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Pinto Bean, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili
with cornbread muffins

Active: 35 minTotal: 50 min

This chili recipe features a unique mix of spices (including a tiny bit of cinnamon for depth) and uses quinoa to thicken the base. Serve the chili with an easy cornbread on the side that includes sweetness from honey and a spicy kick from jalapenos.
Smarts: This recipe makes 8 cornbread muffins (for 4 servings). Any extras freeze well.



Pinto Bean, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili (for two nights):
  • Sweet potatoes - 1 lb, peeled and cubed
  • Onions, medium - 1, chopped
  • Bell peppers, green - 1, chopped
  • Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
  • Cornmeal, finely ground - 3 Tbsp
  • Chili powder - 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin - 2 tsp
  • Brown sugar - 2 tsp
  • Oregano - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
  • Beans, pinto (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 3 cups
  • Beer - 1 cup (lager or other light-flavored beer; sub stock)
  • Tomatoes, crushed (15 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
  • Quinoa, uncooked - 1/2 cup
  • Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts combined
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
  • Hot sauce (opt) - to taste
  • Sour cream - for serving (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
Jalapeno-Honey Cornbread Muffins:
  • Jalapenos - 1, diced
  • Cornmeal, yellow - 1 cup
  • Flour, all-purpose - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 1 Tbsp
  • Baking powder - 2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Eggs - 1
  • Oil, cooking - 1/4 cup
  • Honey - 2 Tbsp
  • Milk - 1 cup

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Sweet potatoes / Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic / Jalapenos - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make chili spice mix - Combine cornmeal (portion for the chili), chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, oregano, salt, black pepper and cinnamon. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Beans - Drain and rinse.


  1. Heat oven to 350F / 177C. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil (alternatively, you can plan to bake your cornbread in an oven-safe skillet brushed with some oil).
  2. While oven heats, place a Dutch oven with oil over medium-high heat. Add jalapenos, onions, bell peppers and garlic and saute until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add spice mix and saute until fragrant, ~1 minute more.
  3. Add stock, beer and tomatoes to pan and bring to a simmer. Add sweet potatoes, quinoa and beans. Place lid on the chili and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. While chili simmers, make cornbread. In one bowl, whisk together cornmeal (portion for cornbread), flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk eggs and add oil, honey and milk. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in jalapenos (if using).
  5. Spoon cornbread batter into prepared muffin tin (or skillet). Bake until just set in the center, 15 to 17 minutes.
  6. Just before serving, chop green onions.
  7. Stir vinegar into chili. Season with some salt and pepper (and some hot sauce if you’d like). Set half aside for Thursday’s meal.
  8. Serve chili with green onions and sour cream on top. Enjoy with cornbread on the side.

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This meal has 75 reviews

This was kind of meh. It ended up very, very soupy. I debated adding some beans and wish I would have. The cinnamon also added a weird flavor as well. Probably won't try this one again

By: Lisa
Posted: Jan 20, 2019
Diet: Original

Cornbread was good but bland. Should either go sweeter or more spicy. The stew meat will NOT soften in this cook time, unless you're using an instant pot. It took an hour and a half of simmering to reduce the liquid to a normal amount, and make this meat edible. The stew meat was $14 for two pounds... Ground beef would have been cheaper, better textured, and soaked up the flavor better. In the end, it tasted good after bring cooked properly. But I really hope this recipe gets rewritten to reflect the correct cook time, OR with ground meat instead of stew meat.

By: Laurel
Posted: Mar 08, 2018
Diet: Original

I was hesitant on this one, but it turned out amazing! A bit meaty, making a hefty chili to eat, but filling and perfect on a chili winter night.

By: Kristin
Posted: Feb 12, 2018
Diet: Original

Good flavor, but for me chunks of beef in sauce is just not chili.

By: Danielle
Posted: Feb 09, 2018
Diet: Original

I enjoyed this but it needed way more heat for my palate. Also added worcestershire for a little depth. Made it in the Instant Pot and shredded the beef.

By: Sarah
Posted: Feb 06, 2018
Diet: Original

We added chili beans (I know it's not Texas, but we're in a part of the country that needs beans). Also took out the cinnamon and put in a beef seasoning that had some nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar.

By: Kathryn
Posted: Feb 06, 2018
Diet: Original