Death Valley Veggie Quinoa Chili

A few years ago when we were still living in the middle of the Mojave desert, a few coworkers started an annual chili cook-off. After a valiant first attempt at a prize winner in the vegetarian category (fail – crunchy beans that did not cook all the way through), I was determined to prevail in year two.

A little bit of internet research and several trial runs later, I’ve decided that this recipe, adapted from the lovely Two Peas and Their Pod number, is worthy of any competition. And yes – it won the Death Valley Chili Cook Off 2012 First Place in the Vegetarian Category. This recipe works perfectly with a crock pot, and is freezable after cooking for easy lunches, served with cornbread, poured over a baked potato, or along side chips.

Serves 10

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 8 hours (with a crock pot)


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 gloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and chopped (I do not peel mine)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 15 oz (1 1/2 cup) black beans
  • 15 oz kidney beans
  • 15 oz garbanzo beans
  • 45 oz diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

(non)Optional Toppings: sour cream, avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, fritos


  • Place all ingredients in a large crock pot, and cook on low for 8-10 hours
  • Wow your friends and family with party ready, healthy, low-fat, vegetarian, crock pot chili no matter how hectic the work day
  • If freezing: cool chili to room temperature, and divide into servings that make sense for you. For great lunch bowls that freeze well, I recommend these. Otherwise, a few gallon size freezer zip lock bags will do nicely for a family serving size.

3 thoughts on “Death Valley Veggie Quinoa Chili

  1. Pingback: November 2014 in the Cookery | THE GLACIER CANNERY

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