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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

{Pumpkin Quinoa Chicken Chili}

I know what you’re thinking…. Not another chili recipe…

What can I say, I love chili and when its 5 billion degrees below zero I crave chili.  Plus,  if I make a huge vat of chili on Sunday night… I can shamelessly eat said chili all week long and not have to cook!  And no cooking means no dishes… and no dishes makes for a very happy Hilliary (well and Derek too)! 

I got the inspiration for this chili a few weeks ago when I I whipped up Damn Delicious' Quinoa Chili in Indianapolis for Derek and my friend Kate (Hi, Kate come visit the frozen tundra soon!)!    We loved her chili so much that I decided to make it again... only this time with a few tweaks of my own! First off I made this a chicken quinoa chili to please my meat loving husband, and then I added my secret chili ingredient... pumpkin! I love adding pumpkin to chili for many reasons, but here is just a short list - 

 1) Pumpkin helps thicken the chili. 
2) pumpkin adds a nutritional punch (it is rich in Vitamin A, Fiber, Potassium and Beta-Carotene)
 3) Pumpkin provides a great depth of flavor. 

Trust me, adding pumpkin to your chili is not that weird, and no it won't be orange, and no you won't really taste it!  All the pumpkin will do is give you a kick butt thick chili with tons of nutrients!  Serve up this super thick hearty chili with thick tortilla chips, and your favorite chili toppings.  I love slices of avocado on top of my helping with lots and lots of hot sauce.  Check out more serving suggestions below, and enjoy! 

Pumpkin Quinoa Chicken Chili 
Serves 10 

1 Pound Chicken Cut into 1 Inch Cubes 
1 - 15 Ounce Can Pumpkin 
2 - 15 Ounce Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes - Undrained 
3 Cloves Garlic - Minced 
1 Small Can Green Chilies 
1 Jalapeno Pepper - Chopped 
1 Red Pepper - Roughly Chopped 
1 Medium Onion - Roughly Chopped 
1 - 15 Ounce Can Black Beans - Drained and Rinsed 
1 - 15 Ounce Can Dark Kidney Beans - Drained and Rinsed 
1 Cup Quinoa - Dry 
2 Tablespoons Chili Power 
1/2 Tablespoon Cumin 
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon 
Dash of Red pepper flakes 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 
1/2 Cup - 1 Cup Water 

1 - Cook Quinoa According to package directions.  Set aside when finished cooking
2 - While quinoa is cooking season chicken with salt and pepper, then cook in a large stock pot coated with cooking spray until cooked through. 
3- Add  your pepper, onion, jalapeno and garlic to the stock pot with the chicken and saute until tender.  Once vegetables are tender carefully pour in diced tomatoes pumpkin, green chilies, 1/2 cup water and spices.  Bring to boil.  Once boiling reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  
4- Carefully stir your quinoa and beans into the chili and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve immediately.  

Topping Suggestions  - 
Cheese (Dairy or Vegan) , Avocado, Tortilla Chips, Sour Cream, Greek Yogurt, Chopped Green Onions, Hot Sauce. 

Serving Suggestions - 
Use Chili as a topping for baked sweet potatoes
Serve chili on whole grain tortilla chips as "nachos."  
Top a simple salad with a scoop of chili, guacamole and salsa for a healthy take on taco salad.  
Serve over Corn Bread 

Check out these other delicious chili recipes from around the web: