Damn Delicious

Quinoa Chili

This vegetarian, protein-packed chili is the perfect bowl of comfort food that you can eat guilt-free!

Quinoa Chili - This vegetarian, protein-packed chili is the perfect bowl of comfort food that you can eat guilt-free!

It’s been a bit warm here in San Francisco but I’ve been wanting to make chili for weeks now. Chili gives me the perfect excuse to have oh-so-crumbly cornbread on the side, except I overdo it and make it a main course. Either way, I still wanted a piping hot bowl of chili. Desperately. But this time, I tried something very different with my batch of chili – I added quinoa, and lots of it!

The quinoa added such a fun texture, soaking up all the flavors and goodness of this chili. It’s also loaded with kidney beans, black beans, tons of veggies and just enough lime juice to give you a subtle kick in the pants. Plus, this batch will make enough to feed an army so it’ll keep you and your family well fed for days!

Quinoa Chili

This vegetarian, protein-packed chili is the perfect bowl of comfort food that you can eat guilt-free!

10 minutes35 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime, optional
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced


  1. In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in quinoa, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and 1-2 cups water, making sure to cover most of the ingredients; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice, if using, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately with avocado, if desired.

Adapted from Cooking Classy.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 406.1 Calories from Fat 97.2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10.8g 17%
Saturated Fat 1.6g 8%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1161.4mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 66.5g 22%
Dietary Fiber 18.3g 73%
Sugars 10.2g
Protein 16.9g 34%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Excellent recipe.  I don’t normally post reviews but this was excellent 

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’ve made this chili repeatedly and it’s always a favorite. This time around, I elevated with some left over tri-tip I had smoked over the weekend. Still included the quinoa. The smoky flavor of the meat really brought a new flavor to this damned delicious chili!

  3. Wow SO GOOD. I’ve made a lot of quinoa chilis and this one was definitely the best. Lime juice really brought it all together! I didn’t have chili powder so used red chili flakes. I also added a little tomato paste because I had it, and skipped the corn. Devoured a whole bowl and will eat it as meal prep this week!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    I’ve made this a gazillion times. Love this forever.

  5. This is amazing! So good. I was going to give up on gf baked goods and I am newly invigorated. Highly recommend.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Amazing recipe!

  7. Delicious recipe! My kids are not quinoa fans but this dish may have won them over. Tasty with a kick is how my kids described it. I served it with cornbread and will definitely make again. Great recipe to use as part of a pantry challenge recipe.

  8. Rated 5 out of 5

    One of my favorite chili’s!!! So good and filled with flavor…I’ve been trying to look for healthy, vegetarian recipes and this was awesome! Thanks for a great recipe!:)

  9. Rated 5 out of 5

    I love your recipes and this one is yet another winner.  I make it all the time in large batches and freeze it.  Even better after is is frozen.  Thank you so much for sharing your recipes.  

  10. Rated 5 out of 5

    Eating this now. Best chili recipe ever. I think next time I will saute bell pepper with the onion and garlic. Also, I would recommend that users taste before adding any salt. Even using reduced sodium beans and tomato sauce, salt level was perfect. Thanks so much for this recipe.

  11. Rated 5 out of 5

    Would this an okay meal to freeze and pull out for later?

  12. Do you think you could substitute and instead of water use a box of organic boxed vegetable broth instead? I’m having a hard time imagining a water base tasting good

  13. Loved! Loved! Loved it!!!! So good! My family enjoys it as well! Thank you sharing such a delicious recipe!

  14. Quinoa chili was damn delicious. A nice change to using meat. Yummy.

  15. Rated 5 out of 5

    Absolutely delicious!!  Plus, it was easy to prepare.  Whole family loved it, this is a definite keeper!

  16. Rated 5 out of 5

    This was sooo good. Im eating it for lunch today and it tastes even better. Thank you for your tasty recipes.

  17. Rated 5 out of 5

    This is my favorite, I’ve been making it all the time for about 3 years now. I use fresh tomatoes and Serrano peppers, and sometimes add zucchini. It’s good with cheese and pickled jalapeños on top. My husband loves it too! ^-^

  18. Rated 5 out of 5

    I just made this recipe and I must say….. its damn delicious! I was pleasantly surprised by just how good it was. So simple. So easy. Thanks!

