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Quinoa Veggie Chili

Quinoa Veggie Chili is so delicious, hearty, comforting, and satisfying that I’ll bet you won’t even miss the meat! The best part? It’s super easy to make!

If you’re looking for a winner of a recipe for Meatless Monday (or any day of the week), look no further! This Quinoa Veggie Chili is an absolute stunner and a definite keeper.

The first time I made it, I could not believe that it tastes just like regular chili – even without the meat. It’s been in regular dinner rotation in my house ever since!

As I’ve mentioned before, I tried going vegetarian a while back. I wasn’t successful in keeping up with it, BUT I did learn some great meatless recipes – including this one – that I still make just because they are so delicious.

Plus, I like doing the meatless thing now and then. Recipes like this one make it so easy!

Quinoa and beans take the place of the meat and provide the protein. I like to use red quinoa because it (kind of, sort of) looks a little bit like ground meat in there – just in case you have some doubters at your table.

overhead view of a pot of quinoa veggie chili on a blue and white napkin with a wooden spoon on the side


  • Quinoa (I use red quinoa)
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Vegetable broth
  • Canned diced green chiles
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Cocoa powder
  • Paprika
  • Sugar
  • Ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper
  • Kidney beans (canned or home-cooked)
  • Black beans (canned or home-cooked)
  • Corn (fresh or frozen)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime juice


three photos showing steps to make quinoa veggie chili text that says cook quinoa according to package directions, saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil until softened, add garlic and saute for another minute
three photos with steps to make quinoa veggie chili with text that says add quinoa, tomatoes, sauce, broth, chiles, spices, and cocoa, stir to combine and bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
three photos showing steps to make quinoa veggie chili with text that says add beans, corn, cilantro, and lime juice, stir to combine and cook until heated through, and enjoy!

To save time, chop your veggies and get your other ingredients ready while the quinoa is cooking (it takes about 20 minutes). Of course, if you happen to already have some cooked quinoa on hand, even better! You will need to use about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

If you like your chili extra spicy, add some cayenne pepper (to taste) when you add the other spices.

Okay. Now, this Quinoa Veggie Chili is delicious as is. BUT WAIT! If you’re like me and want to make it extra special and over-the-top delicious, you definitely want to add some toppings!

Yes, it makes it a little more decadent and adds some more calories, but oh, my goodness–WORTH IT!

I like to top mine with a dollop of sour cream, chopped onions, shredded cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, and Fritos!  Like this:

two bowls of quinoa veggie chili topped with chopped onions, sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, and Fritos

Some chopped avocado would also be fantastic! Oh, and a side of cornbread, please…YUM!

This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd (about 8 people generously). I use a 7-quart pot, and it fills it almost to the top!

Don’t have a crowd to feed? No worries! It freezes beautifully. I highly recommend making the entire recipe and freezing some for those days when you’re too busy to cook or you just don’t feel like cooking.

Oh, and just like most all soups, stews, and chili, this Quinoa Veggie Chili is good the day you cook it, but it’s even better the next day or a few days later!

It’s a great make-ahead meal. Take an hour on a Saturday or Sunday (or whatever your day off is) and make a pot to have for dinner later in the week. You’ll be glad you did!

I hope you try this Quinoa Veggie Chili recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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quinoa veggie chili in a white bowl

Quinoa Veggie Chili

Quinoa Veggie Chili is so delicious, hearty, comforting, and satisfying that I’ll bet you won’t even miss the meat! The best part? It’s super easy to make!
5 from 1 vote
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Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Estimated Calories: 303


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, I like to use red
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion, about 1 large onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or broth, I use 2 cups water plus 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
  • 2 (4 oz) cans diced green chiles
  • tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  • Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Set aside.
  • In a large pot (I use a 7-quart pot), saute the onions and red bell peppers over medium-high heat until they begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and saute, stirring constantly, for an additional minute.
  • Add the cooked quinoa, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetable stock or broth, diced green chiles, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, sugar, coriander. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the beans, corn, cilantro, and lime juice. Simmer until heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. 
  • Serve as is or with desired toppings. Suggestions: chopped onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, corn chips, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped fresh avocado. 


  • Leftovers can be frozen. Once cooled, place in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags and freeze for 4 to 6 months. When ready to serve, thaw and reheat. 
  • If you like your chili extra spicy, add some cayenne pepper (to taste) when you add the other spices.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Classy.

Recipe Rating


Monday 20th of May 2019

Awesome recipe and VERY filling! 1 and a 1/2 bowls was all I needed! Definitely freezing the rest and giving some to family members to try (who I know will love it!) I made a few changes to the recipe to cater to my own tastebuds and used 1 can of green chiles, omitted the onion (not a fan!) and used 2 cloves of garlic as mine were HUGE! A thumbs up all around (even my fiancé who won’t entertain anything without meat enjoyed a bowl! 1 bowl is an accomplishment!)


Monday 20th of May 2019

Hey, Colleen! Thanks for taking the time to leave a rating and comment! I'm so glad you both enjoyed the chili!?