quinoa chili

Oat Quinoa Chili Recipe. Gluten-Free

Oat Quinoa chili is the answer, when beans don’t agree with you.

For all of us whose love of beans remains, alas, unrequited, let me say you can make a perfect chili substituting oat, quinoa and rice in any proportion for the feisty beans, so you can have your chili and eat it too! Delicious and gluten-free!

Ground turkey is an ideal choice for  oat quinoa chili, as it is so lean and so full of flavor, but any good lean ground meat will be suitable.

You can easily make oat quinoa chili vegetarian.

It has lots of great flavor going for it even without the meat. If beans are no trouble, by all means use them—3 cups in all—but soak them overnight and cook the dish a little longer until the beans are tender. In a pinch, use good quality all-natural canned beans, 6 cups in all, drained and rinsed.



  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 ribs celery, peeled and cut in thirds
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, stems discarded
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in chunks


  • 1½ pounds ground turkey, beef, lamb, or bison (skip for an all-vegetarian dish or substitute 1 pound seitan, diced. In this case, top with shredded cheese, optional)
  • 4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground
  • ⅓ cup chili powder
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and strained
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice or barley
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a wide heavy pot.

Make the sofrito:

Coarsely grind in a food processor the onion, celery, garlic, parsley, cilantro, and red pepper, and add the ground mixture to the pot. Sauté until translucent.  Add the meat and sauté, breaking up any large chunks, until no longer pink.

Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, bay leaves, chili powder, oats, quinoa and lentils, and 12 cups (3 quarts) water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered for 1 hour. Add all remaining ingredients and cook 10 more minutes. Adjust texture and seasonings.

Serve alone or with the usual garnishes: white or brown rice, guacamole (recipe follows), or corn chips.

Makes 8 servings

Yield: Makes a dozen ample servings.

6 replies
  1. AILUY
    AILUY says:

    Hi Levana,

    I do not see lentils in the ingredient list. Is it suppose to be ‘1 cup steel-cut oats 1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and strained 1 cup short grain brown rice or barley’ PLUS 1 cup lentils or are the lentils instead of the rice? Also, do you think this can be served instead of a cholent for Shabbat? How would ou go about that?

    Thank you very, very much for all the delicious recipes.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Ailuy Good catch! No lentils. The ingredient list is correct. I will make the correction tomorrow.
      If I were making this for Shabbos, I would not use quinoa or steel cut oats. I would use grains that would stand better to the ling cooking time: whole oats, whole spelt, barley etc

  2. shira
    shira says:

    Hi Levana,

    I have your book “The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen” and was going to make the Oat Quinoa Turkey Chili recipe for Shabbat. But in the book (and online) it says to add sugar, but no where on the ingredient list does it mention sugar. Should I add anyway? And how much?

    Thank you!


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