Healthy Chili Recipe

I wanted to create a healthy vegan chili that would be light and at the same time rich and comforting.  I love the different layers of depth and spice from the Poblano peppers, Jalapeño peppers, and the Cayenne powder. The kale is such a great addition because it doesn’t interrupt any of the flavors of the chili but adds a beautiful texture and of course great nutrition too! The carrots add a pop of brightness and a tender sweetness to the dish to bring it all together. This chili is such a great and easy way to sneak a ton of vegetables into your diet while enjoying what feels like a big bowl of comfort and indulgence. You can top it with a squirt of lime, some slices of avocado, a little chopped cilantro.

vegan white chili recipe with kale, beans, barley and carrots

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Want more Healthy Kale Recipes?

If you’re craving more Kale, cause let’s be honest who isn’t? Be sure to check out my Sauteed Kale with onion and carrot for a healthy side dish. If you’re looking for raw kale or looking to learn to love kale salad…well my Kale Lemon Salad recipe will be your best friend.

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lemon kale Salad a healthy recipe from taste of good
Cooked Kale, Sautéed Kale with Onions and Carrots

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vegan white chili recipe with kale, beans, barley and carrots

Vegan White Chili

Print Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
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A Vegan White Chili that is rich, satisfying, and refreshingly light with tons of healthy vegetables, beans, and barley. This healthy vegan chili will have you singing with joy.


  • 1 tbsp Healthy Cooking Fat, Examples: Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 large Onion (yellow or white), Finely Diced
  • 3 large Carrots, Finely Diced
  • 3 medium Poblano Peppers, Seeded + Finely Diced
  • 2-3 medium Jalapeño Peppers, Seeded + Finely Diced (Depending on your desired spice level you can do 2 or 3)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground Coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper, Increae or decrease based on your desired spicyness level
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup white wine (if desired), This is not necessary. I just find that it add a depth of flavor to the dish and elevates it. But feel free to leave out the wine.
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup Pearled Barley, If you want a "lighter" chili or are avoiding gluten just omit the barley and add a bit more vegetables or beans to offset it.
  • 4 cups White Beans (already cooked or canned), If using canned then drain and rinse well
  • 3-4 large handfuls Kale leaves, washed and rough chopped

Yummy Topping options

  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Lime Juice


  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat
  • Add the onion, carrots, poblano, and jalapeño peppers to the pot and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and the veggies are soft. (about 8 minutes).
  • Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne and oregano. Stir well to combine with all the other ingredients. Cook for about 1-2 minutes for the garlic and spices to become fragrant and develop.
  • Add the wine (if using) and give it a good stir to ensure that nothing has stuck to the bottom of your pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the wine reduce down for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add the Vegetable Broth and Barley (if using) and cook the chili over medium-low heat partially covered for at least 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally. If it starts to stick at the bottom or is bubbling too much...turn it down. It should be at a low simmer.
  • Add the beans, and add your chopped kale. Since the kale is so fluffy you will probably need to add it in batches. Add a little at a time, stir that under the liquid it will wilt very quickly allowing you to add the next handful. I also like to use the lid of my pot to cover it for a minute to help speed this up.
  • Once all the beans and kale have been added simmer for another 5 minutes or so. This will warm everything up and marry all the ingredients together.
  • Ladle into bowl and let each person top as desired with avocado slices, a squeeze of lime, chopped cilantro.