Chipotle rice and beans with quinoa and corn

chipotle quinoa and beans

It is interesting to see how cuisine evolved around the world. Indian and Mexican cuisine both get called out for being spicy. To be honest, they have unique spice combinations that are just beyond the heat of the chillies. The one pack that says red chilli powder does not satisfy the needs of both the cuisines. Mexican cuisine offers the best insight into the various forms of chillies and their use in different sauces and recipes. The use of the chilli for smokiness, depth of flavour and finally the heat varies based on the type of chilli it is.

Chilli peppers and heat index

Chilli peppers come in all forms and shapes. The SHU, Scoville heat units is a heat index that shows the uniqueness of each pepper that you choose. This helps you understand and adjust the sweetness and heat levels based on the recipe you are making. With ghost peppers topping the list for the heat, you have the sweet bell peppers that hardly raise a unit. Here is a handy list of some common pepper and their heat index. (source)

Bell peppers – sweet with no heat (0 to 100SHU). We have used bell peppers in a few recipes on the blog, but try this – Carrot and bell pepper salad with Italian dressing

Bull horn peppers – Sweet to mild, no heat ( 0 to 100 SHU). These peppers swap over for the nonspicy version of Mirchi nu sambharo – Gujarathi cuisine chilli stirfry

Poblanoes – mild heat  (1000 – 2000 SHU)

Jalapenos -both green and red are mild to strong in heat levels. The red ones are a bit more fruiter in flavour than the green ( 2500 – 11, 000 SHU). Try pickled jalapenos.

Chipotle- Smoked, dried jalapeno creating a unique spicy flavour with a mild heat in your dishes (2500 – 8000SHU)

Serrano – Works well in most Indian recipes. they tend to pack in some good amount of heat ( 6000 – 25,000 SHU) 

Thai chillies – With the fruity aroma, these chillies are hot!! ( 50. 000 to 100.000SHU) 

Habanero – the citrus-like aroma and beautiful colour will allure you. Wait don’t fall for the looks as these are spicy ( 100. 000 – 350,000 SHU)

Nagabon chillies – looking like a habanero, these are incredibly hot. In fact, these peppers are a cross of Bhot Jolokia and SCotch bonnet peppers (800. 000 SHu or more) We have used it here just to jazz up the refreshing soup –Watermelon gazpacho with Nagabon chilli kick.

curried qiona with mexican spice mix

As we are exploring peppers, today we are taking up a milder chipotle pepper. The first thing you notice in taste about these peppers is their smokiness. This combines well in the recipe today with the meatiness of the black beans, the sweetness of the corn and the crunchy quinoa. Though the title says rice, it has been replaced by quinoa. If you are using rice, use the Spanish rice as it works best in this recipe.

shh cooking secretly

Recipe pairing.

The recipe pairs really well with the Peach cilantro salsa made by Preethi Prasad. She is my partner for this month’s Shh cooking recipe challenge. The Mexican theme proposed by Nams Corner brought forth some of the best in us. Surely it challenged me to look beyond the usual snd bring forth some more wholesome flavours into my kitchen. Previously I have only put together some easy condiments that go well with this chipotle corn and bean recipe. Here are the links to the condiments

Pico de Gallo

Chunky tomato salsa

Here is a quick few images of what made this recipe happen.

Scroll down for the full recipe. This is great meal prep and stays well for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Add it to you wraps with a salad or make it into a burrito bowl with some pico de Gallo and guacamole is totally up to you.
Do tag us when you make this recipe.

Stay safe and enjoy your day.

chipotle rice with quinoa , sweet corn and black beans

chipotle quinoa and beans

Chipotle rice and beans with quinoa and corn

Gluten-free, protein-rich, low oil, healthy dinner recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Autumn, diabetic friendly, Fusion, gluten free, International, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 people


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium Onion ( yellow)
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/8 tsp   dry oregano
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • Black pepper ( crushed)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup sweet corn ( I have used frozen)
  • 1 cup black bean ( cooked and drained, use canned if you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp green onion chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander leaves chopped


  • In a deep pan. add the olive oil and add the garlic and chopped onion.
  • As the onion roasts well add the chipotle paste, cumin powder and crushed dry oregano and mix well.
  • Add the quinoa and stock and bring it t a boil.
  • As the quinoa cooks halfway add the black beans and sweet corn.
  • Add salt, black pepper and mix well.
  • Mix well and cook further. Once the quinoa cooks through it is crunchy and the centre appears glassy.
  • Stir in the coriander leaves and green onions and remove from heat.
  • Serve warm.


For the cooked black beans:
Soak  1/4 cup of black beans in lots of water overnight. Drain and wash the beans in the morning and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Release steam naturally. 
In the instant pot, Add 3 cups of water, rinsed soaked black beans and set on Pressure cook- high for 30 minutes. Let the steam release naturally. Remove the lid carefully.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Mayuri Patel
3 years ago

A healthy, filling and delicious quinoa dish with black beans and corn. It was during my first ever visit to Montreal that I realized that there were so many different varieties of chillis. Here in Kenya we don’t a huge variety of them.

Priya Vj
3 years ago

Healthy and delicious version where you have replaced rice with quinoa . Oh my !! and what a lovely detailed description about the variety of chilies from around the world . Thanks for the information.

3 years ago

Thank you for sharing that tasty and healthy food recipe.

the Girl Next Door
3 years ago

I love how you have created a flavourful Mexican dish that’s healthy and wholesome. The use of quinoa here is intriguing. 🙂 Also, thanks for that brilliant insight into various types of chillies.

3 years ago

Loved the details on so many different peppers and chillies.. Chipotle rice with beans and quiona looks so yumm and sounds sounds such a flavourful meal..

Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth
Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth
3 years ago

Hehe… I love that whole glossary of chillies and its strength! Love that comforting bowl with all that crucnhiness…

3 years ago

Wow interesting to know so much about the chilies and their varieties. And you are right Mexican and Indian cuisine chilies are different and one pack will not suffice. Your quinoa with corn and beans looks delicious as well as filling

Jayashree T.Rao
3 years ago

It is a good dish with quinoa here. Looks delicious, filling and easy to make.

Poonam Bachhav
3 years ago

Such an informative post on different chili varietes ! The dish with quinoa ,beans and corn sounds so filling and wholesome .

Anu Kollon
3 years ago

Such healthy and delicious dish. I liked the idea of replacing the rice with quinoa. Also a great writeup about different types of peppers. Very informative it was.

3 years ago

very insightful read with those SHU pointers, Seema.. the bowl absolutely smashing with the quinoa and the flavours from Chipotle and spices:)

3 years ago

Such a healthy and very interesting Mexican recipe, very well explained about different varieties chillies. Thanks for sharing such a good information, loved the combination of black beans, quinoa and corns.

3 years ago

Loved this wholesome Chipotle rice and beans with quinoa and corn . So nutritious and filling. Write up of different peppers is so informative.

3 years ago

Such a informative information on different types of chilies. This looks so heathy and nutritious with quinoa and beans.

3 years ago

I love it! Healthy, filling and definitely something we will enjoy. Will love to try all the chillies you mentioned.

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