black bean and quinoa chili


You are going to love this black bean and quinoa chili!

I have a thing about chili. While I do like it, I just never crave a full bowl of chili as a meal. Sort of like meatloaf and my mother’s brisket back in the day when I still ate meat; I never actually wanted it but liked it just enough once I was eating it.

I have come to learn though that I don’t need to make chili the star of my dinner show! Instead, I can use chili as a topping rather than the main feature in my bowl. Life changing I tell you!

black bean and quinoa chili

This black bean and quinoa chili is really easy to make and is the perfect plant-based recipe for prepping in advance and freezing, giving you a delicious and healthy option for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking and/or need something quick to eat.

Now before you go and make yourself a big bowl of this black bean and quinoa chili for dinner, please hear me out when I say mix things up and serve your chili a new way!

Some of my favorite ways to serve chili:

On top of a large baked potato.

With roasted vegetables and brown rice, as seen in the above photo, topped with avocado. Yum.

On top of roasted potato wedges, either sweet potato or regular potatoes – both are awesome!

As a salad topper! Make a nice big salad and add a scoop of chili on top — served hot or cold — both options are delicious!

As a dip. Hot or cold, serve this chili in a bowl with chips and veggies on the side.

Chili lettuce wraps. Get some big romaine lettuce leaves and fill them up!

On a nice whole grain roll. Like a Sloppy Joe, you know?

Stuffed inside of a whole grain pita. With spinach leaves for extra iron, you now have a nutritious, packable lunch.

This black bean and quinoa chili is not only tasty but really healthy too!

  • High in plant-based protein and also a complete source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids thanks to the quinoa.
  • Nice dose of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
  • Terrific source of iron!

An added bonus – there is no need to cook the quinoa separately as the quinoa cooks along with everything else in the pot.

Please feel free to add kidney beans and/or lentils to this chili too. You can leave out the corn but I really like it when combined with the black beans in the chili sauce.

Did I make you hungry? Because I just made myself hungry.

black bean and quinoa chili vegan and plant based


black bean and quinoa chili
Author: meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles
This black bean & quinoa chili is vegan and easy to make! A terrific source of plant-based protein, this chili can be served a number of ways, rather than just as a bowl of chili.
  • 1 yellow onion – chopped
  • 1 can of organic diced tomatoes – low sodium
  • 1 can of organic tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite tomato sauce*
  • 1 can of organic black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup of dry quinoa – rinsed
  • 1/2 cup organic frozen corn*
  • Garlic powder
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  1. Spray the bottom of a medium-sized pot (or drizzle with olive oil) and add chopped onion, cooking on medium heat for a few minutes, stirring a bit, until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce, stirring to combine.
  3. Add in black beans and quinoa, stirring to combine, along with your spices.
  4. Allow chili to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 -7 minutes.
  5. Taste chili and adjust spices accordingly.
  6. If chili is too thick for your liking, add either more tomato sauce or 1/4 of water.
  7. If using corn, add in corn, stirring to combine.
  8. Simmer chili on a low heat for a few more minutes before covering and turning off stove.
  9. Store chili in an air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
*Use your favorite tomato sauce – any kind will do.[br]*Adjust the amount of corn to your liking, it doesn’t matter how much or how little you use.[br]**I do not measure my spices. I usually do a few shakes of each and then add more of what I feel is missing as it cooks. I use just a pinch of cumin though!
Black Bean & Quinoa Chili plus serving ideas! #recipes #chili #plantbased #mealprep #vegan #fitfluential Click To Tweet

Are you a fan of chili? How do you normally eat it?

What are some foods you like but never actually crave?

Favorite go-to weeknight meal?


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  1. says

    This looks awesome! I love chili – in a bowl, on a potato, really whatever! I love the spice combos. And I know what you mean with foods you like but don’t crave. That’s how I feel about burgers of any and all kinds. Have a great weekend!
    Caroline M recently posted…Long Run (More Fun) Playlist!My Profile

  2. says

    I just ate vegetarian chili last night for dinner! It was a bit bland so I ended up scooping it up with tortilla chips and eating it that way.
    Suzy recently posted…Race Time!!!!My Profile

  3. says

    I love these ideas! I adore the flavor of chili, and I do like a bowl of it sometimes, but more often I use it as more of an add-on. I add it to roasted veggies and potatoes, dip grilled cheese in it (like super-hearty tomato soup), and use it as an excuse to eat way too many tortilla chips 😉
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Five Friday Favorites 05/13/16My Profile

  4. says

    I feel the same way about chili- I never really want it as a whole meal. I love it on top of broccoli and sweet potatoes, but it’s also really good as a sauce on spaghetti!
    Lish recently posted…Running updateMy Profile

  5. says

    Chili is one of those foods that I do like but always forget about, and I’m the same way with not wanting it so much as a full meal but as a side. I’ve never had it with potatoes, so that’s something I’m going to have to try. Right now I’m all about those burrito bowls – can’t get enough of the guac and salsa 😀
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…unicorn snot, too close for comfort, and obsessions galore (ToL#182)My Profile

  6. says

    I like the idea of a chili wrap or a chili packed Sloppy Joe sandwich. I crave chili every Fall when the weather starts to turn and I’m looking for a big bowl of comfort. I also always put it on top of rice or sometimes mac and cheese. Mmm.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Currently: May 2016My Profile