White Bean Kale Quinoa Soup, a simple one-pot plant-based soup made with cannellini bean, quinoa, kale, and lemon that comes together under 40 minutes. A perfect freezer-friendly meal prep recipe!

a black bowl with white chili with kale and a lemon slice on a blue table with flowers

You know that feeling when you want something cozy and comforting, but you don't want to spend two hours making it? If so, we have the perfect soup for you!

👉 Here's why you'll love this simple kale and quinoa soup:

  • It's easy (and quick!). Less than 40 minutes from start to finish.
  • Great for meal prep. A great option for meal prep days; make it once and you'll have easy lunches all week.
  • Freezer-friendly. A great freezer-friendly recipe that you can pull out weeks, or even months, from now.

Ready to learn how to make a kale quinoa soup with white beans and lemon? Let's do it!

A round white plate with vegetable broth, a bowl of white beans, a bowl of quinoa, a whole onion, a whole lemon, and a cup of kale on a white table

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Cook vegetables + add soup broth

First, heat a small amount of oil in a soup pot over medium heat and add diced onions, minced garlic, and either fresh or dried organo. Cook until both begin to soften, about 5 minutes (or until your kitchen starts to smell amazing).

Then add white beans, dry quinoa, and vegetable broth and increase the heat to bring the soup to a boil. Then reduce to a low simmer and cook covered with a lid for about 20 minutes.

a hand pouring a bowl of quinoa into a large soup pot with broth
Cook vegetables, then add quinoa and broth

2️⃣ Step Two: Add kale + seasonings

After the soup has cooked and the quinoa is soft, add a few handfuls of shredded kale and the juice from one lemon. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Let the soup cook a few more minutes so the kale gets soft and the seasonings have time to work their magic, then remove from heat and sprinkle the soup with lemon zest before serving.

That's it! An easy, flavorful, and healthy soup that's packed with plant-based protein and fiber. Pair it with a simple leafy greens side salad and you have yourself a comforting cozy dinner.

a hand adding kale to a soup pot filled with white bean kale quinoa soup
Add kale and seasonings

❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

How long does quinoa take to cook in soup broth?

Quinoa takes about 20 minutes to cook when added to a liquid like soup broth. If you are adding quinoa to a soup, it's important to use more liquid than will be soaked up by the quinoa to maintain a soupy texture.

Can I make kale quinoa soup in an Instant Pot?

This kale and quinoa soup with white beans can also be made in the an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Simply cook the onions, garlic, and oregano on the sauté function, then add the beans, quinoa, and vegetable broth and cook on the soup function for 10 minutes. Then let out the steam pressure and stir in the kale and seasonings before serving.

A hand stirring a soup pot with kale with a wooden spoon on a white table

🧊 How to store

This soup is perfect for storing and eating later! Here's how to make once, eat twice:

  1. Refrigerator storage: Store in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  2. Freezer storage: Store in a freezer-friendly container for up to one month (possible longer, but we didn't test it for more than one month — if you do, let us know!)
a bowl of white bean chili or soup on a table with a blue napkin and a green plant

♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips

This one-pot bean and quinoa vegetable soup is an easy weeknight dinner recipe that comes together in under 40 minutes, but there are some tips and tricks for streamlining preparation.

Invest in a pot for soups. A large soup pot or dutch oven is an essential kitchen tool for green eaters because soups and stews using seasonal ingredients are a great options for using up those farmer's market vegetables before they go to waste.

Make enough for lunch the next day. Only feeding two or even four people? Cook like you're feeding double the amount so your time spent cooking stretches from one meal to two or three. Store extras as leftovers for easy work lunches all week.

Stock up on freezer-friendly food storage. One of our favorite ways to extend the life of our food is to freeze leftover soups and stews to pull out one, two, or even three months later. We do this by keeping a good amount of glass storage containers on hand.

two black bowls with yellow soup with beans and quinoa and kale on a white table with a blue napkin and a wooden bowl of salt and a green plant

🍲 More easy soup recipes

👉 Looking for more simple soup recipes? We've got you covered:

Yield: 6 servings

White Bean Kale Quinoa Soup

a bowl of white bean chili or soup on a table with a blue napkin and a green plant

White Bean Kale Quinoa Soup, a simple one-pot plant-based soup made with cannellini bean, quinoa, kale, and lemon that comes together under 40 minutes. A perfect freezer-friendly meal prep recipe!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 can (15oz) white cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups kale, shredded
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook vegetables and add broth: In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic with olive oil and oregano until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add drained white beans, quinoa, and vegetable broth and increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes.
  2. Add kale and seasonings: After soup has cooked and has thickened, add kale, lemon juice and lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Let cook 2-3 minutes more so kale softens, then remove from heat and serve with sprinkled lemon zest.
  3. Instant Pot instructions: This kale and quinoa soup with white beans can also be made in the an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Simply cook the onions, garlic, and oregano on the sauté function, then add the beans, quinoa, and vegetable broth and cook on the soup function for 10 minutes. Then let out the steam pressure and stir in the kale and seasonings before serving.

Notes

  • Tools needed: Dutch oven, large soup pot
  • Make ahead: This simple plant-based quinoa and bean soup is a great make ahead recipe that's perfect for meal prep days, and is a great soup for freezing and thawing on busy nights.
  • Leftovers and storage: Store soup in airtight storage containers in the refrigerator for up to five days, and in the freezer for up to one month. To reheat bring soup to a boil in a pot and season as needed.
  • Nutrition notes: This soup is high in plant-based protein, fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 203mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 8g

UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in March 2019 and was updated with clearer instructions in August 2021.