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.


    Leave your comments here...


  1. I would love to make this for my freezer swap groups (about 18 families between both groups), but I’m not sure I can afford so much quinoa, would rice work?

  2. I’m going to pre bake the chicken and just make it on the stove… hope it works!!

  3. I’ve kept this chili recipe in the back of my mind for a while and I finally made it last night for a family gathering. It is WONDERFUL!!!! Having fibromyalgia makes my tastebuds extremely sensitive to anything spicy, so I was a bit nervous about it. I halved the amount of chili pepper, omitted the crushed red peppers altogether, and replaced the can of tomatoes with chilies with 1/2 cup more chicken broth and 1/2 cup mild Pace picante sauce (it’s a good flavor without the spiciness). It was perfect!!! Lots of good flavor, but it didn’t kill my mouth with spiciness!! Thanks for sharing this recipe – it’s a keeper for sure!!

  4. Jennifer R-F says

    I am going to add this recipe to the myfitnesspal database if it’s ok with you… I’ll give you credit in the description 🙂

  5. Oh my word, this is delicious. I just made it and it blew my mind. So simple and tasty.

  6. Quinoa in chili? This I have to try. Quinoa is a fairly new ingredient for me and I low finding tasty ways to use it.

  7. This looks awesome!!!! I LOVE the idea of a quinoa chili! I love finding new ways to make quinoa, and this looks so delicious and hearty! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  8. yummy! I love chicken chili (or taco soup, as the case may be) and I had my first quinoa chili this past weekend and it totally changed my view on quinoa!

    I’m so glad you linked this version up to mouthwatering mondays! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  9. This looks delicious! We will definitely be trying for dinner next week! Thanks for linking up to Motivation Monday!

  10. Made this yesterday on the stop top as I didn’t have time for the slow cooker. I loosely followed the directions and ingredients and used it as a great base! Everyone loved the final product. I added red lentils and doubled the quinoa. I also added diced carrots, celery and fresh garlic. I used 1/2 cup salsa instead of tomatoes with green chilies and used fresh end of season garden tomatoes. Very tasty!

  11. Awesome! Thanks for doing that!

  12. I’m making it right now, but I left the quinoa out for now, and I’ll add it during the last hour of cooking. It only takes 20 minutes to cook on the stovetop and I don’t want it to turn to much. I also added some chopped celery, onion and red and green peppers to mine since I had them on hand. You can never have too many veggies! It smells great.

  13. If you were using already cooked chicken but everything else the same how long would you cook it for, do you think? Thanks.

  14. Just made this last night and it was a HUGE HIT! My normally quinoa-avoiding husband finished two bowls. : )

  15. Thanks for this recipe! I absolutely loved it. Even my dad did, and he’s the pickiest eater ever! I cooked it for seven hours on low and it was perfect, the chicken shredded so well. Added cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and ate it with tortilla chips. Very delicious and filling!

  16. OMG- YUM!!! I used red quinoa, which has a little more oomph. My husband (A very discerning chili guy) says “Enough, no more searching. This is the recipe”. So thanks! I’ve been trying to find a chili he likes for almost 7 years!

  17. If I already have chicken cooked could I just cut the cooking time in half or does the quinoa need that long to cook?

  18. Meghan varner says

    Hello!! This looks amazing! I am interested in making it, but I need to know the nutritional information. I realize it might change by brand of ingredients, so I was wondering how many servings this recipe should make. Thanks!!

  19. This chili looks absolutely amazing! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing it at the Keeping It Crockin’ Cool Crock Pot Week Link Party!

  20. Yum! This looks great! I need more recipes where I can use quinoa, its so good for you!

  21. I made this for dinner tonight! So easy and so yummy!!

  22. Jennifer R-F says

    I made this tonight and it was awwweeesomeee! Big hit in this family for sure. Will be making it again and again- especially in the winter/fall. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  23. For those wondering the nutritional content:
    S & W – Premium Organic Black Beans – Canned, 2 container (1 1/2 cup (130g) ea.) 660 132 0 48 510 6
    Our Family – Whole Kernel Corn (No Salt Added), 1 3/4 cup 210 32 5 7 35 25
    Rotel – Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, 312.5 g (1/2 cup) 63 13 0 1 950 8
    Hunt’s – 100% Natural Diced Tomatoes-Net Carbs, 1 container (3 1/2 cups ea.) 210 42 0 7 1,540 21
    Pacific Natural Foods – Organic Free Range Chicken Broth (Low Sodum), 3 cup 30 3 0 6 210 0
    Market Pantry – Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenderloins, 19 oz. 428 0 2 105 903 0
    Add Ingredient
    Total: 1,601 222 7 174 4,148 60
    Per Serving: 1601 222 7 174 4148 60

    I used the above ingredients to make this and came out with a total of 1601 Calories, 222g carbs, 7g fat, 174g protein, 4148 sodium.

