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Mexican quinoa in a frying pan.
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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.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine mexican-inspired
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 487kcal
Author Aleksandra



  • 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


  • 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!


  • 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)!


Calories: 487kcal