Chocolate and chilies, as we’ve discovered, go together. I’ve played with this dessert aspect in a chili chocolate mousse and there are several chocolate bars on the market that celebrate the marriage of these two foods, but what about the savory realm? There isn’t much documentation that states the Aztecs combined chocolate in their main dishes. Chocolate was a drink not an ingredient to be added to food.

I decided to experiment with the combination in the savory realm. I took quinoa (from South America) and added chilies and chocolate (from Central America and Mexico). The heat of the chilies plays off the chocolate and binds into the quinoa bringing a bite of contrast to your mouth.

This dish is great for dinner parties and as a way to impress a date. It is exotic enough to spark conversations about food trivia. Except for a few ingredients, this is truly a New World dish. All the main ingredients, including the acorn squash and tomatoes are from the Americas.

Red Chili Quinoa and Chocolate
An innovative way to flavor quinoa and serve foods of the Americas.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr