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quinoa chili

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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 3 from 1 review
  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 14 mins
  • Total Time: 44 mins
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Dinner, Soup
  • Cuisine: Mexican


An easy meatless meal for any day of the week!


  • • 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
  • • 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 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


  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.


* 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.