Easy Vegan Dinner Recipe: White Beans and Kale Over Quinoa | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

     Looking for a quick two pot plant based dinner? Say no more! This white beans & kale over quinoa easy vegan dinner recipe is just what you’re looking for!

     In this easy vegan dinner recipe, we’re going to be using kale, onions, leeks, and white beans. I served this over red quinoa, but you can easily put it with roasted potatoes, over pasta, or over couscous!

Easy Vegan Dinner Recipe: White Beans and Kale Over Quinoa | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

High Protein Vegan Dinner?

     Yes! This easy recipe packs 17 grams of protein per serving – awesome! Partially thanks to the quinoa.

What is Quinoa?

     Quinoa is actually a seed, even though it tastes (and is often used) like a grain! It is a complete protein – which means it does not have to be paired with a grain to be properly absorbed by the body (unlike beans). It provides all nine essential amino acids – making it a complete protein. 1/3 cup of cooked quinoa has just 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein! 

     Quinoa is considered an ancient grain – meaning its still cultivated the same way today that it was thousands of years ago. It was a staple food for thousands of years in the Andes region of South America, as one of just a few crops the ancient Incas could cultivate at such high altitude.

     There are three types of quinoa you’ll see available for purchase; red, white, and black. White is the most soft, and black is typically the most crunchy, with red falling somewhere in-between. The darker the quinoa – the higher the antioxidants (just like other foods) so keep that in mind! Depending on where you buy, you may find that white quinoa is cheaper than red or black. I prefer red quinoa – I find the texture and nutty taste to be the most pleasing of the three!

Is it ethical?

     Now, you may have heard that there is some ethical dilemma about quinoa – so I encourage you to do a little research when purchasing, to make sure you are buying fair trade quinoa. There have been a lot of ‘click bait’ news articles trying to make it seem like buying quinoa is detrimental to the farmers who have grown it for so long in the Andes. If you want to read more about the realistic situation at hand, I recommend this article by Forq. Like with most things, I just try to purchase it in moderation.

Easy Vegan Dinner Recipe: White Beans and Kale Over Quinoa | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

Where can I buy Quinoa?

     Quinoa can be found at most grocery stores in the ‘health foods’ or gluten free section. (Learn more about vegan grocery shopping here.) However, those boxes are usually extremely over-priced. I like to  purchase online, or from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. Some of my favorite brands to buy online are featured below:


Healthworks Quinoa White Whole Grain Raw Organic, 5lbHealthworks Quinoa White Whole Grain Raw Organic, 5lbtruRoots Organic Red Quinoa, 12 OuncetruRoots Organic Red Quinoa, 12 Ounce


Easy Vegan Dinner Recipe: White Beans and Kale Over Quinoa | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt


Easy Vegan Dinner Recipe: White Beans and Kale Over Quinoa | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt



Easy Vegan Dinner Recipe: White Beans and Kale Over Quinoa
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins

Enjoy this simple, quick, two pot vegan meal! Featuring leeks, kale, onions, garlic, white beans, lemon, and nutty red quinoa.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Tags: Beans, Dinner, Easy Dinners, High Protein, Kale, plant based, Quinoa, Simple, vegan
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 428 kcal
Author: Home with Willow
For the Quinoa:
  • 1 cup Red Quinoa
  • 2 cups Filtered Water or Vegetable Broth
For the White Beans & Kale
  • 1 can Cannellini Beans Drained
  • 1 large Leek
  • 4+ loose cups Chopped Kale about 2 large leaves
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 small Yellow Onion
  • Grapeseed Oil For Sautéing
  • 1 tsp Dried Sage or 1 tbls Fresh
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme or 2tsp Fresh
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • about 2/3 cup Filtered Water or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Lemon Juiced
  1. Start the Quinoa. Add 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water or broth to a medium pot over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and then simmer, covered, until all water is absorbed and the quinoa softens (about 10-15 minutes). The 'tails' of the quinoa should be present. If it seems dry, add a tablespoon or two of water and let sit without heat for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  2. While quinoa cooks, prep your garlic, leek, and onion. Peel, press, and chop your garlic finely. Peel and chop your onion. 

    For the leek: Cut off the top dark green leaves - leaving just the white bulb and light green leaf. Slice the leek lengthwise.. Rinse well in cold water, getting between all of the layers (leeks are grown in sandy soil and often have sand in between the layers). Once rinsed, chop into slices. Discard the very bottom of the bulb. 

  3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of Grapeseed oil (or another high heat oil) to a large skillet over medium-low heat. Then, add your onions and leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until softened and the onions are translucent. Add your chopped garlic, and cook for another minute.

  4. While the onions cook, wash and chop your kale.

  5. Then, add your herbs to the pan: sage, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flakes for added heat. Stir well, and then add 1/4 cup of water to deglaze.

  6. Add your prepared kale to the pan with the onions, leeks, and herbs. Stir well, then pour in your drained cannellini beans and 1/3 cup of water or broth. Bring heat to medium, stirring well to incorporate everything.

  7. Once kale cooks down (3-5 minutes), add the juice of half a lemon. Remove from heat. Be careful not to overcook the kale!

  8. To serve: Spoon 1/2 cup quinoa onto a plate. Top with the kale & bean mix. Serve with additional lemon squeezed on top.

    Additional toppings: Microgreens, Pepitas, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Fresh Thyme.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional Info: 428 calories, 9g Fat (<1g Saturated Fat, 4g Polyunsaturated Fat, 1g Monounsaturated Fat), 612mg Sodium, 209mg Potassium, 75g Carbohydrates, 15g Fiber, 8g Sugar, 17g Protein, 40% DV Vitamin A, 57% DV Vitamin C, 13% DV Calcium, 32% DV Iron

**To reduce sodium, use water instead of broth.


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  1. Pingback: Best Gluten Free Pasta Brands: A Buyers Guide | Home with Willow | Katie Emmitt

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