Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili (Vegan)

If you’re looking for a no brainer, easy, and delicious sweet potato quinoa chili recipe that’s vegan and will make your home smell amazing, then scroll through this recipe to learn how to make the best one!

It’s kid approved, husband approved, and takes less than an hour to make (unfortunately, it may take even less time for it to be devoured by your hungry family)!

*Disclosure: some links may contain affiliate links. For more information on what this means, visit my disclosure page.

Sweet potato quinoa chili served in2 white bowl with sliced tiny sweet peppers, green onions, tortilla chips, and vegan shredded cheese on a cutting board.

Just make sure you have some type of bread on hand to enjoy with it! Like these vegan dinner rolls (make them ahead of time), or any bread, really!

Ingredients You’ll Need for Vegan Chili

Vegan sweet potato quinoa chili ingredients on a wood table.

Onion & Garlic: These are used as the base for the chili, for flavor, for health benefits, for texture – any way you see their usefulness in the kitchen – they are needed for this recipe (unless you are allergic), and should be a basic pantry staple in all homes.

As for the type, yellow or white or cooking onions work best in this recipe, but if all you have is red, go for it!

Sweet Potato: Sweet potatoes also can’t be substituted well in this recipe, you either add them in or don’t, don’t try to substitute another potato in for sweet potatoes and expect a similar outcome – the texture is different and you may end up with mushy potatoes if you try adding in a white potato in its place.

Spices: You obviously need chili powder in this chili recipe, I also like to add in cumin (it’s much milder in flavor – not spicy, a bit more calm), paprika, and cayenne for a little extra kick. Adjust amounts as needed.

Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce, in my opinion, is another non-negotiable for chili. Or at least some type of tomato sauce product, use another sauce if you’d like, or blend crushed tomatoes until it’s all liquid if you want. But it’s best to make sure whatever sauce you use does not have any extra spices or seasonings added to it.

Vegetable Broth: Vegetable broth is used to saute the root veggies, cook the quinoa, and add liquid to the chili. So, it’s pretty important for this recipe.

If you prefer to use oil (like olive oil) to saute your root veggies, that is fine.

If you are trying to limit the use of veggie broth), or you simply don’t have it, using water can work in all of the places veggie broth is used, but won’t give you any extra flavor.

Kidney Beans: Use light or dark kidney beans, whichever you prefer. Or, if you’d like to swap out the kidney beans for another type of beans, like black or cannellini, feel free to do just that!

Corn: Corn adds a bit of sweetness to this dish, which I personally love! But they can be omitted if need be, don’t try to substitute anything else in for these. Fresh, canned, or frozen can be used.

Quinoa: The star of the dish, quinoa! Quinoa is unique and makes this recipe different, and more filling (without animal products) than if you were to just have the beans and other ingredients. It does need to be cookies separately, and any type will work well in this recipe. I usually use white quinoa, colored quinoa will also work, but they do take longer to cook and may require an extra quarter cup of veggie broth or water.

How to Make This Quinoa Chili Recipe

*Note that these instructions can be printed below

Step one: Saute the onion, garlic, and sweet potato in about a tablespoon of vegetable broth, on medium heat in a large pot, until the sweet potato starts to soften and the onion and garlic become translucent.

Step two: Rinse the quinoa and cook in the medium pot in about ¾ cup  of the vegetable broth; keep the pot covered, bring to a boil and then bring back down to a simmer. Check in 5 to 10 minutes to see if it’s done, the quinoa will have soaked up all liquid once done.

Step three: Add the spices to the vegetable pot and stir in.

Step four: Add the rest of the chili ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Step five: Stir the cooked quinoa in with the other ingredients in the large pot, then serve and add optional toppings!

Sweet potato quinoa chili process shots, collage of four images. First image is of all the root vegetables sauteing, second is with the tomato sauce, spices, kidney beans, third is with quinoa added, and fourth is when it's done.

Expert Tips For Making Vegan Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

I never had chili until I met my husband, but even without growing up eating it, I’ve had plenty of experience making it over the last 10-12 years (which is also around the same time I started experimenting in the kitchen and developing my own recipes).