  19. Rated 5 out of 5

    This chili is fabulous! It is my new favorite because it has great flavor, and I love that it’s packed with fiber and protein, too! Thank you for sharing this.

  20. Made this for dinner tonight.  Used all salt free tomato products and beans I had cooked from dry with out salt.  Very tasty, easy to make and healthy, couldn’t ask for more.  Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  21. I am an omnivore but cook vegan for my spouse….this did not disappoint!!!! It is a keeper and will be made again very soon!

  22. This looks great.

  23. This chili is so fantastic! We aren’t vegetarians but have eliminated red meat from our diet for health issues. It’s hard to find a chicken chili recipe that’s as good as a traditional chili, so when I saw this I just had to try it! SOOO good! My two teenage girls went back for seconds. That never happens! Thanks so much for another awesome recipe!

  24. I made this last night for dinner and it was delicious!  Chili is one of my favorite things to make – one pot, feeds a crowd – and I am always looking for a new one to add to my repertoire. I added a couple of chopped jalapeños in with the garlic and onions and I used a box of vegetable stock instead of the water and used all low or no sodium canned goods. Turned out great – highly recommend this recipe!

  25. My daughter and I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! We added ground turkey because we are meat lovers. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  26. Are green chilies spicy? I wonder if this is toddler friendly…

  27. I made this totally vegan. I made the quinoa with veggie broth and omitted the sour cream and cheese. This was so good! I will do it again.

  28. What is the serving size? I entered the information into Weight Watchers recipe builder, but I know I have more than 6 1-cup servings.

    Made this on a cold snowy day and it was perfect! Can’t wait to finish off the leftovers! Thank you….I’ll definitely be coming back to this recipe!

  29. Made this on a cold snowy day and it was perfect! Can’t wait to finish off the leftovers! Thank you….I’ll definitely be coming back to this recipe!

    You do NOT have a reputation for “plagiarizing” recipes (Lauren, 2013)!! There isn’t an original recipe in any cookbook today – they are all take-offs/adaptions from other recipes, starting with possibly scrambled eggs!! What a ridiculous accusation to make. LOVE the quinoa chili – thanks!!!

  30. Made this yesterday and it is 100% one of my favorite meals I have ever had! I had mine topped with avocado and half a lime and it’s amazing! Thank you for this!!

    Made this last month and I’m making it again today and I absolutely love it! Easy, vegetarian and delicious!

    I made this today and put it in the crock pot. I cooked the quinoa separately and added it. It soaked up a lot of liquid but this was still delicious. I would have never thought to put quinoa in chili. Topped mine with tapatio hot sauce, sour cream and green onions.

  31. You do NOT have a reputation for “plagiarizing” recipes (Lauren, 2013)!! There isn’t an original recipe in any cookbook today – they are all take-offs/adaptions from other recipes, starting with possibly scrambled eggs!! What a ridiculous accusation to make. LOVE the quinoa chili – thanks!!!

    What is the serving size? I entered the information into Weight Watchers recipe builder, but I know I have more than 6 1-cup servings.

    Made this on a cold snowy day and it was perfect! Can’t wait to finish off the leftovers! Thank you….I’ll definitely be coming back to this recipe!

  32. You do NOT have a reputation for “plagiarizing” recipes (Lauren, 2013)!! There isn’t an original recipe in any cookbook today – they are all take-offs/adaptions from other recipes, starting with possibly scrambled eggs!! What a ridiculous accusation to make. LOVE the quinoa chili – thanks!!!

  33. I am so excited to try this recipe! Can you save the leftovers and eat later?

  34. Made this on a cold snowy day and it was perfect! Can’t wait to finish off the leftovers! Thank you….I’ll definitely be coming back to this recipe!

  35. What is the serving size? I entered the information into Weight Watchers recipe builder, but I know I have more than 6 1-cup servings.

  36. I made this today and put it in the crock pot. I cooked the quinoa separately and added it. It soaked up a lot of liquid but this was still delicious. I would have never thought to put quinoa in chili. Topped mine with tapatio hot sauce, sour cream and green onions.

