This Mexican quinoa is super flavorful, filling, and healthy! Hearty enough for a meal in itself or a fabulous side dish!
Want to make something quick yet healthy for busy weeknights? This Mexican quinoa is so quick, simple, and easy that you’ll surely add it to your go-to menu list!
Why this recipe works
- Quick and easy. From prep to plate, this dish comes together in less than 10 minutes.
- Mess-free. It’s a one-pot recipe, so it’s easy to clean up afterward.
- Easy to customize. Swap out the legumes, add protein or add different spices.
What I love about this recipe is how flavorful it is! Who knew that a handful of spices could transform this simple dish into something elegant?
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This recipe is heavy on fresh ingredients. While most are basic staples, there may be a couple that you’ll need to hit up the grocery store for. This is what you’ll need:
- Uncooked quinoa. You can use any type of quinoa for this recipe.
- Olive oil. Or any other neutral flavored oil.
- Garlic. Chopped.
- Celery. Cut into small pieces.
- Onions. Chopped.
- Carrots. Peeled and sliced into small pieces.
- Jalapenos. Adds a spicy element.
- Vegetable broth.
- Black beans. I used canned and drained black beans.
- Spices. Cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Sugar. Just a pinch to balance out all the robust flavors.
- Corn. Frozen or fresh, but cook before using.
- Avocado. Cut into small pieces to add a creamy texture.
- Baby spinach. Remove the stalks before using them.
- Lime. Adds a citric element.
For homemade cashew sour cream
- Raw cashews. Soak overnight before blending.
- Apple cider vinegar. Balances flavor and texture.
- Lemon. Adds a tangy flavor.
- Salt. To taste.
- Nutritional yeast. Helps in the fermentation of sour cream.
- Water. As required.
How to make Mexican quinoa
This recipe is very simple to make and besides making the quinoa, there isn’t much else that goes into it.
Step 1- prep the quinoa
Start with heating oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, spring onion, celery, carrot, and jalapenos. Saute for a minute or until fragrant.
Then, combine quinoa, beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin, broth, cayenne, salt, and sugar. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat to let it simmer. Allow it to cook for 20-25 minutes or until the water dries completely. Remove from the heat and add avocado, cilantro, spinach, and lime juice.
Add seasonings as per your taste and add cashew sour cream on top before serving.
Step 2- make the cashew cream
Combine all the ingredients of cashew sour cream in a blender and blend until smooth paste forms.
Tips to make the best recipe
- There are many types of quinoa, so you should always double check the type you’re using to adjust the cooking time accordingly. We used the standard quick cooking variety.
- It’s recommended to rinse quinoa before cooking to avoid the soapy taste that can appear otherwise.
- Avoid adding too much liquid to prevent the quinoa from being fluffy.
This recipe is like a blank canvas and it is super easy to customize. Here are some ideas:
- Alter spices. You can substitute the spices as per your flavor if you don’t like the ones used in the recipe.
- Add your favorite veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, and spiralized zucchini are all fabulous options.
- Change the seasoning. Add some taco seasoning, cajun seasoning, or even some smoked paprika to change up the base.
To store. Use airtight containers to store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
To freeze. Place leftovers in a shallow container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Reheating. You can reheat it in the microwave for 30-40 seconds or in skillet.
More quinoa recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
There are 389.6 calories per serving of Mexican quinoa.
Yes, quinoa is good for weight loss because it contains fewer calories than rice or pasta and triples the amount of protein and fiber. It also keeps you satisfied for longer.
Yes, quinoa is a gluten-free grain and is suitable for celiacs. The other ingredients in this dish are also gluten-free.
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 stalk Celery diced
- 1 small Carrot diced
- 2 green onions chopped
- 4 Jalapenos seeded and finely chopped
- 1 1/4 cups Quinoa rinsed well and drained
- 11/4 cups vegetable broth
- 15 ounces Black Beans canned, drained and rinsed
- 14.5 ounces Diced Tomatoes canned
- 1 cup Frozen Corn
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne
- 2 teaspoons Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 Avocado peeled and cubed
- 1 cup Baby Spinach
- 1 Lime Juiced
For the cashew sour cream dressing
- 1 cup Cashews soaked overnight in water and then drained
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup Water depending on how thick you want it to be
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, spring onoin and jalapeños and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Stir in the quinoa, broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin, cayenne, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cover and let cook for 20-25 minutes, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, avocado, spinach and lime juice. Season to taste. Top with cashew sour cream and oven-crisped tortilla strips.
- To make the cashew cream, combine ingredients in a blender and blend till very smooth. Keep in air tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.