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Quick quinoa chili loaded with spices and avocado

Southwestern quinoa chili is as healthy as it is delicious. Packed full of natural vegetables, beans and grains with tasty pico de gallo and avocado as well! It’s sure to be a hit at dinner!

Quinoa is one of the easiest superfoods around to sneak into recipes. In chili, it is even easier as it will absorb the flavors while it is cooking. Nobody will ever know you added this superfood to a delicious Southwest-inspired chili!

This recipe uses a big time-saving trick: pico de gallo. By starting with pico de gallo, you save yourself a good hour of food prep, chopping onions, tomatoes and peppers by hand. If you can’t find pico de gallo, you can use a fresh-made salsa instead.

Southwest quinoa chili

Serves 6


  • 5 cups pico de gallo
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced


  1. Add pico de gallo, all spices, and 4 cups of water to a large pot. Put over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Stir in quinoa.
  3. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in beans, corn, lime juice and chicken breast until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Garnish with avocado and cilantro.
  6. Serve immediately.

Southwest Quinoa Chili

More quinoa ideas

16 Quinoa Recipes to incorporate into your diet
Gluten-free quinoa and veggie stir-fry
Quinoa green bean & sausage bake

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