January 20, 2011

Black Beans & Quinoa with Chipotle Raspberry Sauce

by IsaChandra

Serves 6
Active Time: 20 minutes || Total Time: 30 mins

Black beans and quinoa go together like Laverne & Shirley. But, unlike Laverne & Shirley, sometimes even perfect food combinations can get boring. As a general rule of thumb, if I start to get bored I think “fruit.” And if it’s winter, well, I think frozen fruit!

I love berries in savory applications. They add lots of body to sauces without adding any fat, they add depth of flavor and they provide just a hint of sweetness. The sauce has smoky spiciness from chipotles and a toasty, nutty flavor – as well as creaminess – from toasted almonds. I threw some sauteed broccoli in for green. I gladly ate this as dinner, but you can also serve it as a side dish with any Latin inspired meal. But no matter what, definitely hum the Laverne & Shirley theme while you cook. It’s kind of empowering.

Notes: Chipotles vary in size, but generally even if you are a spice wimp, you should be able to handle 2 chipotles that have their seeds removed. If you are a lover of spice, then start with 3 and add more if you like.

1 cup quinoa (red quinoa is especially pretty)
2 cups water

2 teaspoons oil
4 cups small broccoli florettes, and diced stems
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (about 1 ½ cups)

1 clove garlic
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (divided)
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo, seeded
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
1 teaspoon agave (sugar or maple syrup ok too)
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa and water with a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer and cook until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

In the meantime, preheat a large pan over medium heat. Toast the almonds, tossing them frequently, until they’re honey brown in spots. Remove from pan. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the almonds for garnish, the rest will go into the dressing.

Now, in the same large pan, saute the broccoli in oil and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, tossing frequently, until tender. When it’s done, just let it sit in the pan uncovered.

Now prepare the sauce. Place the garlic clove in a small food processor (I use the Magic Bullet) and pulse to chop. Add the almonds (except for the reserved 2 tablespoons) and grind to a coarse powder. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, thin out with a little water.

To assemble, toss the quinoa, black beans and broccoli together in a mixing bowl. Reserve about 1/3 of the dressing. Pour the rest of the dressing into the mixing bowl and toss everything to coat. Transfer to plates, drizzle with the extra sauce and garnish with almonds.



  • January 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm: Jon

    The Magic Bullet? I have been thinking about buying one of those forever, but I just assumed it was an infomercial product meaning it’s never as good as the TV says.

    But it’s good?

    BTW, that sounds crazy delicious.

    • January 20, 2011 at 11:52 pm: IsaChandra

      Yeah, I know, the Magic Bullet. But it really works! If I start talking about it I will sound like an infomercial. But I love that you don’t have to dirty up a food processor and you can store leftover dressing/sauces so easily. I swear they didn’t pay me to say that!

  • January 21, 2011 at 1:04 am: Amy

    Maybe they should pay you to say it! You have sold more than you know, I bet. Recipe looks awesome btw. And have you been raiding my fridge/pantry because every recipe you make is one I could whip up without a trip to the store! How I miss Laverne and Shirley – they don’t make shows like that anymore.

  • January 21, 2011 at 1:20 am: Ruchama

    I often mix pomegranate syrup with vinegar for a “raspberry” vinegar substitute. I’m wondering if using some pomegranate syrup and/or seeds might work in this. I’m pretty much a spice wimp, but I think I’ll give this a try.

  • January 21, 2011 at 1:21 am: earthpig

    I also have a magic bullet. It is kind of cheaply made so you have to be careful with it, but I use it so much and it’s so useful and convenient, that even after my first one broke, I bought another one.

  • January 21, 2011 at 1:21 am: Ruchama

    I often mix pomegranate syrup with vinegar for a raspberry vinegar substitute. I’m wondering if using some pomegranate syrup and/or seeds might work in this. I’m pretty much a spice wimp, but I think I’ll give this a try.

  • January 21, 2011 at 2:14 am: Laura

    I just took the Magic Bullet back to Costco for a refund…EVERYTHING stayed stuck at the bottom. Didn’t like it ONE BIT, but a friend has one and loves it. I may have gotten a lemon, but it was horrible and wasn’t up to just exchanging it for another.

    Upside of the trip to Costco to return the Magic Bullet was that I bought a bottle of Raspberry Chipotle sauce…talk about perfect timing for your recipe! ;) Yes, it’s cheating, but I’m lazy tonight and this sounds fabulous. Off to create something yummy…thanks!

  • January 21, 2011 at 4:18 am: Anna

    I have frozen strawberries—how do you think that would work?

    • January 21, 2011 at 5:14 am: IsaChandra

      I think it would be good, too! Raspberries are a bit tangier so you might want to add a few drops of a mild vinegar.

  • January 21, 2011 at 5:12 am: Laura in Taos

    Just got a Cuisinart Mini Prep 3.5 cup last week – love it!!! Perfect for applications where the larger food processors are overkill. Can’t wait to try this recipe – probably Saturday.

  • January 21, 2011 at 6:17 am: Erica

    made this tonight and cheated with some pre-made pomegranate chipotle sauce… but it was delish with some valentina hot sauce on top!

  • January 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm: Gina

    Only wish I had all the ingredients to make this…have saved the recipe for when that opportunity presents itself. Thanks.

  • January 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm: Rusty

    Isa, would this work without the peppers? My girlfriend gets migraines and sadly peppers are a trigger…

    This looks fantastic though! I love the idea of sweet fruit with black beans… a nice substitute for plantains.

    • January 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm: IsaChandra

      It would but the peppers add a savoriness. I wonder if you could add some sauteed onions and (like 1/4 cup) and smoked paprika to compensate. It will still be good if not.

  • January 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm: Rusty

    I like it! I’ll give it a whirl!

  • January 22, 2011 at 6:04 am: Richy

    Looks great! I’ll have to give it a try.

  • January 22, 2011 at 10:47 pm: Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day

    What a fun combination of flavors..

  • January 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm: laura

    so true; i think most intro’s to quinoa start with black beans (here was mine: http://cookmarked.com/recipe.aspx?eID=hlKUQoIKj). i love this chipotle raspberry sauce though! sounds like a great accompaniment to grilled tempeh.

  • January 24, 2011 at 12:34 am: Laura in Taos

    Recipe came out to perfection! Didn’t have chipotles in adobo, so used smokey chipotle chili powder. The raspberry sauce was wonderful!

  • January 25, 2011 at 12:58 am: Ryan new vegan

    I forgot to purchase almonds while at the grocery store and instead substituted Cashews ( NEVER again), if I made the recipe over I would not use the Chiles in Adobe, it could have been because of the cashews as well but I felt it had too much going on when I made it, a very nutty cashew taste and smokey flavor. I like the time factor of it though, it was pretty quick to throw together.

  • January 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm: Christopher

    I liked this! I think when I make it again, I’ll play a little bit with the quinoa/bean half of the recipe – I was thinking maybe spinach and/or raisins could be good additions. The chipotle raspberry sauce was absolutely perfect.

  • January 27, 2011 at 1:12 am: Tracy in Mpls

    I just made this and it was wonderful! I will probably just use two chipotles next time instead of three. I like spicy, but three seemed to be a lot. I really liked how fast this was to throw together. It’s definitely one I’ll make again.

  • January 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm: Kloe

    De-li-cious. The raspberries give a little tang to the sauce, and goes wonderfully with the smokiness of the chipotle. I made some changes: cooked the quinoa in rooibos tea (I always cook my grains in tea, or sometimes stock) which has a sweer flavor that I thought would go well with raspberries; didn’t have broccoli so I used red peppers, celery and onion; used lapsang souchong tea in lieu of water in the sauce (this tea has a very strong smokey flavor that goes perfectly with chipotle); used other beans than black (don’t know which, though). Only problem, there wasn’t even close to enough sauce! So next day, I made an entire new batch of sauce to mix with the leftovers, and now it’s perfect.
    Thanks for the recipe! It made a delicious and different meal. I’m definitely doing it again, and doubling the amount of sauce.

  • January 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm: MaryNYC

    That sauce was excellent! My mind is reeling with ideas…

  • January 31, 2011 at 7:52 pm: Tizmarelda

    Thanks for dinner tonight! Got everything except the broccoli. Guess bok choy will have to do.

