Low-Fat Vegetarian White Bean Chili

Low fat vegetarian white bean chili

​The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 12 servings

If you like homemade vegetarian chili recipes, try this vegetarian white bean chili recipe—it's completely meat-free, cholesterol-free and much lower in fat than the usual white bean chili recipes, which often include chicken and turkey.

Instead, this vegetarian white bean chili gets its flavor from plenty of onion, garlic, celery, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano and canned green chili peppers, as well as some chili powder, of course, and is made with white beans and corn kernels, all topped off with some deliciously melty cheese, if you're not eating vegan

Serve up your homemade white bean chili with some garlic bread and a simple side green salad and you've got yourself a quick, healthy, and high-protein meal that the whole family can enjoy. 

All of the ingredients in this recipe are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, but you'll need to double-check the vegetable broth that you're using, as many brands do contain gluten. Use a gluten-free vegetable broth (or even just swap it out for plain water), if you need this recipe to be completely gluten-free. 

Note that this recipe makes a really big batch, so plan on having plenty of leftovers. Chili freezes well, and there's plenty of creative ways to use up your leftover chili.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 3 ribs celery (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (frozen and thawed or canned and drained)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can canned green chile peppers (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or use a combination of vegetable broth and water)
  • 5 (14.5-ounce) cans great Northern beans (or white cannellini beans, undrained)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, celery and garlic, and heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions and celery are soft.

    Ingredients for white bean chili
    ​The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  2. Add the green chili peppers, corn kernels, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper.

    Add green chilies
    ​The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  3. Heat for just a minute or two, then add vegetable broth and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

    Heat for a minute
    ​The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  4. Allow to cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes.

    Allow to cook
    ​The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak
  5. Serve your chili topped with a bit of shredded cheese, if you're not eating vegan.

    Serve chili
    ​The Spruce Eats / Anastasiia Tretiak


  • Like many chili recipes, this one makes quite a bit! Rather than half the recipe, portion out leftovers into individual containers and freeze to take into the office or pack into lunchboxes for healthy homemade lunch for later.