Spicy Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

One of our favorite dinners (especially on a rare cold evening in Texas) is this veggie chili with quinoa. I have tried a few variations on chili using soy substitutes like meat crumbles, but we like quinoa in it the best. You can easily substitute the quinoa with meat crumbles, just saute the crumbles with the onions and garlic in the first step and you’ll have a chili texture that is thicker and more like the real deal. When I have a little extra time I make cornbread following either of these recipes: Homesteader Cornbread (takes about 1 hour) or Golden Sweet Cornbread (takes about 35 min). Enjoy!

Veggie Chili


  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp chipotle chili pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey
  • 2 (12 oz) cans low sodium kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 (24 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice, I like San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Garnishes: avocado, green onion, cheese, plain greek yogurt/sour cream, and cornbread (with honey!)


  1. Bring rinsed quinoa and water to a boil on high heat. Cover and decrease to medium low flame to simmer for 15 minutes until quinoa tendrils unfurl and the quinoa is cooked.
  2. Heat olive oil in large pot on medium heat.  Saute onion and garlic until translucent (approx. 4-5 min) and add quinoa. Stir to mix. Add 1/2 the spice mixture (salt/pepper/cayenne/chipotle chili/cumin/cinnamon) and stir to mix.
  3. Stir in honey, beans with liquid, tomatoes with liquid, green bell pepper, and carrots. Cover and cook on medium to medium low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add remaining spice mixture, cover, and continue cooking 15 minutes. Can be served immediately or frozen after cooling.

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