30-Minute Dinner/ Dinner/ mexican and tex-mex/ Side dish/ vegetarian dinner

One pot Mexican quinoa

3 January 2021

This cheesy Mexican quinoa is one of my favorite vegetarian dinners. It’s filling, packed with vegetables, well-spiced and cheesy. It comes together quickly in just one pot! I served it with sunny-side-eggs and avocado on the side. I’m sure you’ll add it to your dinner rotation! You can serve it as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish.

Mexican quinoa in a frying pan topped with coriander and avocado.

Ingredients:

Here’s what you need to make this delicious Mexican quinoa:

  • quinoa – delicious and very healthy
  • vegetables: bell paprika, corn, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans (you can use other beans like black beans)
  • aromatics: onion, garlic, fresh coriander (you can omit it if you don’t have it on hand)
  • broth: use vegetable or chicken broth, if you don’t have any on hand, just add water
  • spices: I used cumin, oregano, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, if you’d like more heat you can add jalapeno pepper or other spicy peppers or chili flakes, you could also use your favorite spice blend, like fajita or taco seasoning
  • cheese: I used cheddar but you can also use Mexican blend cheese or Emmentaler cheese
  • to finish: lime juice, to brighten up the dish
Labeled ingredients needed to prepare Mexican quinoa.

You could also add some protein to this dish:

  • Mexican quinoa with chicken: Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks, season with salt, pepper, and spices (you can use similar spices like in the recipe for quinoa), cook in the pot, transfer to a plate, then using the same pot follow the recipe as written. Stir in the chicken with the quinoa, top with cheese, let and cheese melt and serve.
  • Mexican quinoa with ground beef/ground chicken/ground turkey: brown the beef in the pot (season it with salt, pepper, and spices), then follow the recipe as written (add onion, bell pepper etc).
  • Mexican quinoa with shrimp: stir the cooked quinoa with beans and corn, put raw shrimps on top, sprinkle cheese on top, cover the pot and let the cheese melt. These 3 minutes that are needed to melt the cheese should be enough for the shrimp to be cooked through. If they need more time just cook them a little bit longer, don’t cook them too long or they will be rubbery.

How to make Mexican quinoa step by step:

Sauteed onions, bell paprika and garlic in a pan. Broth is being added to a pan with quinoa, tomatoes, and onions.

STEP 1: Dice 1 medium onion and 1 red bell paprika, chop finely 4 cloves garlic. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a big frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and bell paprika. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until soft.
Add the garlic and the spices (1.5 ts cumin, 1.5 ts oregano, 1/2 ts paprika, 1/4 ts cinnamon, 1/4 ts cayenne pepper or more). Cook for about 30-60 seconds.

STEP 2: Rinse 1 cup (190g) quinoa thoroughly with cold water and drain. Add to the pan along with 1 cup (240ml) broth and 1 (14-oz/400ml) can crushed tomatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper, stir, bring to a boil. Cover (the lid should be well fitted) and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked (taste it – it should be soft with a bite to it and you should see that it has popped open, revealing the germ of the kernel).

Cooked quinoa, beans, corn, and parsley in a pan.

STEP 3: Add 1 (14-oz/400ml) can kidney beans (drained), 1/2 (14-oz/400ml) can corn (drained), 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, and 1-2 ts lime/lemon juice.

STEP 4: Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cooked quinoa topped with cheddar cheese, avocado and coriander in a pan.

STEP 5: Top 1 cup (100g) shredded cheddar cheese, cover the pan and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.

STEP 6: Serve and enjoy!

What to serve it with:

  • My favorite way to serve this dish is with avocado slices, fresh coriander, a dollop of sour cream/yogurt, and sunny-side-up eggs.
  • Other delicious toppings: pico de gallo (I have a recipe for this tomato onion salsa here), spicy salsa, tortilla chips, guacamole.

Storage:

This dish is great for reheating. Sprinkle it lightly with water, cover, and cook over very low heat until warm. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you plan to make it ahead, it’s better to warm it up without cheese, then top with the cheese just before serving. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Mexican quinoa on a green plate with sunny-side-up egg and avocado on the side.

More Mexican-inspired recipes:

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

One pot Mexican quinoa

This cheesy Mexican quinoa is one of my favorite vegetarian dinners. It's filling, packed with vegetables, well-spiced and cheesy. It comes together quickly in just one pot! I served it with sunny-side-eggs and avocado on the side. I'm sure you'll add it to your dinner rotation! You can serve it as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish.
Pin This Recipe!
Mexican quinoa in a frying pan.
Print Recipe
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 487kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

quinoa:

  • 2 tablespoons frying oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 cup (190g) quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-oz/400ml) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14-oz/400ml) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 (14-oz/400ml) can corn, drained
  • 1 teaspoon of lime / lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (100g) grated sharp cheddar cheese

to serve:

  • avocado
  • sour cream or plain yogurt
  • sunny-side-up eggs

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and bell paprika, chop the garlic very finely.
  • Heat the oil in a big frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and bell paprika. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until soft.
  • Add the garlic and the spices. Cook for about 30-60 seconds.
  • Rinse the quinoa thoroughly with cold water and drain. Add to the pan along with the broth and canned tomatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper, stir, bring to a boil. Cover (the lid should be well fitted) and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked (taste it – it should be soft with a bite to it and you should see that it has popped open, revealing the germ of the kernel).
  • Add drained beans, corn, chopped cilantro, and lime/lemon juice. Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with shredded cheese, cover the pot, and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve with avocado slices, a dollop of sour cream/yogurt, and sunny-side-up eggs.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Storage: This dish is great for reheating. Sprinkle it lightly with water, cover, and cook over very low heat until warm. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you plan to make it ahead, it’s better to warm it up without cheese, then top with the cheese just before serving. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate (toppings like avocado and eggs are not included)!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine mexican-inspired
Keyword cheesy quinoa, Mexican quinoa, quinoa with vegetables

This recipe is inspired by recipe from this website. I changed many ingredients to make it my own.

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