Best-Ever Quinoa Chili (vegan and gluten-free)

Best-Ever Quinoa Chili- made with a delicious blend of warming spices, this quinoa chili is packed full of healthy vegetables and plenty of savory flavor. (vegan + gluten-free)

Best-Ever Quinoa Chili (vegan and gluten-free)

Did you know that Texans don’t put beans in their chili?

Not even one little teeny floater for good luck. Just meat and spices. Spices and meat.

Don’t get me wrong, they certainly know a thing or two about chili in Texas but if you’re like me and you prefer your chili to be meatless then you’ll have to look elsewhere for such recipes. Needless to say, I had to rely on my own kitchen for chili during the three years that we lived in Texas. It allowed me to try multiple different variations and eventually settle on a favorite, which is why I call it the ‘best ever’.

Best-Ever Quinoa Chili (vegan and gluten-free)

It’s just the way I like it: chock full of veggies and healthy protein from beans and quinoa, loaded with savory tomato flavor and just enough spice to please the palate.

Best-Ever Quinoa Chili (vegan and gluten-free)

Best-Ever Quinoa Chili (vegan and gluten-free)

Best-Ever Quinoa Chili (vegan and gluten-free)

I know everyone likes a different level of heat and while I like mine to be a little spicy, I don’t like my mouth to burn while I eat. A little tingle is nice, as long as I can pacify it with a soft piece of corn bread.

Feel free to adjust the spices to your liking and please don’t be intimated by the long ingredient list! Most of them are just spices that you likely already have in your pantry.

Best-Ever Quinoa Chili (vegan and gluten-free)

Best-Ever Quinoa Chili

Yield: 6 bowls

Prep Time: 15

Cook Time: 20

Total Time: 35

5 / 5 (3 Reviews)
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  • 3/4 cup quinoa, soaked overnight and rinsed*
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, cored and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (or smoked paprika for less spice)
  • 24-ounces diced tomatoes (or 2, 14-ounce cans)
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 and 1/2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
  • avocado, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and/or  dairy-free sour cream or yogurt for serving


In a small pot, add the soaked and rinsed quinoa with 12 ounces water. Bring to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and allow to steam for 10 more minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

While the quinoa is cooking, warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, and garlic then cook for 3 minutes. Add the spices and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the beans, corn, cooked quinoa and apple cider vinegar and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Serve warm with dairy-free sour cream/yogurt, cilantro, diced avocado or any other desired toppings. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 1 month.

*To soak quinoa, add to a bowl and cover with water by a few inches. This step helps make the quinoa easier to digest.

Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback! heart