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Top view of one-pan Mexican quinoa: perfect weeknight dinner recipe, ready in less than 30 minutes.
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5 from 3 votes

One-Pan Mexican Quinoa

This fail-proof one-pan Mexican quinoa is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe, ready in just 30 minutes. A flavorful recipe for Mexican food lovers!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 314kcal
Author: Sara @ Gathering Dreams


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water - (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed - (15-ounce)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes - (15-ounce)
  • 1 cup corn - (frozen, canned, or roasted)
  • 1 jalapeno - sliced
  • A pinch of salt - to taste
  • 1 lime - cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado
  • Some chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan or skillet to medium-high heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and cumin. Stir for about 1 minute.
  • Add the drained and rinsed black beans, chopped tomatoes, corn, chopped jalapenos, and quinoa, and stir well. After about a minute, add the cup of water and season with salt.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes (until the quinoa is cooked).
  • In the meantime, dice the avocado.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, and let it rest, still covered for 5 minutes.
  • Add the fresh chopped cilantro and the diced avocado and stir well.
  • Serve with lime wedges.


Serving size
If you are going to eat this Mexican Quinoa as a side, this quantity can easily serve 4-6 people. But if you are going to eat this as a main (like we do), this quantity serves 2-3 people max.
Water or vegetable broth?
I normally use water when I cook my quinoa, but if you want to add a bit more depth of flavor, vegetable broth is a great alternative. 
I used cumin in this recipe, but you can substitute that for dry coriander (also known as cilantro and a Mexican favorite). Other great additions are chili powder or paprika.
Can you freeze Mexican Quinoa?
Yes, you can cook this quinoa in advance and freeze it. Whenever you need it, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can either eat it cold or warm it up for 30-40 seconds in a microwave. 


Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 11g | Sugar: 1g