve been making it a lot the last month or so because it’s finally soup season. We can’t get enough of this vegan chili and I know that both vegans and meat-eaters will enjoy it! I know this because I made a batch for my non-vegan parents and they loved it too!
It’s actually been winter-like here in Florida for the last 10 days or so. When I say winter, I mean it’s been in the 40’s in the mornings and 60’s by the afternoon. I know that’s not exactly a real winter like most people experience with snow, but it’s cold for us! Travis isn’t usually a fan of soup unless it’s cold out so I’ve been loving that aspect of the cold front we’ve had! A big bowl of this cozy vegetarian white bean chili is exactly what you want on a cold wintery day.
How To Make Vegetarian White Bean Chili
Vegetarian chili is so easy to make and it’s ready in less than one hour! Start by sauteeing the diced onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic. Once the vegetables have softened a bit you will add all the dry seasonings so it will season the veggies as they continue to cook. Then you add the vegetable broth, water, beans, and jackfruit to the pot. Bring it all to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer and let it cook for 15-20 minutes or until the jackfruit is tender enough to break up with your spoon. I like to press the pieces up against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon because it helps to shred them into bite-sized pieces that looks like shredded chicken.
I always add some type of green (spinach, kale, collards greens) to this easy white bean chili recipe right before I serve the soup (fresh or frozen) because I love the vibrant pop of green color in the soup and it’s an easy way to eat more veggies. Make sure you taste it before you serve and add any additional seasonings to your liking (try to season with salt while you’re cooking because you use less that way!)
I like to make this vegan white bean chili in a dutch oven on the stove top but you can definitely make it in a slow cooker too. See the recipes notes for instructions on how to do so.
Do You Have To Use a Meat Replacement in Vegetarian Chili?
No, of course not. This vegan chili will be just as delicious without the jackfruit or any meat replacement. I’ve actually made it multiple times without the jackfruit because I didn’t have it in my pantry and the vegan chili was still so delicious!
Traditionally, white bean chicken chili is made with chicken, so I use jackfruit as a substitute for the chicken. Honestly, the jackfruit looks just like shredded chunks of chicken and it tastes really good so I would highly recommend you try it this way.
If you’re not a fan of jackfruit, meatless crumbles, lentils, or crumbled tofu would be other good substitutions that you could use. If you are a jackfruit-lover like we are then you should also check out this vegan jackfruit and wild rice soup!
Can You Freeze Vegetarian White Bean Chili?
Yes, you can definitely freeze this vegetarian white bean chili soup and it stores really well. I always make this white bean chili in a 5-quart dutch oven pot and it almost fills the whole pot. I always make a big batch for two reasons 1) If I know we’re going to be busy that week and we won’t have time to make dinner each night so we’ll have leftovers or 2) If I have other meals planned that week than we’ll eat half and freeze the rest for another night.
We use these Snapware glass storage containers for storing leftovers and freezing food. I love them so much and I’ve used the same set for at least 5 years. It’s such great quality and lasts forever!
Tips for Making the Best Vegan Chili
- Use canned beans for even less prep work.
- Make sure you use canned young ripe jackfruit, not fresh sweet jackfruit.
- Freeze half of the soup so you’ll have dinner ready for another night!
- Save even more time by making this vegetarian chili in the slow cooker.
- If you prefer a thicker broth, you can use an immersion blender to thicken the soup. Only pulse it a few times and do this after you add the beans but before you add the jackfruit. The blended beans will do the trick.
- Add the greens to the soup right before you serve so they stay bright green.
What To Serve With Vegetarian White Bean Chili
I usually serve garlic roasted red tomatoes, a big salad, or a couple of slices of our favorite crusty no-knead bread.
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Vegetarian White Bean Chili
- 1 Tbsp vegetable broth (or olive oil)
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 4 medium carrots, sliced
- 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasonings
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- (3) 14oz cans great northern beans rinsed and drained well
- 2 cans jackfruit, rinsed and drained well
- 10oz frozen spinach (collard greens, kale, or arugula)
- 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, saute the onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms until they start to soften, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, Italian seasonings, smoked paprika, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, water, beans, and jackfruit. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and let it cook for 15-20 minutes or until the jackfruit is tender. I like to use a wooden spoon to gently "smash" the pieces of jackfruit against the side of the pot to break them up. It makes the jackfruit look like shredded chunks of chicken.
- Stir in the frozen spinach and let it cook just until it has fully defrosted and is still bright green.
- Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of chili flakes and green onions.
- Slow Cooker Option - You can make this vegetarian white bean chili in the slow cooker too! Put all of the ingredients except for the spinach into the slow cooker and then cook it on high for 3-4 hours. Check the soup at 3 hours to see how tender the jackfruit is, you don't want it to turn to mush by overcooking it. Stir the spinach in 5 minutes before you think it is done.
- Cannelloni beans or chickpeas can be used instead of Grean Northern beans.
- You can make this a spicy vegetable chili if you prefer by adding a 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and extra chili flakes.