It is formally noodle season, and I could not be happier.

I’m a chili lover. All varieties. All flavors.

And this Instant Pot quinoa red bean chili is a worthy addition to my already robust chili archives filled with favorites.

Don’t have an Immediate Pot? Do not worry! This hearty, tasty chili can be made in the toaster, too.

I really don’t know why I have not thought to add quinoa to chili before now. It’s wonderful!

Not only does it include a delicious heartiness and texture (plus a wonderful protein boost), but also the versatile nature of quinoa means it picks up all the warm, spicy flavors of the chili throughout cooking.

Speaking of these tastes, you may be skeptical pitching cinnamon to a chili recipe, but this isn’t the initial chili recipe to call for the aromatic spice.

It adds a unique flavor hint which makes you go”yum, what IS that?” without going “ew, what IS that?”

Please promise me you’ll try it? In the name of adventure, living on the border, and generally only trusting me in all things related to really good food? I guarantee you I just have your chili-eating potential in your mind

QUINOA RED BEAN CHILI

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder see note
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt I use coarse, kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper plus more for heat, if desired
  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 3 cans 15 ounces each red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (see note)
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth use the lesser amount for a thicker chili
  • 3 cans 8 ounces each tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

Instructions

  • For Your Instant Pot: using the saute feature, heat the oil until shimmering and add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to turn translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
  • Add the quinoa, beans, broth, and tomato sauce. Secure the lid, place the valve to seal, and then select manual or high pressure (depending upon the IP version you have) and dial up or down to 5 minutes.
  • When cooking time has finished, allow the pressure naturally discharge for 10 minutes or so and then speedy release the rest of the pressure. Stir in the corn kernels to warm through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed. The chili will thicken as it sits off the heat. Serve the chili with cheese, sour cream, avocados, fresh lime wedges, cilantro, or any other chili topping you would like. It's also delicious served over regular or sweet baked potatoes!