October 17, 2016

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili Recipe

This Slow Cooker Quinoa Chicken Chili is easy, filling and delicious. It's a great gluten-free recipe and you can leave out the chicken if you want it to be vegetarian!Pin it here

I’m not sure whether I’d call this Quinoa Chicken Chili or Quinoa Taco Soup – either way, I’d call it  scrumptious. I’ve never made quinoa in a savory way – so I was excited to give it a try and it didn’t disappoint. Quinoa is very high in protein, so it goes great in this chicken chili to help give it some heft and substance.

I love that it was cooked in the Crock Pot – which means it only took me about 15 minutes to toss together this morning and the slow cooker did all the work.


1 cup of quinoa, rinsed

One (1) 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (you could use crushed)

One (1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)

Two (2) 16 oz cans of black beans, rinsed, drained

One (1) 15 oz can of corn, drained

3 Cups chicken stock

2 large chicken breasts, frozen or thawed (cook longer if frozen)

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp crushed red pepper

2 tsp chili powder

This has a nice little kick to it, but I didn’t think it was too spicy. If you’re nervous about spice, reduce the red pepper and the chili powder by half.



1.) Toss everything into slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-7 hours on high. I added frozen chicken breasts to mine and cooked on high for about six hours. As long as the chicken is cooked – it’s done!

2.) Remove chicken and shred it with two forks. Return to slow cooker.

3.) Top with cheese, sour cream, avocados – whatever sounds good to you! I’m thinking the next day it would probably thicken up enough to eat in a whole wheat tortilla.


Have you made a quinoa dish in the slow cooker? I’d love to hear about it!

Did you know you can also cook quinoa in the rice cooker?  Here are some other Quinoa recipes:

This recipe was inspired by this recipe from Sweet Treats More.


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  1. If anyone has adapted this to an instant pot, I would love to have the directions. Thanks.

  2. I have made this recipe in the slow cooker and love it! I was wondering if it can be made in the instant pot?

  3. My kids LOVE this recipe. As soon as we get the first snap of cold, they start asking for it. I usually make it with 1/2 the spice (kid-friendlly) and my husband and I just add japelenos to our bowls to give it the extra kick. Definitely tastes best topped with cheese, sour cream and avocado slices, but if you are dairy intolerant like me… just add extra avocado and jalepenos! I’m about to make a batch right now and can’t wait for dinner!

  4. My family loves this chili, including my four year old. The recipe is perfect for my standard sized crockpot, and makes enough to feed a crowd, or the extra can be frozen for future meals. I did double the spices, as I often find chili recipes lack in flavor, and it was a hit!

  5. This is a great family favourite here. All my kids like it, even the 2 yr olds. We add a can of green chillis as well. 👍 Makes so much, enough to share or freeze another meals worth.

  6. Hi, I just made this recipe using what I had on hand, including about 2 lbs of ground turkey, fried up with green pepper, and onion(instead of the chicken), a large can of tomato sauce (instead of the tomato with chilis), and beef broth (instead of chicken broth). Everything else was the same. It turned out awesome!!! Probably some of the best chili I have ever made! Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂

  7. Anyone know how many this recipe serves and about what the serving size is? Thanks!

  8. This recipe lacks taste and does not fit in a standard crock pot. It needs an extra large 7 qt crock pot. This should have been stated in the recipe. Don’t waste your time with this one. It makes a huge amount and was a waste of money, unfortunately.

    • You are missing out. This is some of the best chili I’ve ever made. If you don’t have a big enough crock pot halve the recipe!

    • This was some of the best chili I’ve ever had! Not a waste of money at all because it is super inexpensive to make and sooo easy!!! If it’s more than you want then 1/2 the recipe! Geez!

  9. does anyone know how many calories would be in this? thanks

  10. Trying this tomorrow! So excited! We love chili, looking forward to something a little healthier!

  11. What is another substitution for the corn?

  12. Shelby Thompson says

    This is my fall football go-to when we have people over! I tried it last year when we the hubby gave little notice that “we” were having people over and I needed to spend my time cleaning instead of cooking. It was a hit! My husband is in medical school so a lot of the people that we hang out with are more health conscious (me, I’ll take a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts please 🙂 ), and they all loved that it was so simple and filling!

