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Smokin’ Powerhouse Chili

Recipe courtesy of West Junior High School in Hopkins, MN -- featured on USDA's

This vegetarian quinoa (pronounced KEEN wah) chili is “the bomb”! As a main dish, it has a smoky blend of spices and some of Minnesota’s best harvest that will warm you up from the inside out on a cold day! This thoughtful blend of vegetables and legumes, combined with the perfect protein of the ancient Aztec grain, quinoa, and complimented with just the right spices, offers the healthiest and tastiest chili you'll ever have. This recipe stands apart because of its warm, rich flavors, and because it supplies a full serving of whole grains, orange vegetables, and legumes in one satisfying bowl! Serve with a crunchy side of cornbread or whole-grain tortilla chips.

Serving Size
Serves 6


  • ¾ cup of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of onions, fresh, chopped (6 oz)
  • 2 tsp of garlic, fresh, chopped
  • 1 cup of carrots, sliced or diced (6 oz)
  • 1 cup of sweet potatoes, diced (6 oz)
  • ⅔ cup of red pepper, diced (3 oz)
  • 2 tsp of chipotle pepper, minced
  • ½ cup of corn, frozen
  • 2½ tsp of chili powder
  • 2 cups of quinoa, cooked
  • 2½ tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce, canned
  • ¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1¾ cup of black beans, canned
  • 2 cups of tomatoes, diced, canned in juice


  1. Heat half the broth and steam/sauté onions and garlic. Add carrots, all peppers, and water; simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  3. Add other half of broth, quinoa, diced tomatoes, sauce, cilantro, and spices. Allow to thicken and the flavors to blend.
  4. Add beans, corn, and sweet potatoes; allow to simmer again.
  5. Enjoy!

See other recipes in this series: