Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili

I’m currently obsessed with quinoa.  Not that it’s new to me, it’s just been a while since I’ve cooked with it.  
And can I just say this chili knocked dinner out of the park? Hubby loved it. And even my picky two year old liked it.  This Quinoa Chicken Chili is thick and hearty and packed with protein.  It’s just the meal to warm up to on a chilly fall night and one the entire family will love.  
And you get to cook it in the crock pot. Fix it and forget. Dump everything in in the morning, watch re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy all day run errands, do laundry, nurse a baby a billion times, pick up Lego’s, sweep toddler crumbs off the floor….you know, mom stuff.  

You don’t have to cook the quinoa, just rinse it before you put it in the crock pot and it’ll cook up perfectly!

By the time you’re done with all the mom stuff, or work stuff, or whatever you’re filling your day with, when dinner time rolls around, it’ll be ready without any effort from you.  My kind of dinner.  

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili
  1. 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  2. 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  3. 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
  4. 2 (16 oz) can black bean
  5. 1 (15 oz) corn, drained
  6. 2 1/2-3 cup chicken stock
  7. 2 large chicken breasts
  8. 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  9. 1 tsp minced onion
  10. 1 tsp garlic
  11. 1 tsp cumin
  12. 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  13. 1 tsp chili powder (taco seasoning is good too)
  1. Season with salt and pepper
  2. Place everything in a 6 qt slow cooker and cook for 5-7 hours on low. Remove chicken, shred it and return to slow cooker. Keep warm until ready to serve. Garnish with cheese or sour cream.
  1. **to make this vegetarian leave out the chicken.
  2. **leave out the crushed red pepper if you don't like just a teeny bit of kick. like i said, my two year ate it and wasn't too hot for him.
Sweet Treats & More



  1. says

    I made this for dinner tonight and everyone really liked it! The recipe makes a ton. My crock pot was full to the top. I fed my family of four and was able to freeze 8 single portion containers of it. I wasn’t sure if the beans were supposed to be drained and rinsed, but I did that. Turns out my crock pot would have overflowed if I had dumped the beans and their liquid in.

  2. says

    I made this for dinner tonight and everyone really liked it! The recipe makes a ton. My crock pot was full to the top. I fed my family of four and was able to freeze 8 single portion containers of it. I wasn’t sure if the beans were supposed to be drained and rinsed, but I did that. Turns out my crock pot would have overflowed if I had dumped the beans and their liquid in.

  3. Pam H says

    Made this last night and it was a huge hit.. I cut it in half (but kept all the chicken). Only thing I would change is to add more quinoa.. I made some on the side.. oh -and a dollop of greek yogurt was perfect with it, too! Will make again and again

  4. Anonymous says

    I made this over the weekend and it’s really good. Next time, I won’t be adding as much chicken stock, though–it was way too liquidy when time was up so I had to run the crockpot for another hour with the lid off to thicken it up. Great recipe, though, and it helped me get rid of the cup of quinoa I had left in the cabinet.

  5. Anonymous says

    I made a modified version of this recipe. I didn’t have corn and only used 1 can of beans. I also used less than 2 cups of chicken stock because there wasn’t as much in the pot. My only recommendation would be to add more chili seasoning. I really didn’t taste any of it, and mostly just got a tomato flavor. Otherwise this is a great version of chili! Very hearty, but healthy!

  6. says

    Me (and my picky boyfriend) both loved this! I doubled the spices and gave even more red pepper to give it a kick. And used .5 lb of beef instead of chicken. So good! It’s going in the rotation!

  7. Anonymous says

    I wish the recipe would have specified that the quinoa needed to be cooked first. I guess we will see if it turns out.

  8. says

    I am making this tomorrow and will be using dried beans that I soaked overnight but have not cooked yet. Will let everyone know how it turns out. Can’t wait.

  9. says

    I made the chili with dried beans today and it turned out great though it took a good 9-10 hours to get the beans tender on medium heat in the crock pot. To compensate for the beans needing more liquid, I used a full 32 oz. carton of stock and the thickness of the chili was perfect when done. I soaked the beans overnight in water then added one cup of kidney beans and one cup of black beans to the chili. Hope this helps others.

  10. Anonymous says

    I made this four times and love it. I make it on a Sunday and have it for lunch all week. its healthy and taste fabulous! I add four teaspoons of the crushed pepper, i like it spicy.. Yummo !

