Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili

Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it’s a customized dinner that your whole family will love!

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili: Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it's a customized dinner that your whole family will love!

It’s another chilly week! Ben and I are certainly learning about good insulation versus bad insulation throughout this first winter in our house. Fortunately, winter in Nashville isn’t that intense. But unfortunately, when it is cold, I don’t want to spend a gazillion dollars in heating costs. So I do the next best thing–warm up from the cold with a hot ‘n hearty dinner! One of my long-time favorites that I somehow haven’t shared on the blog is this wonderful Chicken Quinoa Chili! It is so full of flavor, so simple, and so tasty. Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you–this dish can be made in the crockpot so all you basically have to do stir together, live your life, and come back for a tasty dinner. :)

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili: Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it's a customized dinner that your whole family will love!

This easy crockpot meal basically combines all the good stuff–chicken, spices, quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, corn, green pepper, onion, and garlic–with a little chicken broth to make an incredible Chicken Quinoa Chili. It’s seriously a Mexican-style soup/chili on steroids! And each bite is made better by the mass quantities of toppings. You can basically add any sort of taco, chili, or soup topping you like… but my necessary Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili toppings include: cilantro, cheese, and sour cream. If I have some diced avocado too, even better! #goodstuff The toppings just take this chili to the next level… but it’s still fabulously filling and delightful.

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili: Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it's a customized dinner that your whole family will love!Before we go, can I let you in on a secret? Even though this chili is made what it is by the quinoa, I’m a little quinoa-ed out. For a long time, I was convincing Ben that it was the BEST-THING-EVER and I put it in everything. I think the rest of the internet did too. :) But now… I don’t use it very often so when I do, I want to make it count. And this is the type of dish where it really does count. Adding quinoa to what’s basically a chicken tortilla soup kicks it up a notch into a fabulous chili. Mmmm, tasty stuff! Hope you enjoy this awesome meal as much as we do. :)

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili: Quinoa meets chicken tortilla soup for a kicked up crockpot meal that is filling, delicious, and perfectly spiced. Plus, you can top it with everything from tortilla chips to cheese to avocado so it's a customized dinner that your whole family will love!

one year ago: Homemade Turkey Sausage Patties
two years ago: Quick ‘n Healthy Pineapple Fried Rice
three years ago: Buffalo Pretzels
four years ago: Camp Tecumseh Baked Oatmeal
five years ago: Pork Chops with Red Wine Sauce

Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 8 hours
  • Print

slightly adapted from Boys Ahoy

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts [about 1 1/2 pounds]
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 3 cups black beans, drained and rinsed [or 2 – 15 ounce cans]
  • 1 – 16 ounce package frozen corn
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • shredded cheese, for serving
  • sour cream, for serving
  • avocado, for serving
  • green onions, for serving
  • crushed tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

Place chicken at the bottom of a large crockpot. Sprinkle with cumin, crushed red pepper, and chili powder. Season with pepper. Top with quinoa and pour chicken broth on top. Then add tomatoes, black beans, corn, green pepper, onion, and garlic. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.

When finished cooking, remove chicken and shred with a fork, then return to crockpot and stir to combine. Serve with cheese, sour cream, avocado, green onions, and tortilla chips as desired.

Amish Cheeseburger Soup

A cheesy, creamy, and hearty soup… if you haven’t had cheeseburger soup before, you are in for a treat!

Amish Cheeseburger Soup on thepajamachef.comI know January is supposed to be all about healthy recipes and “cutting back.” That’s not exactly my philosophy though. I don’t say this to be all holier than thou or anything, and I don’t think I’m being naive/blind, but I don’t think I really indulge to levels of epic proportions during the holiday season. I’ve never been able to eat and eat and eat beyond the point of fullness, and if I did, it won’t be on traditional holiday fare [it would be on some sort of baked pasta :)]. So while I’m all for a reset in January of healthy habits, I’m still all about moderation and enjoying all food all year round. Hence a cheesy, comforting soup in January. :)

