Veggie Quinoa Chili

This recipe is so simple yet so delicious! This is a lighter alternative to meat-based chili, but the depth of flavor and heartiness of chili that we crave this time of year is there. This recipe yields a lot of chili so it is perfect for large families, batch cooking, and sharing with your community. This recipe is naturally vegetarian and gluten free, making it a great option for meal train or to share with someone whose dietary preferences aren’t known.

Quinoa is a whole grain that happens to contain all of the essential amino acids, making it an excellent plant source of protein. For reference, one cup of cooked quinoa contains 8g of protein! Soaking and sprouting (or buying pre-sprouted) quinoa prior to cooking helps reduce phytic acid and makes the nutrients more available!

Butternut squash is an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, manganese, vitamin C, and plenty of antioxidants. All of these qualities make it a great option for kids, toddlers and babies. It’s sweet and starchy qualities will appeal to younger tastebuds while maintaining the nutrient density their growing bodies need.


  • 1 whole onion, diced

  • 1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 cans of black beans, strained and rinsed

  • 2 cans of diced roasted tomatoes

  • 4 cups of veggie broth (1 carton)

  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa that has been soaked and sprouted

  • 1 small can of green chiles (omit for sensitive palates)

  • 2 cups of kale, rough chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1/2 tsp each of cumin, garlic and onion powder

  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the quinoa separately in 2 cups of broth (yields 2.5 cups of cooked quinoa)

  2. Brown onions and garlic in the instant pot (sauté function) or slow cooker pan with avocado oil

  3. Add in all spices once the onions have browned.

  4. Add in all other ingredients except the kale.

  5. Cook for 20 minutes on high in the instant pot or 3-4 hours on high in a slow cooker.

  6. Remove the bay leaf and add in the kale.

  7. Enjoy and share some soup with your village!