Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa – a hearty vegan chili even meat lovers will love! Loaded with black beans, red kidney beans, tomatoes, and lots of veggies in addition to protein-rich quinoa, this is the best vegetarian chili recipe!

vegetarian chili served with cornbread and topped with cheese and onion


Vegetarian Quinoa Chili is no Laughing Matter..

Or maybe it is. 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 taste buds happy. This is the BEST vegetarian chili recipe!

bowl of vegan chili garnished with cheese and scallions

Vegan Chili Meat Lovers will Love

This chili is hearty and very filling. It is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, but meat lovers will enjoy it as well. This vegan chili is made with 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. Don’t ever skip the chili powder and cumin when making chili, they are the key spices in any chili recipe and really add great flavor in this vegan chili.

Best Vegetarian chili recipe with protein-packed quinoa in serving dish

Protein-Packed Vegetarian Chili

The beans and quinoa team up to make this chili a protein powerhouse! I love the texture the quinoa adds to the chili. 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.

Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe, Hands Down

This is my new favorite chili recipe.  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 vegan chili is also perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or for any game day. It is easy to make and your guests will love it. It is always a hit with everyone, even the meat lovers! They never miss the meat because this healthy chili is so filling and delicious!

If you like this vegetarian chili recipe, you might also like:

Spoonful of Quinoa chili served with cornbread

Vegetarian chili with protein-packed quinoa in serving bowl

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

This hearty chili is made with beans, vegetables, and quinoa. Meat lovers and vegetarians will love this chili!
4.86 from 28 votes


  • 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.


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


Calories: 215kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 3g, Sodium: 507mg, Potassium: 1075mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 3015IU, Vitamin C: 59.5mg, Calcium: 107mg, Iron: 5.3mg
Keywords chili, vegetarian chili

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. 5 stars
    This has been our favorite chili recipe since the first time I made it some 5ish years ago. Thank you for posting! It freezes really well too. We make it in large batches so I can freeze and have on had when we want to eat it.

    I only do two things differently. I puree the veggies before cooking them (my gang will eat any veggie as long as it is pureed. ) This also cuts down the cooking time. The second thing is, I do add 1/2 cup of Earth Balance at the end to have a fat carry the flavor. That’s all! We love this recipe so much!!!

  2. 5 stars
    This chili is my favorite.  It is a great recipe.  I like to make it in the crockpot.  I have made it several times.  It is the best!

  3. 5 stars
    First of all, thank you for this delicious recipe. I made it a couple years ago and remember it was soooo good!
    I want to make it for an office potluck tomorrow, but I don’t remember how I made it last time… Just to clarify the quantities, am I correct to understand I must use a total of:
    – 30 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
    – 15 ounces can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    – 45 ounces diced tomatoes
    – 15 ounces can tomato sauce?
    (I am French and we measure weight in grams, and after converting, I’m not sure I got it right…)
    Thank you in advance for your help! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! I used all fresh tomatoes instead of canned and a jar of homemade tomato sauce, it turned out really well! I’m a real quinoa lover so I think when I make it again I might try to add extra quinoa!

    Also, the grocery store didn’t have zucchini… so I added extra carrots which makes it a little more crunchy.

    Thank you for the recipe, will definitely make again!!

  5.  This chili was so simple to make, and it was full  flavor and delicious. My three and five-year-old loved it too! I definitely recommend it.

  6. 5 stars
    Fantastic chili. It was easy to make and tastes fantastic. Highly recommend!!! I topped mine with a bit of light sour cream and cilantro. Love it 

  7. 4 stars
    Delicious! I’m sure glad I only put 2 TBLS. of chili powder rather than 3 and no jalapeno. It would have been way too hot for us to eat if I had! As it is I made corn bread to go with it and that helped balance the heat.

  8. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe, all the non vegans love it and it’s great the next day as well. Great in Tacos, Thankyou 

  9. I have been making this chili for years! I am so grateful to you for sharing the recipe! This last time I subbed in 1 lb of grass fed ground beef for the quinoa (sacrilege, I know) and it was just as good as ever. Thanks again!!

  10. 5 stars
    This is my favorite chili, I have made it at least a dozen times! I usually do a little extra quinoa to bulk it up (around 2/3 cup) and also add a can of chickpeas. I often add extra veggies as well, like butternut squash or sweet potatoes. I make sure to use the no salt added beans and tomatoes since salt can add up fast. I like my chili spicy and found that using 3 tablespoons of chili powder and adding 2/3 teaspoon of both smoked paprika and ground cayenne pepper gives this recipe a lot of kick! It freezes fabulously and I get about seven hearty servings for around 370 calories each. Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    New to the vegetarian lifestyle, but so glad I found this recipe! Even the carnivores in my house enjoyed it. I only made a half batch (because you know new recipe and all) but boy did I regret that! Next time I’m making a whole batch : )

  12. 5 stars
    I just love love love this recipe even my 7 year-old and two-year-old grandson loved it including their parents every time I make it everyone gobbles it up and it’s supposed to be just for me lol.

  13. 5 stars
    This comment is SO LATE, but I want to thank you for the recipe. When I went vegan in college and had nothing but a hot plate to cook with, this chili was one of the only things keeping me alive! I probably made it several times a month from 2013 to 2015. I’m out of college now but I made it again tonight and it’s still delicious. Only thing I did differently was added 2 tbsp of miso paste, which I have found is a great way to give a little more depth of flavor to a vegan chili. THANK YOU! It’s so healthy and tasty.

  14. It took me so long to get to see the recipe because of all the ads and popups. Might want to fix that. The video pop up was not going away!

  15. 5 stars
    This is a fantastic recipe! I have made it many times – for parties and for my freezer. It’s a perfect quick meal on a chilly (chili) day, from the freezer to the saucepan, served with some grated cheese and nacho chips. It’s also great for parties – for meat lovers and vegans alike. I usually also make ‘taco bowls’ from tortilla wraps to serve it in (edible bowls).’I once had someone at a party argue with me, insisting there was ground beef in it. I use red quinoa and it really does look like ground beef. It’s always a hit! Thank you.

  16. 5 stars
    Exactly as described. Not veggie myself – absolutely love this recipe. So does my daughter. Easy, delicious, cheap and healthy. Highly recommend it! 

  17. 5 stars
    This is a fabulous recipe! I have made this many times, and each time I make it, I realize how much I missed having it since the last time. I love beef chili, and I must tell you I don’t miss the beef in this recipe! I also substitute one can of the diced tomatoes with a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes to give the dish a little heat. I sprinkle cheddar/jack cheese on top –so tasty and very satisfying! I serve it with cornbread, and everyone loves it!

  18. 5 stars
    This is truly the best! I’ve made this a few times, always a winner. Even freezing individual portions for quick lunches.

  19. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe – I love how thick and hearty it is. Thanks for posting! If anyone is interested – it works great with some browned beyond meat crumbles mixed in, too.

  20. 5 stars
    Just made this chili tonight and the family loved it! We didn’t miss the meat one bit. Thanks for a delicious, healthy recipe. I will be making it again!

  21. This recipe is good but VERY time consuming so I wouldn’t advise making it unless you have a lot of time. It takes considerably more prep time than stated. I started at 5:05 pm and it was 6:23 pm before it was cooking for the final 30 minutes. The quinoa was cooked and I used a mini chopper to chop most of the veggies which should speed up the work. I am very unhappy with this and other recipes that give gross under estimates of prep time. And washing, peeling, rinsing, draining, chopping, dicing and mincing ARE ALL part of prep time.

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