Quinoa Chili

It snowed here yesterday making it the second snow of the year already. I’m sure I’m not the only one that is seeing the weather changing to winter. Because of the dropping temperatures, all I wanted to eat was warm soup and so, I decided to make chili!

Chili is so easy to make, inexpensive, nutritious and delicious. If you’re not big into eating vegetables, it’s a great way to sneak some into your daily consumption without thinking much of it with the flavor of chili taking over all your senses. Chili is also really easy to manipulate, play around with your spices and ingredients each time to change things up through the winter season (I’ll be sure to give more chili and soup recipes as the season progresses).

Let’s talk about the recipe at hand, though. I prefer to add different beans in my chili for different textures. When I’m buying beans from the store, I try to get reduced or low sodium options because you can always add salt to your food, but the beans will easily have more sodium than any reasonable amount of added salt will have. I added quinoa in lieu of corn because it is extremely hard, if at all, to digest and it adds more to the nutrient level of the chili. The reason I cooked the quinoa before I added it to the chili was to ensure that it didn’t absorb too much of the liquid.

A little about quinoa:

  • It’s packed with protein! It has twice as much protein as rice does
  • It has five times as much fiber as that of rice, as well as it is lower in carbohydrates
  • It’s high in trace minerals (more information to come on trace minerals)
  • It is a complete protein (has all of the essential amino acids) on it’s own (most plant-based foods need to pair with something, i.e. rice and beans)

Time to make some chili!

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
20 minutes 1 hr 1 hr 20 min

Makes: 10 cups



1 Tbsp olive oil 

1 small onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 c water (or 8 c vegetable broth)

1 Tbsp vegetable bouillon (opt out if using veggie broth)

6 oz can tomato paste

2 small limes

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

Dash of cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

2 small potatoes (or 1 medium)

15 oz can black beans

15 oz can kidney beans

15 oz can pinto beans

2 cups cooked quinoa


1 Tbsp green onion

1 Tbsp cilantro

1 oz grated cheese (I used Daiya Block Cheddar Cheese)


  1. Begin by putting 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot and turn on stove to medium heat
  2. Dice onion and mince garlic, then put in pot to let saute for about 5 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, put 1/2 c quinoa and 1 c water in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, cover and drop temperature to low to simmer for 15 minutes (make sure to set a timer!).
  4. Once garlic and onions are somewhat clear in color, add 8 c water and vegetable bouillon (or broth) to the pot.img_7676.jpg
  5. Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, limes, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil, then add potatoes, quinoa, and beans.
  7. Let mixture come to a boil again then decrease temperature to low to simmer for 1 hour.
  8. Cut up green onion, cilantro and grate cheese. Place on top and enjoy with cornbread, tortilla chips, or whatever you want!


Published by Shelby

Hi, I'm Coach Shelby and I've been empowering vegan newbies into flourishing, strong vegan babes since 2018. Here you will get the opportunity to learn a bit about how I do that, how you can get involved and other resources that can help you start living a healthier lifestyle right away. Thanks for coming, I hope to talk with you soon! <3

5 thoughts on “Quinoa Chili

  1. Shelby– i just made your chili with a couple changes to go with our dinner tonight. its almost done. I did not put the beans in and i added a red pepper and left over sole we had last night……… so i suppose its gonna be almost soup like with the large potato and fish which had lemon and fresh garlic……… And i made cornbread. perfect meal for cold rainy night….. Love your blog. Jeannie

    Liked by 1 person

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