Mexican Quinoa Bowls
Mexican Quinoa Bowls are packed with nutrient-dense and protein-packed ingredients. Fluffy quinoa is paired with black beans, corn, delicious taco spices, all served with your favorite toppings.
Why This Recipe Works
- One pan Mexican quinoa. The beauty of this taco quinoa recipe is you only need one skillet to make it! This makes dinner clean up a cinch.
- Easy Mexican quinoa bowls. This is an easy recipe to make 6 Mexican quinoa bowls for a large family or a small family for two dinners! It’s perfect to serve and add your favorite toppings.
- Healthy meal. This is a great vegetarian recipe. And the beautiful thing about it is the vegetarian dish is packed with protein and nutrients thanks to the quinoa, black beans, and corn.
- Best Mexican quinoa recipe. I was so excited about how this healthy recipe turned out that I called my sister and told her to make it as soon as she could. She texted me a picture of the dish that night and agreed with me that it’s super easy to make and so ridiculously good. My husband isn’t a big quinoa fan, but he gave this recipe a 5-star review!
- Minced Garlic: We cook the garlic just a bit prior to adding the remaining ingredients to give a little extra flavor.
- Minced Jalapeño: You can cut back on this, remove it, or add more depending on your spice tolerance. However, if you devein and deseed it, there really won’t be that much spice added to it. I kept the seeds in and it wasn’t that spicy.
- Quinoa: Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer over the sink and fully rinse with water. I used a white quinoa, but red works too.
- Water: You can also use vegetable broth, too for added flavor. This will just add enough liquid to help cook the uncooked quinoa.
- Black Beans: Be sure to drain the black beans and rinse them.
- Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes: Use regular diced tomatoes if you don’t have the fire roasted kind. Fire roasted tomatoes are not spicy. It just means they are roasted over a fire! It adds a delicious flavor you don’t get with regular diced tomatoes.
- Spices: Chili powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper are the collection of Mexican spices we need to give this a delicious taco quinoa flavor.
- Fresh Lime Juice: Some will be added to the dish, and then I like to have a few lime wedges on the table for people to add a bit more if they’d like. I definitely recommend the lime juice! It’s so much better with it. You can use lemon juice if you don’t have lime juice.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Monterey jack is another good cheese option here. Or a general Mexican cheese blend.
- Cook the quinoa. To a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 tsp garlic and 1 jalapeño (minced). Cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup rinsed quinoa, 1 cup water, the cans of black beans and fire roasted diced tomatoes, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Stir to combine, bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is fully cooked.
- Uncover and add lime and cheese. Take the lid off the skillet and add in 2 tsp lime juice. Stir to combine. Top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
- Portion into bowls. Portion the Mexican quinoa into serving bowls and serve with avocado slices, fresh cilantro, shredded lettuce, easy Pico de Gallo, tortilla chips, and a dollop of sour cream!
If you want zero spice omit the jalapeno. Chili powder isn’t a spicy flavor but a sweet flavor, so don’t worry about that.
My slow cooker refried beans and chips is a perfect side dish to serve with this protein-packed quinoa recipe.
- Make this into a healthy Mexican quinoa salad recipe by washing and cutting lettuce, then add some of the quinoa mixture and the garnishes on top.
- Turn it into a Mexican quinoa burrito or quesadilla by adding the filling and cheese in a tortilla. For the quesadilla, flatten the tortilla and cook for a few minutes in a clean skillet on either side to make it crispy. Add the garnishes on top. For the burrito, fill the tortilla with the filling + all the toppings, roll and enjoy!
- Give it a Mexican breakfast spin by adding a fried egg on top!
- Swap out the black beans for your favorite type of bean: Pinto beans, lentils, kidney, etc.
- If you don’t have limes on hand, lemons work well, too.
- Add some diced bell pepper.
- Swap out the cheddar cheese for monterey jack or a Mexican blend cheese.
- If you want to add meat, add some ground beef and cook with the garlic. Drain any excess grease then remove to a separate bowl while you make the rest of the recipe. Add back in once the quinoa is cooked.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
This delicious meal is so easy to make that you don’t really need to do much prep ahead of time.
Store the quinoa taco bowl mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Warm the dish with a bit of water in a microwave safe bowl or on medium low heat in a skillet. Store the garnishes in separate containers in the fridge. Store any leftover avocado in a container with the big avocado pit. This will make it so it doesn’t brown as much.
You can freeze this dish! Freeze the Mexican quinoa without the garnishes (cheese, sour cream avocado and cilantro). Store in a ziplock bag in the freezer for 2-3 months. Let the dish thaw at room temperature and then warm prior to serving. Warm the dish with a bit of water in a skillet over medium low heat or in a microwave safe bowl (again, with a bit of water). The water makes it so it doesn’t dry out.
When quinoa is cooked, the grain will look like it has been opened, exposing a soft inside.
Yes! Quinoa is one of the healthiest foods out there. It’s high in fiber, antioxidants and has all nine essential amino acids.
Other Mexican Recipes
Mexican Quinoa Bowls
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic - minced, about 2-3 cloves
- 1 jalapeno - minced (can remove seeds if you want NO spice at all)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 15 oz can black beans - drained and rinsed
- 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup corn kernels - frozen
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 cup cheddar cheese - shredded
- 2 tablespoons cilantro - chopped
- 1 avocado - diced, for serving
- sour cream - for serving
- In a large skillet set over medium heat add the olive oil, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the quinoa, water, black beans, full can of tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is fully cooked. When quinoa is cooked, the grain will look like it has been opened, exposing a soft inside.
- Uncover and stir in the lime juice. Top with shredded cheese, cover again for 2-3 minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with cilantro and serve with the diced avocado and sour cream for topping.