“The World is Your Oyster” Pan-Fried Black Beans and Quinoa


I seem to have acquired the notion over time that for a recipe to be “worthy of sharing”, it has to be elaborate, pretty, innovate and just generally make you want to sing from mountaintops.

And fried black beans don’t QUITE fit that bill, if you hear what I’m saying. But what I also realized recently is that my kitchen will probably see more batches of these beans during the upcoming school year than anything else (okay, besides oatmeal) for many a reason:

  • They’re done in less than 20 minutes
  • They’re easy on my student budget
  • They’re nutritionally sound (#allthefiber #alltheprotein #alltheiron #holla)
  • They’re crazy customizable
  • They’re just plain tasty

So “worthy of sharing”, I have deemed these beans.


I remember being sort of floored when I first discovered the extent of the transformation that occurs when black beans get a quick frying. I’ve got nothing against them straight from the can, but heat removes a lot of the earthiness that I think turns many people away from beans and imparts a slightly crispy texture that is a game-changer.

I have the process down pretty down pat: I put on a pot of quinoa and let it do its thing while I chop some garlic and onion and throw them into a pan with the black beans and olive oil. The two finish at just about the same time and BAM. I’ve got three meals on my hands that I can dress up any which way I like.


A few ideas for serving:

  • Mixed with salsa and avocado
  • With a squeeze of soy sauce or hot sauce or lemon juice
  • Cooked in a spice blend
  • As a taco filling
  • Topped with a drippy egg
  • Mixed with fresh or stir-fried veggies



(makes about three portions)

For The Quinoa*

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Water
For the Beans
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion (red or yellow is fine)
  • 1 19 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/8 tsp salt

1. Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Let boil for 30 seconds or so and then cover, reducing heat to low for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil on medium in a large frying pan.
4. Add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes (they don’t have to be completely done – they’ll keep cooking with the beans).
5. Add beans and stir occasionally until slightly shrivelled and a bit crispy, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt.
6. When quinoa is done cooking, remove from heat and let stand a few minutes before fluffing with a fork.

*The beans are also great atop couscous and rice. Quinoa is just what I usually have on hand!


If beans aren’t part of your life or have fallen to the wayside, I hope I’ve encouraged you to give them a chance at being on your roster. And go to TOWN discovering how you like them best. The beans want to see your wild side, people.

Hope you have a beautiful Wednesday!

Do you like beans? And if so, what’s your favourite way to eat them? 

21 thoughts on ““The World is Your Oyster” Pan-Fried Black Beans and Quinoa

  1. Mmm the picture with the eggs look particularly delicious! My favorite use of beans is the classic- chili! I have always been a fan of beans and their versatility, but I have never thought to fry them. Thanks for the idea!


  2. Saving this!! I love this idea so much. I am always looking for sides to go with eggs in the morning, and beans with quinoa is the perfect idea. It would also go really well in a burrito with some sauteed peppers/onions. You’ve inspired me =D


  3. YUM!! And so timely – I just had a mix of fava beans and chickpeas as a side last night. But I never thought of frying beans (black or otherwise) before…and now I ask myself why? Thanks for the inspiration the next time I open a can! (Oh and favorite way to enjoy beans is either in chili like Kate, or in one of those 7 bean type salads!)


  4. Such an awesome idea! I have half a can of leftover black beans in my fridge and now I know what to do with them. :) Love the whole “student-budget friendly” idea, too! Mmmm looks delicious, and I love your serving ideas!


  5. I really love this idea!! You make such a good point that in our efforts to post something completely unique or beautiful, etc, we might just overlook the most “blog-worthy” things ever: simple, healthy, inexpensive, and super delicious! This is the kind of food people will actually make, hey? :) Love it!! Gonna do it tonight coz my kids ADORE black beans! Thanks!


  6. Yay! I made this today and added roasted red peppers, corn, scallions, mushrooms, carrots, and peas. I went a little overboard with the veggies, but so excited to have it tomorrow! Oh – and I topped it with feta cheese and used couscous instead of quinoa to make a mishmash couscous salad with black beans. Woo! I made two servings for lunch.


  7. Pingback: What I Ate Wednesday: Weekdays Vs Weekends | Jack's Balancing Act

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