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Quinoa continues to be all the rage and it’s the perfect addition to this vegetarian chili!  Hearty, slightly spicy, warming, and deliciously tasty, Vegetarian Quinoa Chili is sure to be a family favourite!

Folks, whether we like to admit it or not, in a few weeks the season will begin to change and the bright colours and warmth of summer will return.  The shorter, cool days of winter will fade into spring, and at last, the hot, humid days of summer will be upon us.  (I can’t stand the thought of it!  I love winter and wish it would hang around for a few more months.  I’m sure many of you will not agree with me.)

Even though the trees will be full with greenery, and you’ll get to pack away your favourite sweaters, if you’re much like me, you’ll be left with a yearning for hearty soups and stews and dishes much like this chili.  My advice, make it now and get your fill of it before it’s too hot to cook.  See?  Summer does have its flaws!

Most chili recipes consist of ground beef, chicken, or turkey, however, replacing those with cooked quinoa not only lowers the fat content and prepares a healthier meal, but the texture and consistency very closely resembles that of your favourite diner’s chili recipe.

Be warned, however, this recipe makes a large amount and there’s quite a long list of ingredients, but most of this stuff you already have in your pantry or your spice cabinet.  You can try cutting the recipe in half, or you can make the whole batch and freeze it.  Chili, unlike most foods, freezes extremely well and can be thawed and reheated without losing any flavour or texture.  In fact, I know many people who would argue that reheated chili is better the second time around!

As you can see from the photographs, the mouths I feed in our house loves to come home to a big bowl of chili.  But, because to them, chili on its own is never enough, add-ins are important.  Don’t forget to jazz up your chili with toppings such as avocado, grated cheese or sour cream.  Not only does it improve the taste, but it makes it so much prettier.  After all, Dear Reader, we eat with our eyes first!

You know you want this; don’t you!?

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Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Quinoa continues to be all the rage and it’s the perfect addition to this vegetarian chili! Hearty, slightly spicy, warming, and deliciously tasty, Vegetarian Quinoa Chili is sure to be a family favourite!
Course Main Course
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, 28 ounce cans
  • 1 can tomato sauce, 28 ounce can
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can red kidney beans, 19 ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, 19 ounce can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernals
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • avocado, cubed, for garnish (optional)
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • grated cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)


  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and sauté until translucent; about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
  • Next, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cooked quinoa, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, ground coriander, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot and allow to simmer 30 minutes.
  • Remove lid and stir well. Next, add all of the beans, corn, and almost all of the parsley. (Save a tablespoon or so for garnish.) Place the lid back on the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Turn off heat, stir the chili, and place the lid back on the pot. Allow chili to sit for 5 minutes before serving.


Serve hot with cubed avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, and corn chips for a filling, hearty meal!

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. If only my husband loved (or even I could settle for just liked) quinoa. He loves chili and this would be just so perfect but he's stubborn and strongly dislikes quinoa, whereas I love it and it seems like it's just a perfect addition to a hearty chili - adds protein without any meat. Maybe one of those days I'll make it and won't tell him about quinoa and see if he notices it!
  2. Chili always reminds me of my mom, she LOVED it and made it often - and always on New Year's Day. I love your quinoa addition, that's such a great idea and adds a nice protein-punch to it. I would love some of this topped with shredded cheese, sour cream and avocados. Yum!
  3. Man, this looks so good! Makes me wish I had taken advantage of making one more pot of chili before spring officially rolled around!! So hearty and I love that the quinoa resembles meat in consistency and texture!!
  4. Although I'm not a vegetarian this is now my favourite way of eating a chilli, with quinoa instead of the beef. Even my husband loves it. Your recipe sounds and looks delicious. The pictures are just so inviting I want to dive right into the screen! Pinning to my Meat Free Monday board right now.
  5. I definitely want this and like Right Now...I love the addition of quinoa in the chili. Never tried that but will try this soon. I still like to make chili in the warmer months just not as much. I just do a batch in the slow cooker.
  6. Who on earth really makes only half a batch of chili? I'm thinking, run to the store and buy some freezer containers ... if you don't have some for the remainder of the full batch! Save yourself some cook time down the road! ps - Great recipe btw
    1. Hahaha - so true! To be completely honest, I really don't know how to cook for two. I always, always, always cook more than we need, but it sure makes packing lunches for work the next day pretty easy. :)
  7. I love winter weather too because I love a warm bowl of soup and an oversized sweater. I hate thinking of bathing suit season and crave yoga pants and big shirts all year round. I also crave this chili and I love that the meat is replaced with the texture and healthy benefits of quinoa!
  8. I am also a fan of the cooler months (Fall is my favorite). Also Daylight Savings Time still feels wrong, though I'm definitely in the minority! Yes to quinoa, yes to this chili. Definitely pinning this for later.
    1. Oh, Kelly, you've just made my day. I no longer feel like the only one on the planet who prefers a good winter storm over a bright summer day. And, yes, I really don't like daylight savings time. I prefer when it's dark at 5pm, although, that's not really good for a food blogger. We need natural light. :)
  9. Well, we all know I'm a quinoa fan! I'm also a fan of cooler months, but then again - I would be, wouldn't I? I live in Phoenix, AZ - so, "cooler" just means "long sleeved t-shirt vs regular" This chili looks absolutely perfect for when we're "cold"
  10. This vegetarian quinoa chili sounds perfect for this weather. We have all been going through seasonal fever n allergies n I seriously would love copious amounts of this delicious-comforting bowl of yum & by adding those sliced avocado, you just made these a Must Try !!!

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