This vegetable and quinoa chili is packed with both flavor and nutrition! It's as delicious on game day as it is on a post-holiday cleanse.

Vegetable & Quinoa Chili

Quinoa adds a lovely body and thickness to this delicious and nutritious vegetable chili. I know it looks like a ton of ingredients, but it’s not hard (once you get the vegetables chopped you’re halfway there)! For the diced vegetables, aim for ½ inch pieces.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Author Nicki Sizemore


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (blend)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 28- ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 large cilantro sprigs
  • 1 15- ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
  • Toppings, such as: diced avocado, sliced scallions, sour cream, hot sauce, and tortilla chips


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Drop in the parsnips, bell peppers and jalapeños with another pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3-5 minutes or until the peppers and parsnips start to soften. Add the garlic and spices; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape the vegetables to one side of the pot. Pour the tomatoes with their juices into the other side of the pot. Using kitchen scissors, cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Give everything a stir, then add the stock and cilantro sprigs. Stir again and bring to a boil. Cook at a gentle boil until slightly thickened, 5-10 minutes. Add the pinto beans and cook 5-10 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are all softened and the chili smells heavenly.
  2. Before serving, stir in 1 – 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (depending on how thick you like your chili) and heat through. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove the cilantro sprigs, if you want. Serve with the toppings of your choice. Do Ahead: If making this in advance, I prefer to add the quinoa right before serving so that the grains hold their texture, but it’s still awesome if you add the quinoa right away. You can make the chili up to 3 days in advance. It also freezes well.