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Easy Buckwheat Chili

Let’s bring back the comforting bowls!

There is nothing cozier than a warm, spicy chili to fight those dark and cold winter days. I mean, it’s already dark at 4 p.m., and we have 32°F on most days. No doubt I’m craving hearty and satisfying meals! I wanted to make a chili with more grains than beans this time, so I made it with one of my favorite grains: buckwheat groats. Let me tell you; it exceeded my expectations. Buckwheat makes this chili thick, slightly chunky, and delicious.

It is definitely becoming a regular here this winter, and I have no doubt it will become one for you, too. It’s that kind of recipe that is too delicious, considering how easy it is. Sometimes, the easy way is the best way. This is the perfect example.

Easy Buckwheat Chili

This 1-pot chili starts with the onions and garlic that are fried until golden brown.

Then, you add the diced vegetables: celery, carrots, and red bell peppers. Sautée for a few minutes, and add the buckwheat groats, spices, water, and diced tomatoes, or tomato purée, depending on what you have on hand. I tried both, and each came out delicious. Diced tomatoes will give you a more chunky texture, while tomato purée will give more tomato flavor to the chili.

Buckwheat Chili Bowls

After about 20 minutes, the buckwheat should be cooked. It should be soft but not mushy. At this time, you can stir in the cooked red kidney beans and some nutritional for a subtle cheesy flavor. Transfer to serving bowls, drizzle with lime juice, a few slices of avocado, and a spoonful of coconut cream!

What I love about this chili is that it reheats very well, makes a big batch, and your dinner is ready for the next 3 to 4 days.

Easy Buckwheat Chili

This buckwheat chili is a comforting food par excellence. It’s spicy, hearty and becomes your best friend on cold winter nights. Now take your favorite bowl, fill it generously with this buckwheat chili, add your toppings, and you’re ready to go!

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Easy Buckwheat Chili

Easy Heartwarming Buckwheat Chili
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Easy Buckwheat Chili

Easy Buckwheat Chili

4.28 from 11 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Comforting 1-pot chili that is perfectly spiced, smoky, and a bit sweet. Easy to make and heartwarming!
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 30 minutes
Total Time : 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 329 kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery about 1 stick
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot from 1 carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper from 1 red pepper
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes or 1 and 1/2 cup puréed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 15-ounce can cooked red beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • toppings: sliced avocado, fresh parsley, coconut cream, tortilla chips


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly until onions are soft and start to caramelize.
  • Add the chopped celery, carrot, and red bell pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the buckwheat groats, water, diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano, salt, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Check regularly to make sure there is still enough water. After 20 minutes, taste it, the buckwheat groats should be cooked, soft but not mushy.
  • Finally, stir in the red kidney beans and nutritional yeast. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed, adding more chili powder for a spicier chili, or more maple syrup for a sweeter one.
  • Serve hot topped with avocado slices, coconut cream, and a drizzle of lime juice.
  • This buckwheat chili will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer.


  • For a more soupy chili, increase the water to 2 and 1/2 cups.


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 329 kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.1 g | Protein: 13.8 g | Fat: 5.4 g | Fiber: 12.5 g | Sugar: 10.5 g
Course : Entree, Main Course
Cuisine : American, Dinner, Mexican
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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4 stars
This was easy and heartwarming as promised. And a nice change for the all beans chilis. I am not a fan of kasha, but this was the perfect use for it. I made one small change: I added a bit of Bragg’s liquid aminos to round up the flavour and add that umami taste (I am no big fan of Bragg’s either, and I only use it in minute quantities to replace meat or fish flavours).

That is one beautiful looking chili! nice combination of ingredients and flavors

YUM. This looks absolutely delicious so hearty and filling and exactly what I want at the end of a long cold day. Love!

4 stars
The flavors in this recipe are amazing. However my buckwheat seems like it’s not cooked enough. I don’t cook them before putting in the pan right? I put them in as they are? Cooked for about 20-25 minutes and some are still chewy and feel undone. What is your advice?

Thomas, we had your buckwheat chili as Christmas dinner tonight. We love buckwheat so I was very pleased to find this recipe. But I don’t like our food to be too liquid so I kept the water in the recipe under control. It was really very nice. A good recipe! I’m a strict vegetarian for more than 70 years (yes, you read it well) and nowadays I often varying the meals with vegan dishes. Took some pictures of the dish tonight but cannot attach them. (Wanted to show it to you!). I wish you a merry Christmas!

Hi, just wondering if we should use roasted or unroasted buckwheat groats ?

Cheers from Scotland, cant wait to make this 😉


5 stars
I absolutely adore buckwheat! As for any Russian leaving abroad, this is my most missed Russian food and it’s not easy to find right “kasha” (funny you called it kasha, kasha means any mushy porridge and buckwheat is “grechka”:-)) in the shops here! But I had managed to find it in a Russian grossery shop:-) I’m religiously following the cooking rules for buckwheat since I hate it mushy. So I have a question: can I cook buckwheat separately from the sauce and then mix it with beans and buckwheat afterwards and cook for another 5 minutes?
Thanks Thomas, your blog is my discovery of the year!

4 stars
I used to hate buckwheat groats – until I bought some from a Polish store. What a difference! Now I am a fan.

Yes cool Kasha and add when done

5 stars
Delicious – and so easy!

4 stars
I think this delicious recipe is also gluten-free. It would be great, Thomas, if you included this mention in the recipe. Thanks you.

4 stars
Thank you, it’s a very good recipe. I wish I liked the taste of buckwheat better, then I would rate it five stars – but this is the tastiest way I’ve found yet to eat buckwheat, which I definitely believe is healthy for me. I used pinto/Borlotti beans, which I prefer to kidneys. I also cooked the beans from dry and used garden tomatoes from the freezer, so we saved two cans 🙂 Thanks again.

4 stars
You should try and procure buckwheat groats from an Eastern European grocery store (Russian, Polish, Ukrainian). The kind that is sold in health food stores cooks like mush, and I don’t care for the taste, but the real kind is actually very good.

5 stars
This is a great recipe. As a non-vegetarian I made a few alterations (used turkey stock, added 1.5 ounces of chorizo, and sauteed everything in butter). It made a wonderful winter meal with lime crema and toasted sourdough-rye bread. Will be making it again.

3 stars
My buckwheat groats remained uncooked, even after an hour. They had the texture of “old maids” – unpeopled popcorn kernels. So unpleasant. Where did I go wrong?

Great recipe! I usually am not a fan of chili as I find it too heavy but the buckwheat worked really well to keep it feeling a bit lighter. Even so, I wouldn’t have this as a meal by itself but worked great with a couple of leftover salads.

Cook the Kasha first. I fry 1 cup kasha with 2 eggs. Fry and stir. When fully cooked add to chili .
I added 6 ounce can of tomato paste and only 1 1/2 cups of water.

5 stars
Hi Thomas,
I made this for dinner. I’ve never had chili before because it’s usually made of beef and I don’t eat beef. Boy! It’s so delicious! I made air-firer potato chips to eat with. Thank you! It’s a keeper!