Amish Cheeseburger Soup on thepajamachef.com

There’s honestly not too much to say about this soup… it’s like a cheeseburger in a bowl, minus the bun of course! LOL. Plenty of cheese, sour cream, hamburger meat, potatoes, and some veggies to thicken it up! I did healthify the original recipe by using real cheese instead of Velveeta, but feel free to use either to suit your family’s preferences. Ben and I loved every bowl of this soup! I will be honest, it’s not one I’d make every week or even every month, but it is a hearty, comforting meal on occasion. It would be a wonderful addition for a soup potluck–it’s definitely different from anything anyone else would bring, I’m sure! Enjoy! :)

one year ago: Healthy Tropical Banana Muffins
two years ago: Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears
three years ago: Mexican Cornbread Pot Pie
four years ago: Lasagna Soup
five years ago: Whole-Wheat Corn Bread

Amish Cheeseburger Soup

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Print

adapted from 4 Little Fergusons

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, diced [about 3-4 carrots]
  • 1 1/2 cups celery, diced [about 4 stalks]
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 8 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed [about 2 pounds]
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups skim milk, room temperature
  • 16 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 16 ounces sour cream

Directions:

In a large stockpot set over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add carrots, celery, and onion and saute for 8-10 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, cook ground chuck through. Drain off fat and set aside.

When vegetables are cooked, season with parsley, basil, and pepper, then add chicken broth and potatoes. Cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking until potatoes are soft and tender.

While potatoes are cooking, in a separate saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the remaining butter. When melted, slowly whisk in flour to make a roux. Constantly stir for 1 minute, until bubbly. Slowly pour in room temperature milk, stirring continually until mixture thickens. If you use skim milk this may take longer but it will happen. Then pour in potato mixture along with ground chuck and shredded cheese. Reduce heat to low and cook until everything is incorporated and cheese is melted.

Off heat, stir in sour cream. Cover and let rest for a few minutes, then season with additional herbs or pepper.

Note: I think it’d be great to add some diced tomatoes to the soup next time!

Mystery Dish: Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles can be classy too! They aren’t just college student food. These ramen noodles feature shrimp–REAL sesame ginger seasoned shrimp–and lots of yummy vegetables, all cooked in a delightful ginger-chili broth.

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

This dish is genius, if I do say so myself. I’ve made a fancified ramen dish before [check it out!] and ever since then, I’ve been dreaming about ramen noodles… but not the uber salty college kind. Ramen noodles with real food. Mmm!

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

But it wasn’t until this month’s Mystery Dish [hosted by Mary Frances of The Sweet {Tooth} Life] when one of our challenge ingredients included RAMEN NOODLES! Woot! Other ingredients we had to choose from included clams, blueberries, heavy whipping cream, chocolate chunks, potato chips, kale, almond butter, chiles, and orange juice. I used chili pepper paste and kale in this recipe too. Originally, I planned to make this a pretty simple kale ramen noodle dish with a chili pepper sauce. But then when cooking, I saw shrimp in the fridge… shrimp that I had been planning to use for the 2015 Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Blogger Recipe Challenge. Then I wondered… what would shrimp ramen taste like? Turns out, it’s pretty fabulous and I’m so proud to enter it in this awesome recipe contest as well as use it for Mystery Dish. :) I didn’t intend to make one recipe for two events but it worked out really well!

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

Before the recipe, let’s talk about how flavorful these ramen noodles really are. Ramen noodles usually just have some sauce on them. Not mine! These ramen noodles begin with a flavorful ginger-chili broth, made with lots of fresh Asian/Thai ingredients like ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and chili pepper. Add in some fresh veggies [I used kale, mushrooms, and bell peppers] and some flavorful shrimp and you are set for one classy meal! Ben and I both agreed that the shrimp were the best part of the dish… right next to those slurpy ginger noodles, that is. :)

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

To make the shrimp so fabulous, I started with a quick marinade/rub. I used some of the usual suspects–soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger, lemongrass, chili pepper–as well as the star seasoning blend from Healthy Solutions… Sesame Ginger Tuna. This seasoning blend is super flavorful and zesty; it’s hard to believe it doesn’t contain sugar or salt.

