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Crockpot Quinoa Chili

Simple (dump it all in and forget about it) Crockpot Quinoa Chili. No veggie chopping or pre-cooking required; just open cans and throw it all in for the easiest slow cooker dinner that's packed with flavor and healthful ingredients.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup, Spice
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword crockpot quinoa chili
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 187kcal


  • 3/4 cup white quinoa
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) chicken breast boneless, skinless
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 and 1/4 cups salted/seasoned chicken stock (can use chicken broth)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chili beans in mild sauce (Note 1)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen recommended)
  • Optional toppings: fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro, sour cream, Cheddar cheese


  • Line the slow cooker with a plastic liner or coat with cooking spray. Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove the bitter saponin coating. Drain and rinse the black beans. Cut the chicken breast into 2-3-inch-long, 1-inch-thick pieces.
  • Add the quinoa, black beans, chicken, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, chicken stock, frozen corn, (undrained/unrinsed) chili beans, (undrained) and diced tomatoes to a large 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 2.5 to 4 hours. (Ours is always done right at 3 hours.) Check occasionally and stir every once and a while if around.
  • Once the liquid is mostly absorbed, remove the slow cooker insert from the heat. Season to taste with any additional salt/pepper as needed, or any additional seasoning. I like to add a few tablespoons of lime juice here. Shred the chicken in a separate bowl with two forks (or chop it coarsely with a knife) and add back to the pot.
  • Top individual bowls with favorite toppings. We top ours with a good handful of freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese, another squeeze of lime, a good spoonful of sour cream, and some chopped cilantro. Don't forget the toppings; they make this chili!


Note 1: You'll find chili beans in the canned good aisle (usually with the other beans) in the grocery store. They are typically pinto, red, or kidney beans in a mild chili-spiked sauce.


Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 441IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg