This Easy Mexican Quinoa Bowl Recipe is made with quinoa, corn, black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, and a delicious spicy mayonnaise.
Mexican quinoa bowls are known for their vibrant colors, bold flavors, and nutrient-rich ingredients, making them a popular choice for those seeking a nutritious and delicious meal with a Mexican twist. They can be easily customized to suit individual tastes and dietary preferences, and are often served as a one-bowl meal that is easy to prepare and perfect for meal prepping or for a quick and satisfying weeknight dinner.
This bowl is packed with flavor and perfect for a weeknight meal. This is an easy vegetarian dish filled with protein from the beans and good fat from the avocado. It takes less than 20 minutes to make and the flavors are a perfect combination of savory and spicy.
- What is a Mexican Quinoa Bowl?
- Mexican Quinoa Bowl Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Mexican Quinoa Bowl
- What to serve with Mexican Quinoa Bowl
- Mexican Quinoa Bowl Recipe Variations
- How to store Mexican Quinoa Bowl
- Mexican Quinoa Bowl Recipe Top tips
- Mexican Quinoa Bowl Recipe
- Food safety
What is a Mexican Quinoa Bowl?
A Mexican quinoa bowl is a flavorful and nutritious dish made with cooked quinoa, which is a protein-rich grain-like seed, combined with a variety of Mexican-inspired ingredients. It typically includes a base of cooked quinoa seasoned with Mexican spices, and is then topped with a variety of colorful and flavorful ingredients such as black beans, roasted vegetables, avocado, salsa, cheese, and other toppings. Mexican quinoa bowls are often served as a healthy and filling vegetarian or vegan meal option, although they can also be customized with added proteins such as grilled chicken, beef, or tofu, to suit individual preferences.
Mexican Quinoa Bowl Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Olive oil
- Black beans
- Pico de gallo
- Sesame oil
See recipe card for Easy Mexican Quinoa Bowl quantities.
How to make Mexican Quinoa Bowl
In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, add the oil and butter and wait for the butter melt and oil to shimmer. Toss in the corn and cook for 5-6 minutes, tossing frequently. The corn will pop like popcorn, that just means its working! Once the corn is golden brown, place on a plate to the side.
Add 2 cups of water (or however much the ratio is on your package instructions for 1 cup quinoa) and wait for the water to boil. Pour in the quinoa and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or however long the instructions say on the package.
Once the quinoa is cooked through, toss in the corn. Add the quinoa mixture in a bowl.
In a separate small bowl, add mayonnaise, sriracha and sesame oil and mix. Pour the mixture into the quinoa bowl and mix. Top with beans, pico de gallo, and avocado.
What to serve with Mexican Quinoa Bowl
- Tortilla chips or corn chips: Serve some tortilla chips or corn chips on the side for scooping up the quinoa bowl and adding some crunch.
- Guacamole: Another classic Mexican side dish that pairs well with a Mexican quinoa bowl is guacamole. It adds creaminess, tanginess, and healthy fats to the meal.
- Grilled vegetables: Grilled vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and onions can make a great side dish for a Mexican quinoa bowl. They add smoky flavors and a nice contrast in texture to the quinoa.
- Roasted sweet potatoes: Roasted sweet potatoes can add natural sweetness and a touch of caramelization to balance out the flavors of the Mexican quinoa bowl. You can toss them with some spices like cumin, paprika, or chili powder for a Mexican twist. Check out my Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries.
- Corn kernels: I used fresh corn on a cob but you can opt to using corn from a can.
- Quinoa: You can use white, red or black quinoa. Red quinoa is rich in protein, fiber, and has a ton of nutrients.
- Beans: You can use cooked black or pinto beans from a can. If you want to make your beans from scratch, cook them in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes on high with water and salt.
- Pico de gallo: You can use store bought pico de gallo found in the produce section of your grocery store or make your own. Get creative with it!
- Avocado: Use a perfectly ripe avocado that have a darker color that feels soft, but not mushy.
- Spicy mayonnaise: You can buy premade spicy mayonnaise, or yum yum sauce, from the ethnic food section of your grocery store, or make your own. It is super easy: all you need is mayonnaise, sriracha, and sesame oil.
Mexican Quinoa Bowl Recipe Variations
- Southwest Quinoa Bowl: Add southwestern flavors to your Mexican quinoa bowl by using ingredients such as corn, bell peppers, jalapenos, and cilantro. You can also include grilled or roasted chicken seasoned with southwest spices, and top with a creamy chipotle dressing for an extra kick.