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

I rubbed all this on some large shrimp and let it hang out while I whipped together the broth, then I sauteed up all the veggies and shrimp. There’s a lot going on in this dish, but with the common flavors–ginger, garlic, lemongrass, chili pepper… everything goes together SO well. And bonus! This dish comes together in about 30 minutes so it’s perfect for a weeknight family dinner. If you’re super organized, you could put the rub on the shrimp earlier in the day to infuse more flavor into them but that’s totally not necessary. I’m so excited with how well this dish turned out and I hope you love it too! Thanks to Healthy Solutions and Mystery Dish for the inspiration behind this dish. Enjoy! :)
Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles | thepajamachef.com #MysteryDish #HealthySolutionsBloggerRecipeChallenge

one year ago: Lightened Up Cheesy Sausage Grits Breakfast Casserole
two years ago: Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream
three years ago: Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken
four years ago: Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes

Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

for shrimp 

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Healthy Solutions Sesame Ginger Tuna seasoning blend
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemongrass paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 1 tablespoon chili pepper paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and devined [mine still had the tails on though]

for ginger-chili broth

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated [from about 1-2 inches fresh peeled ginger]
  • 2 scallions, chopped – green and white parts separated
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili pepper paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 4 cups chicken broth

for ramen

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, thinly sliced [I used the mini red, yellow, and orange peppers]
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated [from about 1/2-1 inch fresh peeled ginger]
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper paste [I used Garden Gourmet brand]
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 – 8 ounce packages ramen noodles, uncooked [any flavor – flavor packets are NOT used]
  • 1 cup kale, thinly sliced into ribbons and firmly packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons fish sauce, to taste
  • additional broken ramen noodles, for garnish
  • chopped cilantro, for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together Healthy Solutions Sesame Ginger Tuna seasoning blend, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, lemongrass, and chili pepper. Add shrimp and toss together to coat. Set aside.

Next, prepare ginger-chili broth. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and the white part of the scallions. Cook, stirring constantly, for about one minute. Add chili pepper paste and chicken broth, and stir until it comes together. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil for another minute. Reduce heat to low and simmer while the rest of the dish comes together.

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add mushrooms, peppers, ginger, lemongrass, and chili pepper. Saute for three to four minutes, then add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.

Next, cook the noodles. Break the noodles up and add them to the ginger-chili broth. Turn heat to medium-high, keeping just below a boil. Cook for 3 minutes then remove from heat.

While noodles are cooking, add shrimp to the veggies in the wok. Stir regularly for about three minutes or until shrimp are no longer pink. Next, reduce heat to low and pour ramen and broth in the pan. Add kale, lime juice, fish sauce, and most of the reserved green scallions from the broth. Stir then let rest for about a minute. Serve topped with additional broken ramen noodles, chopped cilantro, and green scallions. Enjoy!

2015 Blogger Recipe Challenge for Healthy Solution Spice Blends | thepajamachef.com

Disclosure: I received a complimentary packet of Sesame Ginger Tuna Spice Blend by Healthy Solutions Spice Blends for participating in this recipe contest. You can use any sesame ginger seasoning blend for this recipe. I received no additional compensation for this post; all comments are 100% accurate and 100% my own. I was not paid or required to publish positive comments but I happen to love Healthy Solutions Spice Blends… check out my review of them here.

Check out other Mystery Dish recipes below:

Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Sandwich Cookies from Flavor the Moments
Blueberry Frozen Custard Pops from Simply Gloria
Sesame Ginger Shrimp Ramen Noodlesfrom The Pajama Chef
Potato Chip Chocolate Chunk Cookies from I Dig Pinterest
Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Potato Chip Cookies from Chez Catey Lou
Blueberry French Toast Casserole from Yummy Healthy Easy
Spicy Clam & Kale Appetizer by Inspiration Kitchen
Chocolate Covered Potato Chip Rice Krispie Treats from The Sweet {Tooth} Life

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

An easy, flavorful minestrone soup that can be made in the crockpot. We love this soup on cold winter nights.

Crockpot Minestrone Soup #winter #recipes #easy #soup | thepajamachef.comGrowing up, I didn’t like soup at all. Minestrone soup was probably my least favorite of them all, with all its tiny vegetables, white beans, and floaty spinach. The pasta was the only good part!! And there never was enough of it. It’s not like my mom served soup all the time or anything. I just remember it being an option. A gross option. Fortunately, my tastes have matured a bit. Now, I LOVE soup. Love love love it. I frequently make a big batch on the weekend and freeze leftovers in individual containers to make the lunch packing chore easier.

