Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Quinoa Cocoa Chili {Vegan} {GF}

When I was a meat-eater, I never was a huge fan of chili.  I could never really pinpoint what I didn’t like about it.  Maybe it was the kidney beans, or the chewy bits of beef…moo…


If I ate meat now, I’m still not sure I would like chili.  It’s not that I can’t stand it, I just never had any big desire to eat it like some people do (especially as we are getting into chili cook-off season).


I found a vegan chili recipe that included three of my favorite ingredients – sweet potatoes, black beans and quinoa.  I figured the only thing lacking from this chili recipe was my most favorite ingredient – cocoa powder.


It may sound weird, but you just have to trust me.  Don’t worry, you won’t get a weird chocolate stew (although I’m not sure what would be wrong with that).  Most people only associate chocolate and cocoa with sweets/baked goods but it actually has a wonderfully smoky flavor when paired with savory ingredients and spices.


It works rather perfectly with this recipe.  I was also surprised how much the quinoa gives off a “meaty” texture.  Both Herbivores and carnivores can unite for dinner when this is served.


Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Quinoa Cocoa Chili {Vegan} {GF}


  • 2 15oz cans of Black Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 6oz can of Tomato Paste
  • 32oz of Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 3 TBSP Cocoa Powder
  • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TBSP ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Sweet Potato, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup dry Quinoa
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Avocado & Cilantro to garnish (optional)


Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until they are starting to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the tomato paste, cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin & oregano and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick).  Add the beans, stock, potatoes and season with salt & pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the quinoa.  Continue cooking for about 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid and sweet potatoes soften.  Top with avocado & cilantro.

10 thoughts on “Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Quinoa Cocoa Chili {Vegan} {GF}

  1. Laura says:

    I totally didn’t like chili as a kid – but LOVE it now (my recipe is up today too)! I think taking out meat means we add more flavorful things we love, which makes the world better! 🙂

  2. Bailey Mikell says:

    That looks fantastic! I found a similar recipe on Pinterest for Quinoa chili and made it a month or so ago. It turned out amazing and it was very filling. Love your blog! Keep up the hard work. -Bee

  3. celestedimilla says:

    I recently discovered the amazing enhancement chocolate gives to chili and I love it!! I’ve never put quinoa in chili, however; but it sounds wonderful. Great recipe chica! Celeste 🙂

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