Chocolate Quinoa Chili

"I like to make vergetarian alternatives to meat based dishes. I looked up some different ones for chili in the past but never found any I really liked so I made adjustments and substitutes. I don't believe real chili has beans but you can add them if you want. Enjoy."

Prep Time


Cook Time


Paired With

Main Protein



2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large scallion or two small minced fine, 1 medium diced red bell pepper, 4 cloves minced garlic, 2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 6 ounce can tomato paste, 2 cups vegetable broth 3/4 cup water 1/2 cup brewed coffee medium roast 3/4 cup red wine (sweet merlot), 28oz black beans rinsed (optional), 1.5 cups quinoa
1 large carrot diced well
1 Large Carrot Diced well
3 tablespoons cacao powder
Spices: 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/8 tsp paprika 1/4 tsp black pepper 1/8 tsp coriander 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/8 tsp nutmeg
28 ounces fresh (about 10 medium) tomatoes diced (or drained from 28oz can if you prefer)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (more or less to taste


1. In an 12 Quart Stock Pot, heat olive over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and garlic stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

2. Add the wine and cook 6 more minutes stirring occasionally.

3. Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper and cook until they are soft and start to brown up a little, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the cocao powder gently so it doesn’t poof and splatter, stir in chili powder and all other spices except salt and let cook stirring constantly until they are fragrant, about 1 minute.

5. In the pot, lower heat and move the vegetables to the side and put tomato paste next to them. Raise heat to medoum and cook tomato paste frequently stirring until caramelization begins, appx 2-3 minutes.

6. Slowly pour in vegetable broth, water, tomatoes, beans, and maple syrup stirring each ingredient together, raise heat slightly and bring to a slow boil. Bring heat to low and allow to simmer with lid half tilted to partially cover, appx 10 minutes.

7. Add the brewed coffee and stir.

8. Add the quinoa, cover and simmer stirring occassionally for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and puffed up.

9. Add the chocolate bar broken up and stir as it melts into the chili.

10. Salt to taste and set heat to very low and cook an additional 5 to 10 min until quinoa is soft to your taste.

Serve with any combination of crusty bread, crackers, torilla chips, a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt, chives, or avocado.