Quinoa and Bean Chili

vegetarian chili

Many people don’t realize that quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain! Red quinoa in this chili adds a unique twist to the classic dish many of us love (plus the red matches it nicely). Feel free to swap in any color of quinoa — they’re all a complete protein.

vegetarian chili

Spicy, smoky and sweet work to complement each other in a surprising way. The ground chipotle chili, fresh jalapeño, paprika, and onion add a nice kick of spice, while the honey adds a complex flavor to this vegetarian chili. If you would rather have your chili unsweetened, you can leave the honey out.

vegetarian chili


Quinoa and Bean Chili

Yield: 6

Serving Size: (about 1 1/2 cups each)


  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans red kidney beans
  • 2(14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced, or more to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable bouillon (such as Organic Better than Bouillon brand)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Stir together all ingredients in the slower cooker crock. Cover and cook 8-10 hours on LOW (or 4-5 hours on HIGH).
  2. Remove bay leaf and stir well before serving.

Original photos by Marlina Phan


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