Vegan White Chickpea Chili

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This vegan white chili with chickpeas is quick and easy to make, packed with a bit of spice, filling, comforting, and super nutritious! Naturally gluten-free.

Close shot of a white chili with tortilla chips sliced jalapeno peppers, corn, sour cream and fresh cilantro.
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This spin on a vegan white bean chili uses chickpeas as the star of the show! I initially intended on developing this recipe as a chickpea stew but found the flavors and textures to be more like that of chili, so here we are! Enjoy.

❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This chickpea chili recipe is cozy and comforting.
  • Garbanzo beans add a nice dose of protein, fiber, and other nutrients.
  • This vegan chili has a pleasing variety of textures.
  • This recipe is tangy, spicy, savory, salty, sweet, and everything in between. It’s a true flavor journey!
  • This dish comes together rather quickly and easily, making it a great busy weeknight dinner recipe!
  • This white chili makes excellent leftovers.
  • Naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free.
Close shot of a white bowl of chickpea chili with a gold spoon sticking out of it.

🌶️ Ingredients and Substitutes

Oil: I love to use avocado oil in this recipe, but please use whatever oil you have on hand. Olive oil, vegetable oil, and grapeseed oil are all excellent choices as well.

Garlic and onion: A classic aromatic flavor base. I do not recommend skipping out on this!

Jalapeno pepper: Jalapeno chiles are a classic choice for white chili. Having said that, if you are sensitive to spice, simply omit or if you like more of a punch, feel free to use a hotter chile such as serrano or scotch bonnet.

Green chiles: A can of diced Hatch green chiles not only add additional flavor but also help to thicken this chili and are also a classic choice for a white chili recipe.

Special spice blend: A blend of cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and cayenne adds depth of flavor and spice.

Sugar: I find a touch of sweetness adds depth and helps round out all of the flavors in this chili recipe. I like to use coconut sugar, but white sugar, brown sugar, or even sugar-free sweetener will work if needed.

Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas or chickpeas cooked from scratch both work for this recipe.

Coconut milk: Coconut adds a nice creaminess and helps thicken the chili slightly as it cooks down. If you are not on a vegan or dairy-free diet, you can use heavy cream if you prefer.

Water: Water works just fine as the additional liquid in this recipe, but if you would prefer to use broth, a good veggie broth will work, too.

Cilantro: I know some of you are not likely fans of cilantro and if so, feel free to use fresh parsley or omit it altogether. Otherwise, cilantro adds a bit of bright freshness to this recipe.

Lime: Fresh lime juice is the needed acid in this recipe to help balance the flavors. If you do not have lime juice, lemon juice or vinegar will get the job done.

Top view of a bowl of chili with chickpeas, sour cream, avocado, tortillas chips, fresh herbs and pepper rings.

🔪 How to Make Chickpea Chili

A black pot with chopped onions and corn.
A black cast iron pot with veggies and a blue spatula.
A black pot filled with corn and onions.
A black pot filled with veggies and dried spices.
A cast iron pot filled with veggies and spices cooking.
Veggies, spices, green chiles and a blue spatula in a big black pot
Veggies sauteeing in a black pot.
Smoking veggies and spices cooking in a cast iron pot.
Chickpeas in a pot with a blue silicone spatula.
Milk and chickpeas in a large pot.
A blue spatula mixes liquid ingredients in a large pot.
A light brown liquid resting in a large black pot.
Chili topped with fresh cilantro in a big cast iron pan.
A wooden ladle sticks out of a pot of chickpea chili.
A ceramic bowl filled with white chili and topped with a variety of chili toppings.
  1. In a large pot, saute the garlic, onion, jalapeno, and corn in oil for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the green chiles and spices. Saute for a few minutes longer.
  3. Add the chickpeas, coconut milk, and water.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat, then stir in the cilantro and lime juice.
  7. Salt to taste.
  8. Optionally top with garnishes before serving.
  9. Enjoy!
My Favorite
Lodge L10DOL3 Dutch Oven Lodge L10DOL3 Dutch Oven
I love to use this for making chilis, soups and stews!
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
A close shot of a golden spoon sticking out of a white bowl of vegan chili.

🍽️ Topping Ideas

  • Crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips.
  • Hot sauce.
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt (vegan or conventional).
  • Pickled onions or jalapeños.
  • Shredded cheese (vegan or conventional).
  • Sliced avocado.
  • Fresh herbs.
  • Salsa.
  • Chopped fresh tomatoes.
  • Lime wedges.

Also, see What to Serve with Chili!

A large ceramic bowl of vegan white chili with fresh herbs, avocado, vegan sour cream and sliced peppers.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between white chili and regular chili?

Regular chili traditionally uses red chiles and tomato-based ingredients, whereas white chili traditionally uses green chiles.

How do I store chickpea chili?

Keep leftover chickpea chili stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat until warm throughout.

Close shot of a bowl of white chickpea chili.

🍲 More Delicious Chili Recipes

Vegan Jackfruit Chili

Vegan Acorn Squash Chili

Lentil Butternut Squash Chili

Instant Pot Chocolate Chipotle Chili

Instant Pot Millet Pinto Bean Chili

A side view of a bowl of chickpea chili topped with tortilla chips, jalapeno pepper slices, cilantro, sour cream and avocado.

Vegan White Chickpea Chili

This vegan white chili with chickpeas is quick and easy to make, packed with a bit of spice, filling, comforting, and super nutritious! Naturally gluten-free.
4.97 from 54 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kristen Wood


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup corn kernels fresh or frozen
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green Hatch chiles
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano any oregano is preferred but Mexican is best
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or any granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 1 13.5-ounce can full fat coconut milk save can, see below
  • 2 cans water fill the coconut milk can with water two times!
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped, plus more for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • garnishes avocado, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese, etc.


  • In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil, onion, corn, garlic, and jalapeno.
  • Saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until all begins to soften and turn golden.
  • Add the can of green chiles, cumin seeds, paprika, oregano, sugar, garlic powder, and cayenne.
  • Stir well, and cook for 2 minutes longer or until the spices smell very fragrant.
  • Turn the heat to high, then add the chickpeas, coconut milk, and water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes or until the much of the liquid has evaporated and the chili is the consistency you prefer.
  • Turn off the heat, and stir in the cilantro and lime juice.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Optionally top with garnishes of choice before serving. Enjoy!


See the full post above this recipe card for valuable tidbits!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 430IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating



  1. 5 stars
    This was my first time using chickpeas in chili and it worked really well! I liked this recipe a lot – just substituted chili powder for the paprika and added 1/2 cup of shredded turkey. So good!

  2. This is so flavorful and easy to make! It made it last night and the whole family loved it!

  3. 5 stars
    Love this soup for a meat-free version of chili. The spices were just right, and we enjoyed the creaminess of the broth.

  4. 5 stars
    This chili was delicious and I love the spin on it with the chickpeas. Even my teens liked it, especially when we topped it with tortilla chips and salsa. Thanks for this lovely recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    I saw the amount of garlic in here and knew I could trust this recipe! 😉 It was fantastic, and my vegan friend really loved it. I used the coconut sugar option and it the result was great, thanks.