Quinoa Chili - Whitney's Real Recipes

Healthy Quinoa Chili

Health is a journey. While I promote a plant based lifestyle now – these older posts reflect my journey into making healthier choices. I leave these online to support others in making changes and to show that not everything needs to change at once. Take your time and always listen to what’s right for your body.

It’s the first day of Fall and though we may still be getting the beautiful sunny weather, I figured today was the perfect time to share this amazing healthy Quinoa Chili recipe. Chili is usually one of the first dinners I make once the Fall weather hits. It’s warm and filling and just perfect for those cooler nights. This chili will be a little different – it’s vegetarian! Don’t worry – it still packs big flavour and is oh so delicious.

Quinoa Chili

Quinoa can be a daunting ingredient to begin using. I’m here to help you realize that it is actually super easy to prepare and to add into dishes you probably already make all the time. I really love all the benefits you get from having quinoa in your diet. First of all – it’s gluten free so that right there is reason to love it. It’s also high in protein, fiber, iron and many other nutrients that we need in our diet.

Big tip here for new quinoa users! Always, always, always cook your quinoa in some sort of broth instead of plain water. It’s so bland on its own that it needs that boost! To make this dish fully vegetarian just use a good vegetable broth. I used a chicken broth as that’s what I had in the pantry. Also, when buying a broth, try to go for the low sodium ones. The regular broths are so overly salty and you can add your own salt to your recipes – you don’t need it done for you.

Quinoa Chili

Trying out this recipe for the first time – I was a little skeptical regarding the texture that the chili would take on. But the quinoa actually mimics a ground beef crumbly texture quite well. There are some different vegetables in this recipe that I normally wouldn’t add into my traditional chili, it ends up almost Mexican style. Which I really enjoyed and I think you will too.

I’ve been trying to cut out refined sugar from my diet – and you would not believe how difficult that is. There is sugar in absolutely everything! Even when it is completely not needed. For example in a can of crab meat (but that’s a whole other story!). So when buying a tomato sauce for this, and really in general, look for one that is just plain strained tomatoes – no sugar added. I found one by Italissima in my grocery store which is great.

Quinoa Chili

Add a little excitement to your everyday chili and make this healthy quinoa chili instead!

Healthy Quinoa Chili

This healthy quinoa chili is hearty, flavourful, and full of vegetables. Try this one out and switch up your usual chili!
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (red, yellow, white)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable, chicken, beef)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 wedge lime
  • salt and pepper


  • Cook quinoa to package instructions. Cook in broth.
  • If using frozen corn, thaw in boiling water. Set aside. 
  • In large dutch oven – sauté grated garlic and onion until soft.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, quinoa, broth, wine, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper. Stir all together. 
  • Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add in black beans, kidney beans, and corn. Continue to simmer until all heated through. 
  • Squeeze in lime.
  • Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese. 

Let me know what you think below! What are your favourite ways to use quinoa?

Thanks to the Cooking Classy blog for the inspiration – the original recipe can be found here.