November 12, 2017

Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Quinoa Chili

It started snowing here in Montana the morning after Halloween. It's like Mother Nature knew October was over and wasted no time with the switch to winter! ⛄ So really, what choice did I have but to cozy in by the fire with tea, books, blankets, and endless chili? My favorite atmosphere while watching those beautiful, fluffy flakes fall! I only started using chipotles a couple years ago because I was a bit intimidated by them for some reason. I LOVED the smokiness and subtle spicy flavor but wasn't sure exactly how to go about using them on my own. I'm glad I started trying because it's such an amazing, flavor-packed ingredient and brings so much smoky goodness. (If you can't find canned chipotles in adobo sauce, no worries! Just look for the dry chipotle chili powder in the spice aisle. See more about this and other chipotle tips in the notes below the recipe.) I adore this meal topped with green onion, cilantro, and best of all creamy avocado 🥑 Hope you love it too - cozy up and enjoy!

PS - come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram and share a pic if you make this! I love seeing what you guys cook up.

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 4-5

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
Two 15 oz. cans black beans
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups vegetables broth
1/2 cup white quinoa, uncooked
1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (*see notes below)
2 tsp. adobo sauce, more as desired
2 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
Salt to taste
Optional additions: smoked paprika, bell pepper, sweet corn
Optional toppings: avocado, green onion, cilantro, dairy-free cheese/sour cream

Dice onion, and mince garlic.
In a stockpot over med-high heat, saute onion in 3 Tbsp. water/broth for about 8 minutes or until translucent.
Meanwhile, finely chop the chipotle: handling the chile carefully, gently scrape the seeds with your knife to remove them and mince the chile. (When finished, avoid touching your face and wash your hands very well. I try to avoid all contact with the chile, using a fork to help maneuver it.)
Add garlic, chili powder, cumin. Stir, and cook 1 minute.
Add tomatoes with juice, 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, minced chipotle, and 2 tsp. adobo sauce (avoiding seeds).
Rinse and drain black beans and quinoa and add to pot.
Bring to a light boil. Then cover, lower heat to med-low, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.
Salt to taste. Serve warm garnished with desired toppings.
(It thickens as it sits, as the quinoa continues to soak up more liquid.)

*Note about the chiles in adobo sauce:
Chiles are fairly spicy so start with one unless you enjoy it spicier. (I usually end up using about 1 1/2.) A little goes a long way! If you're sensitive to spice but still want the delicious, smoky flavor, simply omit the chiles and use extra adobo sauce only (avoiding seeds). OR substitute the chiles and adobo sauce altogether and opt for a small amount of dry chipotle chili powder in the spice aisle. Start with 1/4 tsp. and work your way up from there if desired. This is also a great option if you can't find actual chipotles in adobo sauce.

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Keep the chili flowing! 😉


  1. This looks delicious! Another great pepper, which has wonderful smoky flavor is the poblano pepper. Not quite the heat of the chipotle but very good.
    Stay warm. Just cooling down here in north Florida.


  2. Made this tonight, omg so good! Probably my favorite chili! I'll be making this on repeat all winter!