This hearty vegan one-pot quinoa chili features summer corn and beans simmered up in spicy tomato sauce, served up piping hot with your favorite chili toppings. It’s healthy, delicious, and packed with flavor!
I’m a big fan of chili recipes, and I really like having some fun with my chili. So why did it take me this long to throw some quinoa into a pot of chili?
I can’t really say, except I suspect it has something to do with the fact that every quinoa chili recipe I’ve ever come across doesn’t involve simply throwing quinoa into chili. Nope, most ask for you to cook it first, separately. I’m far from a master of one-pot meals, but sometimes my laziness gets the better or me.
That’s what happened here, and you know what? Sometimes laziness has rewards, in this case, super easy chili that cooks up in record time.
So what’s the big deal about the quinoa? It adds a bit of bulk, some protein and gives this chili a nice meaty texture. I love vegan chili that consists mainly of beans, but beans + quinoa makes for an extra hearty stew for those super hungry kind of days.
How to Make Quinoa Chili
This recipe starts out with some onions, peppers, tomatoes and spices. In with the quinoa, and cover it. Let it simmer for a bit with the lid on in order to cook the quinoa. Then, off with the lid and in with the beans and corn. Simmer for a few minutes more and it’s ready to go.
Tips for Making Awesome Quinoa Chili
- I like my chili very thick and hearty. If you like yours soupier, try adding an extra can of tomatoes or some more broth.
- The quinoa will continue to soak up moisture after the chili finishes cooking, so if you have leftovers they might be super thick! Again, thin the chili with some tomatoes or broth if you like.
- Adjust the spices to suit your personal preference. For extra heat, add some hot sauce or cayenne pepper. For extra mild chili, cut back on the amount of ancho chile powder.
Watch my video to see just how ridiculously easy this quinoa chili is to make!
One-Pot Vegan Quinoa Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14 ounce can) crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed under cold water
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, or to taste (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté until the pepper is softened and the onion translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
Add the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, broth, chili powder, cumin and ancho chili powder. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Stir in the quinoa and lower the heat. Cover the pot and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes.
Uncover and stir in the corn, black beans and pinto beans. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until the corn is tender and the quinoa is fully cooked, about 5-10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pot from heat. Stir in liquid smoke if using and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and top with your favorite chili toppings. Serve.