Quinoa Chili

4.89 from 9 votes
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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.

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bowl of quinoa 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.
blended roasted red peppers in mixer.

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.

cooking quinoa chili in Dutch oven.
Great Jones the Dutchess

Great Jones

The Dutchess

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.

quinoa chili in Dutch oven.


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.

Storage Suggestions

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.

bowl of quinoa chili.

What to Serve with Quinoa Chili

Serve this quinoa chili with this harvest butternut squash salad or a simple arugula salad. You can also add great toppings to your chili to add more veggies and a ton of flavor!

4.89 from 9 votes

Quinoa Chili with Roasted Red Peppers

This nourishing quinoa chili recipe is made with roasted red peppers, beans, chili seasoning, and a little jalapeño for heat!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 6
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  • 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.
    blended roasted red peppers.
  • 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.
    cooking quinoa chili in dutch oven.
  • 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.
    quinoa chili in pot.
  • 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.
    kale on top of quinoa chili.
  • 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.


Calories: 483 kcal, Carbohydrates: 84 g, Protein: 23 g, Fat: 9 g, Fiber: 20 g, Sugar: 13 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Lee Funke

Lee is the founder of Fit Foodie Finds and based in Minneapolis, MN. She started this website in 2010 as a way to share her love for real food and wellness. The internet has changed so much since then and so has Fit Foodie Finds. Today we're a female-run recipe website publishing hundreds of tried and true recipes developed and tested by our team.

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December 8, 2023 8:01 am

5 stars
Yes, this meal has quite a few steps but it is so flavorful! This recipe is a keeper especially for those of us who could use more plant-based meals in our lives.

January 10, 2023 11:51 pm

5 stars
So flavorful & so filling! No meat needed. Delish

Angie Motto
January 1, 2020 12:52 pm

Is there something I could sub for the Roasted Red Peppers?

October 2, 2018 1:19 pm
Recipe Rating :

5 stars
Great recipe! Added a green pepper. I also sauteed the veggies first with the spices to deepen the flavor. Next time, I will add a a few Tablespoons of tomato paste. Thanks! (I’d love to see this adapted for the Instant Pot).