  13. How many servings -what is serving size thanks

  14. Jennifer Lamontagne says

    Has anyone tried freezing this recipe?

  15. Jennifer Dunn says

    Made this recipe today as I had all of the ingredients easily at hand. I was able to put it together quickly and cooked it on high for about 4 hours (my newer crock pot sure does get HOT!). I also added a teaspoon of chipotle powder, which added a little smokiness. This was DELICIOUS! My new favorite chili recipe; thanks so much for sharing!

  16. I am trying this right now except I lean ground beef, kidney beans instead of black, and beef stock instead of chicken stock. (mostly because it was what I had on hand)

  17. Great recipe! I am also new to using Quinoa and I was nervous this wouldn’t have much flavor but it was delicious! I think it is even better on the 2nd day than the first. The only thing I would tweak personally is the amount of tomatoes used (maybe only 1 can and a little more broth) only because I get such bad heart burn. This might be my new favorite crock-pot meal though, so easy to make, I literally set it before I went to bed and woke up to lunch for the week :). Great job and thank you for sharing this yummy recipe.

  18. can you make this not using canned items? Looks good! Thanks!

  19. Any idea how many adults this would feed?

  20. Just tried this last night… it was great! Even my husband liked it (and eating healthy is definitely not one of his highest priorities). Thank you!

  21. I made this last night. It was AMAZING. Made a couple of changes, used only 1 can of tomatoes, 1/2 the chili powder, and added 1 tsp of smoky paprika. I also threw in some pickled jalapenos. I also used thighs instead of breasts. Thank you for this amazing recipe. I will be eating this a lot! So healthy too.

  22. Has anyone figured out what the calorie count for this is (per serving) already? I can sit down & do it but I thought if someone already knew then that would be easier!

  23. Do I need to cook the quinoa before I put it in the crockpot?

  24. I’m new to quinoa. Do you cook it first then add to crock pot? Or does it cook in the crock pot?

  25. I’m trying this out today for my Bible study group! I work 10 hours though, so do you think it’ll be okay to leave it on the warm setting for 2 hours after the 8 hours on low? Should I come home after the 8 hours to shred the chicken and check on it? (I’m a total crock pot newb.) 🙂

  26. Wow! This is amazing always looking for quinoa recipes, this is a keeper!

  27. Can I freeze the leftovers?

  28. Can I make this in a 4qt crock-pot? Will it all fit?

  29. This was a great meal, and I like that the grain is already in the chili. We usually put it over brown rice but this worked great! My husband asked what all the squiggly things were (the quinoa) and while I could taste it a little he said it was fine (he doesn’t like quinoa on its own.) Thanks for sharing.

  30. This was terrific and a very hearty winter meal. I put it together in just a few minutes before I left for work. My husband came home and shredded the chicken, which was tender and not at all dried out after cooking all day. We will add more spice next time, but that’s the only thing we’ll change. Perfect for an easy gluten-free dinner with lots of leftovers to take to work. Thanks for sharing it!

    • I agree that I will add more spice next time. I actually used a tablespoon of chili powder and a lot of minced garlic, but it just didn’t have enough flavor for me. So I added salt, pepper, and garlic powder at the end and it’s better. But it still tastes much more like Brunswick Stew to me than it does chili. Not a bad thing…just not what I was expecting.

  31. Made this today and it came out awesome! Simple and good!

  32. Can I use chicken broth instead?! Does stock have to be made or can I purchase it at a local grocery store?!

  33. I’m a newbie when it comes to Quinoa but have been DYING to try it! However I feel like there are SO many different types?! What kind did you use for this recipe?!

  34. Do you think I could leave out the corn, or is that an ingredient I wouldn’t want to skip?

  35. I made this on our vacation at a cottage my family rented…there were 5 of us and there was plenty to go around. I got a lot of compliments and I’m making it again this weekend. I skipped the crushed red pepper cus I don’t like spicey stuff but it still had plenty of flavor. We topped it with shredded cheddar cheese and it was just amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  36. I’ve made this recipe a few times in the past and it is delicious but produces WAY too much for just me and my husband. It also doesn’t help that my husband doesn’t seem to ever eat leftovers. Has anyone cooked this in the crock pot and then cooled and froze portions? Wondering how it would stand up in the freezer after being cooked. Thanks!

