Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa via Queen of Quinoa (@alyssarimmer)

Do you have a love affair with your slow cooker? 

For someone who works full time and doesn’t get home until dinner time, or even for the stay-at-home mom who’s day is consumed with running around after kids, shuttling them to and from school and sports, a slow cooker is a saving grace. It affords you to opportunity to make a fabulous meal, that is ready to serve the moment you get home. You don’t have to worry about cooking an elaborate meal or spending even more of your energy in the kitchen. One pot does it all for you.

It’s a genius invention if you ask me. And the perfect vehicle for a sensational vegetarian chili like this.

Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa via Queen of Quinoa (@alyssarimmer)

So why don’t I use my slow cooker more often? Honestly, I think it’s because using a slow cooker is about changing the way you prepare a meal, and I haven’t really experimented with it enough. But I can say that whenever I do make something in my slow cooker, I’m thrilled with the results. A perfect, throw-together, one pot meal.

In the morning, I’m on a schedule. I know, pretty much down to the minute, how long it takes me to do everything to get ready for work (and yet, I still find myself running late for work every single day – it’s funny how that happens, huh?). And fixing a slow cooker meal breaks my routine. It may sound silly, but my mornings are me time. Not a time to spend worrying about dinner.

But what about those nights when I come home from work, totally exhausted, where making dinner is the last thing I want to do. My options? Sandwiches. Eggs. Takeout. Leftovers. Freezer Digging. Blah. Boring. No thanks.

I’d much rather scoop a hot bowl of vegetarian chili out of my slow cooker.

Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa via Queen of Quinoa (@alyssarimmer)

What about you? Are you with me?

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Queen of Quinoa
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 – 6
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can Fire Roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (28 oz) can water
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (15 oz) cans chili beans
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, minus the quinoa, and turn on high. After 2 – 3 hours, turn the crock pot down to low and keep covered for another 4 – 6 hours. (Alternately, you could just leave the slow cooker on low for 8 hours).
  2. Before you’re ready to serve, remove the lid and turn back to high for another 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the quinoa, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.

gluten-free | dairy-free | vegan

This post was shared on Whole Food Fridays

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  • Rochelle

    That looks great! I’ve never thought of putting quinoa in chili.

    • Queen of Quinoa

      The texture reminded me of beef chili – minus the meat. It’s glorious!

  • Julia

    I love quinoa in chili-but haven’t tried it in a slow cooker yet! Looks delicious! And I love those bowls you used–where did you get those?

    • Queen of Quinoa

      Oh yeah, it was great! And super easy too :) I got the bowls at Anthropolige – they have so many great props!

  • brittany

    Made this tonight for dinner and it was SO good! Even my meat loving boyfriend loved it.

    • Queen of Quinoa

      Yes! That’s the all-star stamp of approval right there :) So glad you guys liked it!

  • Shantel

    I can’t wait to try this!! I agree with the whole morning routine thing too…I also have everything timed out and still manage to run late. So what I found is that if I get everything ready the night before and put it all in the pot overnight in the fridge it is way easier in the morning to just throw it in the crock and put it on low for 8hrs. Then your morning isn’t messed up. :)

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  • Amy

    How many does this recipe serve? I’m going to make this for a large family gathering with at least 17 people (7 of those are kids/teenagers) and wondering if I should double or triple it.

    • Queen of Quinoa

      Hi Amy! This recipe is good for 4 – 6. If I were you, is triple it. Better to have too much, than not enough, right? :) enjoy! Let me know how it turns out for you. Xo!

  • jerome.sabourin

    why does the quinoa go in near the end.. why can’t u put it uncooked in at the start?

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  • Nicole

    It started out with a lot of liquid… But that last 30 mins on high really thickens it up. Good flavor, and texture! I used jalapeno and canned hot green chiles. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Queen of Quinoa

      Love you adaptations. Definitely going to try the jalapeno next time around. And super glad you liked it! :)

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