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One-Pan Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa

For being the shortest month of the year, February always seems so long to me. It’s this time of year that I’m craving spring more than ever. I’m over the cold, dreary days of winter and am already dreaming about our garden and all the bright colorful herbs that will decorate it in just a few months.

On the other hand, the end of February means that Clara’s birthday is just around the corner, and while I’m thrilled to celebrate another wonderful year with her, it’s bittersweet to see her leave one stage of toddlerhood and enter another. The verdict is still out on whether Clara will be an only child, and I can’t help but wonder – will this be the last time I have an almost two year old?

This mix of anticipation and contemplation is a bit strange and has left me feeling uninspired. Because of this, I’ve been picking meals I know will be winners – hearty soups, comforting pastas and bright, colorful dishes like this one. I made this for dinner one night recently, and we enjoyed it for several lunches throughout the week. It’s made in one pan and is about as simple as dinners come. It’s easier than picking up takeout. Seriously. You can have it on the table in less than 30 minutes. Another bonus: Clara really liked this, though, in typical Clara fashion, picked out and ate all the black beans first. There may have been quinoa in her hair, but we just consider that a sign of a good meal.

Like the roasted vegetable quinoa bowls I posted recently, this can be eaten hot or cold/at room temperature and will taste fantastic no matter which way you serve it. It makes a fantastic grab and go lunch, but I could also see it working really well as a healthier option at a potluck or other type of party. It’s bright, flavorful and nutritious. Plus, it automatically makes me laugh because every time I make or eat quinoa, I can’t help but think about this Pinterest board.

Mexican Quinoa

One-Pan Mexican Quinoa

Yield: 4-6 servings

One-Pan Mexican Quinoa


2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1¼ cups vegetable broth
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
1 cup frozen corn (or kernels from 2 ears of corn)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 quarter of a lime, juiced
To finish:
Shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions, etc.


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and jalapeños and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in the quinoa, broth, beans, tomatoes, corn 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, fluff with a fork and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Top as desired.


  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This quinoa looks so dang delicious!

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    The only thing getting me through February is the fact that my birthday is at the end of it. We just need to push through! Big bowls of this quinoa will help.

    • Courtney

      Ooh, that is a good reason to look forward to the end of the month! I hope you have an awesome celebration waiting for you!

  • kelly

    I’m with you on February–I guess I never realized how it seems to drag on despite being so short. I usually find myself really anxious from right after Valentine’s Day until my birthday on the ides of March, but it’s been because I had a string of really bad birthdays until the age of 25. Still, this year I’m trying to be mindful of the fact that a) I’ve had 3 great birthdays in a row and b) it’s not worth being anxious for a month over one day of the year! And, moving away from my tangent and back to this delicious quinoa, I love what you’ve done with this recipe! It’s simple, nutritious and full of some of my favorite flavors. Way more exciting than rice! Here’s to a hopeful, happy and quick rest of February! xo

  • Lisa Cardon

    Made this last night. It was delicious. I added chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce for some more kick and flavor. I will absolutely make this again.

    • Courtney

      What a great idea! I’m totally trying that next time I make this.

  • nicolebarton39

    Can you freeze the leftovers?

    • Courtney

      I haven’t tried freezing quinoa, so I’m not sure. They did keep for several days in the fridge, and we ate them for lunch the rest of the week.