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Spicy Vegetarian Quinoa Chili made in a slow cooker!

It’s official. It’s winter and I’m freezing my tooshy off.

And umm hello… this happens every year, it’s not like I should be surprised or anything. But it’s inevitable. I’m super excited when fall comes because I can break out the boots, chunky sweaters and scarves, and then .5 seconds later, it’s snowing, the temperatures are below freezing, my fingers are numb, and I’m wrapped up in a hundred layers because I can’t stay warm.

Somehow, I still get bummed when it happens. And I swear, if it weren’t for meals like this vegetarian quinoa chili, I might just go crazy.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili made - the perfect meal to cure those winter blues

I made this chili in my crock pot and I just have to say, slow cookers were one of the best kitchen inventions ever. I mean they cook your food without you having to do any of the actual work! How is amazing is that!?

Take this chili for example. All you have to do is just throw all your ingredients into the pot, turn it on and walk away. Yes, it’s as simple as that. WALK. AWAY. and your done.

When you come back it’ll be bubbling away and ready to enjoy.

Slow Cooker Spicy Vegetarian Quinoa Chili made - the perfect meal to cure those winter blues

Now, I’ve made quinoa chili before, but this one is different. This one’s got some spunk.

Some punch.

Some zing.

Even a little kick.

Yes, it’s spicy. But not the knock-you-on-your-butt kind of spicy. The good kind of spicy that awakens the senses and brings the flavors of this chili to life. It’ll cure those winter blues with just one bowl.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili - spicy, flavorful and EASY!

P.S. Here’s the crock pot I use and I absolutely LOVE it! It’s a total life saver, especially this time of year and I love that it’s big enough to make a big batch of something so I can freeze for later, but it also handles small batches when it’s just me and Matt home for dinner. I’ve had it for years and it’s never disappointed me – it’s helped fill my belly with so many tasty dinners!

Three Alarm Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 - 8 servings


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded & chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups diced sweet potato
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 habanero peppers, diced (optional)
  • 1 (25 oz) can of organic kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can organic black beans
  • 1 (28 oz) can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can organic tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons gluten-free cornmeal


  1. Add all ingredients into a crock pot (minus the cornmeal). Turn on high and cook for 4 hours, turn down to low and continue to cook until ready to serve.
  2. Stir in cornmeal 15 minutes before serving.
  3. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, avocado, etc. Whatever you like best - you can't go wrong!


1) If you don't have the option to turn your crock-pot down after four hours (like you're at work), just leave it on low for 6 - 8 hours and the results will be the same.
2) If you don't want a spicy chili, just forgo the habaneros and cayenne pepper - it will still taste delicious!

Copyright © 2010-2014 by Simply Quinoa, All Rights Reserved. This recipe, and the photos associated with this recipe, are the property of Simply Quinoa. Do not duplicate this recipe without written consent by its owner.

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Simply Quinoa, Alyssa Rimmer

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I'm Alyssa, the writer and photographer behind the gluten-free website Simply Quinoa. My passion is creating wholesome, nutrient-rich recipes all with a little quinoa twist.