Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chipotle Chili with Quinoa, sweet potato, black beans, and fire-roasted tomatoes. This dump-and-stir crockpot chili is packed with smoky flavor and perfect for weeknight dinners. Instant Pot instructions also available.
The Best Slow Cooker Chili Recipe:
AKA fall in a bowl! This healthy vegetarian chili is brimming with fiber-rich veggies, plant protein, and antioxidants. It's also equipped with enough smoky spice to warm you up even on the coldest wintry nights. Take 20 minutes to prep it in the morning, and come home to a ready-made meal. Or, prep the ingredients ahead and cook it in lightning speed in the Instant Pot. Fall weeknights don't get much simpler than that!
When it comes to slow cooking, it's true that the long cooking periods can mellow flavor. Which is why we pack this chili with lots of bold, smoky flavor. These flavors will hold their own over time, and still deliver the quintessential kick. I love to serve this vegetarian chili with a side of cornbread because its sweetness helps mellow the spice. I also recommend garnishing with cilantro and lime juice to perk up the whole dish with a fresh touch.
Now let's create a company-worthy dinner with one of these simple machines!
What to Put in Vegetarian Chili:
In this chipotle-style chili, we lean on quinoa in place of ground meat to add heft and protein. The quinoa becomes fragrant and fluffy as the chili cooks, and acts as a great thickening agent. Quinoa is one of the only plant-based sources of complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. It's also very mind in flavor, so it takes well to just about any spice combination.
In addition to the quinoa, this chili also includes two types of beans (black + pinto), aromatics, and sweet potato. The sweetness of the spuds balance the smoky spice of the chipotle chiles beautifully. They also add extra dietary fiber plus loads of beta-carotene. If you prefer a different bean combination, for example kidney beans, feel free to swap them out!
Other optional ingredients to add include chopped kale, frozen or canned corn, and/or chopped bell peppers. If you're adding greens, just stir them in at the very end. The residual heat of the chili will soften them just enough so they become silky.
Can I Freeze Vegetarian Chili?
In short, yes- chili is one of the best meals to freeze. However, I recommend dividing the chili into separate, smaller containers as opposed to one large one. This way, you can thaw and reheat portions as needed in a shorter amount of time. When ready to reheat, place the chili in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Once thawed, cook the chili in a small saucepan over medium heat to encourage even heating. If you need extra liquid to loosen it up, add a splash of vegetable broth or water.
Is Vegetarian Chili Healthy?
This chili is brimming with good-for-you nutrients. For example, protein from the quinoa, fiber from the beans, and lycopene from the tomatoes. Not to mention the loads of beta-carotene from the sweet potatoes, which help support eye health. The dynamite duo of protein and slow-digesting fiber will help keep you full, which is a major perk for vegetarian soup/stew. You can also up the nutrient ante with your toppings: fresh avocado and green onion are my go-to's.
Try this recipe this week for make-ahead lunches or easy weeknight dinners. And if you do, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
Other Crockpot Vegetarian Recipes to Try:
Slow Cooker Golden Lentil Soup
Crockpot Vegetarian Tikka Masala
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa
- 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 chipotle pepper from a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, finely chopped
- 2 14.5-oz. cans fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa rinsed
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- Garnishes: fresh cilantro leaves sliced avocado, freshly grated white cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt
- **Slow Cooker**
- Place all ingredients (except garnishes) in a 5- to 6- quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray; stir well to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours, or LOW 8 to 9 hours. Spoon into bowls and add garnishes of choice.
- **Instant Pot**
- Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in Instant Pot. Cover with lid, and turn to manual. Turn lid valve to seal, and set to high pressure for 9 minutes. Release valve with a towel, and release steam until it stops. Carefully uncover, and divide chili into bowls for serving. Add garnishes of choice.
I just made this for dinner in the insta-pot! It was actually my first time using one - I know I'm late to the game. Mine was on the liquid-y side when it was finished so i pureed about 2 cups with an immersion blender and added it back to the pot. It was perfect! Topped ours with cheese, Greek yogurt, lime, cilantro and tortilla chips. Love your recipes!
If it is all can why does it need to cook for 5 hours ? Has anyone tried this in less time ?
Vanessa A Bourne
Love this chili! Cornbread went well with it.
Hi Vanessa - I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Just a question, should the quinoa be put in to the crock pot at the beginning of cooking or later on? Seems like it would get soggy.
Hi Mary, the quinoa goes in at the beginning of cooking. It doesn't get soggy--just plumps up nicely!
Perfect, thank you! I am making it right now and it already looks delish!!
Has anyone tried this in the instapot?
Yes! Easy and decide!
This looks so nice, I will prepare such a meal for my family tonight.
Fantastic, I hope you enjoy it!!
Used the slow cooker. Added avocado, sour cream, and shredded cheese. Phenomenal! Will definitely make again!
Hi Anne, I'm so glad you enjoyed the chili! Thank you for taking time to leave a review!
My family loved it! Cooked in the slow cooker and added sour cream for topping. Delish!