Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Recipe

Imagine coming home to a warm bowl of hearty chili that's packed with nutrients and bursting with flavor. That's what you get with this slow cooker vegetarian quinoa chili. It is loaded with protein-rich quinoa and a mix of black and kidney beans. Combined with a robust blend of chili spices and fresh ingredients, this chili recipe is a crowd-pleaser that's as easy to make as it is satisfying to eat.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Recipe

Photos of Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Recipe

Quinoa, a key ingredient in this recipe, might not be a staple in everyone's kitchen. This grain-like seed is packed with protein and fiber, making it a fantastic addition to vegetarian dishes. It has a subtle nutty flavor that pairs well with hearty ingredients like beans and tomatoes. You may find it in the grains section of the supermarket or in the natural foods aisle.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Quinoa: A nutritious grain that provides a source of protein and fiber.

Black beans: Adds texture and is a great source of protein.

Kidney beans: They are rich in fiber and provide a hearty element to the dish.

Tomato paste: This helps to thicken the chili and provides a rich tomato flavor.

Tomatoes: They give freshness and acidity to the dish.

Yellow onion: For sweetness and flavor depth.

Garlic: Gives a flavor kick.

Vegetable broth: The base of the chili where every other flavor melds together.

Chili powder: Gives the chili its classic flavor.

Ground cumin: Adds an earthy flavor.

Kosher salt: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.

Coriander: It lends a slight citrusy flavor to the chili.

Paprika: Adds color and a smoky flavor.

Ground black pepper: For a touch of heat.

Cayenne pepper: If you like spicy food, this is a must. Adjust the amount to your preference.

Parsley: Used as garnish, adds a fresh touch.

One reader, Elnore Hemphill says:

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This slow cooker vegetarian quinoa chili recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and satisfying, and the quinoa adds a delightful texture. It's incredibly easy to prepare, and the aroma while it's cooking is mouthwatering. I love that it's healthy and filling. It's definitely a new favorite in my household!

Elnore Hemphill

Techniques Required for Making Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

How to prepare the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer to remove its natural coating, which can make it taste bitter. Then, combine the quinoa with water in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed all the water.

How to chop the onion: Start by cutting off the stem end of the onion, then cut it in half from the top to the root. Peel off the skin, place the onion flat on the cutting board, and make vertical cuts, then slice horizontally to dice the onion.

How to mince the garlic: Peel the garlic cloves and place them on a cutting board. Use a chef's knife to crush the garlic by pressing down with the flat side of the blade. Then, finely chop the crushed garlic until it reaches a minced consistency.

How to adjust the seasoning: Taste the chili and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can add more salt, chili powder, or other spices to suit your preference.

How to garnish with parsley: Wash and dry the parsley, then finely chop the leaves. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the chili just before serving to add a fresh, herbaceous flavor.

How To Make Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

This quinoa chili is a vegetarian version of a classic dish. It’s full of beans, tomatoes, and herbs that have been slow-cooked to perfection.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 10 minutes



  • cupquinoauncooked
  • 15ozblack beans(1 can)
  • 15ozkidney beans(1 can)
  • ¼cuptomato paste
  • 14oztomatoescanned, diced
  • ½yellow onionchopped
  • 3garliccloves, minced
  • 4cupsvegetable broth
  • 3tbspchili powder
  • 1tbspground cumin
  • tspkosher salt
  • 1tspcoriander
  • 1tsppaprika
  • ½tspground black pepper
  • ¼tspCayenne pepper
  • parsleyoptional as a garnish


  1. Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker.

  2. Stir and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours or on High for 2 to 3 hours.


  • Calories: 458.15kcal
  • Fat: 3.00g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.50g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.63g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.42g
  • Carbohydrates: 83.93g
  • Fiber: 25.24g
  • Sugar: 5.40g
  • Protein: 28.22g
  • Sodium: 545.70mg
  • Calcium: 202.90mg
  • Potassium: 1971.55mg
  • Iron: 9.58mg
  • Vitamin A: 97.67µg
  • Vitamin C: 19.04mg

Helpful Technique for Preparing Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

To ensure that your quinoa cooks evenly in the slow cooker, rinse it thoroughly under cold water before adding it to the pot. This not only removes any residual saponin (a natural coating that can make the quinoa taste bitter), but it also hydrates the grains, allowing them to cook more evenly and absorb the flavors of the chili better.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Quinoa Chili

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables and measure out the spices the night before to streamline the cooking process.

Use canned beans: Opt for canned beans instead of dried ones to save time on soaking and cooking.

Double the batch: Make a larger quantity and freeze the extra portions for quick and convenient future meals.

Invest in a food processor: Use a food processor to quickly chop onions, garlic, and other vegetables, saving time on prep work.

Utilize pre-made vegetable broth: Save time by using store-bought vegetable broth instead of making it from scratch.

Quick-release pressure: If using a pressure cooker, utilize the quick-release method to reduce cooking time.

One-pot cooking: Consider using a large pot on the stovetop instead of a slow cooker for a quicker cooking process.