    • Candace McMasters says

      Yes I have made this a few times and I froze half of the chili and it was just fine and tasted the same! Hope this helps!

    • I froze it in small Ziploc bags and would just microwave it from frozen when I needed a quick lunch or dinner. It still taste just as good

  37. Alexandra says

    It is my second time trying quinoa. I have never cooked it before and man one cup makes like a ton of little quinoa in the crockpot. I feel like I should have cut it in half because it literally takes over the whole crockpot. I haven’t tried this yet, but I am excited to eat some later!

  38. Just put the lid on the crock pot. I used 2 1/2 c veggie broth and skipped the chicken. Also one 28 oz can Rotel and a smaller can of fire roasted tomatoes because that’s what I had on hand. This has plenty of protein without the meat. It’s a perfect vegan dish. Or it will be until I put a dab of greek yogurt top.

  39. Made this two days ago but instead of apices, I substituted a can of chipootle peppers in adobo sauce, thinned out with more stock and water and added more beans. Love it! So easy I could actually do before work.

    • Any idea of the calorie count?

      • I put mine in my fitness pal, and said it would be 6 servings (my boyfriend eats a lot), each serving 399 cals. I think it is probably more like 10 servings, at 239 cals per servings. My whole crock is 2400 cals. So I guess however you divide it up 🙂

  40. Will be making this tomorrow no doubt. I love quinoa!!

  41. I made this today, with a few tweaks. It was so good! It ended up cooking really quickly so I had a bowl for lunch, and am really looking forward to having it again for dinner if that tells you anything. Would you mind if I share this recipe on my blog? I will of course credit it to you and link back to your post. I only put recipes on my blog that we love and this one definitely qualifies.

  42. In the crock pot, will be done in time for dinner 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe .

  43. I just put everything in the crockpot! I can’t wait for it to be finished! I did tweek the recipe a little, but I hope I didn’t over do it! I added onions, I did 1 can black beans, 1 can kidney beans, more like 3 tbsp of crushed red pepper, less vegetable stock, and 2 10oz can of rotel, 1 14.5oz can of diced tomato. I didn’t want the chili to be too watery and I love spice! So I will write back when it’s finished in 6 hours! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! What a great way to incorporate protein in your diet! I just started using a crockpot and it’s the best invention in the world!

  44. I made this a few nights ago for my family of five. Huge hit. There were no leftovers at all. Normally the same amount of any soup in the crockpot would have enough leftovers for lunch. I added more of the seasons to taste like any cook does. The first time that I have made quinoa where the family didn’t turn their noses up. Thank you!

  45. This recipe looks amazing and I want to try it today, but I was wondering how I could make it this using leftover cooked quinoa that I already have in the fridge.. Would I just add it toward the end when the chili is mostly cooked, and would I have to change the amount of liquid ingredients I use in the recipe (such as chicken broth) since I won’t be added uncooked quinoa for it to be absorbed in?

    • Hmmm, that’s a good question Kayla? I don’t know the answer. I’d hate to recommend one thing and have it ruined. You could try adding it toward the end, but it may not have the flavor because it will have already absorbed the water it needs? Does that make sense?

    • I don’t see a problem with adding cooked. It gets quite thick and I ended up thinning out with about 5 cups of liquid. I would use the same amount of stock as recipe calls for and add the cooked.

  46. How many does it cook for?? I’m looking to make it for my 6 room mates

  47. Did you cook the Quinoa first?

  48. Just made this for the first time. Couldn’t have been easier. This will be a staple now for us. Mmmmmmm

  49. LOVE LOVE LOVE! I make this all the time. My husband loves it, too. I add more like 3 or 4 chicken breasts to it but otherwise stay true to the recipe and it’s a big hit. Always have leftovers and it freezes well, too. I’m on weight watchers and calculated it out to 7 points a (big) serving. THANK YOU!

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