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Vegan Quinoa Recipe

A simple, savory, wholesome meal in a bowl – this creamy vegan quinoa recipe is pure comfort food!

vegan quinoa

one bowl meal

This healthy and plant-based “one bowl” meal is such a perfect dinner for any cold winter’s night, and the recipe is super easy to customize, so you can make it your own with the ingredients you have on hand.

Feel free to add your favorite veggies or swap out the kale for spinach, use rice or barley in place of quinoa, or increase the protein in this powerhouse recipe with the addition of beans or another favorite protein source. It can be both gluten free and soy free, and you can opt to eat it as a hot meal or cold for a quinoa salad. Leftovers make a really great lunch too!

And look! It’s a kale recipe that isn’t Chocolate Chip Kale Cookies!

healthy quinoa recipe

One of my goals for 2018 is to really make a conscious effort to slow down, especially when it comes to meals.

Food is such a huge part of my life (clearly – I run a food blog as my full-time job!), and I grew up in a family that believed in long and relaxing meals together at the table, even on weeknights. We would eat slowly, enjoying both the food and the time catching up with each other. But being on my own and working from home, it’s sometimes easy to fall into the habit of inhaling my meals much too quickly while focused on other projects, never actually sitting down. I know I’m not alone in this and that it isn’t only a problem for people who work from home – many of my friends complain they find themselves doing the same thing, eating lunch at their desk in ten minutes flat so they can get back to work.

But meals like this comforting vegan quinoa bowl ought to be savored slowly, letting your senses take in all of the flavors and textures. Serve it with rustic bread or a side salad, and a glass of wine if you wish, for a healthy and filling meal that will leave you feeling nourished without weighing you down.

Creamy Kale Quinoa. This is my new favorite dinner, and it's actually healthy and vegan


Creamy Vegan Quinoa

Vegan Quinoa Recipe

Total Time: 20m
Yield: 2-4 servings
Print This Recipe 5/5
Vegan Quinoa Recipe


  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup raw quinoa
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast or parmesan, such as vegan Parma
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp each garlic and onion powders
  • 2 tsp buttery spread, optional for added richness
  • 1 cup chopped raw kale or spinach
  • 1/2 cup cream, such as cashew cream, coconut milk, or unsweetened creamer (I like Nutpods creamer)
  • salt and pepper, as desired
  • protein of choice, optional


Note: If you want to sub a lower-fat milk, such as almondmilk, for the creamy liquid, it’s fine and would just recommend including the optional buttery spread in that case, for added richness.

Bring the first 5 ingredients and optional buttery spread to a boil. Once boiling, turn to a simmer and cover 20 minutes or until fluffy. Stir in the kale and cream until kale wilts. Season with salt and pepper as desired. I add another 1/2 tsp salt, but some people prefer less or even none. If adding a protein—such as tofu or beans—you can opt to cook the protein first or stir it in with the quinoa, depending on what type of protein you’re using and if it needs to be cooked longer.

*Although I haven’t tried it, a few readers say you can make this in the Instant Pot. One reader, Rebecca, did it this way: “I combined the first five ingredients and cooked on the “RICE” setting (12 minutes low pressure). I quick-released the pressure and added the remaining ingredients. It turned out perfectly!”

View Nutrition Facts




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Published on January 15, 2018

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  1. Jeannie says

    YUM!! This’ll be my go to for quinoa!! Wow, so delicious!! In the past I’ve never enjoyed quinoa, I think it’s the bitterness even though I rinse it well prior to cooking, but this recipe blew my mind!! Absolutely delish. Thanks for making me a convert. I’m just beginning to try a vegetarian diet, mostly for health issues I’ve been having, esophagitis, specifically, and all the problems that come with too much animal products in my diet. Bloating, heartburn, aching joints, insomnia, headaches, trouble swallowing, just to name some. Ok, thanks so much, looking forward to more of your healthy recipes.

  2. Diana says

    I made this for dinner and it was delicious! I’m so glad I found this recipe and I will definitely be making again.

  3. Kris says

    I just made this. I had some mushrooms that need to get eaten, so I fried them up and added them. It was soooo good! I went back for seconds. Thanks for another great recipe! :o)

  4. Becky says

    Just had this for dinner and it completely hit the spot as I was craving some comfort food! Next time I am going to add tuna, peas, carrots and mushrooms to make it like a easy stove top tuna casserole!

  5. J says

    Delicious! I used homemade cashew cream and Earth Balance for the buttery spread. Great side to my veggie burger. Thanks for this super easy, but good protein, recipe 🙂

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