  • February 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm: Meg

    How did the bok choy work? I was thinking the same thing as I have a bunch in my fridge at the moment and I REALLY want to make this for dinner tonight!

  • February 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm: RM

    This is delicious! I added a tsp of cocoa powder and a tsp of sugar to the sauce and it added something. I don’t know what. It was something.

  • February 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm: Lisa

    Snowed in with nothing to do but cook, I made a batch of the sauce, and put it over black beans, brown rice, and the last remaining quinoa in the cupboard. I put three little chipotles in. Last night, it was pretty spicy. Today, wrapped in a tortilla with some raw veggies, it’s bordering on nuclear. Yummy, and the plus side, I’m not cold any more…

  • February 7, 2011 at 12:32 am: Jessica

    LOVED IT! And so did my husband, who is sometimes a little skeptical of my vegan cooking adventures. Tasted amazing, and was so easy to prepare. I doubled the sauce (as per a suggestion up above) and I’m glad I did! It was so good! Will definitely make this again!

  • February 8, 2011 at 12:33 am: Aimee

    So I really wanted to make this and I just so happened to have chipotles and cooked quinoa to use. I subed frozen pineapple for the frozen raspberries and corn for broccoli and it is completely delicious. This sauce would make a great marinade for summer BBQ’s!

  • February 28, 2011 at 2:00 am: Annie

    Do you think this would keep well as leftovers?

  • March 5, 2011 at 12:54 am: Kate

    Thank you for another gluten free vegan recipe, I need all the help I can get!

  • March 19, 2011 at 3:58 am: Alice

    So good! I didn’t have almonds, so I used pecans that I had on hand. It was really great tasting and filling. I am making it again tomorrow :)

  • March 23, 2011 at 8:53 pm: Hillary

    I was just finishing up a completely different dinner when I found your blog. I just put all of it in the fridge and made this instead!

    I am currently trying to not nibble on it while I wait for my partner to come eat with me. The sauce is exactly everything I’ve ever wanted from a sauce! And I happen to have a huge amount of quinoa that I’ve been trying to find uses for.

    I am almost trembling I am so excited about your blog!

  • March 24, 2011 at 4:44 am: Daniella

    Ooh…I have a nut allergy. And a soy and various seeds so it makes being vegan hard, but I so want to. I am allergic to sunflower seeds but can do sesame seeds. Can you think of any substitute for the almonds that would work or this recipe a “skip”?

    • March 25, 2011 at 1:46 am: IsaChandra

      I bet tahini would be excellent in the sauce!

  • April 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm: Natasha

    I just made this recipe and loved it. I used fresh blackberries instead of frozen raspberries and the sauce still came out amazing. To the person who was wondering how this would fare as leftovers, I think it’ll make excellent leftovers and be very versatile. I’m planning to incorporate my leftovers into salads and maybe a wrap.

  • April 26, 2011 at 9:07 am: Angela

    is this served hot or cold? has anyone tried it with strawberries?

  • April 27, 2011 at 6:30 am: Angela

    Sadly, I didn’t like this. The sauce wasn’t very flavorful, I could really only taste the chipotle, I wouldn’t even know raspberries were in there. Maybe it would be better on something milder like baked tofu where you could actually taste the sauce.

  • May 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm: Lara

    I made this last night, and it was my first success with quinoa! I did change the recipe a little- I dry-toasted the quinoa in the pan before adding the water to cook it, and I think that gave it an extra nutty-licious taste. The sauce is good on it, and would also be good on other dishes where it could shine even more (the quinoa absorbs it a little). But yes, I will definitely be making this again! Great on a warm summer night, with a green salad on the side.

  • July 5, 2011 at 1:22 am: janet @ the taste space

    I also really did not like this. I did not find the sauce that flavourful but thought I had remedied it with more agave. It was also my first time using chipotles in adobo and I think I had an adverse reaction since my stomach was feeling quite queasy afterwards. However, even my bf, who loves all things spicy, did not care for this either. I felt like it was a waste of great ingredients (I used fresh raspberries).

  • August 28, 2011 at 10:10 pm: Kirsten

    I absolutely love this recipe!

