Bursting with flavor, this One Pan Mexican Quinoa recipe makes a perfect side dish for any Mexican fiesta.
The combination of savory quinoa and vegetables is perfectly accented with classic spice flavors.
We usually like a Mexican beer with our Mexican food, but this Mezcal Margarita is heavenly.
For something sweet after your Mexican meal, choose from this list of Mexican desserts.
Healthy and flavorful – and easy to make – means this dish will be a hit with your whole family!
Why This Recipe Works
Any dish that just uses one pan is a huge win because it means fewer dishes to do. There’s just a little bit of prep needed for this dish, and it can be on the table in less than a half hour. It’s perfect for an easy dinner on those busy weeknights.
If you haven’t tried quinoa, its slightly nutty flavor blends perfectly with the vegetables and spices in this dish.
Because quinoa is high in protein, it will be a filling, easy meal, and great for stretching the budget, too.
What Goes Into This Recipe
1. Quinoa: Whole grain hearty quinoa comes from the amaranth family. Quinoa is actually the seeds of this plant. When cooked, it has a texture similar to couscous but with a better flavor.
2. Vegetables: With bell peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, and onion, this dish is chock full of veggies. They add not only flavor but wonderful color to this dish.
3. Spices: It’s not Mexican food without spices. This dish has more flavor than heat with classic Mexican spices like garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt and pepper.
See recipe card for the rest of the ingredients and full directions.
How to Make One Pan Mexican Quinoa
Step 1: Chop the bell pepper and red onion.
Step 2: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and red bell pepper and cook for five minutes.
Step 3: Stir in the quinoa, corn, and tomatoes and turn to low heat.
Step 4: Slowly stir in chicken or vegetable broth and add the salt, pepper, and other spices.
Step 5. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure that the liquid does not boil off and if needed, add additional broth or water.
Step 6: Remove from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork. It should be soft and fluffy when fully cooked.
Step 7: Garnish with slices of fresh avocado, fresh parsley, green onions, or lime wedges. A squeeze of fresh lime juice really brightens up the flavor!
Add black beans to this one pan Mexican quinoa recipe for a full meal. I might also add lettuce, diced sweet potatoes, salsa, guacamole, and fresh cilantro to make a Mexican Quinoa Bowl.
Make sure the black beans are cooked, or use canned and warm them up, and then stir into the cooked quinoa dish. You can also use pinto beans or kidney beans.
Want some other protein in this dish? Stir in shredded chicken or pork and top with a dollop of sour cream.
Did you know this makes a great filling for enchiladas? Take the cooked filling and mix it with a can of tomato sauce. Spoon some of the filling on a tortilla and wrap and place in a baking pan. When the pan is full, cover the tortillas with enchilada sauce and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, and bake until warm and gooey.
As it is shown here, this dish has a lot of flavor, but not too much heat. Spice it up according to your tastes. You can use chili powder, poblano pepper, green chiles, hot sauce, or anything else to bump up the heat.
This dish tastes great when served hot, but it also makes a wonderful cold salad. That means you can make it in advance and just garnish and serve whenever you are ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both quinoa and rice have similar fiber content and calorie content, but quinoa does edge out rice in other ways. For instance, protein-packed quinoa also provides the body with some essential amino acids and different micronutrients that the body needs.
The trick to making sure your quinoa isn’t bitter is rinsing it before cooking. It doesn’t take much, but a quick rinse removes the coating on the seeds that often causes a bitter flavor.
A common question! Quinoa is a complete protein, containing necessary amino acids, but it also is a carbohydrate since it has a lot of carbs in each serving. So short answer, it is both.
Rinse the quinoa. Quinoa can be bitter when cooked due to a bitter-tasting compound called saponin that is found coating the seeds. Thankfully, it is easy to remove the bitter flavor, Simply rinse the quinoa for about a minute or two before putting it in the saucepan to cook.
If you want to make this dish vegetarian, be sure to use vegetable broth. Otherwise, chicken broth works equally as well.
If you’re short on time or ingredients, use a packet of taco seasoning instead of the blend of spices. It will provide a similar flavor.
This dish makes for great leftovers, and you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
Not sure you’ll get to it in that time? It can be frozen in a zip-top bag for up to 10 months.
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More Mexican Recipes
One Pan Mexican Quinoa
- ⅔ cup quinoa
- 1 bell pepper diced
- ½ cup corn
- 2 chopped tomatoes
- ½ red onion chopped
- 1 cup broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅕ teaspoon coriander
- ⅕ teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- avocado for serving
- parsley for serving
- sliced lime for serving
- Chop the bell pepper and red onion.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and pepper and cook for five minutes.
- Stir in the quinoa, corn, and tomatoes and turn to low heat.
- Slowly stir in the broth and add the salt, pepper, and other spices.
- Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure that the liquid does not boil off and if needed, add additional broth or water.
- Remove from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork. It should be soft and fluffy when fully cooked.
- Garnish with slices of fresh avocado, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, green onions, or lime wedges.