Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Meatless Tri-Color Quinoa Chili (V+GF)

It’s been a long time since I’ve made chili and I’m not sure what possessed me to make it on one of the hottest days of the year. Has it been hot where you live? I typically don’t have reason to complain about the temperature because it stays pretty mild but this past week has just felt so hot to me. So yeah, it’s random that I decided to make chili right now when it’s so clearly not the weather for it. But I made it anyway and that’s the point here because it turned out really good.

To me, chili is one of those meals that are like “go big or go home”, ya know? The best chili needs time to simmer and develop flavors if it’s going to be amazing. That’s why if you’re going to make it you might as well do a whole batch (especially if you’re insane like me and are making this when it’s freakin hot outside).

For the quinoa in this I used the tri-color blend that I got at my local market but if you can’t find it there then feel free to use just basic quinoa. Also, if you’re in the mood to make this with rice instead, go for it. I like the quinoa because it blends into the chili really well and helps thicken it without being too noticeable. Plus it’s got lots of protein to add to this meal.

As for serving this, I had cooked an entire bag of this quinoa and I thought I’d do it up right and serve it along side of the chili. If you prefer something like cornbread, chips, or even fries then that’s great too. You do you boo. (I feel like that’s been my motto lately.) To be honest, I also just loved the presentation of serving it over quinoa.

I hope you get the chance to try this. Oh, and if you’re more level headed than I am and realize this isn’t the most Summer-heat-friendly recipe, save it for later. I can’t wait to be cooking up cozy meals like this in the Fall. Anyone else excited about that too????

Meatless Tri-Color Quinoa Chili (V+GF)

Looking for a new version of your favorite comforting bowl of chili? Try this hearty, wholesome one that's loaded with protein and fiber.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and minced
  • 1 5 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 quart vegetable stock or water plus a little more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 4 ounce can green chilies
  • 1/4 cup organic ketchup
  • 2 15 ounce cans, chili beans
  • 2 15 ounce cans, kidney bean, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • sea salt to taste


In a large high-sided skillet or shallow pot and add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Add the remaining chili ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring gently. Boil for about 8 to 10 minutes then reduce heat to simmer.

Cover with lid and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour until to give the flavors time to meld well. Serve hot, topped with desired toppings and any sides you like such and cornbread or garlic toast.


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