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  • Jennifer Coatanroch

Quinoa Chili

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

(Vegan, Gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Recipe by: Jennifer Coatanroch, La Vie Plenty

This chili is one of the first staple vegan dishes I added to my collection, and it is still a family favorite! It’s been adapted throughout the years, and this is the version that I am most happy with.

Chili is the best way to embrace the colder days. It’s also a great dish to serve your non-vegetarian guests or family. I hope you’ll love it too! This is always loved by everyone I’ve served it to (unless they don't like quinoa! Sorry Mark!).

This recipe is a power house of nutrients! Just to name a few of the health benefits:

  • Quinoa, known as a "superfood", is one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

  • Beans (among many other things!) are high in protein and fiber.

  • Tomatoes are filled with Lycopene (an antioxidant that fights free radicals)

  • Garlic- contains antioxidants and nutrients (vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese) and reduces blood pressure.

  • Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. And antioxidants! Did you know they have protein too?!?!

So basically this chili is an antioxidant powerhouse!! Dive in ;)

It might look like a lot of ingredients, but most of them are seasoning and beans, etc., and there really is not that much to prep.

By taking a few minutes in advance to set up and prep your ingredients, this recipe is a breeze. Measure out your spices and place in a small bowl. Then rinse and drain your beans in the mesh strainer. Use the same strainer to rinse the quinoa (one less dish to wash!). Rinsing the quinoa is important, because quinoa has a natural coating (called saponin) that tastes bitter and soapy. Rinse the quinoa for about 20 seconds or until the water runs clear.

Then prep the rest of your ingredients, lay out your cooking utensils, and grab your largest soup pot- this makes a HUGE portion!

Once your veggies have sautéed, everything else gets added to the pot, and you let it simmer away for 40 minutes. Your house is going to smell AMAZING. The mixture of seasonings with the garlic and onion is heaven.

I love to serve this with cornbread, a salad, and topped with diced avocado. It's also great topped with plain yogurt (healthier than sour cream!) and chives.

There are so many great ways you can serve this: stuffed in a spaghetti squash bowl; topped with a poached egg or served over a bed of spinach...

It makes a nice big portion, so it's great to heat up for lunches or dinners during the week. It also freezes really well.

If you make it, please let me know in the comments how you like it!

And if you like what you see, please follow me on Instagram and Facebook :)

Bon Appétit, and Happy Cooking!!


Quinoa Chili

Vegan, Gluten free, soy free, nut free


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings _________________________________________



  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon coriander

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste (start with 1/2 tsp salt, I usually end up using 1 tsp total)

Other ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear (about 20 seconds)*

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 (15 oz) can red beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

  • 8 oz tomato sauce

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 onion (any variety) diced

  • 1 bell pepper, diced

  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced (leave the skin on for added nutrients)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • Oil for cooking (avocado, vegetable, etc.)

Optional topping ideas: plain yogurt or sour cream, chives, avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips...


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften and turn translucent.

  2. Next, add the pepper, sweet potato, garlic and spices. Sauté for another 5 minutes.

  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients, and mix well. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low.

  4. Simmer for 40 minutes (until sweet potato is cooked through), stirring occasionally.

  5. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Bon appétit!!

*Rinsing the quinoa removes its natural coating (saponin), which makes it bitter or soapy tasting (saponin).

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