  11. Leah says

    Any suggestions for side dishes to serve with this? I want to make it for some company I have coming this weekend.

  12. Megan says

    oh no I didn’t cook the quinoa first.. hope it works out anyways.. :( maybe i’ll through it into a big pot and simmer?!

  13. Lisa says

    This recipe sounds great, I’m excited to try it! I often mix my chili with quinoa, but I had always cooked the quinoa on the side. Can you put quinoa into any slow cooker recipe? Would you just add in extra liquid to cook the quinoa?

  14. Paige says

    I have made this recipe several times and, I have to say, it is probably one of my favorite recipes ever! It is mid summer and that does not stop me from making it. Easy to throw together, healthy, and no heating up the kitchen. Most of all it tastes great! Thanks for posting this.

  15. Andrea says

    Loved this recipe, thanks for sharing! The only modifications I made were to add a medium onion, diced, and I upped the spices to a tablespoon or so of each. First time I’ve ever cooked using quinoa…it was easy and yummy!

  16. Emma says

    I just made this recipe pretty close to what the recipe called for. I added carrots, I used an extra can of black beans in place of one of the chicken breasts, i didn’t use crushed tomatoes (i only used diced), I used more onion because I love onion. I also used 2 cups chicken stock and 2/3 cup water. I also added more of each spice as well as extra spices like parsley and basil. I like flavor but not spicy. I used my MyFitnessPal app to calculate the calories per serving if it splits down to eight servings and it’s around 280-300 cal per serving I would say. And it was so YUM!


  17. Vicky Kelley says

    I have been making this recipe since June, and I love it! The bell pepper was not listed when I found the recipe, so I’ve been making it without. It is so easy. I have shared it with my co-workers who are also loving it. It freezes well, so we tend to bring it for lunches (even in Florida in the summer). One thing I noticed the last time I made it. Since I put the quinoa in first, some of the other ingredients blocked the chicken broth from getting to it very well. My quinoa was almost burned to the bottom of the crock pot. Next time, I will put the broth in second with other ingredients after. Delicious.

  18. says

    Made this tonight for the family and they LOVED it! Even my very picky 2 year old asked for another bowl. I tricked him at first and told him it was salsa … guess it worked! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  19. says

    I have this in the crockpot right now. If anyone needs the nutritional value, I did calculate it out. Just let me know and I would be happy to forward it to you.

      • says

        Hi Laura:

        Here is the info for nutrition:
        Serving size: 1 1/2 C
        Calories: 317
        Fat: 5.9g
        Cholesterol 37.5
        Carbs: 44.5
        Protien: 22.7

        If there is something else you need let me know. As a person with T1D, I am always looking for the carb counts, but if you need something else…I will see if I can get it for you.

  20. WendyM says

    Hi- Know it’s an old recipe, but I still wanted to comment, since I’ve made this twice in the last 30 days! I added a diced zucchini, a can of diced chilies, and some chipotle paste, and used Mexi-corn instead of plain canned corn when I made it. My husband and toddler twins all loved it, so much that we made it again. Thanks!

  21. Cindy says

    Just made this. Soooo good. Topped it with sour cream, cheese and tortilla chips. Thank you for the wonderful recipe Kristy! :)

  22. Melissa says

    I’ve made this recipe a dozen times since I discovered it, and I make it in batches and freeze it. I throw it all into the crock pot still frozen and it cooks up wonderfully! I’ve made it for my freezer-meal swap group and it received rave reviews and many requests to share the recipe I add some chilies to kick it up for myself, but it’s a wonderful recipe! Thanks so much for sharing.

  23. Ali says

    This was pretty good. I doubled the spices and also added some cayenne and I used a variety of chili powders (ancho, chipotle, regular). Cooked it about 9 hours because of the ole work day, and the chicken was still pretty tender, I just shredded it while it was still in the pot because convenience. This would also be a really good side dish without the chicken. Will make again, thanks


  1. […] 26. Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili If you’re a fan of quinoa like we are, you’ve probably tried several quinoa recipes by now, but perhaps haven’t thought to make a chili with it. It’s great for adding texture to the chili, as well as an array of vitamins and minerals, extra protein, and a bunch of fiber. These are all things that will help with your digestion and overall well-being. It’s super easy to make the quinoa since you just have to rinse it and add it with everything else. At the same time you’re getting additional protein from chicken breast, and a cast of side ingredients all helping to create the finished product. […]

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