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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336 Responses to “Vegetarian Quinoa Chili”

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

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

  7. 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!

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

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

    • Two Peas replied: — October 10th, 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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  10. 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.

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

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

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

    The quinoa in this chili is pure genious!

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  15. 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. :-)

  16. 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.

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

    I need a bowl of this right about now…

  18. 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!!!

  19. 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 :)

  20. 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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  22. 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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  27. Alex — January 1, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

    What us the nutritional info on this dish? Curious abou protein specifically.

  28. Amber — January 4, 2013 @ 3:36 am

    This chili is amazing! I’ve made it twice now, and everybody LOVES it! Thank you for sharing!

  29. Leanna — January 4, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

    Thank you for this awesome recipe! I made this yesterday and it is now my favorite chili recipe!!

  30. Lindsay — January 6, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it a couple of weeks ago but forgot to comment and just remembered because I am going to be making it again today. It is a HUGE amount (I’m only cooking for 2) so it’s perfect for Sunday dinner so I’ll have the leftovers for lunch this week. I’ve never been a huge fan of chili, mostly because I’ve never been a huge fan of meat – but this gives all the chili flavor without the meat, and it’s VERY filling and easy to make. Thanks again :)

    • Two Peas replied: — January 6th, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

      Hi Lindsay! I am so glad you liked the chili!

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  32. Sarah — January 8, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

    This is one of my favorite recipes! It’s so easy to put together and gets more flavorful every day! One of then staple dishes that I make almost weekly now. Love, love, love!!

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  36. Katie — January 17, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

    I cannot begin to express how much I enjoyed this chili. I am a big chili fan and this is probably my favorite now. I will confess. I did add a stick of butter to it, but other than that I left it alone.
    This is going to be a staple in our home from now on!
    Thank you so much for the recipe!

  37. laurie — January 18, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

    this stuff is AMAZING!!! I add some corn and some yellow squash. Made for an office pot luck and it was a HUGE hit! YUM!!

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  40. danielle — January 24, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    came accross this recipe via buzzfeed. made it last night and added in 1lb of ground turkey. was SO delicious! recipe was so easy and made so much i was able to freeze some as well as bring some in to my coworkers! they loved it as well. will definitely make again, thank you!

    • Two Peas replied: — January 27th, 2013 @ 10:20 am

      You are welcome!

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