An easy dairy free meal, this vegan white bean quinoa chili is delicious and warming on a cold night. It’s full of healthy fiber and protein, and it’s perfect for kids and adults.
What do you make when you’re racing home at dinner time, and you know that your pantry and fridge is almost bare? Do you just order a pizza?
You don’t have to order in. You can make this super simple white bean quinoa chili – it’s hearty, healthy, and made from simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
This white bean quinoa chili is a great quick meal for a busy week night – it only takes about 20 minutes to make, and most of that is hands off time. Throw the ingredients together in a pot, bring to a boil, and then let it simmer until the quinoa is tender. This vegan meal couldn’t be any easier.
Now, if you want to round out your meal, you can definitely make some vegan corn muffins, or even some light and fluffy vegan breadsticks. Either of those would be a great side to serve alongside this tasty chili.
But this quinoa chili is just delicious on its own, or topped with some salsa, chopped avocado, or a little vegan cheese. A variety of spices pack this chili with a ton of flavor.
What spices go into homemade vegan chili?
This recipe uses onion powder, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. It’s somewhere between a mild and medium spice level. If you’d like to make this chili hotter, add more chili powder, or even some of your favorite hot sauce.
If you’ve never made a recipe with quinoa before, you might have some questions. Here are a few common questions about this ancient grain.
Is quinoa gluten free?
Yes, quinoa is a gluten free ancient grain. It’s a great substitute for couscous or rice.
It’s also a great choice for chili, because it’s high in fiber and protein, so it really fills you up. Quinoa is also a good source of magnesium and maganese. You can learn more about the nutritional value of quinoa here.
How do you prepare quinoa?
It’s very easy to prepare – but you do need to rinse the quinoa prior to cooking. Simply place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse it under cold running water.
Quinoa has a coating on it called saponin, which has a bitter taste, and can cause indigestion. Rinsing it removes the saponin. Once you rinse the quinoa, you will add it to the pot of chili.
The quinoa will be cooked when you see the little edge of each grain loosen. Quinoa is a quick-cooking grain, and it should only take about 15 minutes or so to cook in this chili.
Some tips for making this vegan white bean quinoa chili:
- make sure you choose a green salsa that’s the right level of heat for you! Mild or medium is a good choice.
- rinse your beans well before adding to the pot
- adjust the spices according to your taste. This recipe is fairly mild as written.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Vegan White Bean Quinoa Chili.
Super quick and tasty white bean quinoa chili that's gluten free and vegan! This meal can be made in a hurry, making it great for busy nights.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 15 ounces garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- 15 ounces cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- ⅔ cup quinoa
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ¾ cup mild salsa verde use medium if you want it hotter
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Put the olive oil and the onion in a soup pot and cook over medium heat.
Add the drained beans, salsa verde, and spices. Stir.
Add the quinoa and broth, and raise the heat to high.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the quinoa is tender.
Taste and add more seasoning as needed.
Serve topped with green onions, avocado, red peppers, tortilla chips, or any other favorite topping.
Feel free to use different beans if you wish.
If you'd like to make this chili a different spice level, adjust the amount of chili powder and salsa verde.
This post was originally published in December 2014. It has been updated with new photos and text.
Other quinoa recipes to try:
Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Cereal
Vegan Quinoa Salad with Zucchini
Do you know if any substitute for salsa? I can’t have tomatoes or any nightshades.
What about a chimichurri sauce with garlic, parsley, cilantro, olive oil, and vinegar? That would add a lot of flavor!
I used vegetable (low sodium) broth instead of water, to add more flavor since I didn’t have the salsa. Hoping it turns out just as delicious! I also only had garbanzo beans, next time I might to 1 garbanzo and 1 pinto bean.
I just ate it for lunch today and it was delicious and homey :)
So glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know!
So glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know!
I made this in my InstantPot… oh my it was good. Also added a small can of chili peppers. My family loved it!
Yay! Thanks for letting me know!
Mani (A New Life Wandering)
This sounds great!
This soup looks like the perfect way to warm up on a cold day! I love the ingredient list, and that it’s meat-free and so easy to make! Pinned!
I’m a total soup addict too. I love it in the winter; it’s so cozy and comforting! What a great way to use quinoa too!
I just love the idea of a white chicken chili with quinoa! It’s definitely one of my favorite soups out there! This looks sooo warm and cozy. :)
Christina @ The Beautiful Balance
I am a total soup addict as well and this has just been bumped up to the top of my list!
I hope you enjoy it!
Chili on a chilly day is pure perfection if you ask me! It’s been cold (and snowy finally!) here, too, so I could absolutely cozy up to a healthy bowl of white bean quinoa chili. Hope you had an excellent Christmas, m’dear!
I know, it’s my favorite cold weather meal! Thanks, Julia!