Substitute Ingredients For Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Recipe

  • quinoa - Substitute with bulgur: Bulgur has a similar nutty flavor and chewy texture, making it a suitable substitute for quinoa in this recipe.

  • black beans - Substitute with pinto beans: Pinto beans have a similar creamy texture and mild flavor, making them a good substitute for black beans in this chili recipe.

  • kidney beans - Substitute with cannellini beans: Cannellini beans have a creamy texture and mild flavor, making them a suitable substitute for kidney beans in this chili recipe.

  • tomato paste - Substitute with crushed tomatoes: Crushed tomatoes can add a similar depth of flavor and thickness to the chili as tomato paste.

  • tomatoes - Substitute with canned diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes can be used as a substitute for fresh tomatoes, providing a similar texture and flavor to the dish.

  • yellow onion - Substitute with red onion: Red onion can be used as a substitute for yellow onion, providing a slightly different flavor profile to the chili.

  • garlic - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic, providing a similar flavor without the need for chopping or mincing.

  • vegetable broth - Substitute with mushroom broth: Mushroom broth can add a rich and savory flavor to the chili, similar to vegetable broth.

  • chili powder - Substitute with ancho chili powder: Ancho chili powder can be used as a substitute for regular chili powder, providing a slightly different depth of flavor to the dish.

  • ground cumin - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can add a similar earthy and smoky flavor to the chili as ground cumin.

  • kosher salt - Substitute with sea salt: Sea salt can be used as a substitute for kosher salt, providing a similar level of saltiness to the dish.

  • coriander - Substitute with ground ginger: Ground ginger can be used as a substitute for coriander, adding a warm and aromatic flavor to the chili.

  • paprika - Substitute with chipotle powder: Chipotle powder can add a smoky and spicy flavor to the chili, similar to paprika.

  • ground black pepper - Substitute with white pepper: White pepper can be used as a substitute for black pepper, providing a milder and slightly different flavor to the dish.

  • cayenne pepper - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can be used as a substitute for cayenne pepper, adding a mild smoky flavor and a hint of heat to the chili.

  • parsley - Substitute with cilantro: Cilantro can be used as a substitute for parsley, adding a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the chili.

Presentation Tips for Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the slow cooker vegetarian quinoa chili, consider using a wide, shallow bowl to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the dish. This will allow the chili to take center stage and make it visually appealing.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle the chili with freshly chopped parsley to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness. The vibrant green against the rich, warm tones of the chili will create a visually stunning presentation.

  3. Incorporate texture: Consider adding a crunchy element, such as homemade tortilla strips, as a garnish. This will not only add a delightful crunch but also elevate the overall texture of the dish.

  4. Use contrasting colors: Consider serving the chili in a white or neutral-toned bowl to allow the vibrant colors of the ingredients to stand out. The contrast will make the dish visually striking.

  5. Focus on balance: When plating, ensure that the distribution of ingredients is balanced and visually appealing. Pay attention to the placement of beans, quinoa, and sauce to create an aesthetically pleasing arrangement.

  6. Incorporate a drizzle: Before serving, consider adding a drizzle of vegan sour cream or a swirl of avocado cream on top of the chili to add a touch of elegance and creaminess to the presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Quinoa Chili

  • Slow cooker: A slow cooker is an electric countertop cooking appliance that allows for long, slow cooking at low temperatures. It's perfect for simmering soups, stews, and chili.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board is a durable board on which food is cut. It provides a stable surface for chopping vegetables and other ingredients.
  • Knife: A sharp knife is essential for chopping the onion and garlic, as well as any other ingredients that may need to be cut.
  • Can opener: A can opener is needed to open the cans of black beans, kidney beans, tomato paste, and tomatoes.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: These are essential for accurately measuring the quinoa, vegetable broth, and various spices.
  • Stirring spoon: A stirring spoon is necessary for mixing all the ingredients together in the slow cooker.

Storing and Freezing Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

  • Let the chili cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • Transfer the cooled chili to an airtight container or freezer-safe bags.
  • If using freezer bags, remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy identification.
  • Store the chili in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to serve, thaw the frozen chili overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat the chili in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • If the chili appears too thick after reheating, add a small amount of vegetable broth or water to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed before serving.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley, shredded cheese, or other toppings of your choice.

How To Reheat Leftover Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

  • Reheat the leftover chili in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method allows you to control the heat and ensure even reheating without overcooking the quinoa or making the chili too thick.

  • For a quick and easy option, transfer the desired portion of leftover chili to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel to prevent splatters and help retain moisture. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chili is heated through.

  • If you have a small amount of leftover chili, consider using a toaster oven to reheat it. Place the chili in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and heat at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. This method helps maintain the texture of the beans and prevents the chili from becoming too watery.

  • For a flavorful twist, transform your leftover chili into a delicious breakfast by serving it over a bed of warm, creamy polenta or topped with a sunny-side-up egg. The combination of textures and flavors will give your leftovers a new lease on life.

