Smoky Black Bean & Quinoa Chili Bowl

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Red pepper flakes, lime wedges, and cilantro next to vegan chili bowls

When everyone in the test kitchen agrees a new recipe will be on dinner rotation, it’s a winner! This hearty and nourishing chili bowl is inspired by the Chipotle Chili Bowl at Harlow in Portland. We love them, and we love this bowl! 

Not only is this plant-based meal full of fiber and protein — it’s also easy to assemble and perfect for meal prep! Let us show you how it’s done!

Kale, chili, cashew jalapeno sauce, quinoa, maple syrup, olive oil, and limes

This EPIC vegan bowl begins with the smoky chipotle black bean chili made with onion, bell pepper, garlic, spices, chipotle peppers, broth, and the main ingredient: black beans!

Dutch oven of vegan black bean chili

While that’s cooking, there’s time to prepare a batch of your favorite grain (we recommend quinoa or brown rice), blend up the cashew jalapeño sauce, and prepare a quick kale salad by massaging it with lime juice, maple syrup, and olive oil.

Massaging kale with lime juice, olive oil, and maple syrup

It’s a few moving parts, but they’re all laid out in an ideal order to make the recipe approachable and well worth the effort! All that’s left is assembling the components into bowls and topping with optional sliced avocado and fresh cilantro.

Hands around a bowl of chili next to other ingredients to make vegan chili bowls

We hope you LOVE this bowl! It’s:

Super satisfying
Fiber-rich (25+ grams per serving!)
& SO flavorful!

It’s the perfect meal when you’re craving something flavorful yet nourishing. Bonus? The chili, grains (quinoa or rice), and cashew sauce can all be made a few days ahead, making it perfect for meal prep!

More Nourishing Vegan Grain Bowls

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Overhead shot of a vegan chili bowl with black bean chili, quinoa, avocado, massage kale, and cashew sauce

Smoky Black Bean & Quinoa Chili Bowl

Hearty and nourishing black bean and quinoa chili bowl with big flavor! Fiber- and protein-rich, SO satisfying, and perfect for meal prep!
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of our smoky black bean quinoa chili bowl
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 (Bowls)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month (chili and quinoa only)
Does it keep? 3-4 Days (stored separately)




  • 1 small bundle curly kale, de-stemmed and chopped (1 small bundle yields ~6 cups or 150 g)
  • 2-3 Tbsp lime juice (1 small lime yields ~2-3 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp olive oil

FOR SERVING optional

  • Avocado, sliced
  • Cilantro


  • CHILI: Prepare chipotle black bean chili using this recipe.
  • GRAINS: While the chili is cooking, prepare quinoa (or brown rice).
  • SAUCE: While the grains are cooking, prepare the jalapeño cashew sauce.
  • KALE: Add chopped kale to a large mixing bowl and top with lime juice, maple syrup, and olive oil. Then massage with clean hands for about 1 minute to tenderize and infuse it with flavor.
  • To serve, divide chili, grains, and massaged kale between serving bowls and top with avocado and/or cilantro (both optional). Drizzle with jalapeño cashew sauce. There may be leftover sauce and chili depending on your preferred portion sizes and ratios.
  • Leftovers will keep stored separately in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Chili and grains are freezer friendly for up to 1 month.



*Chili, grains, and sauce can all be made in advance, making this recipe very meal prep-friendly!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with two-thirds of the chili (we like freezing any extra servings), half of the jalapeño cashew sauce (great on tacos, enchiladas, and more), and the lesser amounts where ranges are provided.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 584 Carbohydrates: 91 g Protein: 25.8 g Fat: 14.6 g Saturated Fat: 2.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 619 mg Potassium: 1440 mg Fiber: 25.4 g Sugar: 11.6 g Vitamin A: 613 IU Vitamin C: 76 mg Calcium: 273 mg Iron: 8.4 mg

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My Rating:

  1. EJ says

    Made this with a big batch of cilantro lime brown rice and will be happily eating it for the next couple days. Love the cashew sauce too. Thank you!

  2. Jordan Small says

    This was an AMAZING recipe! 10/10 – I did increase the spices while making. I used 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce instead of 2, I also used about 7 garlic cloves (I love garlic) and it was just great. Very flavorful and delicious. You MUST also make the Jalapeno Cashew Sauce. That was just an added flavor bust. So good. It also keeps very well into the next week if made mid-week. Will Absolutely make this again. I love the Minimalist Baker! So glad I found this site :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Jordan! Thanks so much for your kind words and support! xo

  3. James W says

    I followed this to the letter (chili and sauce recipes) and it did not disappoint. It’s hearty but also light, bright and very flavorful! The chipotle gave the chili a nice smoky depth and umami. It’s so nutritious and vitamin-packed as well. Will definitely be adding this to my repertoire! TY

  4. Teri says

    Sooooo good! You can make it as hot and spicy as you want. I subbed shredded cabbage for the kale and added some cilantro and avocado to the cream sauce. Instant favorite.

  5. Gina Ramson says

    I made the Banana Muffins in your first cookbook. They are so delish. I did not follow the recipe to the T because I was missing some ingredients but my subs worked perfectly.
    I just wanted to ask you if you would please use a different font for the next cookbook. I have to get out my magnifying glass with my glasses on my face as the fractional ingredient listed is so small I am unable to see it and so just guess. So even with my glasses on and a magnifying glass it is a struggle. I use other cookbooks all the time without any issues so I know it is the font style that is the issue for me. I guess if you have not any other feedback re this you can ignore my idea. Thank you for some very yummy recipes.