30-Minute Red Quinoa Vegetarian Chili Recipe

  • Doesn't it seem wrong that my kids are picky eaters when their mom is a trained chef and recipe developer!? Well, it's true. That's why I was happily surprised when my 10-year-old went out of his comfort zone and devoured (yes, devoured!) this amazingly healthy red quinoa vegetarian chili! He especially loved it over his nachos. (Whatever works, right?) Perfect for a busy weeknight, you can whip this one-pot comfort food meal up in just 30 minutes, and I bet your entire family will absolutely love it!

    30-Minute Vegetarian Red Quinoa Chili

    My kids love this no-meat one-pot chili recipe!

    Prep Time:
    Cook time:
    Servings: 4 to 6


    • water or vegetable stock: 1 cup
    • uncooked red quinoa: ½ cup
    • olive oil: to coat the pan
    • yellow onion, cut into a small dice: ¾ cup
    • fresh garlic, minced: 1 teaspoon
    • chili powder: 1 tablespoon
    • ground cumin: 2 teaspoons
    • green chilies, fire roasted and diced : 1 (4-ounce) can
    • diced tomatoes in tomato juice: 1 (28-ounce) can
    • kidney beans, drained: 1 (15-ounce) can
    • maple syrup: 2 teaspoons
    • sea salt: ½ teaspoon


    Step 1: Pour the water or stock into a small pot, place it over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

    Step 2: While the quinoa is cooking, coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

    Step 3: Add the chili powder, ground cumin, and green chilies to the pan. Sauté until this is very aromatic, about 1 minute.


    Step 4: Deglaze the pan by adding the tomatoes (with all of the juice). Use a wooden spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan to work any bits of food that are stuck back into the mixture.

    Step 5: Add the kidney beans, cooked quinoa, maple syrup, and salt, and stir to combine. Cook on medium-low to be sure the beans become hot, about 2 minutes.  


    Step 6: Serve hot, and if desired, add cilantro, avocado, fresh tomatoes, and/or sour cream for garnish.

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