Healthy Quinoa Chili: You’ll Never Know It’s Vegetarian

Healthy Quinoa Chili: You’ll Never Know It’s Vegetarian

I really enjoy a good bowl of chili and this quinoa chili doesn’t disappoint.

You don’t even miss the meat. I know for me (who is not a vegetarian), sometimes a lot of vegetarian dishes leave me wanting more and I miss that meat component. I do not feel that way with this chili at all.

It fills me up, it has a great texture and flavor.

Mmmm, I love a warm bowl of chili, so comforting!Click To Tweet

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Quinoa Chili


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 carrots, shredded*
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 3 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 – 5 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 – 28 oz can Rotel
  • 2 – 15 oz cans of black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 – 15 oz can of kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2.5 cups cooked quinoa**
  • 4 cups water
  • cilantro (optional)
  • avocado (optional)


Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat (I like to use my cast iron dutch oven). Saute carrots and onion, until soft and translucent. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Then add all of the spices and toast them for 30 – 60 seconds. Do the same with the tomato paste and stir it around for 30 – 60 seconds.  Add the Rotel, beans, quinoa & water. You’ll want to bring it to a boil. Then reduce temperature to medium-low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

Serve with whatever toppings you prefer. I like cilantro and avocado.

*I use my food processor for this to make it quick and easy.

**I used leftover quinoa from the week. If you don’t have some already cooked you can add it to the chili anyway. You will probably need to have it simmer for a little longer though. Just to make sure the quinoa is cooked. If the chili is thicker than you’d like it because the quinoa soaked it up just add a little more water.

I’m sure you’ll find some comfort in this warm pot of quinoa chili!

If you are soup/chili lover like myself you might like these recipes also:


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Linking up with Deborah and Sarah for Meatless Monday!Meatless Monday

This vegetarian & vegan quinoa chili recipe is healthy, easy, gluten free & perfect for Meatless Monday. This spicy meal is perfect for fall weeknight dinners. Comfort foods full of veggies, black beans, spices, cilantro & avocado.
  • Natalie says:

    Wow this is vege? Looks delicious and so good. I need to make this for my hubby. He will be surprised.

  • I love chili – especially quinoa chili! looks delish 🙂

  • Mikki says:

    It’s the perfect time of year for a dish like this! And I love that it has not meat!! Yahoo! Looks delicious!

  • We make a quinoa chili with a lot of interesting spices. I bet yours is amazing!

  • Farrah says:

    Yay for chili! I’ve never tried putting quinoa in my chili before–gotta love that extra packed protein! <3! I love that you added avocado too! *-*

  • I am a HUGE chili fan! This looks so nourishing and hearty! Pass me a bowl 🙂

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