dinner gluten-free vegan

The Best Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

October 23, 2016

The perfect vegetarian meal all in one pot with the best vegetarian quinoa chili! This recipe tastes just like traditional chili but with quinoa instead of meat, plus a secret ingredient!

The perfect vegetarian meal all in one pot with the best vegetarian quinoa chili! This recipe tastes just like traditional chili but with quinoa instead of meat, plus a secret ingredient!As more and more food blogs pop up, the industry is becoming increasingly saturated with recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first person to applaud there being open access to blogging and providing people who might otherwise not have a platform, a place for them to share their voice. However, it also means that you can get caught in the “innovation trap” instead of sharing what you really want to share.

If it’s all been done before, what’s the point in sharing another vegetarian quinoa chili recipe?

This is when I turn to this video from Marie Forleo to remind myself (and hopefully you) why sometimes it’s worth sharing something that’s already been done before.

At the end of the day, every audience is different and every voice is different. Sure, it doesn’t exactly win the SEO game, but you know what beats SEO? Authenticity and being true to your passion rather than just trying to stand out and be different.

It’s something that I’m trying to keep in mind as I draft my content calendar and figure out exactly what I want to share with you guys. It’s become less about, “how do I stand out?” and more about “how can I be valuable and useful, while also remaining me in the process”.

Sometimes this means sharing things that have been done before, but always in my voice and in my way. It’s been a good learning lesson for me (one of many I’ve taken away from writing this blog) that being unique doesn’t always mean being different. But before I get all carried away in my bowl of chili reflections, I’ll leave you to make this recipe and decide for yourself. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

The perfect vegetarian meal all in one pot with the best vegetarian quinoa chili! This recipe tastes just like traditional chili but with quinoa instead of meat, plus a secret ingredient!


The Best Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 15 oz cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small can green chili peppers
  • 2 cups of water or stock
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 piece of dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup


  1. In a large pot add onion and 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. Cook on medium for 3-5 mins or until translucent
  3. Add bell peppers and cook for 2 mins.
  4. Add quinoa, tomatoes, beans, green chilies, water and spices.
  5. Bring pot to a boil and then cover and lower to a simmer for 30 mins.
  6. Remove lid and give it a good stir and cook for an additional 10 mins or until chili has thickened up and quinoa has absorbed liquid.
  7. Add in dark chocolate and maple syrup and stir until melted and combined.
  8. Serve warm with avocado, cheese, sour cream or toppings of choice.

The perfect vegetarian meal all in one pot with the best vegetarian quinoa chili! This recipe tastes just like traditional chili but with quinoa instead of meat, plus a secret ingredient!

Go watch this video (it’s quick!) and let me hear your thoughts. I’d love to chat more about what uniqueness means to you.


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  • Reply
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen
    October 23, 2016 at 9:19 am

    lol ssoooo I totally have a slow cooker enchilada quinoa chili going up next week. Haha, guess you can say this post resonates with me to a T. Didn’t add any maple syrup or dark chocolate though… however I did contemplate adding in some cocoa powder.
    And I have watched that video before and it definitely reminded me that most things I create will not be original, but like you said, every audience is different and if it is both true to me and is valuable to my readers, why not share?
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen recently posted…6 Tips for Creating the Perfect Pinterest Image [ for Food Bloggers ]

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 23, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Exactly! Everyone’s voice is different and it will resonate with different people. Keep at it lady and I look forward to seeing the chili recipe!

  • Reply
    Les @ The Balanced Berry
    October 23, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I watch at Marie video at least once a month. The world of blogging gets me feeling down more often than I would like to admit, and that message always helps me feel better.

    Ummmm and chocolate in chili? Brilliant.
    Les @ The Balanced Berry recently posted…No-Bake Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 23, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      It’s good that you’re admitting it! You’d be surprised how many people struggle with this and never admit they’re feeling this way.Your vulnerability makes you real and more relatable than you think…even if it’s all been said before!

  • Reply
    Molly @ Spices in My DNA
    October 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    This quinoa chili looks amazing! Love the addition of the dark chocolate. Definitely going to have to try it! That video really resonated with me. I’ve had a case of the blogger burnout/comparison trap lately and Marie’s and your words really helped me! Definitely something that will be helpful to watch again and again when I fall into that inevitable “trap”.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 23, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      I constantly go back and watch it! It can be easy to get stuck in the need to be innovative mindset but sometimes that ends up shooting ourselves in the foot. Glad you were able to find some comfort in it!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Oh this looks so good! I keep pinning all these awesome soup and chili recipes and I really need to just get on it. It’s hard though sometimes making big batches for yourself, but the leftovers are ALWAYS SO WORTH IT! XOXO
    ACKTIVE LIFE recently posted…Breakfast Bowls ALL Week

  • Reply
    The Brunette's Tofu
    October 28, 2016 at 5:09 am

    I truly love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

    Let’s follow each other? *

  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 9:01 am

    I made this last night! How do I go about featuring it on my blog? Can I copy and paste the recipe from your site with my own pictures and credit?

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 31, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Caitlin! Hope you enjoyed! I just ask if you followed that recipe that you link back to my site for the full recipe rather than reposting it in full. Thank you!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2016 at 11:54 am

    What is a “piece” of chocolate?

  • Reply
    November 4, 2016 at 11:55 am

    What do you mean by, ” a piece of chocolate?”

  • Reply
    June 28, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    I made this for extended family on Sunday, and it was a total hit! This gets 5 stars from me… Keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Just made this for the workweek! YUMMM!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Just made this, with a few tweaks (I omitted the oil and water sauteed the onion and red peppers; I used Wondercocoa powder 3 TBS instead of chocolate, used no salt added beans, and (because I ran out of quinoa) used brown rice. And it is still wonderful. I’m going to take some to a potluck at work in a couple weeks and wanted to try it out first. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    I made this for the 3rd time yesterday! I love this recipe. As a meat eater, I have to say that this is super hearty and the black beans and quinoa give it a meaty texture even. After the first time I made it, I wished it had a bit more spice so I have added 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper (with the bell peppers) and about 1 extra tbsp of chili powder to give it a bit more heat and it is perfect. This is slowly becoming one of my go-tos! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Reply
    December 14, 2017 at 6:45 am

    the best dinner reciep..i liked it…i will try this one

  • Reply
    January 15, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    I am SO glad I found this recipe. I was hesitant when I saw that it included dark chocolate & maple syrup, but it worked very well in the chili. Seriously, I am very impressed. This is definitely my new staple. It’s cheap (I bought all ingredients at Trader Joe’s), quick, easy, and delicious.
    How well do you think this will freeze since it makes a large batch? I’m a single eater, and would like to save this for a future meal.

  • Reply
    Esther Salis Gillett
    January 30, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Very tasty! I used cocoa powder instead of chocolate and left out the maple syrup. I agree that the beans and quinoa do add a meaty texture. I also halved the recipe as it made so much!

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