Recipe: Dehydrated Black Bean & Quinoa Chilli (with a Hint of Dark Chocolate)

Chilli is so easy to make, and I often search for a recipe that I can use as a base and add more ingredients to. Chilli is also a really great meal to dehydrate because once all the moisture has been taken out, it weighs next to nothing. When you’re portaging or hiking with a backpack, every ounce counts. It has veggies, protein and carbohydrates, making it a healthy and nutritious meal.

Chilli also is excellent at rehydrating once at camp. We just add a bit of water to the pot with our crumbled chilli bits and bring to a boil. I usually do the taste test along the way adding more water until it doesn’t taste so concentrated and has the perfect consistency.

I found a great quinoa chilli recipe on Damn Delicious that I added more ingredients to. The lime and cilantro add a nice zest to the chilli (awesome when you’re out camping and eating dehydrated meals), and the dark chocolate adds a good layer of deep flavour.


Serves 8 (using 3 ladlefuls per person)


  • 3 tbsp water
  • large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • bell pepper, diced (2 small, or 1 large)
  • zucchini, diced
  • sweet potato (medium), diced very small
  • black beans, rinsed (19 oz can)
  • quinoa (1 cup)
  • canned diced tomatoes (2 x 28 oz. cans)
  • salsa (1 jar)
  • pickled jalapeños (5 or 6 slices), chopped
  • unsweetened dark chocolate (.25 ounce, or one piece of unsweetened baker’s chocolate)
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder (or more to taste)
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Fritos, optional


  1. Rinse 1 cup of quinoa well,  and add it and to 2 cups of water to a pot. Bring to a boil (I usually crumble a vegetable stock cube to add more flavour). After boiling, add lid, put on low heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, add about 3 tbsp of water to a large pot. You are using water instead of oil for dehydrating purposes. Add chopped onion and garlic. Cook/saute on medium heat. Add chopped pepper, zucchini, jalapeños and sweet potato. Cook until almost tender.
  3. Add chilli powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for about a minute until mixture starts to stick to bottom.
  4. Add canned tomatoes, salsa, black beans and quinoa. Cook on medium heat. Once all the mixture is hot, add dark chocolate square. Taste and add salt if needed.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add lime juice.
  6. Once completely cooled, and ready for the dehydrator, add chopped cilantro.



In the Dehydrator

Spread a thin layer of chilli mixture on a paraflex sheet in your dehydrator. Set the temperature to about 135°F. Could take up to 12 hours. You might need to turn the mixture half way through. Once it’s all dried and crumbly it’s ready.


To speed up the dehydrating process, I removed the paraflex sheet after most of the moisture was gone and finished on a regular screened sheet.

At Camp

Add water so that it’s just covering the mixture. Bring to a boil and keep adding water when necessary until it doesn’t taste so concentrated and has the right consistency. We add boiling water from our Kelly Kettle and then put the pot on the Kelly Kettle Hobo Stove to finish cooking.

Rehydrating our sloppy joe mixture
Hobo Stove attachment to our Kelly Kettle base


Top with Fritos and enjoy!


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