Quinoa vegetarian chili

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 35 minutes
Serves 4-6 servings     adjust servings

A hearty vegan quinoa chili ready in about 35 minutes (and no need to pre-cook the quinoa)!


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (plus extra to adjust consistency)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans (light or dark), rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  2. Add seasonings (chili powder through cayenne) and stir to mix well and help the flavors of the spices bloom.
  3. Add uncooked quinoa and stir to get it coated in the spices and oil. Cook for about 30 seconds to lightly toast the quinoa.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, bring the mixture to a boil (I crank up the heat to make this happen faster) then lower the heat to low, cover the pot and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, add the cocoa powder, beans and tomatoes and stir to combine. Return the chili to a simmer (I usually crank up the heat again to help it along) then lower the heat to low again, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can let it hang out longer if you need to. You can also add extra vegetable broth if you’d like it to be more soupy.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings (I usually add some salt and pepper here). Top with your favorite chili toppings and serve hot!

Recipe Notes

If you have cooked quinoa you would like to use here, just skip the initial simmering. Add it along with the cocoa powder, beans and tomatoes and simmer for a total of 15-20 minutes.

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