  37. Made this last month and I’m making it again today and I absolutely love it! Easy, vegetarian and delicious!

  38. Made this yesterday and it is 100% one of my favorite meals I have ever had! I had mine topped with avocado and half a lime and it’s amazing! 🙂 Thank you for this!!

  39. This looks so good, but I’m trying to figure out if I should drain the diced tomatoes?  Is it assumed that you do not, unless otherwise noted?  Thanks for your help!

  40. I have never made Chili in my entire life, so when I started cooking this I was verify hesitant about how it would turn out. I can honestly say that it was the best quinoa chili I have ever tasted and now the best and only one I will ever make. Thank you for creating this masterpiece. The ingredients and instructions were very easy to follow. I left out the avocado since I used it all up for my guac and added ground turkey.

    thanks again!

  41. Not just vegetarian, it’s VEGAN !  Even better !!

  42. This was SO GOOD! Had it with homemade tortilla chips. It’s wholesome and nutritious while being delicious to boot!

  43. Is this recipe vegan if you dont add cheese on top?

  44. Just made this tonight for dinner, it was fabulous! I did omit the avocado and cilantro as I am not a fan of them myself, but otherwise I followed the recipe and it turned out great. Will definitely be adding this to my meal rotation 🙂

  45. I just made it for dinner and it was sooooo delicious! thanks for the great recipe. 
    I didn’t have tomato sauce, some of the spices and black beans so i just used what I had, added pasta sauce and it turned out great!!! 

    oh and I made the quinoa with chicken broth rather than water for extra flavor. 

    Very delicious! 

  46. Just made it tonight!! Turned out great!! So delicious!! I liked the quinoa instead of the meat. I adjusted the seasonings a bit for my taste…more chili powder and cayenne pepper and green chili only bc I like spicy food…and of course sugar to balance out the tartness of the tomatoes….but sooo good. I’m not a hugh beans person but still enjoy this dish very much. Was wondering what else I could do next time if I didn’t want to add beans? Thanks for sharing…I really love all the dishes I’ve tried from your website!

  47. This is a ridiculously amazing recipe ! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  48. I made this for my lunches at work this week and it turned out great! I was really impressed how great the flavors were with not having to cook for all that long. For myself, I found it made more like 8-9 servings instead of 6. Very delicious and very healthy. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  49. I put all of the ingredients in a crock pot (even uncooked quinoa) and cooked it on high for 3-4 hours. It turned out awesome.

  50. This was so good and so easy to make! Thanks a lot 🙂

  51. WOWZAAA- Yummy! Thank you!!

  52. This has been my go-to chili recipe for over a year now, I make it all the time! Sooooo good! If this has already been asked, I apologize. I read that you said a serving was 2 cups. How many calories in a serving?

    • Elizabeth, thank you for trying my recipe!

      Nutritional information is actually provided for select and new recipes only at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, I recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

  53. pinned this forever ago and finally made it tonight. It was absolutely delicious!!! Brilliant idea

  54. My husband and I absolutely love this recipe! It was different than we are used to, but it turned out great.

  55. This is a terrific recipe. I normally make chili with ground turkey, but I honestly don’t even miss it now that I have this recipe. I’ve made it twice now and I am sure I will make it many more. With my last batch, I forgot to pick up lime juice and green chiles, but it turned out great anyway. If you’re even a little in doubt about this recipe, try it anyway! You likely won’t regret it. Oh, and it really does make enough to feed an army.

  56. THIS IS AMAZING! SO TASTY!! thanks Chungah! 🙂

  57. Just finished eating our first ever Quinoa Chili. My husband and I loved it but my husband is supposed to be trying to lose weight. He ate 3 bowls! I couldn’t stop him! I need to know how many calories he just injested :-/

  58. This was just amazing, thank you!! I used the opportunity to cook more quinoa so that I now have some in the freezer for future meals. The timing of everything was great – it was so easy to put the quinoa on and then chop all the ingredients ready to continue after the quinoa was cooked. I also diced my own tomatoes (about 4), instead of using canned, and added pasata instead of tomato sauce.

  59. this was soo good . I added celery and red pepper . Topped it with the avocado chedder
    and sour cream

  60. Quick question…would TOO MUCH be lost if I omitted the beans? I’m not a bean eater but this looks delicious.

  61. ON THIS SNOWY DAY IN CENTRAL PA…..it was perfect! This is the first recipe of yours that I have tried. Have already d/l several others! Thank you!

