Hearty and nourishing black bean quinoa chili is ready in under an hour on the stovetop. This vegetarian chili is protein-packed and a delicious alternative to classic chili made with meat.
It’s not a fall weekend in the midwest without a pot of chili simmering on the stove, homemade apple cider, and football. We are huge chili fans and have chili recipes for every palate here at Fit Foodie Finds.
This vegetarian chili packs in all of the same great heartiness and flavor of chilis made with meat, but uses black beans and quinoa instead. Everything is cooked together in one pot on the stove, making this a quick and easy recipe with minimal cleanup.
“Simple and delicious! What a fabulous recipe! Can’t wait to make it again! The cinnamon sticks and hominy make this a very unique recipe! Made it exactly as written!” – Kathy
What You Need for Black Bean Quinoa Chili
Even though this chili is made without meat, it has the same great texture and flavor as our classic chili recipe thanks to plenty of beans, veggies, and spices. You need:
Veggies: Think typical chili vegetables like green and poblano peppers, onion, and garlic. We like to add hominy to this quinoa chili for color, taste, and texture.
Protein: Instead of meat, we use a combination of quinoa (uncooked) and beans for protein.
Tomatoes + Broth: This is a tomato-based chili so we use both diced tomatoes and tomato sauce in addition to vegetable broth.
Spices: The spice combination is what gives this vegetarian chili the flavor depth you’d traditionally get from a meat-based chili. We use cinnamon sticks for a little spice and sweetness, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and paprika.
Black Bean Quinoa Chili Substitutions
Customize this vegetarian chili to your liking and based on what ingredients you have on hand. Instead of:
- Poblano peppers, try jalapeño peppers or throw in an extra diced bell pepper.
- Black beans, use your favorite kind of beans like garbanzo, navy, or great northern beans.
- Hominy, use the same amount of yellow sweet corn.
- Each individual spice, use about 1/4 cup of homemade chili seasoning to replace the chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and paprika.
- And, for even more spice, add a can of diced green chiles.
Best Dutch Oven for Soups and Chilis
The Great Jones “The Dutchess” is our favorite Dutch oven for every day cooking. It’s great for one-pot meals, soups, and more!
Is this chili spicy?
This chili is more “warm” than spicy. It has a rich and comforting flavor profile with some warmth, but not a lot of heat.
Do you need to cook the quinoa first?
No. The quinoa cooks in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, so there’s no pre-cooking required.
How can you make this chili less thick?
The quinoa absorbs much of the water as the chili cooks, so this recipe yields a very thick and hearty chili. If you want a thinner chili, mix in more broth until you reach your desired consistency.
Can you use rice or farro instead of quinoa?
I’m sure you could, but we haven’t tested it. This recipe was developed specifically for quinoa.
This recipe makes a lot of chili which is great for meal prep. Let the chili cool completely and transfer into airtight container(s). Refrigerate for 3-5 days.
When reheating the chili, you may need to add a little more broth or water to thin it out a bit.
Freezer Instructions for Quinoa Chili
Chili is a wonderful meal to keep in the freezer for long, cold days. To freeze chili, let it cool completely, transfer to freezer-safe containers, and freeze for up to 3 months. And, here are all of our tips and tricks for how to freeze soup and chili like a pro!
One of my personal favorite ways to eat chili is WITHOUT a spoon. That’s right, I like to trade my spoon for tortilla chips and sometimes even Fritos.
AKA ideas for chili toppings! Chili isn’t chili without all of the amazing toppings and here are some of our favorite black bean quinoa chili toppings:
- Diced avocado or guacamole
- Tortilla chips (for dipping!)
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Shredded cheese
- Diced onion
- Diced tomatoes or salsa
- Lime wedges
Black Bean Quinoa Chili
Hearty and flavorful, you won’t miss the meat in this black bean quinoa chili. This vegetarian chili is slow cooked on the stovetop with tons of veggies, protein, and fiber.
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt divided
- 1 large poblano pepper seeded and finely diced
- 1 large green pepper seeded and diced
- 1 cup white quinoa uncooked
- 30 oz. black beans drained and rinsed
- 28 oz. hominy drained and rinsed (or yellow sweet corn)
- 15 oz. diced tomatoes
- 15 oz. tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 cups vegetable broth divided (or any broth)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium/high heat. Add olive oil. When the olive oil is fragrant, add the white onion and 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the oil. Toss and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the poblano pepper, green pepper, and quinoa to the Dutch oven. Mix well. Toast the quinoa for 3-4 minutes (stirring continuously) until it begins to brown.
Add the black beans, hominy, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin powder, onion powder, paprika, pepper, and 4 cups of broth to the Dutch oven. Stir everything together and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and and add the cinnamon sticks. Cover the Dutch oven and let the chili simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.
The quinoa will have expanded during the cook time so when the quinoa is completely cooked, stir in the remaining 1 cup of broth.
Remove the cinnamon sticks and enjoy the chili topped with fresh cilantro and your favorite chili toppings such as sliced avocado, Greek yogurt/sour cream, etc.
Tips & Notes
- Storage: Once the chili is completely cool, transfer to airtight container(s) and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Chili thickens as it sits, so when you reheat the chili, you may need to add a little more broth or water to thin it out.
- Freezing Instructions: Let the chili cool completely, transfer to freezer-safe containers, and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Consistency: This is a pretty thick and hearty chili. If you like a thinner chili, add more broth at the end until you reach your desired consistency.
Calories: 328kcal Carbohydrates: 58g Protein: 14g Fat: 6g Fiber: 15g Sugar: 7g
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.