/body> >

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Mexican One-Pot Quinoa


This one pot Mexican Quinoa is a delicious one-pot vegetarian meal loaded with the healthy goodness of quinoa, red kidney beans, and corn. Packed with nutrition, this protein-rich dish is dairy-free and gluten-free and cooked in homemade vegetable broth making it all the more wholesome. A comforting lunch or dinner menu for those busy days when you are pressed for time yet want to serve your family with something filling and nutritious. With a very simple and easy to follow recipe, this Mexican one-pot Quinoa is ready under 30 minutes from scratch.

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa pronounced as Kinwa or Kinuwa is a flowering plant in the amarnth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a grain crop for its edible seeds. Quinoa cooks easily and fast to give a light fluffy texture with a slightly nutty flavor. It is versatile and can be easily used as a replacement to rice.

For the uninitiated, here's a little briefing about the health benefits of including Quinoa into your daily diet. Quinoa (keen-wah) is one of the world's most popular health foods and often referred to as a super grain. It is gluten-free, high in protein and fiber and one of the few plant foods that contain all the nine essential amino acids. It is also high in magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidant.

My comfort level with Quinoa

 I usually try to use the easily available fresh ingredients in my every day cooking. I am comfortable cooking with the locally grown food, that I have been eating since my childhood. But therebare certain food items like Oats, for instance which were not as much popular 2 decades back as much as they are today. I use oats in my breakfast, in main meals, snacks, desserts and bakes. One more grain which has recently entered my Kitchen and became a favourite food is Quinoa. I started experimenting with Quinoa 3 years back after reading about its vast health benefits and instantly fell in love with it. since then, there is no looking back. Now i am so comfortable with this super grain that I use it atleast once in 10 days in my cooking.

Quinoa has a mild nutty flavor, is very versatile and cooks fast. I substitute it for rice in many dishes. Some of the Quinoa dishes on this blog are 

A little about Mexican Cuisine:

Mexican Cuisine is a complex and ancient Cuisine with techniques and skills developed over thousands of years of history. It is created mostly with the ingredients native to Mexico as well as those bought over by the Spanish explorer-soldiers, with some new influences since then. Mexican cuisine also has been influenced by its proximity to Us-Mexican border. Corn and chili peppers are staples. Next to corn, rice is the most common grain in mexican Cuisine. Other native ingredients used in the Mexcian food include tomatoes, squaches, avocados, cocoa and vanilla. Did you know that chocolate originated in Mexico? Mexican food has the reputation for being very spicy, but it has a wide range of flavors. Tacos are the top-rated and most popular Mexican street food. It is made up of meat or other fillings wrapped in a tortilla often served with added cheese. the vegetarian stuffins include, mushrooms, potatoes, rice or bean.

What goes into this Mexican One-Pot Quinoa - The Ingredients :
  • Quinoa: Quinoa is the key ingredient of this recipe. I have used white organic Quinoa. You may use any variety. Quinoa cooks well in this one-pot recipe. You just have to soak it in water after rinsing for 10 minutes and then drain and rinse again before use. This step ensures you get rid of the bitterness of Quinoa.
  • Beans: A typical Mexiacn one-pan quinoa dish calls for use of black beans. Here, i have substituted black beans with red kidney beans, which are also protein rich and make the dish filling and nutritious. Canned beans can be used. I have used overnight soaked and boiled red kidney beans.
  • Sweet Corn : Corn adds a lovely sweet taste to the dish apart from adding nutrition. It also makes the dish appealing. Fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels can be added to the dish.
  • Vegetables:  Onions, garlic, green chilies and tomatoes make the dish wholesome and flavorful.
  • Spices: This one pot Mexican Quinoa is relatively simple and has suble flavors. It calls for use of just cumin seeds and red chili powder.
  • Oil: Very little oil is used just to saute the onions and garlic making this dish healthy.
  • Vegetable broth:  This Mexican Quinoa dish is cooked in homemade vegetable broth which makes it wholesome and oh so flavorful.
  • Cilantro and lemon juice: Fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro is added to the dish along with lemon juice to give it a refreshing flavour.
  • Salt : I have used rock salt.


Related Events:

Mexican Cuisine @Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

In this Facebook Gourmet group each member takes turn to propose the theme for the month. All participating members are divided into pairs and both partners exchange a set of secret ingredients using which, both have to prepare a dish as per the theme. Once, the dish is ready, only the pic of the dish is shared on the group and the other members of the group, take turns to guess the 2 secret ingredients just by looking at the picture of the dish. The secret is revealed at the end of the month when the recipe is posted by respective members.

My partner for the challenge was Shobana Vijay who blogs at Shobasdelight.com. She gave me cumin and tomato as my secret ingredients and i made this delicious and wholesome Mexican One-Pot Quinoa using the ingredients. She made a delightful Mexican Taco Pasta Salad  with thesetof secret ingredients I gave her . I am tempted to try out her Indian style masala pasta and No Bake Black Plum (Jamun) Cheesecake

This Mexican One-Pot Quinoa is also featured in The A to Z recipe challenge group where I post every month with a key ingredient having a particular alphabet. Going by the alphabetical order, for the month of October, we have to cook a dish starting with the alphabet Q. With very few ingredients starting with letter Q, i knew i would go with my favourite Quinoa without any second thought. This is my 15th contribution to this group. The other recipes I have shared here, so far are


Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:Measurements used 1 cup = 240ml
  • 1/2 cup white Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup boiled red kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup sweet corn kernels (i have used frozen)
  • 1onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth/stock
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro to garnish
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • To begin with making the Mexican one-pot Quinoa, first place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Soak it in enough water for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile chop the veggies and keep all the ingredients ready. 
  • After soaking time drain the quinoa and keep aside. This step ensures you get rid of any bitter taste of Quinoa. 
  1. Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds crackle, add green chilies followed by onions. Saute for 1 minute or so before adding the soaked and drained Quinoa, sweet corn kernels and red kidney beans. Mix everything well.