  • August 29, 2011 at 12:53 am: Rebecca

    I just made this and it is amazing! I have never cooked quinoa, so it was exciting to see it grow from tiny little pellets into the soft quinoa. The flavor is wonderful. I used 3 chiles, and it’s a little spicy, but not bad. (I like things really spicy). I don’t understand how every single thing I have made from this website has been absolutely delicious! I am usually an incredibly bad cook, and end up with food that is barely-edible. Not so for Isa’s recipes! They are somehow foolproof, yet complex enough to taste wonderful. Yum!

  • October 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm: Lisa

    I swear by the Magic Bullet! I use it almost everday. Btw, I absolutley love this recipe, it’s become a classic staple in my house. Thanks again, Isa! :)

  • November 16, 2011 at 1:04 am: Melanie

    Just made this and used dried chipotles (2) instead of in adobo and just added a splash of apple cider vinegar and ketchup (the basics of adobo sauce, if I recall). Mind you, the peppers weren’t seeded, so HOLY HECK it was spicy, but SO GOOD. Thanks for a new twist on the legumes+grain+greens idea!

  • November 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm: Discounted prescription Allegra

    I was aware of this previously, but still there were some beneficial pieces which concluded the image to me, appreciate it!

  • January 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm: Erin

    Hi Isa – We made this last night and it was delicious! Used 3 chipotles (seeded) and maple syrup instead of agave. Also added a little extra maple syrup – about another teaspoon. It was the perfect level of spice/sweet/tang. We served it with a big salad and everyone loved it, even our non-vegetarian friends. I’m breast-feeding right now and have had to cut soy and wheat out of my already vegan diet, which really limits the options (but helps the baby’s tummy). Thank you so much for this creative and super easy soy- & gluten-free recipe. We plan to make it often! (Also, just have to mention that my husband and I are huge fans – keep up the awesome!)

  • January 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm: Julia

    This recipe is FANTASTIC. The toasted almonds, chipotle, and raspberries all have strong flavors and I was concerned they might not marry well. Boy was I wrong. The flavors all stood out, together, and were a beautiful combination. I would use only two chipotles as I found three to be just a tad too much spice for me. The sauce was absolutely flavorful and fabulous, the quinoa and black beans gave a perfect chew and satisfying mouth feel, the broccoli was pretty and freshened things up, and the almonds were toasty, crunchy and just plain delish. Very different flavors here and I never would have put them together, bravo! My husband and I fought over the leftovers and I debated making it again this week. =)

  • April 11, 2012 at 12:30 am: Nancy Cadet

    Delicious! My partner is pre diabetic & on a low sodium diet (even though an athletic slim vegan) so I eliminated the sweetener and salt, and used a quarter teaspoon of chile chipotle powder. A great success!
    When cooking the black beans, dried , in a pressure cooker, I added cumin, turmeric and chopped fresh cilantro since I was going to make a very tame raspberry sauce. Definitely a keeper!

  • September 6, 2012 at 11:04 pm: Bobbi Dwyer

    Isa
    Followed the recipe exactly EXCept I had no broccolli. Used frozenskinny greenbeans It was wonderful! Your comments about the magic bulle t got me looking at them but too expensive. Then a couple months ago my husband &I were browsing the local thrift store. He jokingly asked ” hey do you want a magic bullet? Thought he would pass out when I yelled yes!!!! Evrything was
    there. All parts blades cups – $5.00. Such a deal & I love it. Use it almost every day. Thanks for sharing your talent with food. You are so much fun!

  • October 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm: berryme

    Made this last night. Absolutely delish. Included sauteed spinach instead of broccoli. Blended the sauce in my vitamix, which worked just fine for this purpose. 3 chipotles (didn’t even seed them) and the spice level was perfect for us.

  • July 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm: rebecca

    This recipe really disappointed me. I have never once found a recipe off of this website that I didn’t like until this one. I’m sorry, Isa, but this recipe does not do you justice. The combination of the raspberry seeds and the quinoa was pretty nauseating. Don’t worry, though. I still think you rule! And I love all of the other stuff you’ve got on here. I’m going to keep using your other awesome recipes.