This vegetarian white chili gets paired with macaroni noodles to make this the ultimate comfort food. You won’t even miss the meat!
Growing up as a kid my mom didn’t cook a ton. But she definitely had a few go-tos when she did cook. Chili was one of them. I remember eating chili a lot as a kid. But the best part of it was the macaroni noodles that the chili would be served on top of. You would stir it all together so you would have this chili noodle dish that was awesome.
The other night I was craving some kind of spicy bean chili. A typical tomato based chili is great but it wasn’t in the mood for it. So I thought – what if I whip up a vegetarian version of some white bean chili AND serve it over the macaroni? It would be inspired by the version I grew up with. Then just like that, vegetarian white chili Mac was created!
White No Chicken Chili
White chicken chili is a really popular recipe. But we had eaten a lot of meat the week before so I decided to nix the chicken and modify it a bit. Which I am sure you can guess how I modified it – with more veggies! Bell peppers, shredded zucchini and corn get added to the soup for nutrients, fiber and texture.
Then the rest of the chili really comes from dumping everything into the soup pan. I have been taking a lot of help from the store these days and this recipe is no exception. These ingredients really help save time when cooking:
- Store bought broth – be sure to read the ingredients on your broth though. Not all broth is created equal. I prefer organic brands and the low sodium versions so you aren’t starting with a heavy salt content. Some of my favorites are Pacific Foods broth and Kettle Fire.
- Canned or boxed beans – I used cannellini beans in this recipe but Great Northern would work as well
- Canned green chilis – if you like a little extra spice they have them “hot” as well
No, this is not a macaroni and cheese recipe. However, it definitely includes macaroni noodles! Originally my plan was to serve this chili over the macaroni noodles like my mom would do. But I accidentally put too much broth in the chili and it was a little runny for my liking.
When adding noodles to soups you need to be careful. Often times I find that the noodles will soak up a lot of the broth and if you are planning on making a brothy soup you wind up with a thicker version. Which in this case was perfect. The noodles sopped up all the extra broth that I had too much of and I was left with a thick version of the chili like I had in my head.
You can use any small noodles in this recipe. Ditalini, macaroni, and little shells would all work perfect. However there was something nostalgic to me about using just plain old macaroni noodles that brought me back to my childhood.
Putting it all together
You are not done when the chili is complete. The toppings are almost as important as the chili itself. Especially the cheese. The cheese really helps bind everything together. I prefer to use a spicy pepper jack in my chili but white cheddar, a Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese would all be delicious.
Lastly I top the chili off with some scallions for a little crunch and some avocado for a little creaminess. To finish, squeeze a little fresh lime on top and you are ready to dive in.
The next time you are looking for a comfort meal you have to try this vegetarian white chili Mac. And remember, if you try this recipe be sure to rate it and leave a comment below and let me know how you like it. Or tag me on Instagram!