Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili Recipe (2024)

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5 hours hrs 10 minutes mins


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Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili Recipe (1)

We love this easy slow cooker quinoa chili!

To make this into a freezer meal:

In a gallon-sized freezer meal bag, add all ingredients EXCEPT for chicken stock. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal bag closed. Place freezer bag into freezer and it will last 60-90 days.

When ready to use, spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and dump ingredients from bag into slow cooker. Add in 2 cups of chicken stock (or broth) in with the frozen food. Add the lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until completely cooked through. Portion soup into serving bowls and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili Recipe (2)

Serves: 6

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili Recipe

The easiest and delicious dump and go chili recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 5 hours hrs

Total Time 5 hours hrs 10 minutes mins



  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 28 ounces diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes with green chilies do not drain
  • 2 (16 ounces) black beans rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounces corn drained
  • 15 ounces red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese optional topping
  • 1 cup sour cream optional topping


  • Place everything in a 6 quart slow cooker and cook for 5-7 hours on low.

  • Keep warm until ready to serve.

  • Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream if desired.


To make this into a freezer meal:

In a gallon-sized freezer meal bag, add all ingredients EXCEPT for chicken stock. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal bag closed. Place freezer bag into freezer and it will last 60-90 days.

When ready to use, spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and dump ingredients from bag into slow cooker. Add in 2 cups of chicken stock (or broth) in with the frozen food. Add the lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until completely cooked through. Portion soup into serving bowls and enjoy!


Calories: 490 kcal · Carbohydrates: 65 g · Protein: 22 g · Fat: 18 g · Saturated Fat: 9 g · Cholesterol: 42 mg · Sodium: 298 mg · Potassium: 1213 mg · Fiber: 12 g · Sugar: 12 g · Vitamin A: 1128 IU · Vitamin C: 41 mg · Calcium: 290 mg · Iron: 6 mg


  • Slow Cooker

Recipe Details

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Adapted from sweet treats

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  1. Eric Pepple says:

    Looks fantastic, I always do my chili in the crockpot as well. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Valley Chow

  2. SH says:

    My husband loves chili - and I love using my slow cooker. Perfect match!


  3. Lindsay says:

    We love chili in our house and I can't wait to try this one. It's in my slow cooker now! And I love quinoa in chili--it's so healthy and gives it great texture. One nit picky thing though--I think it might be a little misleading to call this a "chicken" chili since there is no actual chicken in the recipe, just chicken broth. That is fine with me since I wanted to do a vegetarian-ish chili today, but others might be confused. Maybe it's just a typo, but I noticed it was one of the few ways you adapted this recipe from the original, so I thought it might have been intentional.

    Anyway, I think your blog is great and have gotten a lot of great ideas and recipes from it! Thanks!

  4. Kaitlynn says:

    Can anyone tell me if this can be frozen after it's made? I would like to make a lot of it all at once and store some for later :) It looks delicious!

  5. Cyd says:

    Should be fine to freeze. We freeze chili all the time when it makes a huge batch.

  6. Lynette says:

    I made this and we loved it. It froze great as well.

  7. Karen says:

    Does the quinoa need to be cooked first?

  8. Cyd says:

    Does not need to be cooked first. Just rinsed.

  9. ellen says:

    This was a good chili. It made a whole lot! Just spicy enough. I would like it a little saltier, but for the average guy it is probably fine. Good no meat dinner.

  10. Jackie says:

    For vegetarians, what can you use instead of the chicken stock?

  11. amanda says:

    I use vegetable broth

  12. amanda says:

    great recipe :)

  13. Megan says:

    How much does it feed? can you double/triple the recipe?

  14. Cyd says:

    Just click on the MAGIC button on our post under the picture. It will take you to our sister site - Click on Nutrition and it will give you servings, calories, weight watcher points, and all nutritional info on the recipe. Hope you'll stop by and check out over 25,000 recipes all with nutritional info!

  15. Amy says:

    I've made this twice now and love it. It's so quick and easy, but also healthy and delicious. I made it with vegetable stock instead of chicken and leave it w/o the garnishes, so it's also vegan. I especially love that everything goes in together and there is no need for added oil/fat. Thanks!

  16. Ramona says:

    I made this and it was so delicious the next day I put it on a tortilla shell and added cheese it . Needless to say it was a hit

  17. Becky says:

    Are the kidney beans supposed to be drained and rinsed as well?

  18. Cyd says:

    Yes, rinse and drain the kidney beans.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili Recipe (3)

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Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili Recipe (2024)


How do I thicken my slow cooker chili? ›

Mix in a scoop of cornstarch, all-purpose flour, or oats.

Rather than adding it directly to the chili (which can create clumps) make a slurry. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, then stir this into the pot of chili. For 1 tablespoon of flour, use 2 tablespoons of water.

