This vegan chili borrows a bit of a Mediterranean twist that you will love! A nutrition-packed and protein powerhouse quinoa chili with two beans and chopped vegetables. Layered with Mediterranean flavors from aromatics, warm spices, fresh herbs, and a splash of citrus!
The perfect prepare-ahead meal. Vegan. Gluten Free.
Maybe it’s the cooler weather or something, but in the past week alone, I received 3 different e-mails asking if I had a Mediterranean-style chili recipe. After pointing a couple of folks to this epic 3-bean soup as an out-of-the-box alternative, I remembered that, in fact, I have a legit vegan chili recipe that I have yet to post here!
Vegan Chili, the Mediterranean Way
Chili is the consequential American warm-your-belly type meal. But this chili recipe got a bit of Mediterranean makeover that I’m excited about!
If you’ve been eating the Mediterranean way for any amount of time, you know how much we love our seeds and grains, don’t you?
In this vegan chili, we trade the meat out for a powerhouse whole grain: Quinoa (technically, quinoa is a seed, but we very much use it as a gluten-free whole grain.) And just like that, with quinoa added to our beans, we’ve totally amped up the protein factor in this vegan chili.
We pull in good fat from my favorite rich Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil (which we start and finish the dish with). Nothing like finishing a bowl of this chili with a generous drizzle of excellent EVOO!
The flavor combination for this vegan quinoa chili also features a bit of Mediterranean flare… Starting with aromatics like onions and garlic, to chunks of bell pepper, and a mix of warm spices including: sweet paprika, cumin, and allspice (yes, we still have the usual chili powder in there).
The big flavor finish, which people underestimate, is a stir of fresh herbs and a splash of freshly squeezed lime juice. Do not skip this part, it really takes this vegan chili to a whole new level.
I always look forward to leftovers because this vegan quinoa chili is even better the next day. Let leftovers cool completely, then store in tight-lid glass containers in the fridge. It should keep well for 3 to 4 days.
More Recipes to Try:Print
Easy vegan quinoa chili with a Mediterranean twist! Protein-packed and layered with flavor from aromatics, spices, fresh herbs and citrus. A generous drizzle of EVOO seals the deal. Be sure to check out the notes.
- ½ cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 cup water
- Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- ½ large green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 16-oz/453.59 g can chopped tomatoes with juice
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground allpsice
- Salt and pepper
- 1 15-oz/425.24 g can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-oz/425.24 g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup/25 g chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup/5 g chopped fresh parsley
- 1 large lime, juice of
- 1 jalapeno, sliced (optional)
- In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until the water is absorbed (quinoa will be partially cooked.) Remove from heat and set aside till later.
- In large saucepan or pot, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and bell peppers. Cook for 4 minutes or so, tossing regularly, until softened.
- Add tomatoes, broth, and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in black beans, kidney beans, and partially-cooked quinoa. Lower heat and let simmer for 25 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro, parsley, and lemon juice. Transfer to serving bowls, add a generous drizzle of Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil and jalapeno slices, if using. Enjoy!
- Cook’s Tips: An important flavor-related note, do not skip adding the fresh herbs and a splash of lime juice towards the end. It does make a huge difference in brightening this chili and adding a complex tough you don’t want to miss.
- Flavor variation tip: If you want a deep smoky flavor, you can use a little smoked paprika in place of the sweet paprika (start with a smaller amount and add as you like.)
- Recommended for this Recipe: Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives). And from our all-natural spice collection: sweet paprika, cumin, and allspice. SAVE! Create your own 6-pack of spices or try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle.
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American/Mediterranean
Keywords: Vegan Chili, Quinoa Chili, Bean Soup