Chipotle Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili
with cheese / chips
This weeknight-friendly vegetarian chili gets sweetness from sweet potatoes and is thickened with protein-packed quinoa instead of meat. Toast spices with savory aromatics to build flavor without the long simmer time required in many chili recipes. We last featured this recipe in 2016.
Smarts: Prefer to keep the spice to a minimum? Skip the adobo sauce. It's also a good idea to check the ingredients in your chili powder. The least spicy brands will list cayenne powder at the very end (or not at all).
- Paprika, smoked - 1 Tbsp
- Chili powder - 1 Tbsp
- Cumin - 1/2 tsp
- Coriander, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Onions, medium - 1/2 , chopped
- Bell peppers, any color - 1/2 , diced
- Sweet potatoes - 3/4 lb , diced
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Green onions - 2 , chopped; green and white parts combined
- Beans, black (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Quinoa, uncooked - 1/2 cup
- Stock, any type - 2 cups
- Tomatoes, crushed (15 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
- Adobo sauce (opt) - 2 tsp (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
- Cheese, shredded Mexican blend - 1/2 cup
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - 4 Tbsp
- Chips, corn, for serving (opt) - 2 cups (sub tortilla chips)
Make spice mix - Combine smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Onions / Bell peppers / Sweet potatoes / Garlic - Prep as directed. (Note: The smaller you dice the sweet potatoes, the faster they will cook.) Combine onions and bell peppers. Store sweet potatoes and garlic in their own containers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Green onions - Chop. Store with green and white parts combined. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Beans - Drain and rinse.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then onions and bell peppers with a dash of salt to heated oil. Saute until vegetables are starting to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and garlic and saute until garlic is fragrant, ~2 minutes more. Stir in spice mix until vegetables are evenly coated in spices.
Add quinoa and stir to coat quinoa in spices.
Pour stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, and adobo sauce (if using) over the vegetables and quinoa. Add beans and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat so that chili maintains a low simmer and put the lid on, slightly ajar so that some steam can escape. Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked, 22 to 25 minutes.
Season chili with some salt and pepper, if needed.
Ladle chili into bowls and top with cheese, yogurt, and green onions. Serve chips on the side or crumbled over top. Enjoy!