  62. I love all your recipes, including this one. It’s a cold, snowy day here, and chili was great.

  63. This recipe was great! Just what I was looking for. Thank you for sharing this! And loved topping it with avocado. Thumbs up.

  64. Made this tonight and it was delicious! Great flavor and consistency, with lots of leftovers.
    Next time may add a little more spice, but loved the lime!

  65. Chili is an amazing ‘diet’ food where you can eat a lot of it and it’s not horrible for you. I keep telling my dieting friends to try making some!

  66. I made this last night and it was AWESOME! A huge hit with my husband – he who thinks chili should be all meat and no beans. This will definitely be incorporated into our rotation. THANKS!

  67. This is the best chili recipe! I didn’t really like chili until I ate this. I don’t like kidney beans, so I used two cans of black beans, and it was delicious. I took this as a meal to my friend’s house after she had a baby, and her (non-vegetarian) family loved it, too. They said they didn’t even miss the meat. Thanks for sharing this.

  68. Amazing chili and the directions and pictures were a lifesaver! I can barely make cereal and I made this and it was so yummy I went out and got more ingredients to make another batch! Thank you!!!!

  69. This looks almost identical to a recipe posted on Cooking Classy on 7/31/13. Are you aware that you have a reputation for plagiarizing recipes?

    • Lauren, if you take a closer look, there is a link back to the original recipe to Cooking Classy who is actually a dear friend of mine. And yes, I adapt quite a few recipes but I always add my own personal spin to it and make quite a bit of changes sometimes. It is also important to note that ideas alone cannot be copyrighted (or plagiarized in your words) but again, I credit the idea of the blogger out of respect for my fellow food bloggers.

    • I’m thinking that Lauren woke up on the wrong side of the bed…imagine stealing a recipe a recipe…’tis the end of the world!! All the chili cook-offs in the world would be cancelled!!!

  70. This was the first time for me to try this. I used a homemade chili sauce that my mom had made and homemade canned black beans. Phenomenal! I will definitely make this again no doubt about it!

  71. Made this today and it was delicious. I also will use left overs to make it in to your enchalada recipe instead of buying canned salsa. Love your recipes and photos

  72. This chili was delicious! I’ll be making this again and again and I love how it’s healthy. I did only use 1/2 of the quinoa since it seemed like it would of been too much if I used it all. I had to add an extra cup of water due to the thickness.

  73. I’ve made chicken soup with quinoa and have frozen it. When heating it up it still tasted great, But some people have different preferences. 🙂

  74. Would throwing all of this in the crock pot without precooking the quinoa work as well?

    • Danica, please understand that it is very difficult to give exact conversion information to translate a traditional stovetop recipe to the slow cooker method without further recipe testing. I recommend using your own judgement to convert this recipe to utilize a slow cooker.

  75. I am super excited to cook this recipe again!! I am cooking it for a Chili Contest for work tomorrow. The Men I work with say ” That Chili is not Chili without Meat”. I told them they weren’t the judges!!
    Either way, this Chili will Rock!! I decided after reading the posts. That I will wait to put in my Quinoa 30 mins before serving. I do not want the Quinoa soaking the juice up to much.

  76. this recipe looks delish! I love making different types of chili this time of year. Very excited to try this recipe!

  77. LOVE this chili! Just made it and can’t wait to eat it again! 🙂 If this recipe makes 6 servings, do anyone know the amount per serving? Thanks!!

    • I’m so glad you gave this a try! And I would estimate about 1-2 cups per standard serving.

      • Does anyone know the calorie count for 1 cup?

        • Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, I recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

          • Ah, I am scrolling through all of the comments looking for the answer to my question – so many comments, this is a popular recipe! I am curious – I plan to make and have a diabetic in the family – where is the 10g of sugar coming from? Do you know? Is it due to the high carb content… from the Quinoa??? Looking forward to giving his a try regardless… thanks!

  78. tasted just like the chili mixes you buy at the store, but better! I’m going to try and get my parents to try this dish. I have a feeling they’ll love it.

