Vegan Black Bean Chili with Quinoa

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Chili is a family favorite around here. When I make chili, I have to make it in big batches because everyone wants to eat all of the leftovers before I can vacuum pack it and put it in the freezer for another day! Chili is traditionally a meaty dish, but I have learned that you can bring that big Texas chili flavor even with a vegan chili! While I have made plenty of batches of bean chili and love them, there is something to the texture that quinoa brings to a veggie based chili! It gives the chili that ground beef texture while adding protein and vitamins to the dish! 

Quinoa, the food of the ancients

If you are late to the quinoa train, you have been missing out! Quinoa is a protein-rich grain-like crop that is cooked much like rice. It can even be cooked in your rice cooker with the same water/grain ratio! Quinoa is a great source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and even iron. While it's cooked like rice or other grains, quinoa is actually considered a vegetable and not a grain. It is also considered a great gluten-free option for grains.

Vegan Black Bean Chili with Quinoa


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (19 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (19 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with avocado, green onions, chopped cilantro, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and/or lime juice


  1. Bring the Quinoa to a boil in a saucepan, over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Just like rice, when the water is gone, it's ready to go. Set the quinoa aside for later.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until the onion softens and turns clear. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook and stir for 1 minute to release the flavors. Stir in the tomatoes, black and pinto beans, green and red bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, chipotle pepper, liquid smoke, and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. After twenty minutes, stir in the reserved quinoa and corn. Simmer for five minutes longer to heat the corn all the way through. Remove from heat, stir in the cilantro, and serve. Garnish each bowl with avocados, green onions, and more!
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