March 2, 2024
Creamy White Bean Chili Recipe

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Dear Dinner Therapist: With two kids and all the extracurricular activities, there’s little to no time to get dinner ready. More importantly, my daughter is a vegetarian by choice, although the rest of the family is not. There’s no way I can prepare two dinners, so she has to eat dinner with meat in it sometimes. I’d like more vegetarian meals with good protein that a kid would like (she’s 11) — ideally ones that can be made ahead, reheat well, and don’t require lots of hands-on time. Thanks! —Dawn

Dawn, you’ll love my creamy white bean chili. It’s the perfect dinner recipe for your family — it checks all the boxes, plus a few others I think you’ll appreciate. Inspired by white chicken chili and my creamy white bean and kale soup, this comforting one-pot plant-based dinner is packed with protein. It has thick-cut bell pepper, celery, and onion, along with the warm, smoky flavors we associate with white chili. 

The incredibly creamy texture totally comes from the beans (you’ll use a whopping four cans). Bonus: You won’t find a drop of dairy in this chili. Some of the beans break down a little during cooking, but mainly the creaminess comes from puréeing some of the beans, broth, and sautéed vegetables, then stirring it back into the pot. This white bean chili is wholesome, satisfying for all eaters, and easy to make. 

Why White Bean Chili Is the Perfect Make-Ahead Meal

For a family with varied diets, white bean chili hits the mark on many fronts.

Key Ingredients in White Bean Chili

If You’re Making White Bean Chili, a Few Tips

Dinner Therapist is my column dedicated to solving your dilemmas around the most important — but, let’s be honest, sometimes most dreaded — meal of the day. Prepping dinner night after night can be so hard. Here, I deliver practical and hopefully fun advice to make cooking less complicated and more enjoyable. Follow along for all the recipes. Got your own dinner struggles? We want to hear from you! Fill out this super-quick form for your chance to be featured in an upcoming column.

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