Simple Mexican Quinoa Bowl

If you are anything like me, you’re always looking for easy meal ideas that don’t take forever to make—especially on a work day. I look for recipes that can come together in 30 minutes or less, with healthy ingredients that are budget-friendly. This is one of those recipes.

I like this quinoa bowl for a lot of reasons. First, it uses quinoa rather than rice. Quinoa is a nutrient-packed whole grain and a complete protein, meaning it has all of the essential amino acids your body needs. It’s a great alternative to rice. I like that it has fiber-rich black beans. Americans get less than 3 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, adding just one cup of black beans gives you a whopping 30 grams of fiber!

I also like the combination of the vegetables here—the crunch of the corn and peppers up against the soft, slightly-warm tomatoes and quinoa. But my absolute favorite part has to be the spices. I love the smokiness from the paprika with the heat from the jalapeno against the tart from the lime juice. It just works.

You can serve this dish warm or cold. I double the recipe so that I have lunch the next day. Let me know how it goes in the comments.

Vegan Mexican Quinoa BowlPhoto Credit: KD Angle-Traegner

Simple Mexican Quinoa Bowl


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dry quinoa yields 2 cups cooked quinoa)
  • 1 yellow squash, diced small
  • 1 red pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 purple onion, diced small
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced small
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 – 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, to taste (I used 1/2 bunch)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes (optional)


  1. Combine 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup of water (or broth) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer stirring every few minutes until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Cook for about 15 minutes. When it is done cooking, remove from heat and place it in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, add the yellow squash and onion to a heated skillet with a dash of water. Cook for a minute or so. Next add the red pepper, corn, jalapeno and garlic to the skillet stirring frequently to prevent them from sticking. Use more water if necessary.
  3. Just before the vegetables are done, add the black beans to heat them through.
  4. When the vegetables and beans are tender, add the tomatoes. Remove from heat but keep them in the skillet to warm the tomatoes.
  5. Add smoked paprika, oregano, black pepper, cilantro and chili flakes if you are using them to the vegetables. Stir until combined.
  6. Add vegetable and beans to cooked quinoa. Add lime juice and salt. Mix until fully combined. Serve with lime wedges and a healthy dollup of fresh salsa. Here are 22 salsa recipes to try, I like this Spicy Blueberry Salsa.


I don’t use oil in this recipe. Instead, I cook my vegetables in a little bit of water. If you prefer to cook your vegetables in oil rather than water, you can. You’ll need 1 – 2 tablespoons of an oil like olive oil.

If you do not care for a lot of spice in your food, leave out the red chili flakes.


Hannah K
Past Member about a year ago

thanks for posting

Mike R
Mike Rabout a year ago


Mike R
Mike Rabout a year ago


Vic B
Vic Bearabout a year ago

This sounds yummy!

Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a year ago

Sounds nice. Cilantro is the leaves of coriander

Kalliope M
Past Member about a year ago

Thanks for sharing - I really like the quinoa bowl, but I would try to variate it with couscous. Also the burritos, the cashew-queso and the simple chili soup are meeting my taste, if I leave all the garlic and onions out.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago

Oh yes, great bowl, thanks!

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ
Sonia M2 years ago

Thanks for sharing