A healthy and satisfying vegan Black Bean Quinoa Chili with smoky chipotle. This easy plant-based meal is so comforting on chilly days, and each bowl has about 16 grams protein! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This black bean and quinoa chili is so warm and satisfying!
It's like a hug in a bowl and wonderfully nourishing on a cold day.
Plus it's simple to prepare. The combination of black beans and quinoa makes it feel extra hearty and comforting.
Each bowl has about 16 grams of plant-based protein (plus fiber and other nutrients).
Ingredients for Black Bean Quinoa Chili
For this recipe you will combine and simmer in a stockpot on the stove:
- Yellow onion: Or sweet onion or white onion works great too.
- Fresh garlic cloves: Or substitute with dried garlic powder if needed.
- Chipotles in adobo sauce: See more details and tips on this below!
- Adobo sauce: This adds a lot of flavor without quite as much spiciness as the chipotle peppers.
- Canned crushed tomatoes: I like crushed tomatoes best with this recipe, but you can substitute regular canned diced tomatoes, or petite diced tomatoes if desired.
- Vegetable broth: Be sure to use low sodium if needed.
- Black beans: Or you can substitute pinto beans or kidney beans.
- White quinoa
- Chili powder: I use mild chili powder from Simply Organic brand.
- Ground cumin: Sometimes I will also add about one-half to one teaspoon smoked paprika in addition to the cumin.
Customize it! You can also stir in other veggies to the pot like bell peppers, sweet corn, jalapeno pepper, or sweet potatoes.
Canned chipotles: In this recipe we use canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. But if you can't find them, look for dry chipotle powder in the spice aisle instead.
Spicy: Chipotle chiles are fairly spicy so start with one. (I usually end up using about 1 1/2.)
Adobo sauce: The adobo sauce provides lots of flavor without quite as much of the spiciness. So if you’re sensitive to heat, but still want the smoky flavor, omit the chiles altogether, and simply use the adobo sauce only (avoiding the seeds).
Chipotle powder: If canned chipotles are not available, substitute the chiles and adobo sauce with a small amount of dry chipotle chili powder. (This can be found in the spice aisle.) It's very spicy so start with 1/4 tsp. and work your way up from there if desired.
Have leftover peppers? If you are wondering what to do with your extra chipotle peppers, see this helpful article from The Kitchn.
Enjoy this dish as is, or garnish your bowl with your favorite toppings. A few ideas include:
- Diced avocado or guacamole
- Fresh cilantro or a squeeze of lime juice
- Sliced green onions
- Hot sauce to taste
- Crumbled tortilla chips for crunch
- Vegan sour cream
- Dairy-free shredded cheese
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We find they keep well for about 5 days. Simply reheat in the microwave when ready to enjoy.
Texture note: The chili will thicken even more as it sits, as the quinoa continues to soak up more liquid.
Smoky Black Bean Quinoa Chili with Chipotle
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce*
- 2 tsp. adobo sauce (more as desired)
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 30 oz. canned black beans (two 15 oz. cans)
- 1/2 cup white quinoa (uncooked)
- 2 1/2 tsp. chili powder (I use mild)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- Avocado, green onion, cilantro, vegan shredded cheese, vegan sour cream
- Dice onion and mince garlic.
- In a stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté onion for about 8 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil sauté method, adding more as needed.)
- Meanwhile, prepare the chipotle: handling the chile carefully, gently scrape the seeds away with the back of your knife to remove them. Then finely mince the chile. (When finished, avoid touching your face and wash your hands very well. I try to avoid all contact with the chile, using a fork to help maneuver it.)
- Add minced garlic, chili powder, and cumin to the stockpot. Stir and cook 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, minced chipotle, and 2 tsp. adobo sauce (avoiding seeds).
- Rinse and drain black beans and quinoa. Add to pot.
- Bring to a light boil. Then cover, lower heat to med-low, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.
- Salt to taste and garnish with desired toppings before serving.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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