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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323 Responses to “Vegetarian Quinoa Chili”

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  1. Alex — January 1, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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!!

  4. 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 :)

  5. Two Peas — January 6, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

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

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  7. 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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  11. 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!

  12. 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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  15. 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!

  16. Two Peas — January 27, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    You are welcome!

  17. Tamara — January 31, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    I had a craving for chili and wanted to make it vegetarian. From a search I found this recipe….at first I thought a friend of mine had posted it because her baby is Caleb and hubby Josh! This recipe is GREAT. I used just one can of black beans, the only change. Very easy, very. I served with a pan of cornbread. Great on a stormy night here in the South and we have plenty left-overs.

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  19. Jessica Quarrie — February 4, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    I just made this recipe over the weekend and it was fantastic. I found the carrots did not soften up so I would recommed to cutting the carrots in smaller pieces. Also since I was making this for my 20 month old daughter I just used half of the jalapeno pepper. Thank you for the great recipe!!

  20. Two Peas — February 4, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    You are welcome!

  21. Tash — February 4, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

    Hi there! I’m wondering what the tomato sauce is like? Sauce over here is like ketchup, so would it be like a plain tomato pasta sauce? Or just tomato purée? Thanks!!

  22. Two Peas — February 4, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    Tomato sauce is tomato puree, not like ketchup:)

  23. Tash — February 4, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

    YAY! Thats what i went out and bought. This is cooking right now and MAN it tastes great :) It makes a LOT, lol so glad it freezes well :) Thank you!

  24. Aubrie — February 5, 2013 @ 11:53 pm

    This was delicious! I subbed a yellow pepper for the carrot because I didn’t have any, and a seeded, minced chipotle chili for the jalapeno. Yum!

  25. Robin — February 6, 2013 @ 7:31 am

    Do you think it would be ok to leave this chili in a crockpot overnight, do you think it will hold together?

  26. Two Peas — February 6, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    Yes, I think it would be just fine in the crockpot. Enjoy!

  27. Two Peas — February 6, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    So happy you liked the chili!

  28. Elizabeth — February 7, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    How would you modify this for a crock pot? It looks delicious but I’d like something I can throw together in the morning and then come home to dinner ready and waiting for me…

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  30. Dave 1939 — February 10, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

    Made this for a chili cook-off contest. Everybody loved it. Thanks.

  31. Craig — February 11, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    This chili really is fantastic. I’m not a vegan by any means, but my girlfriend tries to be. I made this and we both love it! I’ve made it several times now, as has she. I like to play around with the ingredients, but the mixture of quinoa, spices and lots of veggies never fails! Thanks for the recipe :)

  32. Steven — February 13, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

    By 2 “stalks” of celery, do you mean 2 entire heads or just 2 “sticks” from an entire head? Thank you.

  33. Two Peas — February 13, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    2 sticks of celery, not the entire head:) Sorry for the confusion.

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  39. Val — March 1, 2013 @ 8:54 am

    This chili is fantastic! My husband and I are trying to eat less meat so this is perfect! I found the recipe about a month ago and my husband loves it so much (as do I!) that I have made it at least once a week since then!

    Any chance you have the nutrition facts on this? I know it will change depending on the beans you use, but just wondering if you have a rough guess? I can always calculate myself! Thanks for such a great recipe!

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