Vegan Black Bean Quinoa Chili
4.58 from 7 votes

This vegan black bean quinoa chili is so nutritious! Packed with vegetables, whole grains, and beans, it’s a great source of plant-based calcium, iron, and protein. It’s also gluten free, easy to make, and it feeds a crowd.

Vegan quinoa black bean chili is served in a round, white dish. It's topped with slices of avocado.

My regularly meal planning strategy has fallen by the wayside in this last, hectic month, so this week I adopted a new strategy: no strategy. I bought a bunch of produce and figured I’d know what to do with it when the time came. It’s led to some fun, tasty, and creative bowls and salads, and it also gave me this hearty, healthful vegan black bean chipotle quinoa chili.

Mushrooms, peppers, and onions are being sautéed in a stainless steel pot.

I’m calling this a “kitchen sink” chili because that’s sort of what it turned into. I knew I wanted to use black beans and quinoa from the start (a riff on this recipe, which I love, and also the quinoa chili in Food52 Vegan), because I had plenty of both. Then I added the produce I’d stocked up on: peppers, kale, and mushrooms, along with the usual garlic and onion.

A large pot of quinoa, mushrooms, and beans is being combined with curly kale.

This chili certainly isn’t reinventing the wheel; it’s similar to many other plant-based chilis that I’ve made and loved before, often using chipotle en adobo for smokiness and heat. But it is unusually chock full of texture, thanks to all of the veggies and greens, and also thanks to them, unusually nutrient-dense. Plus it’s freezer-friendly, which means that you can freeze some of the plentiful leftovers if you aren’t feeding a crowd. I’m glad to have it on hand for some tasty future dinner.

A light gray bowl holds a quinoa black bean chili. It's garnished with avocado slices and chopped herbs.
A vegan quinoa black bean chili has been served in a round bowl, resting on a white surface. It's topped with herbs and avocado.
4.58 from 7 votes

Black Bean Quinoa Chili

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (substitute 1/4 cup vegetable broth to make the recipe oil-free)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, seeded, stemmed, and chopped
  • 8-10 ounces sliced button mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped, with their liquid (reduce the amount to 2 peppers if you prefer less heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed through a fine sieve (180g)
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (480g, or two 15-ounce/425g cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 28 ounces regular or fire-roasted, diced tomatoes, with their juices (800g)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (950ml)
  • 1 cup water (240ml)
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4-ingredient vegan sour cream (optional)


  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, and mushrooms. Saute the vegetables, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and reduced in size and the onion is clear and soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute; add a splash or two of water at any point if the vegetables are sticking.
  • Add the chipotle peppers, paprika, cumin, salt, quinoa, beans, tomatoes, broth, and water to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the kale to the pot (you may need to stir it in in batches). Re-cover the pot and cook for another 8 minutes, or until the kale is tender.
  • Add the lime juice. Taste the chili; adjust salt and extra lime juice to taste. Serve with any fixings you like!


Leftover chili will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.
A vegan quinoa black bean chili has been served in a round bowl, resting on a white surface. It's topped with herbs and avocado.

Any other students out there in the end-of-semester home stretch? I’m sending you love: you got this. If a giant pot of nutritious vegan chili would make your evening studies just a little easier—or give you some tasty leftovers to pack up for library marathons—this is a good one.

Wishing you all a good end to the week. See you this weekend.


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Categories: Recipes, Stews
Method: One Pot, Stovetop
Ingredients: Black Beans, Quinoa
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, No Oil, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Meal Prep

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this for dinner after you posted the recipe on Instagram. It tastes just as delicious as it looks! I think I’d like a little more heat next time so might add more chipotles and poblanos. Yum! Will definitely put this in regular rotation for winter!