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Wellness / November 20, 2016

Recipe: Vegan Quinoa Chili

Written by: Alix Brossette

Most meatless chili recipes leave something to be desired. Chili is supposed to be warm and hearty, but without meat it often winds up sort of watered down.

This recipe fills out with quinoa, giving it a load of healthy carbohydrates. I recommend eating a bowl the night before a big workout or adventure.

Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories: 320
  • Total fat: 4 grams
  • Total carbohydrates: 58 grams
  • Total protein: 14 grams


Ingredients (makes six servings):

  • 1 tbsp. ghee butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups cooked/sprouted quinoa (see below for directions, if needed)
  • 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes, low sodium
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce, low sodium
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced (optional)


Directions (quinoa):

  • Rinse the quinoa: Measure 1 cup of quinoa and place into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.
  • Toast quinoa in saucepan (optional, but recommended!): Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and add the drained quinoa. Stir for about 1 minute to let the water evaporate and toast the quinoa.
  • Add 2 cups liquid (water or low sodium vegetable broth) and a generous pinch of sea salt and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Lower heat to the lowest setting and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and fluff gently with a fork. If any liquid remains in the bottom of the pan or if the quinoa is still a bit crunchy, return the pot to low heat and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.


Directions (chili):

  • Heat ghee butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in zucchini, jalapeno, cooked quinoa, canned tomatoes, canned tomato sauce and seasonings.
  • Then add 1-2 cups low sodium vegetable broth. Cover the ingredients almost completely with the broth.


  • Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, until thickened—about 30 minutes. Stir in beans, cilantro and lime juice until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve with avocado, if desired.


Note: This recipe is easily made over a campfire or camp stove—just pack the ingredients in separately. It also stores well in Tupperware, and doesn’t require refrigeration (a perk of going meatless).

about the author

Alix Brossette

Alix is a coach and licensed nutritionist whose trademark crazy, curly hair creates the perfect vibe for who she is - lots of energy, depth and discipline, which when tamed is inspiring and when wound tight (like her curls) is her driving force.

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