Quinoa and red pepper chili

This dish is a vegetarian version of a classic winter staple.

Quinoa and red pepper chili

This vegetarian version of chili is lower in sodium and packed with fiber. Beans (no salt added) and quinoa provide vegetarian protein sources with plentiful nutrients and fiber and minimal fat. Including a variety of vegetables and whole grains ensures high levels of antioxidants, which research suggests can protect against cardiovascular disease.

Servings: 4


  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 poblano chilis
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 avocado


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Cut bell peppers and chilis in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes.
  3. Place bell pepper and chili halves, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet and flatten with hand. Broil 10 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag and fold to close tightly. Let stand 10 minutes, then remove, peel, and coarsely chop. For quicker cook time, skip this step and sauté peppers with zucchini, onion, and garlic in step 4.
  4. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add zucchini, onion, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and paprika; sauté for 30 seconds. Add roasted peppers and chilis, 1/2 cup water, quinoa, salt, tomatoes, beans, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.
  5. Serve topped with chopped avocado.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 360
  • Total fat: 15 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 470 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 50 g
  • Dietary fiber: 14 g
  • Total sugars: 13 g
  • Protein: 12 g