Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Vegetarian Taco Quinoa Chili Recipe (for Instant Pot too!)

Meatless Taco Quinoa Chili

My husband will tell you he’s not a picky eater, but don’t believe a word of it. Even now that I’ve convinced him real food is good for us, there are foods he won’t touch.

He doesn’t like cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, beets, sweet potatoes or any other mushy orange vegetable, and quinoa.

Until now.

Apparently quinoa just needed the right mix of spices to hide its texture and he’d eat it happily.

Enter this vegetarian “taco quinoa chili” for dinner – which can even be made in a pressure cooker (like many other easy Instant Pot recipes even my husband can make).

Success!

Taco Quinoa Chili

Where Did Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa Come From?

This recipe began as “spaghetti and pinto bean chili,” a unique blend of two basic comfort foods that’s highlighted in The Everything Beans Book. I was pretty excited to be able to convert it to a healthier gluten-free version. Sure, you can always use GF pasta, but that gets expensive if you start pricing out your meals.

This is a hearty dish to be sure, thick enough to stand up in the corner with its nose against the wall if it ever gets into trouble.

Serve with a side of bread or tortilla chips and some fresh veggies and no one will leave the table hungry. And the next day, reinvent the leftovers by wrapping them in a homemade tortilla or baking as an enchilada casserole. It’s that thick!

Need a quick, delicious cornbread recipe to serve with this Chili? Check out my friend Wardee’s Pressure Cooker Sourdough Cornbread
Simple Taco Quinoa Chili Recipe - gluten-free, vegetarian, comes together fast for an easy dinner! (or side dish, or even burrito) Double for dinner and freeze leftovers!

Choose Your Own Adventure: Meatless, Mexican, Grown-Up, Kid-Friendly

As with many of my recipes, this one is super versatile and can totally change depending on the toppings you choose. In the photos you’ll see green and red onion, yellow peppers and feta cheese – the grown-up version. For kiddos, I’d just toss some cheese on top and call it good (but not so pretty for pictures). Smile

It’s a great meatless meal for your weekly vegetarian night or meatless Lenten Fridays, and if you buy expensive meat like I do, you might want to serve something meatless when hosting company – or include this as a side to a meatier meal – to help the meal stretch further without stretching your budget.

Heck, you could even add meat if that’s how you roll. 😉

Plan ahead to soak the quinoa and the pinto beans for maximum nutrition and budget savings (cooking with dry beans beats the can by over 50%!), and plan further ahead by sprouting the quinoa for a few days (instructions here). If you don’t remember or don’t have time, don’t fret it though – eating real food is always better than grabbing a convenience meal, and the second set of instructions can get it on the table FAST if you have an Instant Pot!!

It’s pretty quick and easy on the stovetop, too. Observe:

Stovetop Mexican Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Taco Quinoa Chili Recipe

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: dinner, soup
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

An easy meatless meal for any day of the week!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 c.dry quinoa
  • 1 Tbs. fat, good for sauteeing
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 poblano pepper, chopped (green or colored bell works too)
  • 1 cayenne pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbs. taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp.salt
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 c. water or stock (beef or chicken)
  • 4 c. cooked beans or 2 cans, drained and rinsed*
  • optional: other veggies like diced or shredded zucchini, greens, more peppers, etc.

Toppings:

  • shredded cheddar or feta cheese
  • diced red or white onion
  • green onion
  • diced colored peppers
  • salsa
  • cubed avocado


ship kroger


Instructions

  1. The night before, rinse quinoa and soak in an ample amount of water.
  2. Drain and rinse quinoa.
  3. In a large pot, saute the onions and all peppers in oil for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add spices and salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase) and stir to combine for a minute, then add tomatoes and water/broth.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Stir in quinoa, bring to a boil again and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  7. Add the beans and simmer 5 more minutes until heated through.
  8. Serve hot with optional toppings.
  9. Add additional broth or water to reheat leftovers.

Notes

* I used black and pinto beans in the picture; kidney and garbanzo mixed or all one kind of bean would be yummy too.

If you want to try the dish with brown rice, I can only imagine it would work out since rice and quinoa have the same water-to-grain ratio. Increase cook time to 40 or 45 minutes.

  • Need a little help getting healthy food on the table every day? Real Plans takes the stress out of meal planning and puts the nourishing food BACK on your table. There’s a plan for every diet type, including GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Whole30, vegetarian and more! You remain totally in control: use your own recipes, accept theirs, and teach the system what your family likes…Check out how powerful it is here!

Taco Quinoa Chili

If you would rather add meat, some crumbled sausage with homemade seasoning made from any ground meat would be amazing (even half a pound of meat with these seasonings would make a big impact), or just add ground beef or shredded chicken to the pot.

It freezes fine, so don’t be afraid to make a big batch!

Where to Find High Quality Meat

Having trouble finding good quality meat locally? Would you like to fill your freezer with local and pastured options?

If you’re in Canada, check out TruLocal.ca

If you’re in the US Midwest, Chicago to Milwaukee to Detroit to New York, and select cities across the country, check out TruLocalUsa.

If you’re west of the Mississippi, check out Wild Pastures

If you live in any of the 48 contiguous states, I recommend US Wellness Meats and Butcher Box! 

I’m grateful that there’s an online source of incredibly high quality meat that I can always count on. A subscription from Butcher Box includes grass fed, organic, pastured, and free range = all the labels important to your family’s health! And I’ve got a special deal for you!

They almost always have great deals for new customers. Claim your free gifts, and see what bonus they have going on right now. Don’t miss out!

(free shipping too!)

 

RELATED: Check out more 30 minute dinner ideas and this 30 minute dinner meal plan! 

