Quinoa Chili Recipe

This quinoa chili recipe is made using all pantry ingredients and comes together in 20 minutes!

With all the crazy going on in the world right now, many people are turning to their pantries for meals. With many of us being on lockdown, it’s likely that fresh foods will run out pretty quickly. Especially if we plan on avoiding the stores for any significant amount of time.

A blue bowl filled with this Quinoa Chili sits ready to eat. You can see the quinoa and black beans with bits of tomatoes.

So many people in my area are not taking this stuff seriously, but not me. Me and Mini Chef are staying home for as long as it takes! That means I’m also avoiding going to the store for as long as humanly possible. So while I still have some fresh food in the fridge, I’m also turning to my pantry trying to figure out what to make for dinner.


This recipe is not vegetarian, but if you prefer a vegetarian or vegan version, it’s super simple to make that happen. Simply use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Easy!


This chili is easily topped with many different chili toppings. If you have the extras in the fridge, here are some ideas for mix-ins or toppings for you quinoa chili.

  • Raw, chopped onions
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Chopped avocado
  • Chopped, fresh cilantro


So the basic trick here is that you will be making the quinoa to package directions, but you will sub the water with the broth of your choice and add all the other ingredients in as well. It’s super simple! My quinoa package said to mix water and quinoa in a pot, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook with a lid on for 20 minutes. So instead of water, I used chicken broth, added all the ingredients into the pot and cooked with the lid on for 20 minutes.

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A blue bowl filled with this Quinoa Chili sits ready to eat. You can see the quinoa and black beans with bits of tomatoes.

Quinoa Chili Recipe

A simple chili recipe made with all pantry ingredients.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Chili
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 cups
Calories: 228kcal



  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa (regular white works too)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (no sugar added, low sodium is best)
  • 28 oz. canned diced tomatoes (fire roasted or regular)
  • 30 oz. canned black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional additions:

  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 lb. browned, ground turkey or beef


  • Rinse your quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve. Even if the package says it's pre-rinsed, you'll still want to rinse it to avoid any off-putting flavors. Rinse it really well!
  • Add all your ingredients (including any additions you want to add) to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes (or however long your quinoa package instructs).
  • Add any toppings or mix-ins (mentioned in my blog post) and serve.


Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible. Data does not include toppings, mix-ins or optional additions. The sodium content will be lower if you use low sodium items.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1018mg | Potassium: 859mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 687IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 6mg

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  1. Amanda Davies says:

    5 stars
    We made this for supper tonight – truly was easy and very yummy. The quinoa was a delicious twist! We did add the optional ground beef and corn, and it was the right consistency. Chili for us is usually a simmer-all-day kind of meal. This was quick but just as tasty as the chili that cooks all day. I served baked potatoes on the side and they were great together. Thanks, Tiffany!