Quinoa and Bean Pilaf

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 green), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 scallions, sliced (white and green parts separated)

3 scallions, sliced (white and green parts separated) 

2 stalks celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

1 cup quinoa

2 15-ounce cans black and/or kidney beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups baby spinach (about 3 ounces)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese

Hot sauce, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, scallion whites and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste turns brick red, about 2 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, then add 2 cups water and the beans. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until most of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add up to 1/4 cup more water if necessary. 
  2. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the spinach until just wilted. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and half each of the scallion greens and cheese. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with the remaining scallion greens and cheese. Serve with hot sauce.