Two Peas and Their Pod

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Caleb loves this Vegetarian Quinoa Chili. No, we didn’t give him a bowl to eat, but he loves the word quinoa. I was holding Caleb when I told Josh we were having Quinoa Chili for dinner and he started laughing. I asked Caleb if he liked Quinoa Chili and he started giggling like crazy. Every time I would say quinoa, he would crack up…so of course I said it one too many times:) Now that I think of it, quinoa is kind of a funny word. I am glad my Vegetarian Quinoa Chili made Caleb so happy because it certainly made our bellies and tastebuds happy.

This chili is hearty and very filling. It is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, but meat lovers will enjoy it as well. The chili has black beans, red kidney beans, tomatoes, and lots of vegetables-onion, carrots, celery, green pepper, red pepper, and zucchini. We threw in a jalapeño, chili powder, and cumin for added spice.

The beans and quinoa team up to make this chili a protein power house! I love the texture the quinoa adds to the chili. It is my new favorite chili recipe. You can top the chili with green onions, cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, avocado slices, chips, crackers, or serve cornbread on the side. The chili is good, if not better, the second day. We enjoyed leftovers for a few days and loved it every time. And if you can’t eat it all, put the chili in the freezer for a rainy day-it freezes really well.

If you are looking for a new chili recipe to try this winter, make a big pot of Vegetarian Quinoa Chili. It will warm you up and fill you up. This chili is also perfect for the upcoming Super Bowl. It is easy to make and your guests will love it. I know we are going to serve this chili at our Super Bowl party.

I can’t wait until Caleb is old enough to taste this chili, but until then I am fine with him just giggling at the name. I am so glad he loves quinoa:) Today is Caleb’s 4 month birthday! Happy 4 months to our sweet little pea!

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Yield: Serves 10-12

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

This hearty chili is made with beans, vegetables, and quinoa. Meat lovers and vegetarians will love this chili!


1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2-3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your taste (we used 3)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, etc.


1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Note-garnish the chili with green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, if desired. This chili freezes well.

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321 Responses to “Vegetarian Quinoa Chili”

  1. Pingback: Favorite Recipe Finds | Vegetarian Mamma

  2. Skip Graden — May 26, 2012 @ 4:14 am

    I wrote a recipe similar to this this past winter and everyone loved it. Only thing people said was there was a lot of ingredients but they are so worth it!

  3. Lavon — May 31, 2012 @ 1:35 am

    I would like to make this recipe in my rice cooker. Any recommendations? How many cups does this recipe yield? I may cut it in half the first time to see how large the recipe is.

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  5. Megan Colyer — June 15, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

    Hello, my name is Megan Colyer and I am the Shiloh Farms Marketing Coordinator. Shiloh Farms is searching for Gluten Free recipes to feature on our new gluten free product packages. Would you be willing to share this recipe with us for a product package? Please contact me at I look forward to hearing from you.

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  7. Heather Powell-Thornhill — July 16, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

    Just made this, in 97 degree heat and its fabulous, even my four year old likes it! This is the first time I ever used quinoa

  8. Pingback: Quinoa Chili – #glutenfree #vegan | Vegetarian Mamma

  9. Charlene — July 27, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

    I have recently introduced myself to quinoa and have been actively seeking a variety of recipes in which to use it. I’m disappointed that so many of the recipes I’ve found, including some here, also used a number of canned ingredients—-which I, like so many, have been avoiding. While canned foods allow for quick and easy meal preparations, they are certainly not our healthiest option.

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  12. Cindy — September 3, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

    I have made this and it was definitely a winner! I will add more Quinoa next time though because I found it didn’t fill quite enough.

    Very very tasty! :)

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  19. Meg @ Peaches and Cake — October 3, 2012 @ 11:24 am

    I’ve got this simmering over the stove now! So excited!

  20. Bon — October 3, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

    Ten to twelve servings, hmm. Can anyone tell me the approx. serving size – a cup or two, I’m guessing? The only freezer I have is the one in my refrigerator so I might need to half this recipe. Thanks!

  21. Mary — October 9, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    !!Can I cook this in a crock pot? Looks yummy!

  22. Two Peas — October 10, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    I haven’t tried this recipe in the crock pot, but I am sure it would work out great! Enjoy!

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  24. Andy — October 14, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

    Amazing recipe! We tried it tonight and thought it was awesome :). Thanks for posting it! My wife and I calculated the calories because that’s something we like to follow and thought it may be helpful for other people who love this recipe. It came to 10 servings at 2 cups per serving for a total of 205 calories per serving.

  25. Melisa — October 22, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

    I made this yesterday and it was so easy and so delicious. Loved the quinoa in it!!!

  26. Pingback: Vegetarian Quinoa Chili |

  27. Caroline — October 28, 2012 @ 5:53 am

    The quinoa in this chili is pure genious!

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  29. Sybil — October 29, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing–I came across your site on pinterest and this is a great recipe! I have a pot of it on the stove and it’s delicious. :-)

  30. Sara — November 8, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    This is an excellent recipe, I made it for Election Day. My only change would be to put less cumin in it. It was way too spicey with it in. I would half it next time.

  31. Aggie — November 11, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    I need a bowl of this right about now…

  32. Andrea — November 14, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

    I just made this chili and man o man did my husband & I enjoy it. So delicious. Of course I made some corn bread to go along with it. Cant have chili without corn bread lol. Thanks for the recipe! Big fan!!!

  33. chubbyslenderloris — November 18, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    I made this last night paired with some vegan cornbread muffins for a potluck and it was complete success! So good and so many good veggies. I will definitely be making this again soon. It’s perfect for the fall :)

  34. Kristin — November 25, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    This is delicious! I added just a couple of chipotle peppers in adobo and it gave it a nice little kick (we like spicy chili) but not too much to be overwhelming.

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  36. Renee — December 26, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    I made this last night and it is awesome!!! 😀 Thank you for posting!! The rest of my family approved too!

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