    So you’d just have to weigh it out by how many ounces it weighs (still cooking for me) to figure out the nutritional content per ounce. I will update when it’s done if I remember.

    • that’s without the quinoa, I didn’t add that as they’re all different, so you’d have to throw that in as well.

  24. How could I do this without a crock pot! It sounds so good

  25. Counting calories here too… I put the ingredients into myfitnesspal.com and came up with 393cal/serving, assuming 6 servings. I put in 18oz of chicken breast. I haven’t actually made it yet but am planning it for this Friday when the ‘rents come into town! Oh, and this calorie count does NOT include any toppings, just the basic recipe as it’s listed here. I did just save it to MFP as a public recipe if anyone wants to use it!

  26. I made this last night and it was AMAZING! So easy and full of flavor! I added half a tablespoon of chickeb boullion! Even my daughter who is the pickiest eater loved it! Thanks for the receipe! Cant wait to make it again!

  27. Just curious, are the canned goods drained or undrained? Planning on making this tonight. Looks great!

  28. Heather-
    any tips for cooking this stove-tip instead of slow-cooker?

  29. Making this right now it’s been on low for 5 hours and now I am changing it to high for another 1-2 hours since the chicken isn’t entirely cooked. It smells amazing, it was so easy to throw together! Any suggestions with adding more flavor? I did exactly the ingredients but I feel it is a little bland for my liking! I want a bit more flavor 🙂 thank you

  30. Jamie Peters says

    You asked about other quinoa in the slow cooker recipes. We make a quinoa lentil stew spiced with garam masala. Also contains chickpeas, turnip, and sweet potato. Here’s the recipe: http://healthyslowcooking.com/2012/01/31/slow-cooker-indian-spiced-chickpea-quinoa-stew/

  31. This recipe was amazing with Morningstar Crumbles too, thanks for sharing!

  32. So absolutely awesome! I love love love this made for the rents and my man! Easy as pie and delicious! Thank you so much!!!!!

  33. Hey Heather! I made this today and it totally rocks!

    Happy blogging!

    Leigh @ CraftyInCrosby.com

  34. Heather, we made this last night and it was SOOOOOOOOO fantastic! Our college-age son called today and wanted to bring some vegetarian friends home for dinner tonight, so I’m making a second batch, using vegetable broth and no chicken… You ROCK!! Thank you for a easy, tasty, affordable crock-pot meal that will live in my recipe book FOREVER~

  35. Sooo delicious! I was skeptical at first as the quinoa basically turned into mush… But not at all a bad mush.. Just like a hearty thickener. I am pregnant and have a very limited appetite so I am so thrilled to did this healthy protein packed meal! My husband and 3 year old son loved it too. My 3 year old raced us to see who could finish it first and he won! That makes this recipe a winner for me!

  36. Would also love to know nutrition facts. Looks super healthy but Im counting my calories and curious how many per serving.

  37. Georgette says

    Can I brown the chicken first, or will that leave the chicken too dry when the dish is done?

  38. This might be a dumb question but do I use cooked or uncooked quinoa?

  39. Can’t wait to try this it looks delicious!!!!!

  40. amber mcdonald says

    Do you have the nutrition facts for this? It looks delicious but I’m doing a calorie counting diet.

  41. Sounds amazing and I’m planning to make it tonight at girls night! One of the girls is vegan so I’d like to make a small crock pot vegan. Any thoughts on using tofu instead of chicken and substituting water for chicken stock? Or any ideas on making a yummy vegan version? Thanks!

    • Hi Christi – I have no experience with tofu in the slow cooker. I’m wondering if you could just add more beans? And I’d use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. I hope they like it!

  42. About how many people does this serve? Also, could I substitute quinoa for white rice?

  43. Made this and it was super easy!! It turned out great. We used 4-5 boneless thighs (didnt have breasts) and we would probably add more chicken & more quinoa next time. Taste was good and the garnish of cheese/sour cream/and avocado put it over the top and are a must! I’d say it serves 8-12. We are 2, and I gave some away and still have leftovers!

  44. I pinned the slow cooker quinoa chicken chili- it looks great!

  45. About how many people does this feed? Wanting to make it tonight, but for our family of 8 (2 adults, 6 kids all age 12 and under). Hoping to know if I should double it or not. 🙂

  46. I am super excited to try out this recipe! I have a quick question, could I use ground turkey instead of the chicken? If so, would putting the raw turkey meat in it be ok?

  47. I made this over the weekend and it was soooo good! I added more chili flakes because we like spicy food. The quinoa was a nice addition to the normal taco soup I usually make 🙂

  48. We had this tonight for dinner and my son said it was the best chili he has ever had. Thank you for the great recipe!

  49. I made this for dinner tonight and it was AWESOME!! So easy to put together and leave in the crockpot all day while I was at work! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  50. Celia Husmann says

    Looks awesome. We love quinoa in this house! Might just make it for tonight… mmmm

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