Vegan Quinoa Chili is the plant-based dinner of your dreams. Protein-packed thanks to the quinoa and beans and lots of fiber make this chili extra filling. Perfect for meatless Monday or any night when you want a healthy, vegetarian dinner option. The main reason I love making this quinoa chili? It uses mainly pantry ingredients!
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Vegan Quinoa Chili:
I love that this vegan chili recipe uses all pantry staples! It’s a great recipe to have in your back pocket when you don’t want to run to the store.
- Onion and Garlic
- Spices: Chili Powder, Cumin, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Salt and Pepper
- Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes – If you only have regular diced tomatoes, that is fine.
- Diced Green Chiles
- Canned Beans – Black Beans and Kidney Beans (light or dark). Make sure to rinse and drain the canned beans before using. This helps rinse off the excess sodium.
- Canned Tomato Sauce
- Lime Juice and Fresh Cilantro – To add at the end for brightness!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Add the spices when you add the garlic to sauté – Adding the spices before you add any liquid allows the spices to ‘bloom’ and deepen in flavor.
- Serve Immediately or Add Liquid to Leftovers – This vegan quinoa chili is best served immediately after cooking. As it sits, the quinoa will continue to soak up the liquid and become very thick. Have leftovers? That’s okay! It still tastes great when it’s thicker or you can add a little water or broth to loosen it up.
- Scrape Any Bits Off the Bottom – When you add the liquid ingredients, make sure to scrape any bit of onion, garlic, and spices off the bottom. This is where the flavor is!
Protein-Packed Vegan Chili
Just because there is no meat, doesn’t mean this chili isn’t loaded with protein! Quinoa is a whole grain that has lots of protein. The addition of both black beans and kidney beans also ramps up the protein content. Leaving you with a filling, healthy chili.
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating:
- Storage – Leftover chili can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Be aware that it will soak up the liquid more as it sits.
- Freeze – For longer storage, you can freeze the quinoa chili in freezer bags for up to 3 months. I recommend at least partially defrosting in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheating – The quinoa continues to absorb the liquid as it sits so the leftover chili will be quite thick. If you prefer a thinner chili, just add some water or broth when reheating to thin it out.
Chili Topping Ideas:
One of the best parts about a cozy bowl of chili is the toppings! Here are some of my favorites:
- Diced Avocado
- Extra Lime Wedges for Spritzing
- Fresh Chopped Cilantro
- Shredded Cheese
- Crunchy Tortilla Strips
- Dollop of Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
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Vegan Quinoa Chili is plant-based, protein-packed, filled with fiber, healthy and filling. Perfect for Meatless Monday and uses mainly pantry ingredients.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
- 2 14.5 ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 4.5 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
- 3–4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Cook Aromatics: In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft (4-5 minutes). Add the garlic, spices, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add Chili Ingredients: Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chiles, beans, water, and quinoa. Stir together, scraping any bits off the bottom.
- Simmer: Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until quinoa is cooked – about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
- Finish Chili: Stir in lime juice and top with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.
This vegan quinoa chili is best served immediately after cooking. As it sits, the quinoa will continue to soak up the liquid and become very thick. Have leftovers? That’s okay! It still tastes great when it’s thicker or you can add a little water or broth to loosen it up.
- Category: Main Dish, Meatless Monday
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Quinoa Chili, Vegan Chili, Vegetarian Chili, Vegan Quinoa Chili