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Close up overhead shot of a spoonful being lifted over a bowl of southwest quinoa with black beans, diced red pepper, fresh cilantro, and garnished with lime wedges. In a white bowl on a light colored background.

One Pot Southwest Quinoa and Black Beans {gluten free + vegan}

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This one pot southwest quinoa and black beans dish is a super easy and flavorful Mexican style side dish. Made with quinoa, sautéed onions and peppers, a simple southwest spice blend, and inexpensive black beans. The perfect accompaniment to your next Mexican dinner night! Pantry friendly, gluten free and vegan.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced 
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup broth or water 
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • cilantro for serving


  1. Carefully rinse quinoa using a fine mesh strainer. Drain well and set aside. 
  2. In a medium sized pot heat olive oil over medium high heat until hot and shimmering. Add diced onion and bell pepper and saute until quite soft and starting to caramelize – about 4-5 minutes. 
  3. Add quinoa with spices, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat quinoa with spices and lightly toast the quinoa. Cook until quinoa is starting to appear more dry and sticking to the bottom of the pan a little bit. 
  4. Pour in broth or water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to low. 
  5. Cook, covered, for 25 minutes. turn off the heat and leave covered to steam for about 5 minutes. Remove the cover, fluff the quinoa, and allow steam to release for another 5 minutes or so. Add the black beans and stir gently to combine. Put the cover back on the pan and allow beans to warm slightly before serving.
  6. Serve topped with cilantro and your favorite Mexican garnishes. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 mintes
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: mexican

Keywords: taco tuesday, cinco de mayo, quinoa, gluten free, plant based, vegan, black beans, southwest