This quinoa chili recipe is 100% plant-based, yet packed with so much protein, fiber, and veggies! It’s made with quinoa, roasted red peppers, beans, and kale for the ultimate healthy chili.
Fall is in the air and it’s officially chili season. We developed our classic beef chili for our omnivores and this delicious quinoa chili for our herbivores. If you’re looking for a hearty, plant-based meal that’s packed with all the good stuff, then this quinoa chili is a must.
We love this quinoa chili because it’s made with just one pot and you get so many servings of veggies, protein, and fiber without needing to add any meat. The flavors are on par with a few basic spices and added heat from jalapeño!
What You Need for Quinoa Chili
- Quinoa: no need to precook your quinoa for this recipe. You’ll be cooking it right in the pot.
- Roasted Red Pepper: as part of the red sauce in this quinoa chili recipe, you’ll be blending up an entire jar of roasted red peppers!
- Jalapeño: jalapeño adds some heat, but you can always tame it down with green chiles instead.
- Beans: we used white northern and red kidney, but you can truly use 2 cans of whatever beans you have on hand.
- Kale: kale adds earthiness and another veggie.
- Spices: spices required include chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. If you have our homemade chili seasoning on hand you can use that too!
- Maple syrup: maple syrup is our secret ingredient. Keep reading to see why.
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Substitutions + Variations
This chili is packed with peppers and kale, but it is also very forgiving. You can really use any vegetables you’d like. Mushrooms, spinach, or sweet potatoes would be great veggie options.
If you like a creamy chili, you can add a big dollop of Greek yogurt or blended cottage cheese.
Feel free to add an animal protein to this quinoa chili. Cook down any ground meat with the onions and garlic.
This is hands-down our favorite Dutch oven. It’s a 6.75 quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven that’s super high-quality and gorgeous.
Can I add cooked quinoa to this chili?
The recipe is written to use uncooked quinoa, so that is what we recommend. If you use cooked quinoa, there will be an excess of liquid.
Can I freeze this chili?
We do not recommend freezing this chili. The quinoa tends to break down when frozen.
Let the chili cool completely. Then, transfer the chili into an airtight container and remove as much air as possible. Refrigerate for up to 3-5 days the
To reheat: Reheat over medium/low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally. You can also reheat on high in the microwave for 60-90 minutes or until hot.
What to Serve with Quinoa Chili
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Quinoa Chili with Roasted Red Peppers
- 16 oz. jar roasted red peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large red onion minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large jalapeño pepper seeded and diced*
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 30 oz. canned great northern white beans drained and rinsed
- 15 oz. canned kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1.5 teaspoons sea salt or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 cups chopped kale deboned and packed (optional)
- Place the jar of roasted red peppers (including any liquid) into a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Set aside for later.
- Heat a large Dutch oven or pot over medium/high heat. Add olive oil. When the olive oil is fragrant, add the onion to the pot. Season with salt and let the onion saute for 3-4 minutes and then add the garlic and let it cook for an additional 1 minute.
- Add the red pepper, jalapeno, and quinoa to the pot and toss with the onion and garlic. Toast the garlic for 3-4 minutes, stirring periodically.
- Then, add the pureed roasted red peppers, great northern beans, kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and maple syrup to the pot and stir to combine.
- Lastly, add the kale, stir again and then bring the chili to a boil. Turn the heat to low and cover. Let the chili simmer for 15 minutes.
- Uncover the chili, stir, and allow the chili to cook until the quinoa is completely cooked.
- Serve the chili with your favorite chili toppings and enjoy.
Tips & Notes
- If you like spicy chili, add the jalapeno seeds to the chili.
- Feel free to omit the kale if you don’t like greens in your chili.
- If you are out of kidney beans and great northern beans, feel free to substitute them with any other bean.
- This recipe was redeveloped and updated on October 14, 2022. Find the original recipe HERE.