Caribbean-Style Beans and Greens Quinoa Skillet

published Mar 2, 2023
Caribbean-Style Beans and Greens Quinoa Skillet Recipe

The ultimate budget-friendly, one-pan skillet that comes together in a single skillet with minimal prep and satisfies you with plenty of protein and fiber.

Serves4

Prep5 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 45 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Caribbean-Style Beans and Greens Quinoa Skillet, overhead in skillet with wooden spoon. A cut avocado and some plates and utensils in frame
Credit: Kelli Foster

I’ve always known that the freezer aisle is the grocery store MVP of dinner shortcuts, but it wasn’t until I had a toddler that I came to truly appreciate all it can do. Now, at any given moment, you’ll find my freezer stocked with a bevy of frozen vegetables, frittata cups (my solution for a high-protein breakfast), meatballs, waffles, and smoothie packs. But hands-down, the most-relied-upon item that I purchased on a total whim three years ago is the Whole Foods Caribbean-Style Vegetable Protein Blend

Loaded with a medley of beans, vegetables, and warm spices, this frozen blend is the key to the ultimate budget-friendly, one-pan skillet that checks all the boxes. It comes together in a single skillet with minimal prep and rewards you with a plant-based meal that’s high in protein and fiber. It’s super hearty and comforting, yet still feels nutritious, and best of all has an unexpected creamy risotto-like quality that will make you swoon.

Credit: Kelli Foster

Where to Find Caribbean-Style Protein Blend

This plant-based protein blend includes cooked black beans, kidney beans, kale, bell peppers, corn, and a blend of warm spices. You’ll find it in the freezer aisle at Whole Foods stores. More specifically, look for it near the 365-brand frozen vegetables, towards the outskirts of the brand’s offerings. At my store it’s on an upper shelf, although for another Kitchn editor it’s closer to the bottom.

Credit: Kelli Foster

A Cheap High-Protein Dinner

What I love most about this protein blend is that it gives you the ability to build a flavorful skillet with a variety of beans, vegetables, and spices without having to buy an armload of ingredients. Here, with the help of basic pantry ingredients you’ll stretch a single bag of the vegetable blend into a high-protein, high-fiber dinner that will comfortably feed four.

The approximate cost of making the recipe is $13.26, which breaks down to just $3.29 per serving

Caribbean-Style Beans and Greens Quinoa Skillet Recipe

The ultimate budget-friendly, one-pan skillet that comes together in a single skillet with minimal prep and satisfies you with plenty of protein and fiber.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    small yellow onion

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 cup

    quinoa, any color

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons

    tomato paste

  • 1 (about 13-ounce) can

    unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 cup

    low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag

    frozen Whole Foods Caribbean-Style Protein Blend

  • 1 tablespoon

    apple cider vinegar

  • 1

    medium ripe avocado

Instructions

  1. Dice 1 small yellow onion (about 1 cup). Mince 2 garlic cloves.

  2. Place 1 cup quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly under cool, running water, using your hand to swish the quinoa as you rinse. Drain.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch or larger skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  4. Add the quinoa, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking, until any excess water has evaporated and the quinoa is very fragrant and begins to make a popping sound, 3 to 4 minutes.

  5. Add 3 tablespoons tomato paste. Stir well to coat the quinoa and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan, until darkened in color and it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes.

  6. Add 1 (about 13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk and 1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth and use a wooden spoon to stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  7. Reduce the heat to low. Add 1 (12-ounce) bag Whole Foods Caribbean-Style Protein Blend and stir to combine. Cover and cook, stirring every 5 minutes and scraping the bottom of the pan to release any quinoa that sticks, until the quinoa is tender and creamy, and the liquid is mostly absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes total. Meanwhile, dice 1 medium avocado.

  8. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Divide the mixture between 4 bowls and top with the avocado.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.