  79. I just saw this recipe on Pinterest! It’s been pouring out all morning, so I think I’m going to modify this for the crock pot right now! Thanks for the great vegetarian option 🙂


  80. I made this last week and it was awesome! So many great flavors and textures! I love how the quiona gives it the meaty texture. This one is definitely a keeper!

  81. Even though it’s August 1st… and we live in Southern California-I’m making this! Crank up the a/c!

  82. I have been liking and sharing and repinning this recipe and FINALLY made it today!!! I added lean turkey instead of quinoa, and it was AMAZING!!! I also added fresh green peppers instead of can and of course made some corn bread! My two year old LOVED it!!!!!! Ok…nap time…food coma!

  83. Sorry – I meant Bulgar Wheat instead of Barley in the chili.

  84. Am making this chili today! My husband, a non-lover of most meats, and like a picky two-year-old about eating will be the test, I will let you know how he likes it. I am a big meat-chili aficionado, but just the spices in this (I use all of them in my home made enchilada sauce) have my mouth watering. I will have to substitute Barley for the Quinoa since I have none on hand.

  85. Chungah (would love to know how to pronounce your name?) I love your site. The Beef Enchiladas are to die for love love love them. I have been looking over your other recipes also and find so many I want to try. Your pics are beautiful. Can you tell us what camera you use and lighting?
    Aim to work my way through your recipes!

    • Thank you, Rita! My first name is actually pronounced Chung-Ah. I am currently shooting with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i and a 100mm f/2.8L IS. I only use natural lighting, and I utilize Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 to edit.

  86. I’ve done this dish several times and in each time my friends and family just love it. This time I want to make sure I put the topping which I see in the picture but don’t know what it is. Could it be sour cream? Can you please let me know what it is?
    Thank you

    • I’m so glad you were able to give this a try! This is my absolute favorite chili yet. And yes, this is topped with sour cream. Sometimes I top it off with Greek yogurt too for an extra healthy touch. And it tastes just as good!

  87. This might be a stupid question, but when you say 2 cups of cooked quinoa, do you meassure this as two actual cups of cooked quinoa or just cooking two cup of uncooked quinoa?. How much uncooked quinoa would I then need to have two cups of cooked quinoa.

    • Saskia, 1 cup uncooked quinoa = 2 cups cooked quinoa.

      • Thank you. I cooked to much quinoa, but I will use the rest for the pastasauce I am planning to make tomorrow, since I forget to buy minced beef.

        I couldn’t find canned green chills where I live, so I just used a fresh one.

  88. Pingback: Quinoa Chili « Project Refined Life

  89. Oh my gosh! THIS WAS DELICIOUS. I don’t ever comment on blogs I just scroll around looking for awesome recipes and cool stories! But let me tell you this was by far the best chili I have ever had! I have only been a vegan for about year, so I have had my fair share of chili with beef but it does not come close to this recipe! This was amazing! Thank you so much!!!!

    I didn’t see that it said 2 cups of COOKED quinoa so I cooked two cups and then realized it did not look the same…I ended up doubling the recipe! I am not complaining 🙂

  90. AMAZING recipe …. numnumnumnum … even the quinoa haters loved it!

  91. Do you make it exactly like the recipe if planning on freezing? Or do you make it without the quinoa and then add that after you thaw it out and reheat it?

    • Freezing sounds like an amazing idea but unfortunately, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing this myself. Please use your best judgment for freezing and reheating.

  92. How much is one serving? I want to make this for my work Earth Day party and Just want to make sure I make enough. This looks so tasty!

  93. I printed your ingredients and took to the market, when I got home and looked at your delicious photo again before I began putting this together, I’ve noticed you didn’t include cheddar cheese! You’ve used this as a garnish with that delicious looking avocado and cilantro.

    Unless I’ve missed it somewhere in the ingredients list?

    • Tina, the cheese is simply used as a garnish and for photographic purposes. It is not a crucial ingredient that is needed in this recipe. It’s just a little added bonus 🙂

      • Your food styling is fabulous! Yes I did notice that and the sour cream were ‘extras’. Thank you! Delicious recipe!

  94. I am printing some of your recipes. I just discovered your site and totally love it! I go very often on the popular sites but yours is very very attracting, easy and seems soooo yummy! I like the personal touch that you bring to it, it’s not only a site but a sharing place, friendly in all the ways. Will try your food soon! All this for a heart-warmed thank you for sharing!

