Carolina Kitchen: Sweet potato quinoa three-bean chili

Photo: WLOS

Chef Emily Abernathy from Chupacabra Latin Cafe in Reynolds Village shares this restaurant favorite on News 13 This Morning, This Weekend.

Yield: 8-10 quarts

This recipe is best made in 3 parts:

  • 4-5 potatoes
  • 4-6 poblano pppers (depending on size)
  • chili

Sweet Potatoes


  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Wash potatoes, poke holes with a fork.
  • Place them on a baking sheet, lined with parchment or foil.
  • Roast approximately 60 minutes, or until tender when squeezed.
  • Allow to cool to warm, the jackets should peel right off.
  • Put the potatoes in a bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting: start the peppers.


  • In a heavy bottom large soup pot, heat 2 Tbs canola oil over medium high heat.
  • Place poblanos in oil, cover with a tight lid, and sear until they start to smell just the slightest bit burnt. Pull off the heat.
  • Allow to cool 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove lid, flip the peppers, and return to heat. Repeat.
  • When done, you should see the skin of the pepper separating from the flesh.
  • Save the oil for the next step:
  • Wearing gloves, use a paper towel, and, by rubbing against the pepper’s skin, remove it from the pepper. Separate peeled peppers into pieces, remove seeds and chop.



  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3/4 to 1 1/2 Cup roasted poblano peppers.
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 limes, juiced.
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped.
  • 1 large can Cento Chef’s cut tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 cans navy or great northern beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 6 quarts water or vegetable stock.
  • Tbsp. Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp mexican oregano
  • Salt & black pepper to taste.


  • In the same large pot, with the reserved pepper oil, sautee onions and garlic over medium high heat, until onions are translucent.
  • Add tomato paste and continue to sautee until incorporated. Add poblanos and sweet potatoes. Turn down heat as needed.
  • Add canned tomatoes and 1 quart veg stock or water, and stir until incorporated.
  • Add canned beans and water or stock as needed until beans are covered in 1/2 inch of liquid. Bring to a low boil,add quinoa, reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, adding liquid as needed to keep quinoa from sticking, stir often.
  • Add seasoning, cilantro, and lime juice.
  • Stir and simmer 10 to 20 more minutes.
  • Wait 1 hour before serving.