Mexican Quinoa Chili is a tasty, hearty and healthy dish packed with not only flavor but vegetables. This meal has so much flavor, the meat is never missed!
I developed this recipe for Mexican Quinoa Chili during the big quinoa craze a few years ago. I had never heard of the grain before and in what seemed like overnight it was everywhere. Over the Internet, on magazines and television cooking shows, quinoa was right alongside kale as a go to health food. And rightly so, quinoa is one of the few plant foods with all nine essential amino acids, along with antioxidants, potassium, calcium, B-vitamins, iron, Vitamin E and phosphorus. Plus, its versatility allows it to be easily incorporated into a variety of meals.
So, a few years ago I decided to give quinoa a try. I tried it plain and in a variety of dishes. But my favorite was to combine it with Mexican flavors. It was great in a vegetarian enchilada casserole; you don’t even need tortillas, and this Mexican Quinoa Chili. I also discovered that you don’t necessarily need to separately cook quinoa before adding it to the rest of your food. In this chili you can cook the quinoa directly with the vegetables making for a simple one pot dish. And one pot meals are a great quick and healthy option for busy weeknights.
This Mexican Quinoa Chili is so tasty and hearty. I promise you won’t miss the meat. The combined flavors of cumin, jalapeno, fire roasted tomatoes, chipotle peppers and all the other vegetables make this dish something you’ll want to make again and again. My husband loves it so much he often requests it over some of his other favorites.
Another neat thing about this dish is that it can easily be altered to suit your tastes or to what vegetables are available. For example, if you don’t like smoky chipotle peppers you can just leave them out. Or you could add another jalapeno if you’d like a spicier dish or switch it out for a Serrano pepper. You could use a red, yellow, or orange bell pepper if you prefer. I love the versatility of this meal.
I always taste it and then add more salt if necessary. When cooking a meal I always add less salt than needed as I don’t want to over salt the dish, but in the case of quinoa, I tend to add a little more salt to bring out the flavor. I also top mine with a squeeze of lime, cilantro, avocado and a little sour cream. You could also add some chopped green onions or cheese if you prefer.