One of our favorite throw-together meals is quinoa and black bean bowls! They are super easy and customizable, plus they have a complete protein while still being vegetarian and vegan. Even if you do consume meat or other animal products, this meal is delicious and perfect for meatless Mondays. Once you have the base of quinoa and black beans, you can top with whatever you like! I love topping mine with salsa, homemade guacamole (recipe here), shredded cheese, lettuce or other greens, and tomatoes.

I think the best part of these quinoa and black bean bowls is how versatile they are. You really can top them with whatever you like! And you don’t even need to use quinoa. If you wanted, you could use grains like rice, barley, or whatever you prefer. While quinoa is considered a “psuedo-cereal”, it is a complete protein on it’s own. Most grains, however, are not complete proteins. By adding beans, you create a complete protein. You can also use any type of bean! Want to use chickpeas instead? Go ahead. How about butter beans? Sure! Whatever you like in your bowl is perfect.That means this is also a good meal to serve for multiple people. Each person can customize their bowl with their favorite add-ons.

Cooking grains can be tricky. While the package typically has instructions, we found this page that has a helpful infographic for all types of grains! For quinoa, it suggests 1 1/4 cup of water per cup of dry quinoa. It recommends pre-soaking the quinoa for 15 minutes, and cooking for 25.

Quinoa and Black Bean Bowls

Quinoa has received a lot of attention recently. It is a delicious whole grain, and is one of the few grains that actually contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Black beans boost the protein and fiber in this meal even more. These bowls are extremely versatile and you can add whatever toppings you have on hand.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: Easy, Fiber, Make ahead, Meal prep, Vegan, Whole grain, Winter
Cooking Method: One Dish Meals
Condition: Cancer, Diabetes, Gluten Free, Nut Free, PCOS, Vegetarian
Servings: 2 servings


  • 1/2 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • toppings cheese, lettuce, additional salsa, tomatoes, sour cream, etc. (for vegan use vegan cheese and sour cream alternatives.)


  • Cook quinoa according to package directions. When quinoa is cooked, add black beans and salsa to pot and stir to combine.
  • Let cook until mixture is heated through. Spoon quinoa mixture into bowls. Top with desired toppings and serve. Enjoy!


Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 561mg | Potassium: 597mg | Fiber: 9g

Please note:

Nutrition info is an estimate and may contain errors.

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An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.