3 Bean Mexican Quinoa

This one-pan Mexican quinoa dish is healthy, nutritious and so easy to make. In this recipe, the fluffy quinoa is cooked together with 3 different types of beans all soaked up in a delicious spicy and tangy gravy.

close-up view of 3 bean spicy quinoa garnished with sliced tomatoes on a plate

Health benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa is a complete protein (it is one of the very few foods that have all the amino acids) and gluten-free along with high levels of fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and a host of other nutrients. Quinoa helps in maintaining gut health, heart health, and aids in healthy weight loss. Did you know that quinoa is actually not a grain but a seed related to the spinach family? So it is not a surprise that it is so nutritious.

The super “grain” quinoa can be made even more nutritious by adding beans and spices. This spicy quinoa dish has a lot of protein from the quinoa and3 different varieties of beans and is vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. And full of mouth-watering flavors. Vegans need to eat at least 2 different types of legumes (beans/ lentils) to satisfy their daily recommended protein intake, says my favorite dietician, Pooja Makhija in her book “Eat. delete.”

If you want to enjoy more of the quinoa goodness, you can also try Lemon-garlic quinoa with kidney beans or Creamy mushroom quinoa.

Ingredients you will need for the one pan quinoa

This quinoa recipe with a Mexican twist uses 3 different types of beans: red beans, mung beans and soybeans. The red beans can be replaced with black beans. Here I have used dried beans which have to be soaked for at least a couple of hours. Feel free to use canned beans instead.

Frozen soybeans are so easy to cook and absorbs the flavors amazingly well.

Other ingredients are your usual pantry ingredients and spices like onions, garlic, pureed tomatoes, chili powder and ground cumin. For extra flavor and nutrition, you can add vegetables like carrots, cauliflower or beans.

How to make the one-pan Mexican quinoa

You just need a deep pan or skillet to cook everything in. Saute the onions, garlic, spices and tomato puree in oil. Add stock and when it boils, add quinoa and the soaked beans. Cook on low flame for 20 to 25 minutes until the quinoa and beans are cooked. Garnish with parsley.

Secret to making the best 3 bean Mexican quinoa

The humble tomato puree makes all the difference between awesome Mexican quinoa and a regular one. It gives a sweet, tangy flavor that complements the spices. The tomato puree has to be cooked well until the gravy becomes thick and saucy before adding water and quinoa.

What to serve 3 bean spicy quinoa with

As a side dish, it pairs well with

For a vegan meal, pair it with salads

3 bean spicy quinoa garnished with sliced tomatoes on a plate
3 bean Mexican quinoa in a white ceramic plate

3 Bean Mexican Quinoa

This one pan 3 bean Mexican quinoa is healthy, nutritious and so easy to make.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course dinner, LUNCH, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people
Calories 0.193 kcal


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups water or stock
  • 1/4 cup dry red beans or black beans
  • 1/4 cup dry green mung beans – 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup frozen soybeans
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 3 cloves garlic – 2 cloves crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley for garnish


  • Soak the red and green beans overnight.
  • Wash and drain the quinoa and all the beans. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan, saute the garlic and onions for 5 minutes, then add tomato puree, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir until the mixture becomes thick and sauce-like consistency.
    Add water or stock and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the quinoa and the beans. Cook closed on medium flame until the quinoa is fluffy and all the water is absorbed. This would take about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • The beans also would have got cooked along with the quinoa and soaked up all the juices and flavors.
  • Remove from heat and let it stand for a few minutes. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley and serve.


  • Black beans can be used instead of red beans.
  • As a personal preference I use dried beans, you can use canned beans instead. 
  • If you’re using stock, ensure that it is without salt, or adjust the amount of salt accordingly.
3 Bean Mexican Quinoa
Keyword Mexican quinoa, one pan quinoa, quinoa with beans, spicy quinoa, vegan

Have you tried similar recipes with quinoa? Would you like any variations? I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below:

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