This easy chili is the perfect marriage of flavor and nutrition. Packed with nutrient-dense beans, superfood kale, and hearty quinoa, 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! Along with being healthy, this 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!
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. It took us quite a while to jump on this bandwagon, the first few times we tried it weren’t a success (our entire family agreed it tasted like dirt) but persistence paid off in the end. 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. 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! A few reasons you should
eat enjoy 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!
The perfect compliment to kale, in my opinion, is quinoa. The two taste lovely together, and this chili is the perfect showcase for the flavor combo. Packed with kale, 3 different types of beans, and quinoa, there is no need for meat which makes this recipe a perfect vegan or vegetarian option.
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
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!
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.
Kale and Quinoa Chili
- 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 cook 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!