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A vegetarian chili that’s packed with protein – Spicy White Bean Vegetarian Chili is rustic, easy, and delicious!  Made with lots of fresh veggies and quinoa too!

Chili has to be one of the most recognized home-cooked meals on the planet.  I think I’ve been eating chili my whole life in some form or another.  I have to say, though, my favourite type of chili is vegetarian.  Let me explain!

In my humble opinion – and, it’s just that – an opinion! – there are two basic types of chili that are acceptable to me.  The first, obviously, is a vegetarian chili.  The second type, is a meat chili.  To me, a meat chili is a chili that has 3-1 meat to beans ratio.

Most of the chilies I prepare are vegetarian simply because I share my life with a vegetarian.  But, even long before John.e came into my life, I would very often make a bean-heavy chili without any type of meat.  But, if I were making a meat chili, there was a whole lotta meat!

Lord Byron’s Kitchen is no stranger to a good chili recipe, but this one is a little different.  I made this chili without whole or canned tomatoes, without meat – obviously – and using only white beans.  Why?  Because we love white beans and I had a huge bowl of them to deal with.

I will sometimes buy bagged dried beans and re-hydrate them.  It’s way cheaper than buying canned beans, and there’s no preservatives or sodium, which is my nemesis or archenemy if you will!  Sodium affects me so badly.  Like, I will blow up and bloat like a blowfish!

Well, a few weeks ago, I placed a whole bag of white beans in a bowl and covered them with cold water.  I set them aside to soak overnight.  My plan was to make soup, but for some reason, I forgot that if you start with one cup of dried beans, when soaked overnight, you end up with much more than a cup.  They’re kinda like that blowfish I just mentioned.

What was I going to do with all of those re-hydrated beans?  Spicy White Bean Vegetarian Chili was the answer.  I’ve never made chili with all white beans before, but I’m so glad I did.  I was inspired by a recent recipe posted here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen called Chorizo and Black Bean Chili Bowls.  

That recipe uses only one type of bean – the black bean – and I found that I was really fond of the one type of bean consistency in the chili.  Hence, the Spicy White Bean Vegetarian Chili was born.  It’s a deliciously simple chili and I’m so glad that my white bean soaking oversight forced me to think outside the box.  Or bag, in this case!

If, by the way, you’re interested, take a look at some of the other chili recipes on the blog.  My Vegetarian Quinoa Chili is so delicious, very thick, and very healthy too!  This Chunky Vegetarian Beef Chili is a typical half beans – half meat chili that’s made in vegetarian style.

Now, if all this chili is not your thing, there’s so many other recipes you can make to use up your white beans.  Try my Spicy White Bean Tomato Skillet – so good, but make sure you have some crusty bread to go with it!  One of my personal favourites, Traditional Newfoundland Stewed Beans is the ultimate white bean comfort food.

And, of course, I’d be doing a total disservice to you and white beans in general if I didn’t make mention of my Stovetop Homemade Vegetarian Baked Beans!  Like my sweet mom used to say when she was exasperated or overly fond of something, “Oh, sweet hour of prayer!  Talk about good!”

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4.85 from 20 votes

Spicy White Bean Vegetarian Chili

A vegetarian chili that's packed with protein - Spicy White Bean Vegetarian Chili is rustic, easy, and delicious!  Made with lots of fresh veggies and quinoa too!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: North American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 208kcal
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8 cups white beans, cooked
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped


  • Add the olive oil, onion, carrot, and celery to a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot.  Over medium heat, saute the veggies for 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, seasoning salt, paprika, chili powder, oregano, thyme, and cumin.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the beans and stock.  Stir to combine, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.  Stir at the 7-minute mark.
  • Add the quinoa and stir to combine.  Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.  Again, stir well at the 7-minute mark.
  • Stir in the parsley and serve.


If you decide to use canned white beans, drain the beans and rinse before adding to the chili.


Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 697mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3275IU | Vitamin C: 5.3mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 4.8mg

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This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. I have totally been there when soaking beans. I always forget that they expand so much. I'm glad you found a good use for them though because this vegetarian chili looks absolutely delicious. We eat alot of black bean chili at my house but I remember alot of white bean chilis that my mom made growing up. This would go over really well in my house, even with my meat-loving partner.
  2. Well, meat or no meat...this chili is a winner. The meat eaters would not even miss it in this recipe. I love spicy, and beans ... and chili. Perfect for ALL the snow we are having. I would be making a double batch of this delicious recipe. I would tuck some in the freezer (providing my kids did not take the leftovers home with them). You pictures are beautiful.
  3. Good thing you accidentally re-hydrated too much beans! This chili looks fantastic. I have just recently starting to work with white beans, and let me tell you - they are fantastic. So I'm looking forward to trying your recipe!
  4. Well Happy National Chili Day! Nothing like a simmering pot of chili on the stove, right? This white bean chili is just what I need on this chilly, rainy day!
  5. chili is one of the best food ever because it's just so easy to make and it's always like curling up with a big bowl of comfort. this is an incredible vegetarian chili - so many amazing flavors and easy to make!
  6. I'm wondering if this would work in a pressure cooker. I have half a ton of white beans (minor exaggeration perhaps...) . It does sound very good and spicy beans are so moreish!
  7. Like you, sodium is my biggest enemy but this chili sounds so good especially when it's homemade and not using canned beans. Definitely going to give this a try!
  8. I'm with you on re-hydrating beans. I never use canned beans. Don't like the idea of what else is in the can! I particularly love white beans. We have lots of recipes for cannellini beans here in Italy, but have never used them to make chili! Such a great idea!
  9. I always make sure to make something similar at least once a week - when I have a veggie boost to replenish the vitamins and charge up. Add quinoa to it and it becomes a health bomb. But I haven't tried making a vegetarian chili yet, so definitely giving this a try!
  10. I have a friend who can't live without meat. But there are a few vegetarian dishes that she can't live without either. One of them is a vegetarian chili. I am passing this recipe to her because it looks incredibly good! So rich and so filling - my kind of a vegetarian dish, too.

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