  95. That was the best chili ever! My super picky, junk food loving teenager loved it!!!!

  96. Best veggie chili EVER! Followed directions except added extra cayenne. Husband loved it and taking to lunch tomorrow as well.

  97. This chili is REALLY good! I did make a few changes because I needed to put it in the CROCK-POT. So instead of putting in canned beans, I put in dried, unsoaked beans, 1/2 cup kidney and 1/2 cup black beans. Instead of putting in the cooked quinoa, I put in 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, and I didn’t have fresh cilantro so I put in 1 tsp. dried cilantro. It takes 5 hours on high and approximately 8 hours on low. Definitely do the avocado and cheese on top. The whole family loved it!

    • Hey Holly – Thank you for the crock pot tips! Did you cook the onions or garlic prior to adding to the crockpot or just put them in raw?

  98. Made this tonight and me and my hubby loved it! Thanks for this recipe! Bon apetit.

  99. This was AMAZEBALLS! My husband and I loved it!

  100. I am making this on Sunday and will enjoy it for lunch all next week!!

  101. Made this yesterday. It was my first time making chili with quinoa. I loved it, everyone loved it. It is a versatile, and easy recipe. We will be making much more. Thanks!

  102. I made this for dinner tonight. I was unsure how my family would react. My 4 kids went back for seconds! This definitely will be a regular on our menu. Thank you!

  103. Absolutely delicious recipe!

  104. I’ve made this three times in 6 weeks. We LOVE it! It makes great leftovers.

  105. This recipe was superb! We omitted the chiles and chile powder just because my toddler is sensitive to spicy stuff and it was still great.

  106. Fixed a double batch of quinoa the other night so I went in search of recipes….found this recipe and had to try! Wow!! t won’t feed my army of 3 for days because my husband & 5 yr old son ate 3 bowls each!! I devored 2 myself!!!! Followed recipe exactly. Served with cheese on top and had Jiffy cornbread muffins! Yummo! This is a keeper for sure.

  107. As a food blogger I rarely get the chance to try many other bloggers’ recipes (so little time in the day!), but I was stoked to try this one! Made this the other night for a dinner party and it was a big hit. Super delicious, flavorful and filling. I thought I had quinoa but it turned out it was millet. Used it instead and it worked just fine! I liked how the grains were deceptive in that they almost made it look like there was ground turkey or beef, which maybe made it “feel” more satisfying, if that makes sense. In any case, loved this recipe! 5 stars fo sho.

    • I’m so glad you had a chance to try this, Dana. You just reminded me that I need to make this again, maybe using millet instead! 🙂

  108. I made this today with a little less chili powder and cayenne and my family went crazy for it. My meat loving husband said it was his favorite chili I’ve ever made and my picky 4 year old son ate two bowls. I served it with ff Greek yogurt on top and homemade cornbread on the side. Yum!! Will be a new staple – thanks!!

  109. I’m new to using Quinoa. Do you take 2 cups of dry quinoa and cook it, or use 1 c dry and cook it so it makes 2 c when it’s done?

  110. I have never had quinoa, and I really loved this recipe, and I seem to put in everything now. It is sooo good.

  111. Tris ismthe fiesta time i almond madera a metal oit of cans. I can soy that it taste delicious and love the texture, lots of good flavors and aromas…. Great recipe and will do it again. Bone Aperite

  112. I have this cooking in my crockpot right now and can’t wait to try it! Smells divine.

  113. This recipe looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. A few people asked about making this in the slow cooker. I make a quinoa chili recipe similar to this one in the slow cooker and it works very well. All the ingredients are put into the slow cooker including uncooked quinoa and I cook on low for 5 – 7 hours. The quinoa doesn’t become soggy at all and comes out perfect everytime. The spices take a hit, so you will need to add more seasoning when it it comes time to serve.

  114. Omgosh! Is it possible I never came back to let you know how insanely delicious this was?? My friends and I made this with some goat cheese biscuits on the side and it was just so. good. Thanks for the fabulous recipe!! This will definitely be a repeat meal.

