This might be the easiest chili you ever make. If you can use a can opener, you can make this super flavorful vegan chili. Zero slicing or dicing involved. Since most of the ingredients are canned or pre-prepped, this chili recipe really is as easy as it gets. Besides being extremely easy, this chili is also healthy. It’s packed with fiber and micronutrients, while staying light on less-healthy fat sources!
YOU’LL LOVE THIS CHILI:
- It's for everyone. This chili is easy. It’s gluten free and vegan. It’s full of delicious, earthy flavor. Don’t tell the kiddos that stuff floating in it is spinach and you’re golden! But really, this soup is delicious, suitable for most dietary restrictions, and healthful. That makes it perfect for game day, a potluck, or a simple family dinner.
- It’s got a hearty flavor like chili, only no tomatoes. If you don’t like tomatoes, this may be the chili for you. This white bean chili uses beans, tomatillos, and spinach to create texture throughout, unlike a traditional “red” type of chili which has a tomato base.
- It is easy to customize with toppings. Like your chili super creamy? Top with sour cream (or vegan sour cream, of course). Like it tangy? Squeeze in some lime (or a lot of lime if you’re me). Not a fan of spicy? Use mild ingredients and nix the jalapeño topping!
Add the oil and spices to the slow cooker and cook on high while gathering and preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Then, add the rest of the ingredients except the “cheese” and spinach. Once everything besides the reserved two ingredients have been added, add the cheese and place the spinach on top. Then, cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
Once ready to serve, divvy into bowls and add desired toppings. That’s it. No really, you’re done! Well, you probably want to eat it. Then you’re done.
- Do not mix the spinach into the rest of the ingredients until after it has cooked. I know it looks really weird just sitting there on top of the rest of the chili, but this helps the spinach to steam instead of boil and not to overcook. Or, at least, that’s my theory.
- Feel free to mix up the toppings! As always, I’ve included the toppings that I’ve used this time, but feel free to play around with them! Sour cream (or a vegan alternative) is also great in this chili! There are probably a million ways to doctor up this chili. Soups are really just a vehicle for a ton of toppings, are they not?!
OTHER SLOW COOKER FAVORITES:
Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Chili Mac
21 Vegan and Gluten Crockpot Recipes
Easy Vegan Slow Cooker White Bean Chili
FOR THE CHILI:
- 1 ½ tablespoon shallot-infused olive oil (or oil of choice + ½ teaspoon onion powder + ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (such as cannellini or great northern)
- 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
- 1 (~15 oz) jar salsa verde (or: 2 cups your favorite salsa)
- 6 cups vegetable stock, unsalted
- 1 block frozen chopped spinach
- 1 (~8 oz) bag vegan pepper jack shreds (or regular shredded pepper jack for non-vegan)
- salt and pepper to taste
- tortilla chips
- vegan cheddar jack shreds (or: regular shredded cheddar jack for non-vegan)
- fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced
- vegan sour cream (or: regular sour cream for non-vegan)
- fresh lime, squeeze
- fresh cilantro
- Bloom: Add oil, cumin, chili powder, and paprika to slow cooker and set on high. Mix spices into oil. Allow spices and oil to heat while gathering the rest of the ingredients.
- Combine: Add the beans, green chilies, salsa verde, and vegetable stock to the pot. Then, add bag of cheese and gently set block of chopped spinach on top (Note: do not mix spinach into the soup, allow to sit on top of cheese).
- Cook: Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
- Top: Stir, portion, add desired toppings, and serve!
- In a pinch, you can add spices and oil at the same time as the other ingredients. I add spices and oil first for extra flavor.
this looks nice, i will try one of these days
Yay! Let me know when you do, Jaz!
Great for the cold weather!
Yum! Followed your suggestions and topped the chili with a squeeze of lime, pepper Jack shreds, and avocado - it was delicious!
Yay! So glad you loved it, Madeline!
Could I use cheese sauce instead of cheese shreds? I cant seem to find healthy vegan shredded cheese options
Or possibly sour cream to mix in instead of cheese?
Yes, I think this would be delicious too. Perhaps some nutritional yeast could add that cheesy flavor, too!
Sure, Jonathan! I think that would be delicious. You may lose out on some stringy-ness but the flavor would still be great I'm sure!
my friend made this for me a few times. this makes my tum tum go yum
😂 Haha glad you liked it, Winston!
I found this recipe online, and it looked and sounded so lovely and tasty that I decided to try it out for myself. It was a huge hit with both my spouse and myself. What wonderful flavors from such a simple dish (I love those kinds of recipes), and the taste feels like something I toiled over for hours to achieve, haha. Thank you for sharing this information, it is really appreciated. Much Love From Amma Ruchis .
If I wanted to make this chili more thick and less soupy, how much water would I have to omit?
Hey Jonathan, I would try omitting 2 cups broth at first. If that ends up too thick, you can always heat some broth and add at the end 🙂
Happy Meal Prep
Cant wait to try
I’d give this 10 stars on flavor, but gave it a 4 because it’s really not “chili”. It’s soup. IMO, chili should be thick and hearty.
I tried removing half the liquid (and reserved it) halfway through cooking and at the end I scooped out 2 cups of the soup (including a lot of the beans) and puréed it before putting it back in the crockpot. It thickened it somewhat, but it’s still soup. Once I accepted that it was soup I was fine with that and added back the liquid I had removed. My hubby and I both loved it. I made a few modifications mostly for personal preference… only used 1 tsp cumin, added 1 cup finely diced onion and the kernels from a leftover ear of corn I had in the fridge. I used 4 oz of pepper Jack, but honestly other than raising the heat level, I’m not sure what purpose the cheese served. Next time I would add some jalapeño and stir in some heavy cream at the end instead. We put sour cream in it when serving and it took it to another whole level. I also stirred in a half a box of fresh baby spinach instead of using frozen, which not only helped bring the crock up to temp faster but allowed me to just “wilt” it without overcooking. I think the smoked paprika is a MUST in this. Don’t omit or sub it. Next time I will use twice as many beans and half as much veg broth.
Wow, Kristen! What a thorough and detailed review. I think your soup vs. chili debate is very valid. I adapted this recipe from a family-friend recipe that was introduced to me as chili so I never really considered a different name. I love your idea to remove part of the soup and blend it. I so appreciate the time and energy you put into this review and hope many read it (and maybe even chime in on the soup vs. chili debate!). If you want to try a truly hearty chili, I think you'll love my slow cooker chili mac. I'd love to hear your insight on that recipe as well!
Oh my gosh, this soup is Incredibly Easy--a great week night dinner, without any chopping. I skipped the cheese and spinach. Best of all my family loved it (more so than things that are more time consuming, haha). Thanks!
Thank you so much for the kind words and thoughtful review, Heidi! I am glad you and your family enjoyed 🙂
This might be an easy and simple recipe but it sure does not compromise taste
Thanks, Timothy! I'm glad you enjoyed it!