Weeknight Quinoa Chili - Guiso de Quinoa y Frijoles

Marian Blazes
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
267 Calories
6g Fat
44g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 6
Amount per serving
Calories 267
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 168mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 10g 34%
Protein 12g
Calcium 149mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is an easy and quick chili that is perfect for weeknight dinners - or make a big batch on the weekend and enjoy it all week.  Quinoa adds protein and a nice texture to this vegetarian chili, but you could easily substitute beef for the quinoa to make a more traditional chili.

The quinoa cooks in the tomato sauce, giving it a delicious creamy quality.  Canned beans are used to save time, and just about any vegetables you have on hand could work.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3-4 green onions (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn (optional)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion and cook over medium heat until onion is soft and fragrant, about 5 to 8 minutes.

  3. Add the tomato, green onions, minced garlic, cilantro, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, dark brown sugar and salt, and cook, stirring, until all the vegetables are soft. 

  4. Add the quinoa and cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomato sauce and the water and stir well.  Cover and simmer chili over low heat until quinoa is cooked, about 20 minutes.  (The quinoa grains will appear swollen and have a tiny visible thread/tail).  

  5. Add the beans and the corn (optional) and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until beans and corn are hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  

  6. Serve with rice, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, tortilla chips, etc.