I do love a one pot meal and this one pot quinoa chilli is one I make on the boat all the time where washing up is a tricky business and I really, REALLY don’t want lots of dirty dishes hanging around! It’s also quick which is a massive bonus when there are six hungry sailors to feed at the end of a long haul.

I’m in the process of planning the seasonal restock of the cupboards on board so I’m listing all our favourite meals and making sure I have the basics like tinned and packet stuff, oils, herbs and spices. I add the fresh stuff when we set sail or we make a mad dash for the nearest shop when we arrive in port or harbour.

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Safe in harbour at sunset.

One Pot Quinoa Chilli joins Baked Bean Curry and Pasta with Pesto on the ‘meals I can make if we’re too late for the shops’ list, because I can make it in its basic form from stuff I have in cupboards, stored under bunks or in the bilges!

One Pot Mexican Quinoa in an enamel pan.

It works for all of us because it is vegan but those who can’t cope without cheese can add it if they wish. I usually throw avocado on the top and serve it up with a big bowl of salad and a pile of warm tortillas – a bottle of beer or a glass of red are optional but help enormously if I’ve been sailing for twelve hours.

Family sailing on a calm day.

That’s me, at the helm, trying to find some wind on a VERY long sail last summer – I can’t wait to get back out there again once the exam season is finally over and my children are all released!

Anyhow, enough sailing pictures distraction – I’m supposed to be making this restock list! For this One Pot Quinoa Chilli I need to make sure I have a packet of quinoa, some tins of black beans, tomatoes and corn on board and I’ll need to make sure there are onions, garlic, chilli and spices or it will be a bit tasteless!

One Pot Quinoa Chilli ingredients together in the pot.

One Pot Mexican Quinoa

One Pot Mexican Quinoa

An easy one pot meal which can be jazzed up by adding chopped avocado, shredded lettuce and warm tortillas to wrap it all in!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic diced
  • 1 red chilli diced (remove the seeds if you have sensitive palates)
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 1 tin black beans drained (I can only find these in cartons at the moment, no idea why!)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin sweetcorn drained (if I’m at home I make this with frozen corn and use one cup)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat the oil in your pan and fry the onion gently for about 10 minutes until softened and beginning to brown.
  • Add the garlic, fresh chilli, paprika, chilli powder and cumin and fry gently for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the quinoa is cooked.
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And that’s it! Easy peasy one pot quinoa chilli, ready in no time. Chop up some avocado, shred some lettuce and warm up some tortillas so people can stuff them if they want to or tear and scoop if they don’t! Some grated vegan or dairy cheese on the side and some cashew sour cream and it’s bloomin’ perfect!

Quinoa chilli ready to eat, with added avocado and served with wine.

I’ve given quantities for four people, it’s easily halved or doubled with no ill effects. I usually double it if there are the six of us – sailors have MASSIVE appetites but, if there are any leftovers, it does make a very good cold salad on the following day.

Do you have a favourite veggie one pot meal to share with me? What should I have on standby in my cupboards?

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