  115. Made this recipe last night for my family…added a bit more chili powder, cumin and sea salt. It was really delicious and best of all, really healthy. It was super easy and quick to make, too! Will add this to my recipe index for sure!

  116. I have a quick question. Should I cook the quinoa before or does it cook with the chili?

  117. Made this last night and it was AH-MAZING! I did cut down the amount of cayenne to 1/4 tsp. as I did not want it too spicy and it was perfect. Even my husband who normally shuns all things vegetarian liked it! Thank you for your wonderful recipe!

  118. I saw this yesterday, made it last night. SO good! It’s the perfect food for the cold weather right now, and just enough spice for this Texas girl.

  119. Fantastic! Makes a huge amount. Only used half a small lime.
    Topped mine with avocado, low fat sour cream, and (gasp!) some Fritos (guilty pleasure).
    Will definitely make again (after I work my way through my freezer full of leftovers).

  120. I am making this on Sunday and will enjoy it for lunch all next week!! Perfect chili for our Iowa -20 degree days!!

  121. I just make this for dinner and it was awesome! Next time I’ll have to cook the quinoa in broth to see how it tastes!

  122. Asking because I’m lazy and I want this RIGHT NOW…do you think uncooked quinoa would cook enough in the dutch oven along with everything else?

  123. Hi! I’m not a vegetarian and have never made chili without some form of meat in it, BUT this recipe is sooooooo good! Made it tonight. I didn’t have any quinoa but had some orzo on hand and it seemed to work out just fine! Thank you. I will make this over and over again.

  124. Made this tonight. Hubby said it was kind of spicy for the kids. So maybe I’ll try a little less of the spices next time. But I’m going to serve it with some garlic bread and some sour cream on top. Hopefully that’ll help. And maybe only 1/2 a lime also. But I’m still excited I made it! Thanks for the recipe!

  125. I found this recipe on pinterest and made it the other night. I cooked the quinoa in beef broth and used broth instead of water to give the chili a richer and more chili-like flavor. It was delicious! I actually threw everything in my crock pot (with the cooked quinoa) and simmered on low all day while I was at work and it was so great to come home to a yummy dinner. Even hubby, a die-hard meat-eater, said it wasn’t too bad. I consider that a win! It reheated well for lunches, too. Great recipe, will definitely make again.

  126. I’ve had this recipe on my todo list for ages now and we’re finally going to have our first snowy day of the season tomorrow! I’m going to be cooking up a huge pot and inviting my friends over. Been craving it for weeks so I can’t wait!

  127. Pingback: Vegan Chili Mac’n’Cheese | The Broccoli Bulletin

  128. So good!

    I used lemon instead of lime and added a dash of hot sauce and Fox Bros Wing Sauce. Turned out amazing!

  129. Amazing recipe! I was just wondering if you have any idea of the calorie count?

  130. So I just made this and I have to say it’s THE best chili I’ve ever had. Tastes so fresh and the quinoa really adds that extra kick. You had really taste all the flavors and is so much lighter than traditional chili

  131. Made this tonight, and it’s absolutely delicious! The spices are dead-on perfect! The lime juice at the end adds a slight acidic kick. Quinoa in chili is genius. It adds not only great protein, but gives the chili the perfect texture that many veggie chilis lack. Just love it, and will make it again! Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes. Thanks!

  132. Hey!
    I made it last night for my boyfriends birthday. Thanks for the great photos and well written guide. I served it with a cold beer, nachos and a feta cheese salad. He could not have been happier 😀

    / Sanna

  133. Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I can’t wait to try out some of your other recipes.

  134. Oh my gosh — this looks good!! I just Pinned it, and I can’t wait to try!

  135. This looks so good… love the idea of quinoa for protein instead of beef or chicken in this chili!

  136. Made this for dinner tonight, but added some chicken for my husband who thinks dinner isn’t dinner without meat. It was yummy! Even passed the picky 5 year old test! Thanks for sharing.

  137. I made this and it is very good. I love the bright tanginess of the fresh lime juice but it was a little overpowering. I think I will start with 1/2 lime next time. Everything else – just the same. Thanks!

  138. Just finished preparing for dinner and tastes yummy! Exciting! Looking forward to eating it because it is healthy also!

