An unbelievably easy, protein-rich, and hearty chili to warm up the coldest of winter nights.

Chili is the perfect food for vegetarians. I know, I know – there are many arguments about what makes a “real” chili, and meat is one of the ingredients that many consider a must. To which I oh-so-wisely and poignantly say: “Whatever.” I think chili is what you make it – and it doesn’t need meat. There are so many infinitely awesome variations of chili and such an assortment of potential meatless ingredients that it is more than possible to create a hearty, satiating, and dare I say award-winning bowl of meatless chili.

(But if your resident carnivore really, really wants meat in their bowl of Slow Cooker Quinoa, Sweet Potato, & Black Bean Vegetarian Chili, this chili would lend itself well to some cooked diced chicken or browned ground turkey thrown in to their portions).

I especially adore quinoa in chili – it helps thicken up the batch and adds another element of filling protein.

If you don’t have black beans on hand, this chili is equally great with pinto beans, or you might try kidney beans, too.

Slow Cooker Quinoa, Sweet Potato, & Black Bean Chili


prep time: 15 MINUTES
cook time: 8 HOURS
total time: 8 HOURS 15 MINUTES


  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well in cool water
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (about 2
    [15-ounce] cans, drained)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced*
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste


  • Cilantro
  • Greek yogurt, sour cream, or vegan sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Chopped green onions


Add all ingredients (except additional salt and pepper and toppings) to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. That’s it! Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve with assorted toppings. Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for about 3 days. It freezes well, too!

* Because jalapeno peppers can vary greatly heat-wise, I like to take a quick taste and see how hot it is. If it’s fairly mild, I’ll add seeds along with the flesh. If it’s pretty spicy, I’ll discard the seeds and even sometimes use only half of the pepper. Go with what you’re comfortable with!


Add cooked diced chicken or browned ground turkey to the batch or to individual portions.

Credits: Recipe re-posted from