This post is sponsored by Circulon, but as always all opinions are mine.
Today I come to you with one of my favorite quinoa recipes that happens to be easy to make, clean, healthy, wholesome, vegan, and gluten-free. If you are with me, you are in for a treat today because we are making an incredibly delicious and versatile (more on that in a minute) Mexican Quinoa Recipe that is made in one pan and ready in 30 minutes.
This is yet another recipe I am adding to my collection of easy quinoa recipes.
Now, I know most of you are big fans of Mexican rice, and believe me, I am no different. However, I think it is fun to switch things up every once in a while. I think we can all agree that using (plant) protein-packed quinoa instead of rice is a great and healthy alternative to our favorite Mexican dish.
What I love the most about this Mexican quinoa bowl is that it all comes together in one pan, which makes the cleaning part so much easier for later. It is as simple as putting everything in one pan and letting it do its thing. Speaking of pans, I partnered up with my friends at Circulon to bring this recipe to you.
To make this One Pan Mexican Quinoa, I used their 12-inch Circulon Symmetry Merlot pan, the newest addition to the Circulon Symmetry family. It is a great pan that you can use for any dish (including soups). Though I think the best part is pan is that it is both oven and dishwasher safe.
Onto the recipe…
Ingredients for Mexican Quinoa Recipe
For this recipe, you will need an onion, bell peppers, spices (cumin and coriander), garlic, uncooked quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, water (or vegetable broth), and cilantro.
Plus, though they are optional, you can top it off with avocado, pumpkin seeds, and scallions.
To make this one pot quinoa dish a quick Tuesday night dinner, I used canned beans, diced tomatoes, and corn. I also used vegetable stock, but water would also work.
How To Cook Quinoa On The Stove
I wrote a detailed post on how to make quinoa but below is a quick explanation.
When I am cooking quinoa by itself, the water to quinoa ratio that I use is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water.
If I have it on hand, I sometimes switch it up and use vegetable or chicken stock instead of water. I think it is such an easy way to make quinoa taste good.
In the recipe, however, it is a little bit different because we are cooking our quinoa with some vegetables. Since vegetables release some of their juices during the cooking process, we do not need as much water. Therefore, we use only 1 cup of liquid to make this Mexican style quinoa recipe.
How To Make
The process of making this one pan Mexican quinoa bowl has 2 folds.
- Sauté aromatics: onions, peppers ( I used bell peppers, but you can also use jalapeños), ground cumin, ground coriander, and garlic for a few minutes.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook: Stir in the black beans, tomatoes, corn, quinoa and your liquid into the mixture. You let it cook for 20-25 minutes with the lid on, and voila, dinner is ready!
Step By Step Recipe How-To Video:
Creative Ways To Use This One Pan Mexican Quinoa Recipe
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this Mexican style quinoa dish is so versatile. Even though I served it by itself here, you can use this basic recipe to create different dishes. Here are some creative ideas:
Serve it as a savory breakfast bowl with an egg on top:
This makes a great protein-packed breakfast, especially if you work out in the morning and need a healthy breakfast to start the day.
Turn it into a Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad:
The beauty of this recipe is that you can serve it both warm and cold. I usually serve it as a warm meal on the day off. Then on the next day, I add in some chopped red onion, cilantro, avocados, radishes, and lime juice to turn it into a salad.
Serve it as a filling for a taco:
This quinoa and black bean recipe is perfect as a taco filling. Depending on the dietary restrictions of your family, you can roast some vegetables (cubed sweet potatoes are my favorite) and add them into the Mexican quinoa to make it flavorful and filling.
If you have meat eaters in the family, you can fill your tacos with the quinoa and then top it off with cooked ground beef or shredded chicken as well.
Serve it as a side dish:
While I am perfectly fine with serving this gluten-free Mexican quinoa bowl recipe by itself, I also think that it makes a great vegetarian side dish. Especially, if you are serving other Mexican dishes like Slow Cooked Beef Brisket Tacos, Grilled Flank Steak Tacos, or not so Mexican but still delicious Chicken and Potato Bake.
How to store this Mexican Quinoa Bowl:
If you have leftovers you can place them in an airtight container. It should keep fresh up to 3 days in the fridge.
Other Mexican Recipes You Might Like
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Mexican Egg Bake
- Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos
- Cowboy Caviar
- Corn and Bean Salad
- Mexican Corn Recipe
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers
- How to Make Corn Tortillas
- Mexican Corn Pasta Salad
- Need more inspiration? Check out all our side dishes and Mexican inspired recipes.
Mexican Quinoa Recipe
For The Mexican Quinoa:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium-sized onion chopped
- 2 small bell peppers chopped (or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn kernels fresh or frozen
- 1 can diced tomatoes with all their juices (15 oz.)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup water or vegetable broth
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped – plus more as garnish
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 stalks of scallions chopped
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Handful of pumpkin seeds optional
- Heat oil in a 12-inch pan with a lid over medium heat. Add in the onion, peppers, cumin, and coriander. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, 7-8 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the quinoa, black beans, corn kernels, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Give it a large stir.
- Pour in the liquid, put the lid on, and bring it to a boil. Then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 20-23 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes or so and fluff with a fork. Right before serving stir in the fresh cilantro.
- Spoon the Mexican quinoa into bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro, avocado, and scallions. Serve with wedges of lime.
- Spices: Do not skip on sautéing ground cumin and coriander at the beginning. They are both oil-soluble spices, which means in order for them to release their flavors they need to interact with oil. If you want to make this recipe spicier, you can swap bell peppers with sliced jalapeños.
- Top it off with a dollop of sour cream or Mexican cotija cheese: I wanted to keep this recipe basic and vegan so I just garnished it with avocado slices and some fresh cilantro. However, if you don’t mind it being vegetarian, you can (in true Mexican fashion) top it off with some sour cream or cotija cheese as well.
- Want to make this in a pressure cooker instead? Try my Instant Pot Mexican Quinoa recipe.
- You can follow the recipe as written and cook your quinoa with the vegetables. Doing so takes about 20-25 minutes. However, if you are short on time and have some leftover cooked quinoa, you can add that in after the vegetables are cooked. This way you do not have to wait for the quinoa to cook. Once it is warmed throughly your meal will be ready.
This post was originally published in January 2019. It has been updated with additional information and no changes to the originally published recipe in August 2020.