This vegan quinoa chili is a hearty, protein-rich meal that’s simply bursting with flavor. It’s loaded with veggies and beans for a deliciously satisfying meal the entire family will love!
Chili is one of my go-to comfort foods, not just because it’s super tasty and satisfying but also because it’s a fuss-free dish.
This vegan quinoa chili is a favorite in our home because it’s extra hearty and full of nutrients. You've got the quinoa, beans, and a bunch of veggies all coming together for a wholesome meal that's perfect for a chill night in or when having friends and family over.
Another reason we're obsessed with this vegan quinoa chili is how simple it is to make. Seriously, it's a one-pot wonder!
You'll have a delicious, protein-packed meal in no time, and the cleanup is a breeze. It's also perfect for meal prep since it stores and reheats like a dream.
Why you’ll love this vegan quinoa chili
- Protein-packed power meal — This chili is loaded with plant-based protein from the beans and quinoa.
- A customizable canvas — You can easily switch up the veggies, beans, and spices to create a unique dish your family will love.
- Easy, one-pot wonder — I’m all about simplicity and convenience, and this recipe checks all the boxes!
Ingredients and substitutions
Avocado oil — I like to use avocado oil in this quinoa chili recipe because it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor, perfect for sautéing our veggies.
You can substitute it with olive oil, coconut oil, or even vegetable oil to get those veggies sizzling.
Onion, carrot and celery — This trio of veggies creates a flavorful base for this quinoa chili. Feel free to experiment with different types of onions like red, yellow, or even shallots.
Bell peppers — Red and green bell peppers add a pop of color and a hint of sweetness to the chili.
Garlic and jalapeño — These two ingredients bring a punch of flavor and a bit of heat to the dish.
If you're not a fan of spicy food, you can reduce the amount of jalapeño or remove the seeds and membranes for a milder kick.
Spices and herbs — The mild chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and dried oregano mix creates a warm, smoky flavor that makes this quinoa chili absolutely irresistible. Add some extra cayenne pepper or red chili flakes for a fiery chili.
Diced tomatoes — Canned diced tomatoes provide a rich, tangy base for our chili. If you don't have any on hand, you can use crushed tomatoes instead. Feel free to mix in some tomato paste, too.
Quinoa — Quinoa is a fantastic source of plant-based protein and adds a lovely, nutty flavor to this vegan chili.
Beans — Black beans and red kidney beans bring heartiness and protein to the dish. Feel free to use your favorite beans, such as pinto beans, white beans, or even chickpeas.
Sweetcorn — Sweetcorn adds a touch of natural sweetness and a delightful crunch. Both canned and frozen sweetcorn work here.
How to make chili with quinoa
Heat the avocado oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the diced onion, carrot, celery stalks, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper to the pot. Sauté the vegetables for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to soften and the onion becomes translucent.
Stir in the finely chopped garlic cloves and jalapeño, and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and oregano to the pot. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the spices and cook for another 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
Pour in the diced tomatoes, quinoa, black beans, red kidney beans, and sweetcorn into the pot. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
Add the vegetable stock to the pot, stirring to mix everything together. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for 30 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
Taste the chili and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
Serve your vegetarian quinoa chili hot, garnished with additional fresh cilantro or your favorite vegan toppings, such as tortilla chips, diced avocado, dairy-free sour cream, or vegan cheese shreds.
Make it in the Instant Pot
To make this chili in an Instant Pot, use the sauté function to cook the vegetables and spices. Then, add the remaining ingredients, close the lid, and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before carefully releasing any remaining pressure.
Leftovers and storage
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.
- Gently reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, or use a microwave-safe dish to reheat it in the microwave.
- The chili freezes great for up to 3 months, which makes it great for those days when you don’t have time to cook. Simply thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it using your preferred method.
Recipe notes and tips
- If you're looking to make this recipe oil-free, you can sauté the vegetables in a splash of vegetable broth or water instead of using avocado oil. Keep an eye on the veggies and add more liquid as needed to prevent sticking.
- For an extra protein kick, you can add some crumbled tofu, tempeh, or even vegan "meat" crumbles to the chili.
- If you prefer a thicker chili consistency, you can cook the quinoa separately in vegetable broth or water and then stir it into the chili at the end. This allows you to control the thickness of the chili and adjust it to your liking.
If you liked this vegan quinoa chili, you might also like some of my other easy vegan one-pot recipes:
- Easy One-Pot Vegan Chili Mac
- Cajun Bean and Potato Stew
- Thai Coconut Chickpea Curry
- Easy Mexican Bean Soup
- Easy Vegan Potato Soup
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