Vegetarian White Chili Mac

eat, Soup, Vegetarian

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

Mac Attack

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!

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Vegetarian White Chili Mac


  • Author: Karissa P
  • Total Time: 35M
  • Yield: 4-6 1x

Description

This vegetarian white chili gets paired with macaroni noodles to make this the ultimate comfort food. You won’t even miss the meat!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 bell peppers, small dice (I prefer red or yellow for this recipe versus green)
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (omit if you don’t like spice)
  • 2 heaping TBS flour
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated (should yield 1.52 c grated zucchini, this will cook down)
  • 3.5 TBS cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • little shake of cayenne pepper
  • 2 4.5 oz cans diced green chilis
  • 3 cans cannellini or Great Northern beans
  • 6 c veggie broth (if you are not vegetarian chicken broth works great in here as well)
  • 1.25 c macaroni noodles (or any other small pasta)
  • 1 c frozen corn (I like the fire roasted corn when I can find it)
  • 5 oz Greek yogurt or sour cream

Additional toppings:

Cheese (pepper jack, white cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mexican blend all work well), avocados, scallions, fresh squeezed lime, jalapeños, cilantro


Instructions

  1. With kitchen twine tie up bay leaves and oregano into a little bundle
  2. In a large soup pan sauté herb bundle, onions, garlic, bell peppers and jalapeños in 2 TBS olive oil over medium to medium low heat for 10-12 minutes until the onions are soft
  3. Stir in cumin, cayenne, paprika and flour, cook for a few minutes until flour is cooked through.  If the veggies become really dry and lumpy add in another TBS of olive oil
  4. Add in broth and continue to stir.  Turn heat up to medium high to get a gentle boil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add in beans, zucchini, green chilis, corn and macaroni noodles.  Cook another 10 mins until pasta is cooked through.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and stir in Greek yogurt.  Check the seasoning and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Serve with your favorite toppings!

Notes

To make a meaty version of this you could shred a rotisserie chicken and add in at the very end.

To make vegan omit the Greek yogurt and do not top with cheese

  • Prep Time: 10M
  • Cook Time: 25M
  • Category: soup

Keywords: soup, chili, beans, vegetarian

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