Cooking for the Anti-Chef: Crock Pot Quinoa Chili


Cooking is, without question, one of my least favorite activities. I’m not a natural in the kitchen, I’m not creative when it comes to meal concepts, and I certainly don’t enjoy the process. My mom is a fantastic chef, and can seemingly pull recipes out of thin air, make them, and the end results are always delicious. But that gene was not passed down to me. I wish it was, really. Because then, maybe dinner wouldn’t loom over me like a very dark cloud every. single. night. But it does. And I’m left perpetually hunting for non-boring meals that won’t exhaust my patience and don’t have, on average, more than say, five ingredients. I finally bought a Crock Pots last year thinking it was magic: Just toss a bunch of random ingredients in there, turn it on, and you have a meal. Unfortunately, I discovered that’s not quite how it works, but it is slightly less painful than “regular” cooking.

In an attempt to help others out there like me, I will share recipes from time-to-time that I’ve actually found manageable. This one, for a black-bean-and-chicken-sausage-and-quinoa chili, is one I adapted from the blog Queen Bee Coupons (Thank you, Pinterest), with some changes motivated either by laziness or personal taste. Enjoy!



  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
  • One 28oz can of diced (or crushed) tomatoes
  • One 14oz can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • Two 16oz cans of black beans, rinsed & drained
  • One 15oz can of corn, drained
  • 3 cups of chicken stock (can use vegetable broth, too–I’ve done both. Can’t even tell the difference)
  • 2-3 chicken sausages, cut into pieces (We used these instead of plain chicken, because we already had them and it seemed easier. The types of chicken sausage out there are endless–just use one you like. Or, leave the meat out altogether to make this vegetarian.)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Can also add 2 tsp chili powder if you like spicy. I do not, so I left this out. 
  • Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt (This is in place of sour cream. Seriously, it works. We use Fage Total, 0%)


1. Put everything but the cheese and greek yogurt in the Crock Pot.

2. Turn the Crock Pot on.

3. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-7 hours on high.

4. Add shredded cheese and yogurt on top as desired. I typically pile the cheese on; my fiancé is healthier and does just a “sprinkle.” To each his own.

Do you know any other easy winter recipes? Share in the comments. Seriously, I need help. 

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