Cajun Red Quinoa and Beans (Gluten-Free)

My husband is from Louisiana, so Cajun is his middle name. To say he likes all things seafood, spicy and punching with flavor is an understatement. If he could, he would live off gumbo daily! Unfortunately, due to his gout, he no longer can have those tempting bowls of seafood gumbo. Seafood triggers gout terribly and the pain is not worth it…..or barely worth it, he’d say. Since I can’t serve him seafood and definitely not chicken or sausage, I’m left with creating dishes with the flavors of Cajun. Minus the meats, this dish satisfies his taste buds fairly well. I quite enjoy it myself.

If you are unfamiliar with quinoa, it is a grain that is very high in protein and a quality protein at that. There is white quinoa and red quinoa. The red quinoa has a more rustic texture which I love. Quinoa has a similar texture as brown rice, but much better for you!

Recipe:  Serves 4  Click here for a printable version

*1 lb bag of dry red kidney beans (you could also use a can but the flavor is much less desirable) Making them from scratch yields fabulous tasting beans! Do not skimp on these!

 *1 cup red quinoa (not white!) my recipe is specific to use the red quinoa for texture. I find mine in the bulk section.

*1 green bell pepper chopped

*½ red onion chopped

*2 large garlic cloves minced

*2 cups organic vegetable broth (you could just use water but again, the flavor will not be as great)

*2 small bay leaves

*½ teaspoon garlic powder

*½ teaspoon paprika

*½ teaspoon fine sea salt 

*1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

*¼ teaspoon thyme leaves

*¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

*1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili spice or red pepper or cayenne pepper (add more or less to desired taste)

*Few grinds of fresh ground black pepper



Ahead of time prepare the red beans according to package directions either overnight or early in the day. I went ahead and used the whole bag just to have extra beans, but you will not need all of them at the time of this recipe. This will need to be done in advance prior to making the quinoa and veggies. Once you have already done the soak method of the beans, you can then cook them. You can cook them in just water or add a few seasonings. I just threw in 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 1 teaspoon, 1 ½ teaspoons of sea salt and some fresh ground black pepper. The quinoa will have all the flavorings but I also wanted to add some flavoring to the beans as well.



Prepare the quinoa. Throw the quinoa, vegetable broth and all the spice, including the bay leaves, into a pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes or until almost all of the water has evaporated, stirring a few times during the cooking process. Once the water is almost gone, turn the heat off, return the lid and leave covered for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.



While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and turn the heat to medium low. Add the bell pepper and onion into a large pan. Once they are almost tender, after 5-10 minutes, add the garlic and cook until all veggies are tender stirring often so the garlic doesn’t burn. Turn the heat off. Combine the veggies and quinoa. Serve by plating with the quinoa mixture and beans on top. Enjoy!



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Categories: Gluten Free, VEGAN, VEGETARIAN


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7 Comments on “Cajun Red Quinoa and Beans (Gluten-Free)”

  1. August 3, 2012 at 2:53 PM #

    This sounds awesome! If I don’t have spicy, some kick, at least a couple of times a week, it feels like something’s missing….I may have to make this one today.. Thanks for my meal today lol!

  2. August 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM #

    I agree…I LOVE spicy dishes! This one isn’t overly spicy so you could always add more cayenne pepper if you like! I like them spicy without overpowering the other flavors. Let me know if you try it! 🙂

  3. Laida
    November 28, 2012 at 9:47 PM #

    Plan to make this tomorrow – beans are soaking now. I’ll let you know how it is!!

  4. Laida
    November 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM #

    “Ok I just made this for my family and they all loved it – all three kids and husband!! This is definitely a keeper. Great flavors and just delicious!! Thanks Brandi!!

    • November 29, 2012 at 10:26 PM #

      I’m so happy to hear you and your kids loved it so much! Thank you so much for trying my recipes and leaving feedback. It is so much appreciated!! 🙂


  1. Red Beans and Rice Soup (Gluten-free, Oil-free) | The Healthy Flavor - March 15, 2013

    […] up now, although I still could eat soup year round. I just love it. One of our favorite meals is my Cajun Red Quinoa & Beans. Well, I decided to take my inspiration from that and make a soup version of the classic. It is so […]

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