What liquid to add to chili? ›

Chili cooks low and slow, so you need enough liquid to tenderize the meat and keep everything from drying out. That liquid should also add flavor to the chili, so use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or beer.

How do you make chili more flavorful? ›

Elevate with Extra Flavor

Elevate your chili recipe by adding an extra layer of flavor. Cocoa powder, bacon, cinnamon, ground coffee and tomato paste will all add a rich sweet & salty flavors that are sure to surprise and delight.

Why does chili need to be slow cooked? ›

The result of a long cooking time is extra tender meat and vegetables that marinate in the spices for hours, resulting in a fully rounded flavor profile.

Should chili be thick or soupy? ›

Chili should be thick and hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but sometimes there's just a bit more liquid than you want in the pot. While you can simply keep simmering the chili, that method risks overcooking softer ingredients like the beans, losing all your nice texture to mushy monotony.

What is the best thickener for chili? ›

The good news is there are lots of easy ways to thicken up your chili with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry— flour, cornmeal, pureed beans, cornstarch, or even crushed tortilla chips will help do the job, along with some good old extra simmering time.

What not to put in chili? ›

Beans and non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed." If that sounds a bit uptight, the ICS's Homestyle Chili competition defines chili as: "any kind of meat, or combination of meats, and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, various spices, and other ingredients.

What is the most important spice in chili? ›

Most Common Chili Spices. Cumin, Chile Powders, and Paprika are the most common spices in chili followed by garlic, onion, coriander, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves. These ingredients can be combined to create a savory and well-balanced pot of top notch comfort food.

Does chili need tomato paste? ›

Tomato sauce is not a strong a taste as tomato paste. Also, sauce will increase the liquid content of your chili ever so slightly. Tomato paste has a more full, rich, tomato taste and smell. Using either one is appropriate, but you will need to tweak your seasonings to suit your personal tastes, anyway.

What is the secret to really good chili? ›

Add a touch of sweetness

Chili is rich, deep and often spicy, so adding a sweet ingredient is a great way to create balanced flavor. We've found that adding diced carrots is the easiest way to add natural sweetness, but you can also use vegetables like sweet potatoes or winter squash.

What is the secret to amazing chili? ›

Here Are Our Six Secret Ingredients for the Best Chili
  • Canned Puréed Pumpkin. You already use this to make pumpkin-infused quick breads and waffles, but did you know you can add it to chili too? ...
  • Cocoa Powder. ...
  • Coffee. ...
  • Maple Syrup. ...
  • Pepperoncinis (Plus Liquid) ...
  • Root Beer.
Sep 2, 2022

What spice gives chili its flavor? ›

Most common additions to chile powder are garlic, onion, cumin (more smokiness), and oregano. Occasionally, allspice and/or clove will be included for a warm undertone.

Is Chilli better in crockpot or stove? ›

Chili is perhaps the ideal slow-cooker dish because its flavor improves with a long, slow simmer. This makes a big batch, perfect for a cold-weather get-together, but if you're making it for a smaller group, the leftovers freeze well.

What kind of onion is used for chili? ›

"The rule of thumb is to use white onions for raw preparations like pico de gallo, or as a topping for chili," he explains. "Use yellow onions for cooking, because the flavor becomes sweeter and more complex the longer you cook it.

Is it better to slow cook chili on high or low? ›

The Best Way to Cook Chili:

The low and slow cooking process melds the flavors of the chili seasoning into every bite and the beef becomes so tender, juicy, and irresistible. You can slow cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours.

What to do if chili is too watery? ›

If your chili is too watery, there are a few steps you can take to thicken it: Simmer Longer: Continue cooking the chili uncovered over low heat to allow excess liquid to evaporate. Add Thickeners: Mix a small amount of cornstarch or flour with cold water and add it to the chili. Cook while stirring until it thickens.

How do you thicken a watery slow cooker? ›

A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of a cold liquid with cornstarch. It is used as a thickening agent, and is particularly common in Asian sauces. As a rule of thumb, dissolve 2 parts cold water and 1 part cornstarch. Add the slurry to your sauce as it simmers in the slow cooker.

What is the best way to thicken slow cooker? ›

A slurry is a mixture of flour and water, whisked together until smooth and added towards the end of cooking; it's a super-simple way to thicken any soup. For slow cooker soups, add your slurry with at least 30 minutes of cook time left so that the raw flour can cook and thicken the soup. Need a gluten-free option?

How do you keep chili from getting watery in a slow cooker? ›

If our chili turns our watery or think, we have tried many ways to thicken it up. You can thicken your chili just by simple taking off the lid of your crock pot. It can also be thicken by adding cornstarch or flour. These thickening agents are pantry staples that your probably already have.

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