Black Bean and Quinoa Mexican-Style Chipotle Vegetarian Chili

black bean quinoa chili

For someone as enamored of Mexican food as myself, it's rather surprising I suppose that I've seriously acquainted myself with chipotle peppers only this past year. Sure, I've used canned chipotles in adobo sauce on an occasion or two, but the adobo sauce quite overwhelmed any appreciation I might have gained for the pepper on its own. But after finding dried whole chipotles in the market, I am quite taken with the smoky heat and depth that these smoke-dried jalapeños bring to food. I expect that chipotles will find their way into many of my Mexican-style recipes from hereon…

…such as in this thick, smoky and spicy chili. Loaded with black beans, quinoa and plenty of vegetables, this simple and full-flavored chili is a complete, nourishing and filling meal in one pot. And it makes enough to feed a family or, in my case, to send a husband off to work with lunch for a few days. A slice of two of homemade cornbread on the side makes this chili a terrific meal.

black bean quinoa chipotle chili

If you don't have chipotle powder or dried whole chipotles, substitute extra chili powder or paprika and a dried whole red chili or two. For the smoky flavor, add a drop or two of liquid smoke or a pinch or two of smoked paprika.

Black Bean and Quinoa Mexican-Style Chipotle Vegetarian ChiliBlack Bean and Quinoa Mexican-Style Chipotle Vegetarian Chili
Recipe by
Cuisine: Mexican
Published on March 19, 2013

Thick, smoky, spicy and zesty chili loaded with black beans, quinoa and plenty of vegetables for a complete, nourishing and filling meal in one pot

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

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  • 1 cup dried black beans (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 dried whole chipotle peppers
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 oz (14 g) dried mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 5 to 8 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups of vegetable stock or water
  • 2 ears fresh corn or 1 1/2 cups frozen
  • zest from 1 lime
  • juice from 2 limes
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Greek yogurt or cream (optional)
  • fresh grated Cheddar or jack cheese (optional)
  • fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Rinse the beans and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Separately, rinse the quinoa and soak for 8 hours or overnight in 2 cups of water.

  • Drain and rinse the beans, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Drain, transfer to a medium bowl, and mash about 1/3 of the beans with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, soak the dried chipotles, dried mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain and chop. Set aside.

  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. When hot, add the onions, carrots, celery and cauliflower, and stir for 6 to 8 minutes or until the onion is softened and the cauliflower just begins to brown. Now add the garlic and jalapeños and continue to stir for another minute or two. Toss in the spices and stir for another minute.

  • Now add the fresh mushrooms to the pan, turn up the heat to medium-high, and stir for 4 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to soften. Stir in the chipotles, sun-dried tomatoes, dried mushrooms, fresh tomato, black beans, and quinoa along with the quinoa's soaking water. Add about 1 cup of the vegetable stock or water. If you are using fresh corn, add it now. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often and adding more stock or water as needed. If you are using frozen corn, add it during the last 10 minutes of the cooking time.

  • Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice, salt, and black pepper to taste. Serve hot garnished with a swirl of yogurt or cream, grated Cheddar or jack cheese and chopped fresh parsley or cilantro if desired.

Makes 8 servings

black bean chili

More one-pot meals from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Azuki Bean Casserole
Black Bean Chili with Toasted Spices
Mesopotamian Barley, Chickpea, Lentil and Tahini Soup
Simple Chana Dal, Dill and Tomato Khichri


AJ said...

That sure does look good!M I adore chipotle Peppers!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I just love to see all these flavours in one bowl of tasty goodness.

Shaheen said...

Yum my favourite flavours, and SNAP I too have Mexico on the brain, submitting my recipe to MLLA too. Take care.