Beef Mushroom Quinoa Chili

Beef Mushroom Quinoa Chili

Beef Mushroom Quinoa Chili

I put a spin on classic Texas beef chili by adding mushrooms and quinoa. It’s admittedly unconventional, but I’m from Austin and darn if it isn’t just as spicy, satisfying, and downright delicious as old-school chili. Why did I put this combo in classic Texas-style beef chili? I’ll admit, at first it was a practical necessity-I thought there was more ground beef in the freezer than there actually was! I figured mushrooms and beef pair well, plus the mushrooms sneak in more nutrients for picky eaters and stretch the food budget.


  • 1 ½ pound 90% or leaner ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry (uncooked) quinoa
  • 1–2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ cup red wine
  • One 15-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
  • One 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 16 ounces beef broth (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


Heat a large Dutch oven (or approximately a 3-quart pot with a lid) over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 8–10 minutes, breaking the beef into small crumbles and stirring occasionally.

Remove the beef and pour it into a large strainer or colander to drain off excess liquid.

In the now-emptied pot (no need to wash it after the beef browning step), add the olive oil, onion, and mushrooms and sauté until softened, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir around for another minute.

Add the dry quinoa to this mixture. Toast for 2–3 minutes by stirring around constantly with the other ingredients. In the last minute, add the chili powder, chipotle powder, and cumin, stirring around to “bloom” the flavor.

The bottom of the pot may look like it’s starting to brown or burn but don’t worry these are all the beef and spice residues. Simply pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan, stirring around quickly to pull of the bits.

Add back in the beef that had been drained and set aside. Add the diced tomatoes (including juice), tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth.

Bring to a simmer for a few minutes and then cover with a lid and continue to simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens and the flavors intensify-approximately 20–25 minutes.


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