One of my favorite ingredients to cook with would have to be tomatillos. The tomatillo is a plump, green fruit covered in a husk and is very popular in Mexican cooking. They have a really nice tartness to them and pair beautifully with spicy foods. Tomatillos are now widely available in your local supermarket these days. When buying them, it is important to touch them and look for only firm ones. Sometimes if they have been sitting there too long, they can get soft and you don’t want to use them. I like to peel back a little of the husk to check if they are firm. When you are ready to use them, simply remove the husks and give them a cook rinse. You want to make sure to remove their stickiness before cooking with them.
One of my favorite ways to use tomatillos is to make green chili. I am a huge chili fan already, but the tomatillo creates a light and bright chili that isn’t too heavy. The tomatillos are first cooked in boiling water along with some jalapeños. Then they get blended along with some cilantro. These 3 ingredients add so much flavor and depth to this chili. After blending, I got about 3 cups of sauce. If you have a little bit less then that, I would recommend adding a little bit more broth in the chili.
For this recipe, I really wanted to let the tomatillos really shine. So, I choose ingredients like quinoa and white beans, which wouldn’t over power the bright, tart flavor of the tomatillos. The base of the chili is a mix of onions, garlic, and poblano peppers. A perfect pairing for a green chili base.
Sometimes after I make a recipe, I will declare to my husband Hector this is a
Jeni Recipe. He usually nods and agrees with me. I know you are probably wondering what in the world is a Jeni Recipe. Well, basically it always has my favorite ingredients and just speaks to my soul; you know when the food just speaks to you. You know when you read the ingredient list to a recipe and you just know that you will love the recipe based on what is in it. This Quinoa Chili Verde does just that. The quinoa absorbs all that delicious tomatillo sauce and the avocado on top really pulls the chili together. So good!
This Quinoa Chili Verde is light, healthy, comforting. It’s also naturally gluten-free! As the chili sits, the quinoa will absorb most of the liquid. Simply, add a little bit more vegetable broth or water to thin it out. This is chili is best served with diced avocado and sliced green onions.
If you love the flavor profile of salsa verde, I hope that you try this bright and flavorful chili. I think that you will really like it! If you do, be sure to let us know by leaving a comment or taking a photo on Instagram and using #thymeandlove so we can see your photos!
- 1 1/2 lbs Tomatillos
- 2 Jalapenos, stems removed
- 1/2 Cup Cilantro
- 2 Tablespoons Grape Seed Oil
- 2 Medium Yellow Onions, diced
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2-3 Poblano Peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Oregano
- 2 Tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can White Beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth, plus more if needed*
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Optional: 1 Tsp Agave**
- Diced Avocado
- Sliced Green Onions
- Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Rinse the tomatillos to remove their stickiness. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the jalapeños. Cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to medium low. Cook until the tomatillos darken in color, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and transfer to the tomatillos and jalapeños to a blender, along with the cilantro. Allow the tomatillos to cool for 5-10 minutes in the blender before blending.
- While the tomatillos and jalapeño are cooking, this is a good time to chop the onion, poblanos, and garlic.
- After the tomatillos have cooled, blended until smooth. Set aside until needed.
- In a large dutch oven, heat the grape seed oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and poblano peppers, cook until soft, about 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring, cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the blended tomatillo mixture. Stir everything together. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the quinoa, white beans, and broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the quinoa is done. Give the chili a stir once in awhile.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, add the lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings
- Serve with diced avocado and sliced green onions.
*If the chili is too thick, simply thin out with more broth.
**If it is too tart or spicy for you, add in the agave nectar to help balance it out.