Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa

It has been a while since I last posted about a side dish! Although they are not the stars of the dinner table they play an important role and sometimes they are even my favourite part of a meal. With my new found passion for quinoa I have been trying to use it more often and that is not hard to do. An easy way to use it is to simply replace the rice in a dish with quinoa and it is with this in my that I undertook making Mexican quinoa.

Mexican rice , or Spanish rice, is a rice side dish that is generally cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic and a bit of chili pepper heat. In addition to being really easy to make, Mexican rice is packed with flavour and it is always a welcome addition to any meal. One of the nice things about Mexican rice is that it is easy to play around with the recipe and change things up by adding other ingredients like diced bell peppers or even corn or peas. The tomato component is really flexible and I often make Mexican rice to finish off cans of tomato products that were only partially used in other dishes. Canned whole tomatoes work just as well as diced or pureed and fresh ripe tomatoes that are diced are also wonderful.

I figured that Mexican rice would go great with the rice replaced by quinoa and I was not wrong! My favourite part of quinoa has to be the texture and those soft, tiny, chewy pearls work amazingly well in Mexican rice! Now I have another way to make "Mexican rice" and I have a feeling that I will be using it often!

Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes Servings: 4

A take on the classic "Mexican" rice with quinoa. This tasty quinoa dish makes the perfect side for your favourite Mexican or Texmex meal.

  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato or 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder and saute until fragrant about a minute.
  4. Add the quinoa, broth, tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the the quinoa is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve garnished with cilantro.


bellini said...

This dish is goo for you as well Kevin!!!

Zarah said...

Looks AMAZNG!! Haver to try that - thanks for sharing! :D

Anne said...

I've been looking for quinoa recipes, this looks delicious.

Dawn said...

Kevin, this dish is perfection. I recently read the China study so I'm debating on converting to vegetarian or even vegan. I am going to make this, possibly tonight and throw some beans in for dinner. Thank you!

Terri said...

This looks amazing. I shared it with my daughter.

I tried to print it but when I click the link, it goes back directly to your blog.

d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo said...

I love quinoa! I make a similar recipe but this will be a good chance to use the ground chipotle pepper I just bought!

Worker Bee said...

I LOOOVE quinoa and you can do so much with it! I tend to lean towards savory dishes but look at this breakfast dish! It looks fantastic!

Heather said...

Great idea! I'm always looking for ways to sneak in more healthy whole grains.

Gloria said...

Look delicious Kevin! gloria

warmvanillasugar said...

This sounds so yummy! I love trying new quinoa recipes. Yum!

Andrea said...

I love quinoa. I would probably eat this Mexican inspired recipe as a main instead of a side but that's probably just me :)

Kevin said...

Terri: The printable link should work now.

Worker Bee: Yes it does! I have been enjoying quinoa porridge lately with blueberries, maple syrup and pecans:

Andrea: You read my mind!

Joanne said...

I haven't really tried anything new with quinoa in a while, certainly nothing as delicious as this!

Deb said...

What a lovely picture! Can't wait to try this...but I'll be using the Himalayan pink salt I just got from Sustainable Sourcing (here's their website: so you can try it too!). The flavor just explodes in your mouth! Anyway, thanks for posting. :-)

janet @ the taste space said...

I've been on a Mexican kick lately as well. Love your dish here, Kevin. :)

Evan Halperin said...

Eating this now with black beans, chiptole chicken and cheddar cheese. great recipe

Cheesecake Delivery said...

I'm thinking of a great dessert!

Cajunlicious said...

Kevin, this looks so good. We just started eating quinoa and this is now on my list!

Beth said...

I just found your site through Pinterest. I wish I were your neighbor! You have some fabulous recipes and I am filling up my recipe box fast. Thanks so much!!

Anonymous said...

This recipe is so so good. It is essentially like Mexican rice, only better for you. I love the texture. I use olive oil instead, and often times substitute onion powder and garlic powder instead of fresh chopped onion and garlic. I also add some chili powder. My family loves it! Thanks for the fab recipe!

Anonymous said...

I just made this tonight. Im a vegetarian in a house of meat eaters, so instead of groundbeef on tacos I had this. It was wonderful! Even my husband was adding it to his tacos LOVE!!!

Anonymous said...

Kevin, opinion please! I have several types of chili powder and paprika (including smoked) in the pantry, but, alas, no chipotle. What are your feelings on substituting perhaps I minced chipotle with a tsp or so of adobo?

Suzanne Hicks, London, ON

Kevin Lynch said...

Suzanne Hicks: A minced chipotle in adobo would be perfect! Otherwise you could use a combination of chili powder and smoked paprika. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I'm on it as we speak; thanks so much Kevin and have a great Sunday!


Anonymous said...

Tada! It's done, and it's excellent! For those of you who may not have chipotle chili powder, I substituted 1 small (approximately 2 cm) canned chipotle (very finely minced) and 1 tsp of adobo; just enough heat to know it is there. I made a batch and a half of this, as I had 1 1/2 cups of quinoa on hand and, portioned out, this provided 5 - 1 cup servings, enough for lunch for a week!

Suzanne Hicks, London, ON

Nannu Davis said...

Your blog is aweomse

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