- Taco Quinoa Bowl: Turn your Mexican quinoa bowl into a taco-inspired dish by using taco seasoning to flavor the quinoa, and topping it with seasoned ground beef or turkey, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, lettuce, and a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- Fajita Quinoa Bowl: Give your Mexican quinoa bowl a fajita twist by adding sautéed onions, bell peppers, and sliced steak, chicken, or tofu seasoned with fajita spices. Top with a drizzle of lime juice, cilantro, and avocado for a delicious and satisfying meal.
- Breakfast Quinoa Bowl: Start your day with a Mexican-inspired breakfast quinoa bowl by adding scrambled eggs or tofu, black beans, salsa, avocado, and cheese to your cooked quinoa. Top with chopped tomatoes, green onions, and a sprinkle of hot sauce for a protein-packed and flavorful breakfast option.
Check out this Cream Cheese Poblano Pepper recipe.
- Pan: You'll need a pan to cook the quinoa in. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid to allow the quinoa to cook evenly and absorb the liquid properly.
- Cutting Board and Knife: You'll need a cutting board and a sharp knife to chop and prepare the vegetables, herbs, and other ingredients for your Mexican quinoa bowl.
- Mixing Bowl: You'll need a mixing bowl to toss and combine the cooked quinoa with the other ingredients and seasonings to create the flavorful bowl.
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon: You'll need a spatula or wooden spoon for stirring and mixing the quinoa and other ingredients while they cook and combine in the pot.
- Baking Sheet (optional): If you're roasting any vegetables or other ingredients to add to your Mexican quinoa bowl, you may need a baking sheet to spread them out and roast them in the oven.
- Oven (optional): If you're roasting any ingredients, you'll need an oven to bake them until they're cooked and tender.
- Serving Bowls or Plates: Finally, you'll need serving bowls or plates to serve your Mexican quinoa bowl. Make sure they're large enough to hold the quinoa and all the toppings you're adding.
How to store Mexican Quinoa Bowl
- Allow the Mexican quinoa bowl to cool to room temperature before storing. Placing hot food directly in the refrigerator can raise the temperature inside the fridge and potentially spoil other perishable items.
- Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Make sure the container or bag is clean and dry to prevent moisture and bacteria from affecting the quality of the leftovers.
- Label the container or bag with the date so you can keep track of how long the leftovers have been in the refrigerator.
- Store the Mexican quinoa bowl leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It's best to consume leftovers within this time frame to ensure their freshness and quality.
Mexican Quinoa Bowl Recipe Top tips
- Rinse the quinoa before cooking: Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin that can give it a bitter taste. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water in a fine-mesh sieve to remove the saponin before cooking.
- Use vegetable broth for extra flavor: Instead of cooking quinoa in plain water, use vegetable broth to add more flavor to the quinoa. This will give your Mexican quinoa bowl a richer and more savory taste.
- Customize the toppings: One of the best things about a quinoa bowl is the ability to customize the toppings to your liking. You can add a variety of ingredients such as black beans, roasted vegetables, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapenos, or shredded cheese to make it your own.
- Add lime juice for acidity: Fresh lime juice adds a tangy acidity to the Mexican quinoa bowl, balancing out the flavors and brightening up the dish. Squeeze some lime juice over the top of the bowl just before serving for a burst of freshness.
- Adjust spices to your preference: The recipe may call for specific spices, such as cumin, paprika, or chili powder, but feel free to adjust the amounts to your taste preferences. If you like it spicy, add more chili powder or jalapenos. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of spices accordingly.
- Don't overcook the quinoa: Overcooking quinoa can result in a mushy texture. Follow the package instructions for cooking time and keep an eye on the quinoa while it's cooking to avoid overcooking. The quinoa should be cooked until it's tender but still has a slight bite.
- Meal prep ahead of time: Mexican quinoa bowls are great for meal prep. You can cook the quinoa and prepare the toppings in advance, then assemble the bowls when you're ready to eat. Store the cooked quinoa and toppings separately in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.
- Add a creamy element: To add creaminess to your Mexican quinoa bowl, consider adding a dollop of Greek yogurt, sour cream, or avocado. This will add a luscious texture and balance out the flavors in the bowl.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove