This vegan and Mexican inspired Tri-Color Quinoa Chili is packed full of delicious flavors. Perfect for Meatless Monday, this dish is quick and easy, making it great for a weeknight. With a little bit of spice, chunks of tomato, and red beans cooked just right, this dinner will be a winning choice in under 30 minutes!
This vegan chili uses quinoa in place of meat. Other than that, there’s not much of a deviation from the other chili recipes you’re most likely used to. Some of my other favorite vegan recipes are Vegan Split Pea Soup and Vegan Green Detox Soup.
Those who are able to follow a completely vegan lifestyle deserve a medal because it isn’t easy. However, I believe eating vegan can involve dinners and other dishes we’re used to having. Unless you prefer it, there’s no need to eat expensive and hard-to-find ingredients.
How to Make Quinoa Chili
- Make the quinoa – In a medium pan, bring water to a boiling point then add the quinoa. Cook for twelve minutes before draining and letting the water run through the quinoa for a little bit.
- Prepare the chili – In a large pot, heat oil and saute the onion and garlic until the onions are tender. Add the peppers and spices and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the vegetable broth, puree, tomatoes, and lemon juice then cook for 5 minutes.
- Finish the chili – Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish, serve, and enjoy!
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Storage – Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. Do not freeze as the quinoa does not turn out the best when reheated.
- Reheating – Place in the microwave for one minute to start then add 15 seconds after that. Be sure to cover the dish.
- Make it spicier – There are already green chilies and cayenne pepper in this dish. However, if it’s still not spicy enough for you, add a diced fresh jalapeno, crushed pepper flakes, or your favorite spicy pepper to the mix.
- Make it mild – To remove all the spice, replace the chilies with bell pepper, and don’t add the cayenne pepper. Do note that this will slightly change the taste profile, but not by much.
- Add more ingredients – The great thing about quinoa chili is the fact that it’s so versatile. If you want more beans, add more beans. If you want more veggies, add more veggies. If you don’t like some of the ingredients included, change them. Just note, that by changing ingredients dramatically, this will adjust the recipe and make it turn out different than shown. So, be aware of your changes and how they may affect the outcome of the dish.
What is the Best Secret Ingredient for Chili?
This all depends on how you prefer your chili. You see, there are many variations to chili and each person has a preference on how they like it. For example, some people like beans in their chili and some don’t. Some people like a sweeter chili while some like no sweetness at all. There’s spicy chili, mild chili, thick chili, watery chili, etc. Find out the type of chili you prefer then add one of these secret ingredients often used in chili.
What Do You Eat Chili With?
Chili goes really well with a few various sides and once you try a couple of sides, you’ll find your favorite. For me, I prefer cornbread or Ritz crackers. Here is a list of a few sides that go great with any type of chili.
- Honey Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- Garlic Parmesan Dinner Rolls
- Honey Roasted Carrots or Other Roasted Veggies
- Grilled Cheese or Other Light Sandwiches
Whip up a batch of this vegan quinoa chili for your next dinner then let me know in the comments below how you liked it!
More Chili Recipes You’re Sure to Love:
- 3/4 cup tri-color quinoa uncooked and rinsed
- 1 cup corn
- 1/2 cup green olives
- 1/2 cup cilantro fresh
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onions red
- 2 green chilies seeded and diced
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 14 ounces peeled tomatoes
- 14 ounces tomato puree
- 28 ounces red beans
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare quinoa. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. When boiling, turn on low heat, add quinoa, and cook for 12 minutes. When done, drain from hot water in a metal strainer, let cold water run on quinoa for some seconds then let drain completely.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, let cook until tender. Add spices and peppers. Continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour peeled tomato, tomato purée, vegetable broth, and lemon juice in the pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add beans, corn, olive, cilantro, and quinoa. Cook for another 5 minutes until heated through.
- Adjust to taste and serve with desired toppings.