Smokin' Powerhouse Chili

By Barb M. and Jenny B. from Hopkins Public Schools, West Junior High, Hopkins, Minnesota.


Our vegetarian quinoa chili is “the bomb!”. As a main dish, it has a smokey blend of spices & some of Minnesota’s best harvest to warm you up from the inside out on a cold winter’s day! This thoughtful blend of vegetables & legumes from our local farmer Greg at Riverbend Farm are combined with the perfect protein ancient Aztec grain, quinoa and complimented with just the right flavors to offer the healthiest and tastiest chili you'll ever eat!  Our recipe stands apart because of its warm, rich flavors, and because it supplies a full serving of  orange vegetables and legumes with almost a full serving of whole grains…in one satisfying bowl!

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cup

From Fat8.05%
From Saturated Fat.95%
From Sugar0%


Ingredient 6 servings 50 servings
Vegetable Broth3/4 cup6-1/4 cup
Onion, Fresh Chopped1 cup/6 oz9 cups/3 lbs
Garlic, Fresh Minced2 tsp1/3 cup + 2 tsp/1/4 lb
Carrots, Sliced or Diced1 cup/6 oz11 cups/3 lbs
Sweet Potatoes, Diced1 cup/6 oz10 cups/3 lbs
Pepper, Sweet Red Diced2/3 cup/3 oz4-1/2 cup/1-1/2 lb
Pepper, Chipotle Minced or Pureed2 tsp6 Tbsp + 2 tsp
Quinoa, Cooked2 cups15-1/2 cups
Tomato, Diced Canned - in Juice2 cups15 cups
Tomato Sauce, Canned1 cup7-1/2 cup
Chili Powder2-1/2 tsp1/3 cup+4 tsp
Ground Cumin2-1/2 tsp1/3 cup+4 tsp
Cilantro, Chopped1/4 cup1-2/3 cup
Corn, Frozen1/4 lb/1/2 cup2 lbs/4-1/3 cup
Black Beans, Canned, drained3/4 lb/1-3/4 cup6 lbs/15-1/2 cup


Heat half the stock and steam/sauté onions and garlic in stock pot or braising pan. Add carrots, peppers, hot peppers and simmer for 10 minutes. While the above mixture is cooking, lightly steam diced sweet potatoes just until soft and cook quinoa. (follow directions on box for cooking quinoa - some tips below.) Now add other half of stock to your pan along with the cooked quinoa, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cilantro and spices. Stir and simmer and allow to thicken and the flavors to blend - about 15 minutes. Add black beans, corn and sweet potatoes and allow to simmer again and bring up to 140 degrees F and hold for service.

Serve with 8 oz ladle.

Quinoa Tips:

Cook quinoa with 2 parts water to 1 part dry quinoa. 1 lb dry = about 2-1/2 cups dry 1 # dry quinoa = 6.6 cups cooked

Serving Suggestions:

This dish is so low in fat , it airs perfectly with a dollop of sour cream or your favorite cheese - served with a side of baked whole grain tortilla chips.