  • Create a satisfying and comforting meal by using leftover chili as a filling for burritos or tacos. Simply warm the chili, spoon it onto your favorite tortilla, and add your preferred toppings such as shredded cheese, diced onions, and fresh cilantro for a quick and tasty lunch or dinner.

Interesting Fact About Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent source of plant-based protein for vegetarians and vegans.

Is Making Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Cost-Effective?

This slow cooker vegetarian quinoa chili recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. With affordable ingredients like quinoa, black beans, and vegetable broth, it provides a budget-friendly meal option. The use of pantry staples and versatile vegetables makes it a smart choice for families looking to save money without compromising on flavor. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$15, making it an economical and nutritious choice. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Is This Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Healthy?

This slow cooker vegetarian quinoa chili recipe is a nutritious and well-balanced meal. Here's why:

  • Quinoa is a complete protein source, providing all essential amino acids, and is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Black beans and kidney beans are excellent sources of plant-based protein, fiber, and various nutrients like folate, iron, and magnesium.
  • Tomatoes offer vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.
  • Onion and garlic provide prebiotics, which support gut health, and contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • The spices used, such as chili powder, cumin, coriander, and paprika, are rich in antioxidants and have potential anti-inflammatory properties.

To further enhance the nutritional value of this chili:

  • Consider adding more vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini to increase the fiber content and provide a wider range of vitamins and minerals.
  • Experiment with different types of beans or lentils to vary the texture and nutrient profile.
  • Serve the chili with a side of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, to boost the vitamin and mineral content of the meal.
  • Top the chili with fresh herbs like cilantro or green onions for added flavor and nutrients.
  • If desired, garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt or a sprinkle of low-fat cheese for an extra protein and calcium boost.

Editor's Opinion on This Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Recipe

This slow cooker vegetarian quinoa chili recipe is a delightful combination of wholesome ingredients and robust flavors. The blend of quinoa, black beans, and kidney beans provides a satisfying texture, while the array of spices infuses the dish with a rich and aromatic profile. The convenience of the slow cooker method allows the flavors to meld beautifully, resulting in a hearty and comforting chili. The addition of parsley at the end adds a fresh and herbaceous note, elevating the overall dish. It's a perfect option for a nourishing and flavorful meal.

Enhance Your Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Green Beans: Toss green beans with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender and slightly crispy.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sauté carrots in a mixture of honey, butter, and a pinch of cinnamon until they are caramelized and tender.
Mango Avocado Salad: Combine diced mango, avocado, red onion, and cilantro. Drizzle with a lime vinaigrette for a refreshing and colorful side dish.
Coconut Lime Rice: Cook jasmine rice in coconut milk and water, then stir in lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice for a tropical twist on a classic side dish.

Similar Recipes to Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Vegan Lentil Soup: This hearty and flavorful soup is packed with protein and fiber, making it a satisfying and healthy meal.
Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers: These colorful and nutritious bell peppers are filled with a delicious mixture of quinoa, vegetables, and spices, creating a tasty and filling dish.
Mango Avocado Salsa: This refreshing and vibrant salsa is the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and it pairs well with grilled meats or as a topping for tacos and salads.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Stuffed Mushrooms: Savory and satisfying, these stuffed mushrooms are filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. They make the perfect bite-sized appetizer for any gathering.
Caprese Skewers: These colorful skewers feature fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze for a refreshing and elegant appetizer option.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Berry Parfait: Layer fresh berries with creamy yogurt and crunchy granola for a light and refreshing parfait that is perfect for a summer treat or a healthy dessert option.

Why trust this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Recipe:

This slow cooker vegetarian quinoa chili recipe is a wholesome and flavorful option for anyone seeking a hearty and nutritious meal. The combination of quinoa, black beans, and kidney beans provides a rich source of plant-based protein and fiber, while the aromatic blend of chili powder, cumin, and other spices infuses the dish with a depth of flavor. With the convenience of a slow cooker, this recipe offers a hassle-free cooking experience, ensuring that the vegetables and herbs meld together perfectly. Trust in this recipe for a satisfying and nourishing chili that will surely become a household favorite.

Share your thoughts and experiences with this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section. Let's discuss any variations or serving suggestions you might have!
Can I use different types of beans in this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use different types of beans based on your preference or what you have on hand. You can try using pinto beans, navy beans, or even chickpeas for a unique twist.
Can I add other vegetables to the chili?
Absolutely! Feel free to add in extra vegetables like bell peppers, corn, zucchini, or carrots to enhance the flavor and nutritional content of the chili.
Can I substitute the quinoa with another grain?
Certainly! If you prefer a different grain, you can substitute quinoa with bulgur, barley, or even brown rice. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the grain you choose.
How can I adjust the spiciness level of the chili?
To adjust the spiciness, you can reduce or increase the amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper according to your taste preference. You can also omit the cayenne pepper for a milder version.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the leftover chili in airtight containers for up to 3 months. When reheating, you may need to add a little extra broth or water to adjust the consistency.

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