Even so, I have accumulated a few tips when it comes to making chili, and these tips are just for chili, but when it comes to any type of stew, soup, or quinoa dish.

  • Saute root veggies til soft. Have you ever heard of adding root veggies to water before it starts boiling and other veggies after, well it’s the same for sauteing veggies. Root veggies are hard and no one wants to take a bite of your chili and accidentally chomp down on a vegetable that’s still hard!
  • Wait to stir in the quinoa. Quinoa is a liquid hog, meaning that it will absorb all of the liquid it comes into contact with, so it’s best to stir it in right before serving.
  • Adjust the spices as needed. Everyone’s tolerance to spicy food is different (mine and my two youngest kids’ tolerance for spicy food isn’t very high – we consider this chili to be very spicy – but if I’m making this chili just for my husband, I literally need to almost double all of the spices in it for him to consider it spicy enough). So be sure to adjust the spiciness of this recipe as needed for your own family.

How to Serve Chili

*A note about serving size: the serving shows it’s for 6 below, that is 6 FULL SERVINGS, full servings for adults. If you’re feeding this to 2 adults and a couple of small kids, then it will last much longer. For example, my own family has 2 adults and 3 kids (one is almost as tall as me, the other two are smaller); this chili lasts us 2 full meals, sometimes with leftovers for another child to eat the third day.

Chili is to be served warm with your favorite toppings, and some type of bread. I don’t care what type of bread, but chili deserves to be enjoyed with bread, such as these rolls.

As for toppings, I’d suggest:

  • Shredded Vegan Cheese
  • Green Onion
  • Sliced Peppers, or small sweet peppers
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Avocado
  • Nutritional yeast
  •  And whatever else you like on your chili!

Or, enjoy it plain, like my youngest child does (she’s going through a picky eating phase right now, I’m just happy when she eats what I make at this point).

How to Store

Fridge: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Please be aware that quinoa loves to absorb liquid, so the longer you have it sitting in the fridge, the less liquid  there’ll be and more plump the quinoa will be. 

Scoop shot of Sweet potato quinoa chili in a ladle over the pot it was made in.

More Comfort Food Vegan Recipes You’ll Love

Sweet potato quinoa chili served in a white bowl with sliced tiny sweet peppers, green onions, and vegan shredded cheese.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

Shawna Clapper
Warm, comforting, great with bread…yes, I’m talking about a delicious vegan chili, using a surprising & satisfying grain, quinoa! Enjoy this less than 1 hour sweet potato quinoa chili recipe with friends and family tonight!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 large servings
Calories 124 kcal

Equipment

  • Equipment Needed:
  • Large pot with cover
  • Medium pot with cover

Ingredients
  

  • 1 White or Yellow Onion diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 sweet potato diced
  • 2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne
  • 2 cups Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cup Vegetable Broth divided
  • 2 cans Kidney Beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Corn
  • ½ cup Quinoa rinsed

Optional Toppings

  • Shredded Vegan Cheese
  • Green Onion
  • Sliced Peppers
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Avocado

Instructions
 

  • Saute the onion, garlic, and sweet potato in about a tablespoon of vegetable broth, on medium heat in a large pot, until the sweet potato starts to soften and the onion and garlic become translucent.
  • Rinse the quinoa and cook in the medium pot in about ¾ cup of the vegetable broth; keep the pot covered, bring to a boil and then bring back down to a simmer. Check in 5 to 10 minutes to see if it’s done, the quinoa will have soaked up all liquid once done.
  • Add the spices to the vegetable pot and stir in.
  • Add the rest of the chili ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Stir the cooked quinoa in with the other ingredients in the large pot, then serve and add optional toppings!

Notes

This recipe will last about 4-5 days in the fridge, but the quinoa will absorb more of the liquid each day.

Nutrition

Calories: 124kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 735mgPotassium: 511mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 6220IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 2mg
Keyword chili, kidney beans, quinoa, sweet potato, tortilla chips
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