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Vegan Quinoa Chili Recipe

Enjoying a hot bowl of chili on a cold day can be so satisfying. But if you’re vegan, eating traditional chili is out of the question! With this simple vegan quinoa chili recipe, you can enjoy a meat-free meal that’s packed full of flavor. And you won’t believe how filling this delicious recipe is! The combination of quinoa and vegetables makes this vegetarian chili the perfect choice on a cool fall evening.
Bowl of vegan chili topped with lime slices and cilantro.

Enjoying a hot bowl of chili on a cold day can be so satisfying. But if you’re vegan, eating traditional chili is out of the question! With this simple vegan quinoa chili recipe, you can enjoy a meat-free meal that’s packed full of flavor. And you won’t believe how filling this delicious recipe is! The combination of quinoa and vegetables makes this vegetarian chili the perfect choice on a cool fall evening.

Overhead view of Vegan Quinoa Chili

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What Do I Need to Make Quinoa Chili?

While traditional chili recipes are made with meat, there’s no reason vegetarians can’t enjoy a hot bowl of chili! With the help of a few hearty, meat-free substitutions, you can prepare a filling chili recipe without the meat. To make quinoa chili, you need:

Vegan Chili Ingredients

Looking for more great vegan recipes? Give these reader favorites a try!

One Pot Vegan Chili Mac | Vegan Chicken Salad with Chickpeas | Curried Chickpea Vegan Wraps | Vegan Thai Coconut Soup with Crispy Tofu 

How Do I Make Vegan Quinoa Chili?

One you have all your vegan ingredients ready to go, it’s time to start cooking. Follow these instructions for preparing your vegetarian chili:

Step One: Prepare the Quinoa

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring the pot to a boil. When the water is boiling, adjust the heat to low and add quinoa to the pan. Cook the quinoa for 12 minutes. When the quinoa is done, drain it from the hot water using a metal strainer. Then, let cold water run over the quinoa for a few seconds. After that, let the quinoa sit in the strainer over a bowl for a few minutes to drain completely.

Tricolor Quinoa

Step Two: Prepare the Other Ingredients

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Add the cayenne pepper and cumin powder, along with the chopped green and red bell peppers. Continue to cook for two minutes.

Step Three: Cook the Chili

Pour the peeled tomato, tomato purée, vegetable broth, and lemon juice in the pot. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil the chili for about five minutes, then add the beans, corn, olive, cilantro and cooked quinoa. Stir to combine all the ingredients, and cook for another five minutes until heated through.

Vegan Quinoa Chili in a sauce pan.

Vegan Chili Topping Ideas

Once you have your chili cooked, your dinner isn’t complete! There are so many delicious topping options to choose from when it comes to dressing up your vegan chili. Try these toppings to add even more flavor to your bowl:

  • Vegan sour cream
  • Chopped red onion
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Lime wedge
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sliced avocado
  • Vegan shredded cheese
  • Hot sauce
  • Tortilla chips
  • Crackers
  • Chopped bell pepper
  • Jalapeno slices

Bowl of vegan quinoa chili with a saucepan of vegan chili with a wooden spoon in it behind it.

What is a Good Meat Substitute for Chili?

When coming up with a vegan recipe alternative for meat-filled chili, you’re probably wondering what can I put in chili instead of meat? Luckily, there are a few different options to choose from when it comes to meat-free chili alternatives.

  • Beans: One of the simplest ways to prepare a vegetarian chili is to add more beans. While red beans or kidney beans are both popular chili ingredients, you could also mix in other bean varieties, like black beans, navy beans, chickpeas, or pinto beans.
  • Plant based meat: To give your chili a more traditional texture, you could use plant based meat as a hamburger alternative. Brown the meat alternative according to package instructions and mix it in with the rest of your chili ingredients.
  • Quinoa or lentils: Since quinoa and lentils are both full of protein, they make great alternatives to meat in soups and chilis. Prepare the grains ahead of time, then mix it into the chili.

What is the ratio of water to quinoa?

Properly preparing your quinoa is the key to a delicious vegan chili. To make your quinoa, start by rinsing the grains in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear. Then, transfer the rinsed quinoa to a saucepan. You’ll need two parts water to one part quinoa. So, for this chili recipe, you’ll need to add 1 ½ cups water to ¾ cup quinoa.

Bowl ov vegan chili

How do I make sure quinoa is cooked?

Making delicious quinoa can sometimes be difficult – especially if you’re not sure how to tell when your quinoa is done. Luckily, there’s one tell-tell sign that your quinoa is cooked. When quinoa is done, it looks like it has popped open to reveal small spirals around each grain. Keep an eye on your quinoa as it’s boiling, watching for the grain to pop. Once you see that it’s opened up, you’ll know that your quinoa is done.

How Do You Thicken Chili?

No one wants to eat runny, soupy chili! But if you cooked your chili according to the recipe and it still seems runny, don’t worry! There is a quick and easy solution you can use to thicken your quinoa chili. Simply whisk together one to two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water. When the mixture is smooth, pour it into the chili and stir to combine. Allow the chili to simmer for a few minutes until it begins to thicken, then remove the pan from heat and allow it to stand for a few minutes before serving.

Bowl of vegan chili topped with lime slices and cilantro.

Bowl of vegan chili topped with lime slices and cilantro.

Vegan Quinoa Chili

Enjoying a hot bowl of chili on a cold day can be so satisfying. But if you’re vegan, eating traditional chili is out of the question! With this simple vegan quinoa chili recipe, you can enjoy a meat-free meal that’s packed full of flavor. And you won’t believe how filling this delicious recipe is! The combination of quinoa and vegetables makes this vegetarian chili the perfect choice on a cool fall evening.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: Vegan Quinoa Chili
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 282kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup uncooked tricolor quinoa rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup green bell peppers chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers chopped
  • 14 ounces canned peeled tomatoes diced
  • 14 ounces tomato purée
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 28 ounces canned kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup green olives cut in rings
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • cilantro leaves for garnish
  • lime wedges for garnish
  • green olive slices for garnish

Instructions

  • Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring the pot to a boil.
  • Adjust the heat to low and add quinoa to the pan. Cook the quinoa for 12 minutes.
  • When the quinoa is done, drain it from the hot water using a metal strainer. Then, let cold water run over the quinoa for a few seconds. After that, let the quinoa sit in the strainer over a bowl for a few minutes to drain completely.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender.
  • Add the cayenne pepper and cumin powder and chopped green and red bell peppers. Continue to cook for two minutes.
  • Pour the diced peeled tomato, tomato purée, vegetable broth, and lemon juice in the pot. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil the chili for about five minutes.
  • Then, add the beans, corn, olives, cilantro and cooked quinoa. Stir to combine all the ingredients, and cook for another five minutes until heated through.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, lime wedges and sliced green olives if desired.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1106mg | Potassium: 920mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1050IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 5mg
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