Overhead shot of vegan white bean chili with baked polenta fries and avocado salsa on black plate.

vegan white bean chili with baked polenta fries

  • Author: Denise
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes (2 hours for setting the polenta)
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Vegan white bean chili smothered over crispy baked polenta fries and topped with quick avocado salsa might be the perfect chili fries recipe ever.



Vegan white bean chili

  • 1 green bell pepper, roasted and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted and diced
  • 23 jalapenos, roasted and diced
  • 315 oz. cans white beans (Great Northern, Cannelloni, Butter beans, etc.), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or 4 cups water and 2 veggie cubes)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ lime, juiced (or 1 ½ Tbsp. lime juice)

Baked polenta fries

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup plant milk
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups polenta

Avocado salsa

  • 1 ripe avocado cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 small red onion, diced small (about ½ cup)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime


Timing tip: You will start the polenta at least 2 hours before as it needs to refrigerate. Get the chili to the simmering point and then prepare and bake the fries. Make the avocado salsa while the fries bake. Keep an eye on the chili so that is stays hot but does not reduce too much.

Baked polenta fries

  1. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat the vegetable broth and plant milk until it begins to simmer.
  3. Whisk in the nutritional yeast, thyme, chili powder and salt and start slowing adding the polenta as you continue whisking. Be sure to keep the heat low so that the polenta doesn’t start to brown. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture gets very thick.
  4. Add the cooked mixture to the baking dish and spread it evenly. Place the polenta in the fridge and allow it to set for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. To make the fries, preheat the oven to 4000 F (2200 C)
  6. Once the polenta has set, use the parchment paper to lift it out of the baking dish and onto a cutting board or baking tray.
  7. Cut the polenta into long strips widthwise and then cut the strips into fries.
  8. Transfer the cut fries onto a baking sheet and gently spread them apart, being careful not to break them. Note – you can further break them apart once you turn them, so don’t worry if they don’t have too much room to begin with.
  9. Bake the fries for 15 minutes or until they start to brown. Before you flip the fries, be sure to fully separate them so they don’t break. Gently flip the fries and bake another 10 minutes until they are brown.

Vegan white bean chili

  1. Preheat the oven to 4250 F (2200 C).
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Cut the green and red peppers into quarters and remove the core and seeds. You can either cut the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds or leave the whole for roasting.
  4. Place the peppers and jalapenos, skin side up on the baking tray and bake until the skins become dark brown (about 20 minutes). Flip the jalapenos about halfway through if you are roasting them whole.
  5. While the peppers roast, drain and rinse the beans and add 2 cups of the beans plus the vegetable broth, cumin, oregano and cayenne into a blender and blend until the beans are broken down. Reserve the remaining beans.
  6. Once the peppers are done, allow then to cool before you dice them up. If you have left the jalapenos whole, you’ll want to slice them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds if you want to reduce the heat.
  7. To make the chili, heat a medium soup pot and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes until they start to become translucent. Add water a tablespoon at a time if they begin to stick.
  8. Next, add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  9. Add the diced peppers, the blended beans and broth and the remaining whole white beans. Bring the pot to a slow simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Continue allowing it to simmer while you bake the polenta fries.
  10. Stir in the lime juice before serving the chili.

Avocado salsa

  1. In a small bowl, combine the avocado, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and lime juice.

To serve, place a serving of fries on each place and ladle the white bean chili over them. Top with avocado salsa and dig in.


  • Most of the prep time is for setting the polenta. The time allows for at least 2 hours or overnight. Also included in the prep time is for prepping the chili. The cooking time includes simmering the chili and baking the fries simultaneously.
  • Along with the polenta, you can prep several elements of this recipe beforehand, including roasting and dicing the peppers. Just store them in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
  • Reheat the polenta fries in the oven by covering or wrapping them in foil to prevent them from overbrowning.
  • Category: Main Courses
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan white bean chili with baked polenta fries