Buffalo-Style Quinoa Chili

By • August 25, 2013 27 Comments

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Author Notes: A vegetarian (and easily vegan) buffalo chili that has everything you want in a chicken wing, thrown together in a chili bowl!Stacy McCann

Food52 Review: WHO: Stacy is a writer and a slow food enthusiast from St. Louis.
WHAT: A 30-minute chili with a serious kick. (Can we capitalize both serious and kick?)
HOW: This will be one of the simplest soups you'll ever make. Just simmer, people.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Sometimes we just want a lot of heat, and for those times, this is the dish we want to make. As a handy bonus, you can whip this up in about the time it takes to crack a beer.
The Editors

Serves 2 to 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • One 14-ounce can hominy
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Frank's red hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Blue cheese, for topping
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium in a saucepan and, once hot, add the diced onion and celery to the pan. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer cook for 15 minutes. Add in black beans, hominy, quinoa, Frank’s, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook 15 more minutes, until the flavors have melded.
  3. To serve, ladle chili into broiler-safe bowls. Top with blue cheese and place under broiler until cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes.

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Comments (27) Questions (0)


7 months ago hkrf1017

Made this exactly as written and it is excellent. Did not add blue cheese. I feel like if you need ranch with your buffalo wings then add the cheese. I did not think it was "too acidic" or "too spicy" - it is still milder than hit buffalo wings. My husband, who is a heat lover, says with 1/2 cup Franks it definitely tastes like buffalo wings but is not too hot and you could definitely add more.

Highly recommend. Thanks for sharing this.


9 months ago tota

Not familiar with Franks' Hot Sauce, is this easily found in San Francisco area? Or can I substitute something else? We certainly have plenty of hot sauces out here!


11 months ago The Pontificator

Winner! Keeper!


over 1 year ago bistrobistro

So delicious and super easy. I really cheated and used my slow cooker and just added extra spices (I did sautee the celery and onion).


over 1 year ago Araceli

Wow, definitely going to be making this sometime this week! I usually do a similar chili without quinoa and I happen to have an unused bag of quinoa already.


over 1 year ago oldkitcheninflatbush

I made this tonight. I love the concept. I did add chipotle in adobo instead of the paprika. I also roasted some poblano peppers and threw them in. I used the pozole (hominy) and I had some frozen corn so I roasted it in a pan and threw that in too. I used cheddar instead of blue cheese (didn't have and didn't fell like running to the store). Served with corn tortillas and a dollop of sour cream. Thanks so much for the base and the idea! Brilliant.


over 1 year ago Marsha Gainey

This was okay. Definitely spicy, even though I used 1/4 c. hot sauce. Don't leave off the blue cheese. You need the tang and the creaminess to cut through all the heat.


over 1 year ago Swiss Meringue

I added the entire 1/2 cup of Franks as well and it was not too spicy or vinegary for me. I actually used 1/2 cup dry quinoa and an extra 1 cup of water, added all of that in with the tomatoes and broth. That turned out perfectly, with just the right consistency. I subbed a can of corn for the hominy. This recipe will definitely go into the rotation! Quick, easy, healthy weeknight dinner or lunch. About 1 TBSP crumbled blue cheese per bowl is plenty.


over 1 year ago Mamazz

guess it shows how different everyone's taste is- I added the full 1/2 cup of franks and it wasn't quite hot enough. Also my husband is on a low carb kick so I subbed finely chopped cauliflower and tofu for the quinoa and hominy- all in all this is a great recipe, just a little bit different from you average chili, and we loved the addition of blue cheese


over 1 year ago elfleming

This was fantastic, but I'd make some modifications next time. This could easily be a one pot meal (it doesn't count for me since you have to cook the quinoa beforehand) by adding 1 cup of dried quinoa and some additional broth. It will result in a lot more quinoa in the dish, but I ended up adding more than 2 cups of cooked quinoa and still really liked it. Thank you!


over 1 year ago Boston2Berkeley

I loved this and have made it several times. I do leave out the hominiy, but otherwise this is nearly a pantry meal for me. I think the amount of Frank's is perfect, but I cover everything with Frank's. I'd definitely recommend adding slowly and tasting as you go if you aren't a particular fan of spice.


over 1 year ago jen

Two issues: 1) would not use blue cheese...it has such a strong flavor it completely overpowers the food, and 2) even without the blue cheese, would use less Frank's. I love buffalo flavor and spice/heat, but this was way too over the top - to the point that it almost ruined the dish. It's so hot it's ridiculous...added some brown sugar to attempt to cut the heat. But it's frustrating to buy all of the ingredients for a recipe, count on having leftovers, and having it feel like an inedible waste. Would slowly add Frank's to make sure you want that much heat.


over 1 year ago Laura

I substituted polenta, lightly fried, for the hominy. Might be a little on the smokey side for me. I will add less of the paprika next time. Nice change from our usual chili though!


over 1 year ago JenOzmun2010

Smells absolutely amazing while cooking!!


over 1 year ago Tracey Wade

disappointed. Way too acidic. Tried to cut it with a little cream and sugar, but - no change.


almost 2 years ago Carol Williams

I used a frozen package of corn and crushed tomatoes instead of diced. All of us loved it!


almost 2 years ago Sabine Gagnon

Made this tonight with the addition of kidney beans, garlic, touch of chili powder, and chicken stock instead of veggie because that is what I had. It was so easy and super flavorful! YUM. Love quinoa in chili!


almost 2 years ago Connie Marie Golightly FitzPatrick

I made this last week, and it was a major hit! I'm making it again this week, and will sub-out the hominy with sweet corn....perfect Fall meal!


almost 2 years ago evelyn

Thanks, that's a great idea! I'm not crazy about Frank's because of the vinegar, even though it was highly recommended in the Cook's Illustrated survey, but it's acceptable if it's diluted enough.


almost 2 years ago MJ

I made it today, the only change I made was that I used Garbanzo beans instead of hominy, that's what I had. It's really good! I am going to simmer it longer to soften the beans and cook down the Frank's. It's a little vinegar-y, but it does taste like chili.