Quinoa chili is packed with nutrient-dense ingredients like beans, quinoa, and kale. It’s the tastiest vegan chili you’ll try and quick and easy to make! It’s a perfect healthy sub for traditional taco soup!
A while back, a reader asked for some healthy soup recipes, especially ones that contain beans and other nutrient-dense foods. I love getting requests from readers and hope you’ll reach out to me on Facebook if there is something specific you would like to see on the blog! A vegan Quinoa Chili was the first recipe I wanted to develop because we love quinoa.
Along with being healthy, this Quinoa Chili recipe also needed to be quick and easy. We’re all busy, right? It’s so much easier to eat healthy if it doesn’t take too much effort to prepare it!
Is Quinoa Chili Healthy?
YES! This Quinoa Chili recipe is packed with nutrient-dense superfoods like beans, quinoa, and kale. Kale is one of the most fashionable veggies right now, I’m sure you’ve seen it around on the news, recipe blogs, and just about anywhere else you could find a popular superfood.
Now, I realize you might still be on the fence when it comes to kale. I was too for quite a while, but now it is one of my favorite foods and I couldn’t live without it.
There are some fun ways to enjoy kale, and when I set out to make a healthy soup recipe, I immediately knew that kale should be included. There isn’t much in the quinoa chili, so chances are you (and your kids) won’t even notice it’s there. You’ll be seeing more healthy recipes like this one coming soon!
Did you know that people who eat gluten free, especially those who have celiac disease, are more at risk for problems such as anemia and vitamin deficiency? That means it’s even more important for you to pack your day with healthy foods, and they should definitely taste good, too!
Why You Should Eat Kale
- High in folates, vitamins A,C, and K, and the B vitamins
- 10% of your daily potassium
- 4 grams of protein in one serving
- One serving packs a whopping 18% of the amount of iron you need in a day!
Did I mention that my pickiest of eaters LOVES this chili? He’s not one to eat veggies so I love that he will eat bowl after bowl of this good stuff. Tomatoes and kale for the win!
If you’re looking for more tasty dinner ideas that are also gluten free, you’re going to love this Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie recipe from my friend Chrystal at Gluten Free Palate. One look at the photo and you’ll see what I mean – she is one of my favorite bloggers to follow and I have loved all her recipes that I have tried.
How to Make Quinoa Chili:
First, you’ll want to gather all your ingredients. If you’re new to eating kale or have picky eaters, be sure to chop the kale into small pieces. This is a dump-and-cook recipe so you’ll toss everything into the pan, then turn on the stove.
Feel free to adapt the flavors to meet your family’s taste. For instance, none of our kids will eat black beans but they all love butter beans, so we’ve used those along with lima and kidney beans. You can also use white beans, black beans, or pinto beans. You can also add a little extra chili powder or some garlic salt if you want.
Next, you’ll bring the soup to a simmer, then allow it to cook with the lid on until the quinoa is done. You can tell when quinoa is cooked when it is soft and has popped open, giving it a swirly look.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to serve the quinoa chili. Serve it straight up or dress it up a little with any of the ideas below.
How to Serve Quinoa Chili
We love topping our Kale and Quinoa Chili with a handful of fresh, finely chopped kale and a sprinkling of Panela, a soft and creamy Mexican cheese. I’m sure you can find it at just about any grocery store in the cheese section, I have always bought it at Walmart next to the cream cheese.
The kids also love to add a handful of gluten free tortilla chips because, well, no meal can be too healthy 😉 The perfect side is, of course, this Gluten Free Skillet Cornbread which has been a family favorite in our home for years.
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- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 3 cans of beans with liquid, use any combo you like
- 3 T brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup quinoa, either rinse or buy a package that is pre-rinsed
- 1 cup finely chopped kale, packed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 (4 oz) can green chiles
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1 package gluten free taco seasoning, or equivalent of homemade
- pepper, salt, and chili powder to taste
- Stir together all ingredients in a large saucepan. Cover and heat until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally.
- Stir, cover, and simmer for about 30 more minutes until the quinoa is done. You'll know the quinoa is done when it looks like it has popped open and is no longer crunchy.
- You can also cook in the slow cooker on low for 3-4 hours.
- Top with a handful of thinly sliced kale, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, panela or another cheese, avocados, tortilla chips, whatever your heart desires!
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 653mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 18g Protein: 7g