2. Add tomatoes, red chili powder and salt to taste. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. 

3. Stir in the vegetable broth/ stock and cover cook for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and all the vegetable stock is absorbed. The Mexican one-pot Quinoa should be moist but not runny in texture.

4. Add lemon juice, mix well. Put off the flame and garnish the dish with finely chopped fresh cilantro. Let the sauce pan remain covered for 5 minutes after putting off the flame. Fluff the one-pot Mexican Quinoa gently with a fork and serve immediately. You may serve it with sliced avocado and lemon wedges.

Recipe Notes:
  • You may use any variety of Quinoa to make this one-pot Mexican Quinoa.
  • Mexican Quinoa one-pan dish calls for use of black beans. I have substituted red kidney beans with the black beans which are equally nutrient rich and a good source of protein.
  • To make an easy one pot vegetable stock at home i smply add chopped veggies like carrots, onion, garlic, herbs, bay leaf and black peppercorns (plus the stalks and trimmings of the veggies in my refrigerator) to a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles and then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain on cooling. Discard the veggies and use the stock as needed. However, you may simply add water or use store bought vegetable stock if you do not have time to make the stock at home.
  • On cooking, the quinoa turns slightly translucent and we can see tiny spirals/ germs (appearing like small tails) coming out from the quinoa seed.

Would Love To Hear From You !

 I hope you would love this Mexican One-Pot Quinoa as much as we do. If you give it a try, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments below this post. 

All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciations means a lot to me. It gives me the inspiration and motivation to keep doing my work and give my best each time.

If you like my recipes and want to be updated with new recipes, follow us on the social media.
See you soon with yet another healthy and delicious creation from my Kitchen. Till then take care and eat right !

Poonam Bachhav

Related Posts:



  1. Delicious and spicy dish with Mexican flavours. I love such one pot meals. As you rightly said quinoa is very healthy and we must include it in our daily diet in some form or the other.Lovely presentation and clicks.

    1. Thank you. One pot meal with healthy wholesome ingredients are a pure bliss .

  2. Just love how colorful and tempting your Mexican One Pot Quinoa looks Poonam. I love quinoa and I try and make it different ways. Haven't tried the Mexican style. Now have your recipe to follow to make a healthy and filling meal.

    1. Thank you. This Mexican one pot Quinoa is flavorful, healthy and filling meal

  3. Very very colorful Mexican rice . Your description and clicks makes it so appealing and appetising making me salivate and wanting for more then and there :-)

    1. Thank you Priya for your kind words. Do give this one pot Quinoa dish a try. I am sure you will love it as much as we do.

  4. What an interesting way to consume quinoa! I love how you substituted quinoa for rice in this Mexican dish. With the tomatoes, vegetable broth, cumin, kidney beans and corn going in, can imagine how flavourful and wholesome this must be!

    1. Thank you Priya. You are right this dish is both wholesome and delicious treat. Do give it a try.

  5. Delicious and wholesome one pot meals are the best. Quinoa combined with mexican flavours would be a hit at the dinner table.

    1. Absolutely Vidya ! Thank you. Do share your feedback with us once you try it.

  6. Not a fan of Quinoa but that surely looks super delicious with all those goodness of the beans and corn....

  7. Quinoa has cooked so very well, it is not easy to cook quinoa as it tends to get mushy easily. Love this one pot meal.

    1. Thank you Renu. With the correct amount of vegetable broth going in this one-pot meal, it is not an issue to cook quinoa.

  8. This looks so healthy and delicious. It will be ideal for our dinner, I must try it sometime Poonam.

    1. Thanks Jayashree. This Mexican Quinoa does make a soulful dinner.

  9. I always like the idea of one pot meals. This dish with quinoa looks amazing . Bookmarking it to try it.

    1. Thanks Anu. Do give it a try and share your feedback with us.

  10. the vegetable broth in this is the winner for me :) lovely presentation of Quinoa in a mexican avatar..

    1. Thanks Kalyani. Vegetable broth makes the dish more wholesome amd flavorful.

  11. What a healthy and tasty quinoa one pot recipe that to Mexican. Loved all your quinoa recipe collection, very few times I tasted quinoa, but after knowing its health benefits thinking to add it regularly in my diet. Here I got many recipe, surely I will try this recipe soon.

    1. Thank you Aruna. Once you start using Quinoa regularly, there is no looking back.

  12. Such a colorful mexican one pot quinoa. Love the use of quinoa instead of rice here and this looks perfectly cooked with grains separate.

  13. I love mexican flavours with quinoa.This recipe is so rich in protein and perfect for lunchbox too.

  14. Mexican one pot quinoa is so nutritious and wholesome. This one pot meal looks irresistible.Replacing quinoa with rice is a fab idea.

    1. Thank you. You are right, Quinoa is healthy and versatile and can easily replace rice in any dish.