10 April 2017

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili with Lentils and Quinoa

If you’re looking for a great tasting chili, but want to go sans meat, then this is the chili you need to try. While the chili is entirely vegetarian, you wouldn’t know it by tasting it.

This goes great with nacho chips, naan bread (Naan Bread recipe here), crackers, or just by itself. You can eat it heated or cold; makes no difference, as it tastes great either way. So, without further ado…

photo of the ingredients for the chili
Ingredients for chili
What you Need:
  • 1- Cup of lentils (rinsed)
  • ½ Cup of Quinoa (rinsed well)
  • 1- Onion (diced) (red for a sweeter taste or white for stronger taste)
  • 1- Bell pepper (any color, but I used red) 
  • 5- Carrots (peeled and diced. You can just slice them for a heartier texture) 

  • 3- Cloves garlic (or 1- Tbsp. minced) 
  • 2- Cans Black beans (rinsed) 
  • 1- Cup Frozen Corn 
  • 4- Cups Diced Tomatoes 
  • 5- Cups Vegetable broth 
  • 3 Tbsp. Chili powder 
  • 2 ½ tsp. Cumin 
  • 1 tsp. Coriander 
  • 1 tsp. Oregano 
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Tomato paste 
  • Olive oil (for sautéing) 
  • 1- tsp. salt (in addition to salt added when Sautéing)
  • 1- tsp. pepper (in addition to the pepper added when Sautéing)
 Putting it Together:

Rinsing the lentils: 

Photo of rinsing the lentils
Rinsing the lentils
  • Put lentils into a strainer and rinse well 
  • Remove any bad lentils or other non-lentil items 
  • Put into slow cooker 
Rinsing the Quinoa: 
  • Put quinoa in a bowl and add water 
  • Mix the quinoa with your fingers, making sure you rub them together (kind of like grinding them with your fingers) The picture below shows what the quinoa looks like during the first rinse...
Photo of quinoa on its first rinse
Quinoa on first rinse
  • Pour quinoa into a strainer 
Photo of quinoa being poured into strainer
Quinoa being poured into strainer
  • Pour quinoa back into bowl, add water and repeat the process until the rinse water runs clear (this can take 10 or more times). The photo below shows how the water should look
Photo of quinoa after rinsing
Quinoa after rinsing
  • Once the rinse water runs clear, put quinoa into slow cooker
  • Rinse and put black beans into slow cooker


  • To make life SO much easier, just place the quinoa in the strainer and run water over it for about 30 seconds or so.
  • Pour quinoa back into bowl and add some water. The water should be clear, if not repeat
  • If water is clear, strain and put quinoa into crockpot
Rinsing the black beans

Photo of rinsing the black beans
Rinsing the black beans

Photo of lentils, quinoa, and black beans in slow cooker
Lentils, quinoa, and black beans in slow cooker
 Now, the other stuff: 
Quick note: You DO NOT have to sauté. You can skip the next 4 steps, put everything into the slow cooker mix well, and cook. However, by taking the extra 15 or so minutes and sautéing, you add another dimension of flavor to the dish. 

Photo of diced veggies
Veggies diced and ready to go
  • Add olive oil to a large pan and heat 
  • Add onion (don’t forget to season me with salt and pepper) and sauté for about 3 minutes or until translucent 
  • Add garlic, carrots, bell pepper, coriander, and cumin. Sauté for an additional 3-5 minutes 
  • Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes, mix. Sauté for 3-5 minutes
Photo of the contents of the pan being sautéed
Contents of pan being sautéed
  • Add contents of pan into slow cooker
  • Add oregano, chili powder, corn, and vegetable broth into slow cooker
  • Mix well
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or until lentils and Quinoa are soft 

Photo of Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili with Lentils and Quinoa
Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili with Lentils and Quinoa

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