Healthy White Chili Recipe

When I set out to create this recipe, I was sure that I was biting off more than I could chew. I wanted to make a healthy white chili recipe, a vegetarian white chili, a vegan white chili and it had to be filling and delicious. It also had to be light and easy on the tummy, at the same time, rich and comforting. I love the different layers of depth and spice in this chili. You have three different heat sources; Poblano peppers, Jalapeño peppers, and Cayenne powder. The kale is such a great addition because it doesn’t interrupt any of the chili flavors 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 healthy white chili is such a great and easy way to sneak a ton of vegetables into your diet. At the same time, you’re 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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Vegetarian White Chili vs. Vegan White Chili

If you’ve been around Taste of Good long enough, you know that I aim to bring wholesome and mindful health to delicious food that you will want to eat every day. While I always strive to make my dishes vegan, there are times when I would rather see someone branch into a vegetarian dish for the first time than to have them be scared away from it because it is too much of a departure from what they’ve known all their lives. I believe that we shouldn’t let perfection stand in the way of progress. If someone finds it more accessible to make this recipe a vegetarian white chili rather than a vegan white chili, that is still a win away from a meat chili. And each healthy step leads to more healthy actions.

More Healthy Vegan Soup Recipes?

I hope you have tried and loved this healthy vegan soup and are looking for more or even some healthy vegetarian soup recipes. We’ll look no further than my Vegan Panang Curry Soup Recipe. It is refreshing with bright notes of citrus and spice. Or a constant favorite in our home; the Sunshine Bowl Soup; trust me on this one.

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. Full of healthy vegetables, beans, and barley to satisfy your taste buds and keep you feeling good. This healthy vegetarian 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, Increase or decrease based on your desired level of spice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup white wine (if desired), It adds 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 pearl barley, If you want a "lighter" chili or avoid gluten, 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 for about 8 minutes over medium heat, occasionally stirring until the onions are translucent and the veggies are soft.
  • 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 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, turn down the heat. It should be at a low simmer, not a boil.
  • Add the beans and the 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 speed this up.
  • Once all the beans and kale have been added, simmer for another 5 minutes. 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.
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