  139. This looks amazing! It serves 6, but whats each serving size? ..Am I just confused? hehe.

  140. Could you make this in the crockpot? I am just wondering if the quinoa would do well in a crockpot on low for around 8 hours?


  141. Mouth watering!! This chili looks so enticing 🙂 I am dying to try this!

  142. Can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  143. I live in the South Bay Area and it has been absolutely gorgeous weather here! We had our lunch outside in the sun today and it felt so good. I love a Mexican inspired chili like this and the addition of quinoa definitely makes me want to try it.

  144. This has got to be the prettiest bowl of chili I’ve ever seen! And healthy too?! Double bonus!

  145. This looks great – I like using similar flavours in my vegetarian chili. I’m definitely going to try adding quinoa 🙂 Pinned!

  146. so hearty and perfect for fall weather. my husband would actually loove this.

  147. Great! I ‘m glad to have found a recipe with quinoa that changes from my usual recipes.. I had lost inspiration to make it more original! 😛

  148. Dang, I totally made black bean chili tonight, sans quinoa! Kicking myself that I didn’t read your blog post beforehand. Obviously I’ll need to make your version soon–I need this in my life, along with a big slice of cornbread. 🙂

  149. Niiiiiice! I’m jealous of your warm weather… it’s freezing here :(. BUT it’s the perfect weather for this beautiful chili!!

  150. Woah there. You can add quinoa to chili?! Is there any dish that can’t contain this grain?

  151. I’m so glad you made this Chung-Ah! Your pictures are gorgeous! Teach me the tricks!

  152. This looks great! I’ve only recently realised how delicious quinoa is.

    I love your photos Chung-Ah.

  153. This chili looks crazy delicious!!! yum!

  154. Leftovers, you say? I’ll be right over. 😉

  155. This sounds amazing! And your pictures are always so gorgeous!!! I will have to show my hubby this recipe…he is on quite the quinoa kick right now 🙂 Pinned!!!

  156. GORGEOUS, Chung-Ah! Love this recipe…so healthy with quinoa and all of its protein…perfect for vegetarians who need it in their diet. Beautiful styling and color pop! You are truly inspiring, girl. Thanks for sharing. Pinning!

  157. How yummy looking, I just made Chili the other night and now I’m craving this one. I used to be an all veggie girl so I still love good vegetarian meals, thanks for the recipe and for stopping by me blog 🙂

  158. I have that bowl! I made soup in it and posted about it last week. Yours is WAY MORE photogenic than mine. Had major lighting issues that day. It’s so beautiful and I’d love a big bowl of it!

  159. I LOVE that there is quinoa in this!!

  160. The perfect chili for vegetarians, I love all those colorful toppers!

    • THIS WAS THE BEST CHILI EVER. The quinoa is great added protein to go with the beans. I used all organic ingredients, but left out cilantro and lime juice since I did not have them in fridge. Used himalyan pink salt, and a dash of red pepper flakes. Made everything in slow cooker, added cooked quino into cooker during last 10 minutes to infuse it with flavor. I am going to freeze multiple containers worth for lunches at work. THANKS!!

    • This was the best Chili recipe I have made. The quinoa made the dish so textured. I’ve never eaten avocado with chili but I was surprised as to how refreshing it was. Totally delicious!

    • I love this Chili! I started eating Quinoa instead of rice and noodles about 6 months ago so I was so excited when I found this recipe! I added ground turkey for my meat loving family and it is a huge hit 🙂 Looking forward to more from Damn Delicious

      • Hi, when in the recipe did you add the turkey? How much did you add and did you change any of the other ingredients?

    • Great recipe! I added some yellow squash and garbanzo beans to the mix!

    • WAY WAY WAY Too much sodium! Just look at those numbers! I will need to locate a great chili recipe made without all those canned items, and sub-in quinoa for meat!

      • Not sure about your grocery store, but Wegmans sells no-salt-added canned goods, such as black beans. I diced fresh tomatoes since I had a huge surplus. You could probably also replace the canned green chiles with fresh jalapeños. Good luck!

      • Completely agree about the sodium content, but I think you can find the same ingredients with no added salt and still come up with a great dish!

      • Agreed!  I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I noticed the amount of sodium.  
        Also, I agree with many others…you can make this with less sodium and I am sure it will be delicious!  I am looking forward to making it.