Spicy Quinoa Chili & Cornbread
Total time: 
Serves: 7
Packed with flavor and nutrition, this is winter comfort food at its most comforting.
  • CHILI:
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage or chorizo sausage
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded if you like less heat, seeds in for more heat, diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and grated or very finely chopped
  • 1 small red and bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 (15-oz) cans beans of your choice, rinsed and drained (white kidney beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, bean medley, black beans, etc.)
  • 1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3-4 tsp chili powder (less if you prefer mild chili)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp - 2 Tbsp sugar, depending if you like your cornbread sweet or not
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups buttermilk (or soured milk: add milk to 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar to equal 1½ cups)
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  2. Combine quinoa and water in medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over med-high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or other very large pot, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Add chopped onion and sausage and scramble fry until onions are tender and sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon. Stir in garlic, jalapeno, carrot, and bell pepper. Cook until veggies are tender and fragrant, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add the canned tomatoes, beans, and tomato sauce.
  5. Stir in the cooked quinoa.
  6. Season with chili powder, cumin, and additional salt and pepper to taste (taste before adding any salt - you probably won't need any).
  7. Simmer chili on low for about 30 minutes.
  8. Serve warm, garnished with your favorite toppings. We love cheese galore, tortilla chips, sour cream, and green onion!
  10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with 8-9" cast iron skillet IN the oven. (If you don't have one, a metal cake pan would also work.)
  11. Combine all ingredients, mix well, and pour into preheated skillet.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes. Best served warm.
This chili can also be made in the slow cooker - add the water and uncooked quinoa to the slow cooker along with everything else. The cornbread can be altered to suit your tastes - it's delicious with a cup of sharp cheddar and some chopped jalapeno thrown in! The chili freezes very well, making it great for stocking your freezer for future busy nights!
Recipe by Hidden Ponies at https://hiddenponies.com/2012/03/super-healthy-spicy-quinoa-chili-cornbread/