Instant Pot Version

After Bethany showed me how easy it was with her Instant Pot version of chipotle beef barbacoa, I had to try this one in my beloved Instant Pot (an electric pressure cooker). Even though I hadn’t taken time to soak the beans, of course it worked out perfectly.

You can either cook the beans (from dry or soaked) in the Instant Pot first, then make the recipe without washing it, OR if you’re really gunning for speed, use pre-cooked beans that are frozen from another day or canned beans. If you use frozen beans, I might add a minute or two to the cook time (which is only 4 minutes to begin with!) in case the block of coldness makes the IP work a little harder.

We’re all about saving time, money and DISHES here at KS!! 😉

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
quinoa chili

Vegetarian Taco Quinoa Chili Recipe (for Instant Pot too!)

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 14 mins
  • Total Time: 44 mins
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Dinner, Soup
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

An easy meatless meal for any day of the week!


Ingredients

  • • 1-2 pounds (3-6 cups) dry pinto beans, IF using dry. This will yield extra beans for other recipes.
  • • 1 c. dry quinoa
  • • 1 Tbs. fat, good for sautéing
  • • 1 large onion, chopped
  • • ½ poblano pepper, chopped (green or colored bell works too)
  • • 1 cayenne pepper, seeded, chopped
  • • 2 tsp. cumin
  • • 1 tsp.chili powder
  • • ½ Tbs. taco seasoning
  • • 1 tsp. salt
  • • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • • 2 c. water orstock (beef or chicken)
  • • 4 c. cooked beans or 2 cans, drained and rinsed*
  • • optional: other veggies like diced or shredded zucchini, greens, more peppers, etc.
  • • Toppings:
  • • shredded cheddar or feta cheese
  • • diced red or white onion
  • • green onion
  • • diced colored peppers
  • • salsa
  • • cubed avocado


ship kroger


Instructions

  1. The night before, rinse quinoa and soak in an ample amount of water. In a separate container (can be the IP itself), soak the pinto beans in twice as much water as beans (IF you’re using dry beans).
  2. Note: If you forget to soak either, you’ll still be fine starting the recipe the same day. Soaking is just for optimal nutrition.
  3. Follow the instructions HERE for cooking the dry beans in the Instant Pot.
  4. At that point you can open the IP lid. Using hot mitts, pour the pot of beans into a colander in the sink to drain. (Use a mesh strainer so you can re-use it with the quinoa, if yours is big enough.)
  5. Give the pot a quick rinse and return it to the Instant Pot base.
  6. Select SAUTÉ. Add oil to IP bowl. When display reads HOT add peppers and onions. Cook for five minutes, stirring as necessary.
  7. Add spices and salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase) and stir to combine for a minute, then add the tomatoes and water/broth (you can leave it on “saute” during this time to start heating up the liquid and speed up the process of coming to pressure).
  8. Measure 4 cups of the beans into the pot. Store the rest for another recipe.
  9. Drain the quinoa into the strainer, give it a quick rinse, and add all of it to the Instant Pot.
  10. Stir everything up.
  11. Cancel Saute.
  12. Check sealing ring, lock the lid, set the pressure valve to “sealing” and press the “Manual” button, using the “minus” button to reduce the number of minutes to 4.
  13. It will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure (the machine will say “on” during that time).
  14. After the 4 minutes count down, set a timer for 10 minutes for a “natural pressure release.”
  15. After the 10-minute wait, open the valve to “venting” to release any remaining steam. Before opening the lid, give the pot a little back-and-forth “jiggle” to release any steam bubbles trapped in the thick chili.
  16. Serve hot with optional toppings.
  17. NOTE: Do not double in a 6-quart Instant Pot! Grains and beans should fill the pot no more than halfway for safety.

Notes

* I used black and pinto beans in the picture; kidney and garbanzo mixed or all one kind of bean would be yummy too.

If you want to try the dish with brown rice, I can only imagine it would work out since rice and quinoa have the same water-to-grain ratio.

Sometimes our babysitter will start dinner for us while our toddler is napping, and I asked her to test out this recipe for me. She’s learning a lot in the kitchen as a result of being in the Kitchen Stewardship® house, but she’s more-or-less a novice in the kitchen.

She reported it was very easy and had to leave just as it was done and smelling great, and she asked me to save her some leftovers because she was dying to try it! I’d say that’s a pretty authentic review. 😉

What’s your favorite vegetarian dinner? Do you do quinoa? Have you tried an old fav recipe in your Instant Pot yet?

Other Instant Pot Recipes:

Other Quinoa Recipes

Wintersoup 3D eBook 200Looking for more soup recipes? You won’t want to miss the eBook Winter Soups, a compilation from over 50 real food bloggers. I truly enjoy having this book in my collection for all the great new ideas. Check it out here.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

7 thoughts on “Vegetarian Taco Quinoa Chili Recipe (for Instant Pot too!)”

  1. I made this tonight for dinner and it was pretty good! My family of 4 ate about half of it so we have a lot of leftovers. My kids (3 & 4) liked it better than another vegetarian chili that I make so this will be our new chili! I did think it was a little on the bland side but that is good for the kids. We topped it with cheese, crushed tortilla chips and sour cream. Just wanted to say thanks.

  2. Quinoa might just be part of my “2015-new-foods-to-learn-how-to-use” resolution. I can see this going over better than just plain quinoa salad.

    Do you think I could try making quinoa pudding — rice pudding, but with quinoa? Hmmm. Might be worth trying.

        1. Hope you love it, Peggy! Do you mean you’re getting duplicate emails? I have different lists – daily, weekly, monthly – so you could be on all of them, but it shouldn’t cause the exact same email to come to you…if you need to get rid of any of the emails and can’t figure it out, email me at katie at kitchenstewardship.com and we’ll help you get just the ones you want! 🙂 Katie

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]
[activeKey]