Crockpot Minestrone Soup #winter #recipes #easy #soup | thepajamachef.comIn the winter, this is one of my favorite soups to make. I usually have all the ingredients on hand so making this hearty Italian in the crockpot is super simple. There are some ways to fancy it up though, if that’s your thing–you can saute the veggies, use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs, etc. But the classic crockpot cooking style of “toss it in and forget it” TOTALLY works for this recipe. The one deviation I take from that is cooking the pasta separately, to help it not soak up all the broth right away. That’s not too hard, is it? Hope not, because this is one delicious soup!! Enjoy!

two years ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
four years ago: Eggless Cookie Dough

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 6-8 hours
  • Print

adapted from Skinnytaste

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups/48 ounces chicken or vegetable broth, reduced sodium if possible
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 3 small diced carrots
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Parmesan cheese rind, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta like ditalini or small shells
  • 1 – 10 ounce package frozen spinach, defrosted with liquid squeezed out
  • Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Directions:

Add beans, broth, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, basil, and rosemary to a large crockpot. Stir and add Parmesan cheese rind, if using. Set crockpot to cook on low for 6-8 hours.

An hour before you want to eat, bring a small pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add pasta to crock pot along with defrosted spinach. Stir, cover, and let crockpot cook for another 30 minutes or so to heat through.

Before serving, remove bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan!

 

Notes:

  • If desired, you can saute the onion, carrots, and celery before adding to the crockpot.
  • Fresh herbs can be used in place of dry herbs.
  • A thicker minestrone can be achieved by pureeing half the beans with 2 cups chicken broth.
  • The pasta absorbs the broth as it sits, so when you reheat it, you may have to add additional broth or water.
  • Soup reheats and freezes well!

 

#10DaysofTailgate: Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

A chunky vegetarian chili loaded up with beans, veggies, and pumpkin for some velvety smooth sauce. This soup makes a ton and tastes better the second day!

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

TEAR! This is my last recipe for #10DaysofTailgate. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway… there are lots of great prizes, including one from Bob’s Red Mill. You’re probably pretty familiar with Bob already, but you can check ’em out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram too. :) They sent me a bag of their 13 Bean Soup Mix and boy! was it good. Thanks, Bob! It had some of my favorite beans–black beans, lentils, pinto beans–along with some fun additions like black eyed peas and lima beans.

#10DaysofTailgate Sponsors

I have a few things to admit with this recipe, guys. First, I didn’t really make it vegetarian–I used chicken broth. Oops! But you can use vegetable broth if you want… I just wanted to call it a vegetarian chili. Second, it’s not nearly as pumpkiny as I would have liked. But that’s okay–the pumpkin adds a velvety smoothness to the saucy part of the chili… that may not actually be traditional chili because it has wild rice in it. Yum. But I wanted to call it a pumpkin chili so I did. Third, it’s addictive and may cause even non-bean lovers to swoon with delight because it’s chunky, tomato-y, pumpkin-y, and delicious!

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

Is that okay with you? Good! Go grab half the contents of your pantry, fridge, and spice cabinet and make this chili NOW. You’ll be so glad you did! It’s extra delicious with lots of melty cheese on top. Thanks, Camilla, for hosting #10DaysofTailgate! Hope y’all have enjoyed it as much as I have!

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili | thepajamachef.com #10DaysofTailgate

four years ago: Chunky Crock Pot Applesauce

Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 3 hours + overnight soak
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups 13 bean soup mix
  • 1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 – 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes in tomato juice, undrained
  • 1 – 8 ounce can tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch cinnamon
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • cheese, for topping

Directions:

The night before you wish to cook, wash and sort beans to remove any small pebbles. Soak in a large bowl full of cold water. When ready to cook, drain and rinse beans.

Add all ingredients except rice and cheese to pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, then cook uncovered for 90 minutes. After that time, add wild rice to the pot and let simmer until beans and rice are soft.

Serve with cheese on top!

Here’s what the rest of the crew brought to the table…

Starters
BBQ Sausage & Cheese Plate by The Spiffy Cookie
Vegified Hot “Wings” by Curious Cuisiniere
Fried Polenta Cakes with Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella Salad by Love and Confections
Smoky Karma Stovetop Beans by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Dips
Chile con Queso by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Mains
Kicking Karma Veggie Fajita Pizza by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Not Ketchup Cherry Chipotle Steak Tacos by Making Miracles
BBQ Chickpea Sliders with Apple Slaw by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili by The Pajama Chef
Beef Kabobs by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Disclosure: I received a complementary bag of 13 Bean Soup Mix from Bob’s Red Mill as part of my participation in #10DaysofTailgate. I was not compensated in any way–for my time, to create a recipe, or to publish positive comments. I was not required to use these products as part of my recipe. My opinions are my own.