Quinoa and Black Beans with Cashew Queso Sauce

Robin Robertsons Nut Butter Universe (Photo Allyson Kramer)

Robin Robertson’s latest book Nut Butter Universe has been released and it is being buzzed about all over the blogosphere–and for good reason: it’s a stellar collection of recipes! From Soups, Starters, Salads and Sides to Main Dishes, Breakfast and Desserts, this book has a little bit of everything for those of us who just can’t get enough of nuts!

I’m excited to be a part of her blog tour for the book and be able to share an insanely good recipe from Nut Butter Universe with you today. This delicious, colorful, and totally filling dish will have you wishing you had doubled the recipe once you’ve had a taste–I know my husband and I sure did. We enjoyed it atop agave & lime oven roasted sweet potatoes along with some massaged collard greens and it was absolutely divine.

Quinoa and Black Beans with Cashew Queso Sauce

From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

Hearty quinoa and black beans are topped with a zesty queso sauce in this satisfying dish. Serve with a salad, or sautéed or roasted green vegetable, or add some cooked vegetables such as broccoli florets, on top of the quinoa mixture. When ready to serve, top with the sauce. You might want to make a double batch of the flavorful sauce to use as a dip for chips or to top roasted vegetables.



  • 1 1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed
  • 2 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 2 cups cooked or 1 (16-ounce) can 
black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeños
  • (14.5-ounce) can petite diced 
tomatoes, well drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked 3 hours or overnight
  • 3/4 cup hot vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice



  1. Combine the quinoa and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add salt to taste, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. Stir in the beans and scallions, and cook until the quinoa is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Stir in the jalapeños, tomatoes, and cilantro and remove from the heat. Set aside covered to keep warm.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, make the sauce. Drain the cashews and transfer to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the hot broth and process until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  3. To serve, divide the quinoa mixture among shallow bowls and top each serving with some of the sauce.


Serves 4


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21 Responses to Quinoa and Black Beans with Cashew Queso Sauce

  1. Shannon says:

    Hi Allyson :) I’m just getting into doing more green/raw/gluten-free cooking (and also vegan) and I ran across your blog… I have to say, I’m so excited to try some of these amazing looking recipes!! You have me curious about something you mentioned above, “We enjoyed it atop agave & lime oven roasted sweet potatoes”. Any chance you have details as to how to prepare those sweet potatoes? (; They sound SO awesome!

    • allyson says:

      Hi Shannon,

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m so happy you found my site.
      Sweet potatoes: So easy! Just slice up 2 large sweet potatoes (think steak fries or a bit thicker) and toss in a bowl along with 1 to 2 tsp lime zest, 1/2 tsp lime juice, about 1 tsp agave nectar, and about 3/4 to 1 tsp salt until evenly coated and bake in preheated oven at 400 ºF. Flip halfway through cooking time, which is aout 30-40 minutes, or until crispy. A silpat mat is helpful, but a seasoned baking sheet is much better. :)


  2. Shellie says:

    I used the 1 1/2 quinoa to 2 1/4 broth. Perfect. We’re just getting ready to sit down and eat it. What I’ve tasted so far is so good.

  3. Madelene says:

    beautiful!! :)

  4. Kelly says:

    OMG. This sounds so delicious! Cashew sauce is so yummy, I have never made it myself though.

  5. Deb says:

    Yum! This is really delicious!

  6. Barbara says:

    Sounds delicious. How do you rinse quinoa without losing so much of the grains?

  7. Robin says:

    Thanks for correcting the quinoa ratio, Allyson. As for the timing, I personally don’t like “firm” quinoa, so I usually cook it for about 20 minutes and then leave it covered for another 5 to 10 minutes. Some testers cooked it as long as 25 minutes, which is why it’s that way in the book. I find it too crunchy after only 15 minutes, but maybe it depends on type/brand?

  8. Eileen says:

    That cashew sauce is a brilliant idea with black beans! I love it. :)

  9. Eva says:

    It usually takes me about 15mins to cook quinoa. I also use 1 cup broth or water for 1/2 cup quinoa. I a little confused about your time and measurements. Was your quinoa overcooked? Thanks!

    • kelley says:

      I agree with Eva – time and ratio of liquid to quinoa seems off to me. Recipe sounds delicious – I’m wondering if that is a typo.

      • allyson says:

        Just checked in the book! Looks like there was a typo in the digital version. Editing now… thank you both so much for pointing it out!

  10. Jeni says:

    This book looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  11. Angela says:

    I absolutely have to get this book! I tried using almonds in an Alfredo-type sauce and it was one of the best things I’ve ever made!

  12. This looks absolutely lovely! Awesome recipe :)

  13. Emma says:

    I’ve seen some of the posts in the blog tour and everything shared has looked great, this recipe is no exception. I love your serving suggestions too.

  14. Jamie says:

    Looks delicious! I love quinoa and black beans together.

  15. dorothy mora says:

    I didn’t like nuts until I was in my 40’s- now I adore them and love finding new ways to use nuts and nut butters.

    • Dorothy, your comment reminded me that I used to dislike nuts, too. I actually eat them so often these days that I’d totally forgotten I ever disliked them. I think going veg had something to do with it? Anyway, I need to get my hands on a copy of this book; that sauce looks amazing!

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