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4-Ingredient Quinoa-Black Bean Chili (vegan)

quinoa chili 003

One of the perks of being married to an academic–coupled with living in a college town–is that I can continue to follow an academic calender. At this time of year, that means one thing: Spring Break!

I was never very excited about spring break as an undergrad. I wasn’t that kind of co-ed. In fact, I wasn’t a co-ed at all given that I went to Bryn Mawr (I still have my “Better Dead than Co-Ed” t-shirt). Spring break meant staying in my pajamas, reading brain candy books, and hanging out with my family back in California. And perhaps baking some snickerdoodles. I looked forward to it, yes, but excited? Not really.

Now I am older, wiser, and excited. I need some time off, and how. We’re heading to Florida to see my sister  and Legoland, beaches and real restaurants are prominent on the agenda. After weeks of colds, flu, a son’s finger getting slammed in a door, and a husband’s wisdom teeth being removed, we are all three ready for renewal.

In the meantime, I am keeping meals extra-easy, frugal, and still relatively soft (the wisdom teeth procedure was 3 days ago). Time for super-easy chipotle quinoa and black bean chili.

I have a longer version of this chipotle chili in my quinoa book that require the usual chopping of onions and peppers. It’s still simple, but this version takes ease to great new heights. No chopping. Four ingredients. Under 30 minutes cook time. And perfectly and piquantly delicious. The salsa, provides the chipotle, peppers, onions, and other seasonings, but if you want to bump up the ingredients to 5, add a few teaspoons of ground cumin for good measure.

quinoa chili 001

Yield: 6

Chipotle Quinoa-Black Bean Chili (4 ingredients)

Chipotle Quinoa-Black Bean Chili (4 ingredients)

Yes, 4 ingredients to dinner! The fun is with the toppings--you probably have a few of my suggested options buried in the pantry or produce bin!

Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


Muir Glen brand

  • 1 15-oz can black beans (preferably organic), rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes with chiles (undrained)
  • Suggested garnishes: Lime wedges, chopped radishes, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, crumbled queso blanco, plain Greek yogurt, diced avocado, baked tortilla chips


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, coarsely mash 1/3 of the beans with a fork. Add the mashed beans, remaining beans, salsa and tomatoes with chilies to quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Serve with any or all of the suggested toppings!

Nutrition Information

Serving Size

1 cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 177Total Fat 1gCarbohydrates 33gFiber 6gProtein 8g

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Monday 4th of March 2013

I can't wait to try this one - I make the 'long' version from your wonderful quinoa book all the time :)


Tuesday 5th of March 2013

Thanks, Lisa--so lovely to hear from you! :)

Power Hungry via Facebook

Monday 4th of March 2013

Kitti--mwah hah hah, my plan is working :)

Kitti Carriker via Facebook

Monday 4th of March 2013

Okay, now I'm soooo hungry! Why does this always happen?!

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