Vegetarian Quinoa Black Bean Chili

Vegetarian Quinoa Black Bean Chili

After a few cooler days here in Michigan, with the feel of fall in the air, I was inspired to try a new chili recipe, both for a change of pace and also for another recipe to add to my 50 in 15 Challenge. I did a bit of poking around at various black bean chili recipes, and found a few that I liked. Rather than just picking one, I ended up making a recipe that was a combination of all of them. The end result was a phenomenal, hearty, and healthy chili that’s sure to please. Even though it’s vegetarian, the inclusion of quinoa and soy burger crumbles help make it more hearty. And dare I say that if you don’t tell anyone what kind of “meat” it includes, they won’t notice the difference.

If you’re looking for a new chili recipe, do yourself a favor and give this one a shot. It pairs swimmingly with some homemade Sweet Cornbread Muffins, and is a definite winner for football season and the chilly months to come!


  • 1/2 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini (or yellow squash), chopped
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 package soy burger crumbles (I like MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles)
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 2-3 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1-2 tbsp. cumin
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium pot, combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, stir once, then cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking until the water has been absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large stock pot over medium heat, combine olive oil, onions, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, and zucchini. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, burger crumbles, and vegetable broth, stirring to incorporate. Stir in cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. If desired, serve with your favorite toppings (shredded cheese, sour cream, etc.)


Like most soups and chilis, this recipe is fairly open to change based on your personal preferences and tastes. If you want a slightly soupier chili, you can add more water/broth. If you want to use ground beef rather than the soy burger crumbles, you can do so. Or if you want to mix in some red kidney beans in with the black beans, feel free. It’s up to you. But know this: This recipe (as listed) may well have just topped my list of favorite homemade soups and chilis. It’s that good!

Bon Appétit!


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