Now that I have to throw on my winter coat before I even think of going outside, I'm starting to crave warm, comforting foods. It's part of our DNA what we want soups and stews when it's cold outside. Why not give in and have a nice bowl of chili? Especially when it's healthy vegan chili.

I grew up eating chili on special occasions when my dad had literally all day to cook it... Aka either a snow day or the Super Bowl. When I moved away to college, I wondered if I would be able to make something that comforting for myself. Luckily, I discovered that making chili really isn't that difficult. 

This recipe isn't only easy, but it's also extremely healthy. It's got protein, fiber, carbs, and some healthy fats. Plus, some veggies. Oh yeah, and depending on your choice of protein it can easily be made into vegan chili! Do I have you convinced yet? 

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Vegan Chili

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:1 hr 30 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 40 mins
  • Servings:5
  • Easy


  • 1 pound your choice protein
  • 1 tablepoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon each garlic power and onion powder
  • 2 small sweet potatoes cubed skin on
  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 box chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 2 big handfuls kale or spinach
  • Fresh Cravings Kickin' Queso Cashew Dip for serving
Renee Spillane

Step 1

Place a large pot on medium high heat. Add your choice of protein, chili power, garlic powder, and onion powder. I like to rotate between tofu, tempeh, and turkey. Cook until the protein is starting to brown, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. If using protein that's not a direct meat substitute like beans or lentils, you can skip this step. 

Step 2

Once your meat is browned, pour in sweet potatoes and fire roasted tomatoes. Then, cover with the box of chicken or veggie broth. This order will prevent splashes. Cook at a simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Step 3

Rinse the cup of dried quinoa in water, then add to the pot. Cook at a simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent uneven cooking and sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Step 4

Add in black beans and corn, then cook at a simmer for another 15 minutes. At this point, everything is cooked. Continuing to simmer will simply let all the flavors meld together and make your chili thicker. The thicker you like your chili, the longer you should cook it. As it thickens, be sure to stir more frequently to prevent burning on the bottom. I've found that my ideal consistency takes about 1 hour of simmering, but I like my chili thick enough to eat with a fork...

Step 5

About 5 minutes before you're ready to eat, turn off the heat and stir in the greens of your choice. The residual heat will wilt down the greens without cooking them so hard that they dissolve. 

Step 6

Renee Spillane

When you're ready to serve, ladle into bowls and top with Fresh Cravings Kickin' Queso Cashew Dip for a vegan, cheesy, spicy topping. You can get the conventional version at Walmart or the organic version at Publix. I also like to add chopped cilantro, avocado, greek yogurt, tortilla chips, or vegan cornbread

Now that you know just how easy it is to make your own chili, you don't need to wait to go home to get some. Try making a big batch on Sunday to have as lunch or dinner throughout the week. Or, make it for all your friends on a chili Sunday afternoon. It's the perfect transition food between a hangover and Sunday night football.