Home > Dinner > Quinoa Chili Quinoa Chili August 25, 2019 | 33 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Quinoa chili is made in one pot on the stovetop in 30 minutes or less! This easy dinner recipe is packed with good-for-you ingredients and delicious seasonings. You won’t miss the meat in this vegetarian dinner. Pair this delicious quinoa chili with roasted Brussels sprouts, an easy Italian salad, or this simple fruit salad recipe. Quinoa Chili We love chili at our home and it’s on the menu frequently as the weather cools down. This crockpot chili is our go-to recipe and one of the most popular recipes on my site. But when we’re feeling like amping up the veggies, we turn to this vegetarian chili or this very Quinoa Chili recipe — both are incredibly filling and delicious. Thanks to the quinoa in this chili, it’s still packed with protein and sure to leave you feeling full and satiated. With sweet potatoes, beans and the perfect seasoning blend, Quinoa Chili is the best! Quinoa Chili ingredients Sweet potatoes: One of my all-time favorite veggies makes an appearance in this chili; it adds a nice sweetness, a good texture, and the perfect thickness. Seasoning blend: This Quinoa Chili has the best blend of spices! We’ve got chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and of course salt and pepper. Quinoa: Quinoa forms the base of the chili; it thickens and absorbs flavors from all the different ingredients. Chicken stock: I love the flavor of chicken stock with all the other ingredients, but use vegetarian broth to keep this Quinoa Chili vegetarian/vegan Chili beans: We like the chili beans in mild sauce but use whatever heat you prefer. Unsure what chili beans are? Here’s a great explanation. Black beans: If you’d rather skip the black beans, use another can of chili beans in this recipe. Frozen corn: If you have access to fresh corn, that’ll work as well (cut right off the cob). Petite diced tomatoes: Use fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor! Depending on the acidity of the canned tomatoes, you may want to add a pinch of sugar. (We love San Marzano® tomatoes best in this chili.) Toppings: See below! QUICK TIP Quinoa is naturally coated with saponins, a bitter-tasting outer coating to the seed. Unless your package of quinoa specifically states that it is pre-rinsed, you’ll need to wash the saponin off your quinoa, and it’s not difficult. Place the quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) in a fine mesh seive and rinse well for a minute or so. When the water runs clear, you’ll be ready to proceed with the recipe. Quinoa Chili toppings Fresh lime juice Freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese Sour cream (fat-free, reduced-fat, or full-fat) Crushed corn chips (like Fritos®), crushed tortilla chips, saltine crackers Fresh chives or cilantro (chopped) Fresh avocado/guacamole and/or fresh chopped tomatoes Our favorites: extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh lime, and cilantro! Variations To make this chili vegetarian, swap the chicken stock for vegetarian stock (or broth). This recipe also makes for the best vegan Quinoa Chili! Use vegetarian stock or broth in place of chicken stock and use vegan alternatives for topping the chili. For more of a southwest Quinoa Chili, add a teaspoon of Mexican oregano, a diced green or poblano pepper, and a diced red or yellow pepper. Sauté the peppers for 3-4 minutes right before adding in the quinoa. To make a turkey Quinoa Chili, add in some browned ground turkey. If adding in ground turkey, you may want to amp up the spices as well. Don’t forget to season the ground turkey with salt and pepper. Add fresh onion and/or garlic. If I have a little more time, I’ll sometimes add in half of a diced yellow onion and a few teaspoons of minced garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes before adding in the sweet potato. Using leftover Quinoa Chili Baked Potatoes: Add a few spoonfuls of Quinoa Chili, plus some cheese, green onions, sour cream, etc. to a baked potato. Navajo Tacos: Make or buy some fry bread, top with a few spoonfuls of Quinoa Chili and add some cheese and sour cream. (More about Navajo tacos here). Shepherd’s Pie: (kind of!) Use leftover Quinoa Chili as a base and top it with mashed potatoes. (Use the ratios and mashed potatoes from this shepherd’s pie recipe.) Quick notes Freezing: While you CAN freeze this chili, it doesn’t thaw/reheat as nicely as making it fresh. The quinoa continues to absorb liquid and becomes a little soggy. Reheating: Warm leftovers in the microwave or reheat gently on the stovetop. Add additional chicken/veggie stock as needed to thin out the chili a bit. Quinoa continues to absorb liquid as it sits. This chili will continue to get thicker and thicker, so keep that in mind for when you pull the chili off the stovetop. Chop the sweet potatoes into small bite-sized pieces; this ensures they’ll cook by the time everything else is done. More quinoa recipes Quinoa Salad with avocado Quinoa Enchilada Bake with roasted sweet potatoes Crockpot Quinoa Tacos 10 minutes prep Quinoa Black Bean Salad reader favorite Southwest Quinoa Salad with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Quinoa Chili 4.64 from 11 votes - Review this recipe Quinoa Chili made in one pot on the stovetop in 30 minutes or less! This easy dinner recipe is packed with good-for-you ingredients and delicious seasonings. You won't miss the meat in this vegetarian dinner. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Quinoa Chili 4.64 from 11 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Quinoa Chili made in one pot on the stovetop in 30 minutes or less! This easy dinner recipe is packed with good-for-you ingredients and delicious seasonings. You won't miss the meat in this vegetarian dinner. Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup Cuisine American Keyword quinoa chili Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 35 minutes Servings 6 - 8 servings Calories 236kcal Cost $5.84 Ingredients1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes1 tablespoon chili powder1 teaspoon ground cumin1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper1/2 teaspoon onion powder1/4 teaspoon garlic powder3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper1 cup white quinoa2 cups chicken stock (can use broth) (use vegetarian stock/broth to keep this vegetarian)1 cup frozen corn1 can (15.5 ounces) chili beans in mild sauce1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoesOptional toppings: fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, sour cream, cheddar cheese InstructionsHeat olive oil in a large cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add in the (peeled and chopped) sweet potatoes.Cook until quite tender, around 7-9 minutes. Add in the chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir for 1 minute or until fragrant.Thoroughly rinse the quinoa. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the quinoa to the hot skillet, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.Return to the heat and add in the stock/broth, the frozen corn, undrained chili beans, black beans and undrained diced tomatoes.Stir everything well and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pot.Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. The time will vary, depending on the heat of your stove. For best results, check it every 3-5 minutes and give it a good stir at each check to avoid burning or sticking to the bottom.Once the liquid is mostly absorbed, remove from the heat. Season to taste with any additional salt/pepper as needed. I like to add a few tablespoons of lime juice here.Add your favorite toppings to individual bowls. We top ours with a good handful of freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese, another squeeze of lime, a good dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro. Don't forget the toppings; they add a lot! Nutrition FactsCalories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 456mg | Potassium: 506mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6720IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.