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quinoa chili

Easy Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

quinoachilli-0086 The first reason why I love chili is that it allows me to pull together a meal in no time, requiring the use of just one pan. This is a particularly valuable detail: more time to spend enjoying my meal instead of washing plates. The second reason is the taste: fresh, spicy, juicy, bold.

chilliquinoa I also love cooking chili because of the fragrances. The aroma from a slowly simmering stew can be a strong stimuli for my memory. Sometimes just by “dipping”  my nose into the steam coming from the pot, I can daydream until childhood memories come up. More often, breathing those palatable smells just helps me soothe the hunger and anticipate the flavors the recipe will bring up.

quinoachilli-0076 This vegetarian chili is perfect for those cold nights when you want something simple to prepare but still appealing enough to be shared with picky friends and family. Quinoa has a texture similar to couscous. When cooked in tomato sauce and with other ingredients like in this chili, its taste becomes even more subtle, making the stew even good to people who are not in love with Quinoa. Serve it warm accompanied by a bowl of guacamole or yogurt – which is a always a cool replacement for sour cream.

quinoachilli-0083 In the past I’ve shared a few recipes including Quinoa, such as these “Quinoa and Polenta burgers”. Sometimes I even use it in my breakfast. However, I still struggle to make room for it in my cuisine. Do you have any Quinoa-based recipe to suggest? I’m all ears!

Vegetarian Quinoa Chilli

Yield: 4


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1/4 medium onion, minced
  • 1 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash quinoa to remove saponins. Chop the carrot and pepper.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the carrot, corn and peppers and cook about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the quinoa, kidney beans and tomato sauce. Season with chili powder, cumin and salt. Simmer the chilli for about 20 minutes and add water if it gets dry. Serve warm.
  4. Garnish with avocado slices.