Quinoa cannellini beans skillet is a quick and easy one-pot vegetarian meal with rich Italian flavors!
Hi friends! I'm happy to be waking up at home this morning and getting snuggles from my kiddos, but my heart is aching a little not to be in D.C.
Today's the Women's March on Washington and some of my Northwestern friends made the trip for it. We'd all done a similar march together when we were in school - drove about 15 hours from Chicago to D.C. in a van, playing music and being silly the whole way. It was a fabulous weekend, so inspiring and so meaningful.
I wanted to be there today. I also really wanted to take my 5-year-old daughter and let her witness it. But I worried it might not be safe, so I'm home. But my heart is with the more than 200,000 men and women expected to turn out. 💕
Anyway, I’m popping in on a weekend for this month’s Recipe Redux challenge. Given that it’s January, we were challenged to come up with a budget-friendly meal. I immediately thought of this quinoa cannellini beans skillet dinner that we’ve been eating as a meatless Monday vegetarian option.
It relies on a few pantry staples and gets the flavor kicked up with some fresh veggies and a finish of fresh herbs. 👌
It’s a quick and easy one-pan meal that’s gluten-free and vegan (if you leave off the Parmesan cheese or substitute nutritional yeast). It’s light but hearty with the protein from the quinoa and the creamy, richness of the cannellini beans and lots of Italian flavor throughout.
The can of diced tomatoes that cook with this add a lot of depth and richness, as does the Parmesan cheese I serve it with. And the fresh basil at the end brightens up the whole dish and gives it a shot of freshness. Simple ingredients but big impact.
A few ways to make this quinoa cannellini beans skillet more budget-friendly:
- Buy your quinoa in bulk. I get mine in a big bag at Costco but you can also order it on Amazon. (This quinoa is a 2-pound bag for $10 and available for Prime.)
- Red and orange bell peppers can be expensive if not on sale. I try and get mine at Trader Joe’s but I also will buy the bag of small sweet peppers and use those for this recipe. It’s lots cheaper.
- I never buy actual baby spinach (again, unless I’m at Trader Joe’s). I buy a bag of regular spinach. It works just as well for everything I’ve ever substituted it for and it’s less expensive. The leaves are slightly bigger and sometimes you have to tear off a big stem, but that’s the only difference.
- I like to buy the basil plants at the grocery store and keep them in a glass with some water. It lasts longer and if you’re lucky, you can get it to grow.
As for substitutions - cause you know I like to give you options! - you can substitute fresh parsley for the basil if you prefer. And you can add ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes to make it a bit spicy. You could also use white Northern beans but I really prefer the creamy cannellini beans here.
And you can certainly add some rotisserie chicken if you don’t want it as a vegetarian meal. I’ve certainly done that before when we had some on hand. 👍
Healthy can be affordable too. 🙌
I hope you have a great weekend! (And be sure to check out the recipes from my fellow Redux members below - lots of great budget-friendly ideas to browse!)
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium red or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, regular or fire-roasted
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 3-4 cups fresh spinach or baby spinach
- chopped fresh basil, grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and bell pepper and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Add quinoa, seasonings, tomatoes and vegetable broth and broil to a boil.
- Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-18 minutes, until quinoa is cooked through and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
- Stir in cannellini beans and spinach until warmed through and spinach is slightly wilted, 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
You can substitute fresh parsley for the basil if you prefer.
You can add ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes to make it a bit spicy.
And you can certainly add some rotisserie chicken if you don’t want this as a vegetarian meal.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 948mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 14gSugar: 6gProtein: 20g