Best-Ever Quinoa Chili {vegan and gluten-free}

Best Ever Quinoa Chili {vegan and gluten-free}

Did you know that Texans don’t put beans in their chili? Not even one little teeny floater for good luck. Just meat and spices. Spices and meat.

Don’t get me wrong, they certainly know a thing or two about chili in Texas but if you’re like me and you prefer your chili to be meatless then you’ll have to look elsewhere for such recipes. Needless to say, I had to rely on my own kitchen for chili during the three years that we lived in Texas. It allowed me to try multiple different variations and eventually settle on a favorite, which is why I call it the ‘best ever’.

It’s just the way I like it: chock full of veggies and healthy protein from beans and quinoa, loaded with savory tomato flavor and just enough spice to please the palate.

Best Ever Quinoa Chili {vegan and gluten-free}

I know everyone likes a different level of heat and while I like mine to be a little spicy, I don’t like my mouth to burn while I eat. A little tingle is nice, as long as I can pacify it with a soft piece of corn bread.

Feel free to adjust the spices to your liking and please don’t be intimated by the long ingredient list! Most of them are just spices that you likely already have in your pantry.

Best Ever Quinoa Chili {vegan and gluten-free}

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Best Ever Quinoa Chili {vegan and gluten-free}


1 cup quinoa, soaked overnight and rinsed

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed*

1 (15 ounce) can red beans, drained and rinsed*

2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes

8 ounces tomato sauce

3 cups vegetable broth

1 yellow onion, diced

2 bell peppers (I used one red and one green), diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapenos, diced

1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground chili chipotle

1 teaspoon maple syrup

salt & pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot (or Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about five minutes.
  2. Then add the peppers and spices and cook for another five minutes.
  3. Next, add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot (minus the corn) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for thirty minutes.
  4. Add the corn and continue to simmer for ten more minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!

Best Ever Quinoa Chili {vegan and gluten-free}

If you used canned beans then it’s quick enough for a weeknight meal but you could make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

And if you’re looking for a good gluten-free cornbread mix, I personally like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Cornbread (I have no relation to Bob’s Red Mill-this is just my personal opinion). I use 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup oil, 2 eggs and 1 cup creamed corn and cook it for about 10-15 minutes longer than directed on the package. Substituting some of the oil and milk with creamed corn makes it rich and creamy with little surprise bits of corn inside. It’s a trick my mom taught me {except she used Jiffy cornbread mix} and it’s my favorite way to eat cornbread!


Do you like meat in your chili?

What’s your favorite cornbread recipe?