Skinny Quinoa with Black Beans

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If you’re a quinoa hold-out, but love Mexican food, this dish will convince you to make quinoa a regular part of your dinner menu. Skinny Quinoa with Black Beans is a perfect alternative to your traditional rice and beans recipes.  The combination of quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, and spices, like cumin, chili powder, and fresh cilantro, make this delicious dish a family favorite. Plus, this recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free! As superfoods, quinoa and black beans contain the vitamins and minerals you need to help fight cancer, lower cholesterol, and so much more. The benefits are endless. Learn more about the health benefits of quinoa here. To add more flavor, not to mention nutritional power, top this recipe with sliced avocado. Make a little extra and enjoy Skinny Quinoa with Black Beans in a tasty a burrito the next day.

Quinoa with Black Beans

Quinoa with Black Beans

Yields : 4 servings | Serving size: 1 cup | Calories: 201 | Total Fat: 4 g | Saturated Fats: 0 g | Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 204 mg | Carbohydrates: 33 g | Dietary fiber: 7 g | Sugars: 3 g | Protein: 7 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 3 |


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup quinoa (uncooked), rinsed (red or white will work)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans(low sodium preferred), drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chilis
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable broth, low sodium


  1. In a large skillet add olive oil, turn to medium-low heat and saute diced onions until tender, about 4 minutes, add garlic and saute one additional minute. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed above. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil and cook 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes covered before serving. Fluff quinoa with a large spoon and serve.
  2. Be sure to check out, "The New Quinoa ebook ~ A Healthy Alternative to Traditional Recipes".

Be sure to check out our recipe for Qunioa Protein Bars, another SkinnyMs. favorite.

37 Comments on "Skinny Quinoa with Black Beans"

  1. Amy Coleman McNees  September 10, 2012

    This is an excellent recipe. I am a die-hard fan of Mexican food so this was a fabulous alternative. Thankfully I was able to adapt this to my slow cooker and it turned out very well. 😉

    • Skinny Ms.  September 11, 2012

      Amy, Great!! Glad you enjoyed.

    • Cindy  March 16, 2013

      How did you adapt it to the slow cooker?

      • Skinny Ms.  March 17, 2013

        Cindy, Quinoa doesn’t do well in the slow cooker because it only takes 15 minutes or so to cook.

  2. Rachel Brown  September 11, 2012

    I make a verison of this, but I add corn & avacado and use red onion. It's really good!

  3. Leslie  September 18, 2012

    How did you do this in the slow cooker? Any changes to the recipe?

    • Skinny Ms.  September 19, 2012

      Leslie, I don't…quinoa doesn't hold up well in the slow cooker. 🙁

  4. Lola Wines  October 2, 2012

    Do you drain the tomatoes before adding them?

  5. B  December 2, 2012

    Love this one!

  6. Megan  January 4, 2013

    Sounds delish! What do you serve this with? Or do you serve this as a one-dish meal?

    • Skinny Ms.  January 5, 2013

      Megan, It’s a one dish meal or serve with a nice salad.

    • celi  October 18, 2018

      I make this with mashed sweet potatoes seasoned with freeze dried chives and vegetable salt. I find sweet potatoes match so well with quinoa.

  7. Pingback: Can’t Get Enough Quinoa #meatlessmonday « healthygirlandthecity

  8. Ged  March 3, 2013

    Sound great! How many servings does this make?

  9. barb e  March 11, 2013

    One of my favorite go-to recipes now.

  10. Erika  March 14, 2013

    I made this for dinner last night. It was super easy and I really enjoyed it!

  11. Amanda  May 19, 2013

    I'm totally in love with this recipe and so is my fiance (who refuses to eat healthy). Thanks so much!

    • Skinny Ms.  May 20, 2013

      Amanda, Now that made my day!!! 🙂 By the way, my husband too.

  12. Leslie  July 11, 2013

    I made a double recipe of this tonight. I used Rotel tomatoes, instead of using a separate can of green chiles. It took a little while longer to cook, but it was great. I'm sure the leftovers will reheat well, and this should freeze well, too. My family is going to go on Whole Living's Action Plan next week, so I'm trying out a few new recipes beforehand. Your website is great!

  13. Jds  July 17, 2013

    I made this tonight! It is delicious! We added a little more spice. It didn't thicken into a pilaf but it was still very good.

  14. John  June 11, 2014

    Will this freeze and keep for future use

    • SkinnyMs  June 11, 2014

      John, Yes, this can be freezed for future use. Cool it to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

  15. Annette  February 21, 2015

    How many servings does this make?

    • SkinnyMs  February 23, 2015

      Annette, This recipe yields 4 servings and I have added the yield to the nutrition calculations. Enjoy!

  16. Alexis  April 20, 2015

    Was there way too much liquid for anyone else? I would adjust, perhaps half the amount of broth.. maybe drain the tomatoes. My quinoa was cooked long before the liquid was absorbed or cooked out.. and I didn't end up with the right texture. Still edible and the flavor was good.. just use way less liquid..

  17. Krista  February 26, 2016

    Can you use water rather than vegetable broth, or is this a quinoa recipe that tastes better with broth? Thank you!!

    • Gale Compton  February 27, 2016

      Krista, Water is fine. The vegetable broth does add a nice taste but I use water in a pinch and the recipe is still delicious. 🙂

  18. Jana  April 29, 2017

    A little lemon or lime will really make the flavors pop.

    • Nichole Furlong  April 29, 2017

      You’re absolutely right, Jana! A little citrus would taste wonderful in this recipe!

  19. Amy  July 18, 2017

    How would you adapt this for brown rice instead of quinoa? My grocer didn’t have quinoa and I plan on making this tonight!

    • Emilia Horn  July 18, 2017

      Amy, you should be able to cook it the same way! Rice and quinoa take about the same amount of time to cook.

  20. celi  May 4, 2018

    Does the quinoa hold up well? I find when I make quinoa mixed with other stuff in gets all mushy or clumped

    • Gale Compton  May 5, 2018

      Celi, It holds up perfectly. This is one of my favorite quinoa recipes.


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