Protein-packed black bean quinoa chili. It has the perfect blend of veggies, beans, and smoky flavor without any meat.

Love comfort meals? Try our Turkey Shepherd’s Pie.

Just like our Lentil Chili, this vegetable chili with quinoa gets a lot of flavor from the spices and vegetables.

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about a chili recipe! This vegetable chili with quinoa is everything you crave in a good, hearty, cold day type of chili. Not to mention, it’s insanely filling, thanks to protein superfood – quinoa and beans.

It has the perfect blend of vegetables and beans. Not to mention the smoky flavor from the smoked paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Both add smoky flavor without the need for any meat.

Just like any other chili, this one just gets better over time. So it’s an easy meal to prep over the weekend to enjoy throughout the week. Plus you can get creative and serve the chili different ways. Just keep reading to find out how!


While the ingredients in this chili recipe are pretty basic, the flavor is anything but. Simple ingredients can taste exceptional when they are done right.

For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Yellow onion
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Zucchini
  • Garlic
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fire-roasted canned tomatoes
  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Green chiles
  • Vegetable broth
  • Quinoa
  • Olive oil and salt
ingredients for quinoa and black bean chili

Ingredient Notes

  • Feel free to substitute yellow bell pepper for any color pepper. Also, red onion makes a great substitute for the yellow onion.
  • I love using a combination of black and garbanzo beans for this chili but a variety of pinto, navy, or red beans would all work.
  • Red quinoa has a more prominent nutty flavor compared to white and tends to hold up better when cooked. But white quinoa or a blend both work too.

How to Make Quinoa and Black Bean Chili

Making vegetarian black bean chili is all about building flavor slowly and gradually. Here’s how you do it:

  • Step 1: Cook veggies – In a large Dutch oven, cook the onions, bell pepper, and zucchini until tender.
  • Step 2: Add aromatics – Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Cook until the flavors are blended and fragrant.
  • Step 3: Stir in beans and quinoa – Add Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, beans, chiles, broth, and quinoa. Simmer until the quinoa is completely tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Step 4: Finish with cilantro – This step is optional but fresh cilantro adds freshness to the chili and I’m personally a huge fan.
step by step on how to make vegetable chili with quinoa

How Long Does it Last?

This chili makes great leftovers that keep well for 4 days in the refrigerator. Or freeze the chill up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Thaw out overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as usual.

Serving Suggestions

This chili is very delicious as is. You can keep it that way or add toppings of choice: 

  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream 
  • Sliced or diced avocado
  • Tortilla chips 
  • Additional cilantro
  • Lime wedges

You can also serve this chili as a protein-rich topping on nachos, baked potatoes or rosemary garlic potatoes. Stuff your burritos, zucchini chicken enchiladas, or turkey stuffed bell peppers with chili. Use it as a filling for sweet potato shepherd’s pie or make chili mac & cheese.

close up vegetarian black bean chili in pot
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black bean quinoa chili in a white bowl

Black Bean Quinoa Chili

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: American


Protein packed veggie chili with black beans, garbanzo beans, and quinoa. It has the perfect blend of veggies, beans, and smoky flavor without any meat.


Units Scale
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (8-10 oz.) zucchini, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles (or jalapeños – see note)
  • 1 (32 oz.) carton low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • Fresh chopped cilantro, optional


  1. In a large dutch-oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, and zucchini. Sauté for 5-8 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Cook until the flavors are blended and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, black beans, garbanzo beans, green chiles, and vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stir in quinoa, and simmer for 17-20 minutes, uncovered, or until the quinoa is completely tender.
  4. Stir in cilantro, if desired, and taste the chili for salt and pepper. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated for 3-4 days. It will thicken over time.


  • Spiciness: If you want spicy chili, substitute a can of diced green chiles for fresh jalapeños or use hot green chiles.
  • Leftovers: Leftover chili can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Substitutions: See post for a detailed list of substitutions.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 270
  • Sugar: 6.7 g
  • Sodium: 1650.9 mg
  • Fat: 6.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.3 g
  • Protein: 12.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg