Mexican-Spiced Vegetable Quinoa

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One pot Mexican-spiced vegetable quinoa loaded with bold flavors and healthy ingredients. Protein, fiber, and vegetables in each delicious spoonful.

Mexican-spiced vegetable quinoa in a large pot

Are you a big fan of the robust flavors of Mexican cuisine? If so, you are in for a treat! This Mexican-spiced vegetable quinoa is everything you want in one big hearty bowl. I’m always on the search for new ways to spice up healthy meals.

I cook quinoa at least twice a week and usually keep it simple. I wanted to make it the star of this dish by adding bold flavors and vegetables with each spoonful. Just chop, simmer, cover, and boom, you’ve got a delicious meal just waiting to be devoured. Ready?

corn, tomatoes, beans and other ingredients for a vegetarian quinoa recipe all in one big pot

This recipe makes for extra servings, so you can feed a crowd or have leftovers for the next day. I added some to my breakfast scramble the next morning, and it was so good!

So many gorgeous vegetables in one pan! As they simmer and cook down, they just melt in your mouth. I’ve added bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and jalapenos for a bit of heat. Black beans add extra protein and fiber to the quinoa to make it a complete meal. Quinoa is a unique super grain that is a complete source of protein, providing a whopping 8 grams in one cup!

close up of quinoa with a reddish hue color because of the spices

Look at that bowl of quinoa perfection! I just want to dive in with the biggest spoon I can find. The grains soak up the broth, juice from the tomatoes, cumin and chili powder for an earthy flavor.

Grab a plate and dig in! This is an excellent vegetarian meal, or you can serve it as a savory side dish. My family and I enjoyed some blackened chicken tacos with this Mexican spiced quinoa. Fiesta for the taste buds!

This Mexican-spiced vegetable quinoa is loaded with healthy ingredients. Each bite gets you a mix of protein, fiber, and vegetables. A rainbow in a bowl means a nutritional boost, so you feel good on the inside and out. This quinoa recipe requires minimal effort and provides tons of flavor. Just what you need after a long day! What other flavors do you like to add to quinoa?

Mexican-spiced quinoa with corn, beans, tomatoes and chopped zucchini in a bowl

More quinoa recipes

Why should you rinse quinoa grains before cooking?

Always rinse quinoa before cooking. If you don’t wash the quinoa, you may notice a bitter note from a natural coating on the grain called saponin. All you need to do is place the quinoa grains in a fine-meshed strainer and rinse for about 30 seconds under cool water. Shake off the excess water and transfer the grains to your cooking pot. Adding the spices, salt, and broth really helps to balance out any lingering bitterness.

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Mexican-Spiced Vegetable Quinoa

One-pot spiced vegetable quinoa loaded with bold flavors and healthy ingredients. Protein, fiber, and vegetables in each delicious spoonful.
Pin Print Review
3.87 from 232 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced, ¼ inch dice
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa, uncooked, rinsed with cold water and drained
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, ¼-inch dice, red or green
  • 1 cup zucchini, ¼-inch dice
  • 1 cup black beans, canned, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 ounces tomatoes, diced, 1 can with juice
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth, or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and red onion, stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
  • Add quinoa, jalapeno, bell pepper, zucchini, black beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt, broth, and stir together.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until quinoa is cooked and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. You do not need to stir the quinoa as it's cooking.
  • Turn off the heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper as needed, fluff quinoa and sprinkle with green onions.

Recipe Video


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Nutrition Facts
Mexican-Spiced Vegetable Quinoa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 162 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 0.5g3%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 688mg29%
Potassium 477mg14%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 1000IU20%
Vitamin C 63.5mg77%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

92 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Sabra Abraham says

    Thanks for the inspiration – I made this tonight and it was wonderful!! I’m thinking of using the leftovers as a vegetarian base for taco salad.

  2. Katie says

    Just ran across this recipe on pintrest and it was a hit! I added a yellow and orange pepper and really jam packed this with fresh summer veggies. I LOVE that this recipe is packed with protein because it’s the perfect dinner for my family and makes amazing leftovers for work. Thank you!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      That sounds SO yummy Katie! I’m so happy you found me on pinterest and that your family enjoyed the quinoa!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Susan! I would use uncooked quinoa because it will absorb the flavors from the vegetables, spices, and tomatoes as it cooks.

  3. Lisa says

    I love all the flavors in this dish. I made 1/2 the recipe and I had a bit too much liquid I think, but after it sat a while it fluffed up more. I added diced avocado on top as well and I really liked it. DH loves it too. One pot and healthy– a win win!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your feedback Lisa! Yes the original recipe makes a lot, so cutting in half is a great idea. I definitely have seen that if I let the quinoa sit covered, it grain is able to absorb more moisture over time. love the addition of the avocado!

  4. pat says

    I had to hunt a recipe for a Mexican pot luck at work. Did not possess any Mexican recipes. This is now in my favs box. It’s wonderful. I am gluten free and one of my co-workers is vegetarian. It’perfect. Now i am hoping to come home with some leftovers. Thanks, pat
    i did not add any salt and rinsed my corn and beans to remove additional sodium.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your feedback Pat! I’m so happy that you found a recipe that meets multiple dietary needs. Great ideas for reducing the sodium!

  5. Stephanie says

    Hi Jessica 🙂
    Cannot wait to try this recipe, just wondering how long it will keep for and if it can be frozen?


    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Stephanie! It would keep well in the refrigerator for 2 days. You could separate them into portions in resealable plastic bags, defrost in the morning and then reheat in the microwave or stove top 🙂

  6. Ed M says

    I made this dish… and now my 14yr old son has changed his opinion of quinoa. I increased the spices a tad (we both like it a bit spicy), very tasty and easy to make. 7 out of 10 stars. Thanks.

    • Meg says

      Just made this recipe, it’s delicious. I made the full amount so I have some to freeze for another day. I think it’s a recipe that can be the basis for lots of different meals. Love it.

  7. Abhiruchi Atri says

    Hi! The recipe sounds lovely! However, if we cook bell peppers for so long, won’t they turn into a mush?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great question! The bell peppers will soften and flavor the quinoa, but shouldn’t turn mushy. I always like to stir some fresh uncooked bell pepper right before serving to add back some crunchy texture to the dish.

  8. Dave says

    Hey Jessica,

    I have all of the ingredients except I didn’t notice the black beans. Can I use garbanzo beans instead? Wanting to make it tonight.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yay! I think if you portion out the servings into individual freezer bags, and then defrost the day of and then saute to remove the excess moisture and warm it up, that would work!

  9. rashi ahuja says

    Hi Jessica, if I don’t have a ready vegetable broth at hand, what do I substitute it with? Water/tomato puree? Really wanna try the recipe

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Rashi- I would use water (or if you have any other type of stock or broth on hand). Season with more salt as needed once it’s done cooking.

  10. Carrie says

    I’ve been making this since I discovered it last year! I have a 4 day work week (12-14 hours a day on a boat) so I have to bring all the food I’m going to eat with me. This lasts the 4 days and tastes amazing! I only like super fresh off the cob corn and when I don’t have it I sub in cabbage and it is awesome! Avocado and a squeeze of lime round it off nicely, especially if eating cold!! Thank you so so much for the recipe!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Nat- The black beans are cooked (canned), and they reheat as you cook the quinoa. I updated the recipe so it’s more clear 🙂

  11. Carla says

    I made it tonight for the family, but I replaced the jalapeño pepper with banana pepper, and the onion with onion flakes. It was absolutely amazing, and a hit for the family. I’m writing it down now in my recipe book.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much for your feedback on the quinoa recipe Carla! I can’t wait to try your substitutions!

  12. Maria says

    This recipe looks amazing! However I’m british and not familiar with ‘cup’ measurements. Do you simply fill measuring cups (similar to measuring spoons)? Or is there a conversation in grams please? Thanks

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Maria- I have added the conversion for grams and milliliters. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

  13. Gloria says

    Can this be made in a crockpot? If so, for how long should it cook and at what temperature setting(s)? Thank you!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Gloria- I think this could be made in a crockpot. I would try cooking it for five to six hours on low, or three to four hours on high, or until all of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent, light and fluffy.

  14. Jesus Martinez says

    Great Dish Jessica! Trying to cut out a lot of our meat intake and learning what new dishes come rich with flavor. this is tasty, a little spicy and all the ingredients add lots of flavor and texture. Will definitely make it again and again. Thank You

  15. Nancy Gregory says

    My first attempt at making anything with quinoa. Delicious! My husband and I both went back for seconds!

  16. Molly says

    I made this and it was delicious! Made two substitutions – used a can of fire-roasted tomatoes w/peppers and after it was done and off the heat, I stirred in a whole bunch of chopped cilantro. I’ve already shared this recipe w/my sister and will definitely make it again! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      The addition of the fire roasted tomatoes and cilantro sounds tasty! I’ll have to try it next time 🙂

  17. Rox says

    Hi, this looks delicious! Would you use the juice from the beans? And also how long would you cook this in a pressure cooker/rice maker?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Rox- I would not use the juice from the beans, I would drain it first. I haven’t tried making it in a pressure cooker or rice cooker yet. But if you are going try the instant pot, I would give the following a try: Cook on the “rice” or “low pressure” setting and cook for 12 minutes, then quickly release the pressure.

  18. Mickey says

    My son does not like quinoa but he likes this recipe. He requested to bring it for school lunch too. Thank you for your amazing recipe. My husband and I love this healthy quinoa dish.

  19. Stephen says

    I’ve been making this dish on a regular basis since becoming vegan over a year ago. It’s so delicious and is always a real winner with my meat eating friends- definitely a bonus!
    If I have any left then I take it into work the next day for an easy lunch.

  20. Tj says

    Looking forward to trying this recipe! How many servings does it make, and how much is each serving? Also, how long would it last in the fridge for? Thanks 🙂

  21. RJ says

    I make this for my lunches during the week and have now lost 95 lbs along with a sensible breakfast, dinner, and snacks of course. I’m one of those weird people that can eat the same things all the time but this is absolutely wonderful. I’m not a fan of zucchini so I added carrots, celery, green chilies (preferably Hatch), lime juice and cilantro. Thank you so much for sharing this…must look up more of your recipes.

  22. Rachel Alderson says

    I had been feeling in a bit of an uninspired vegan funk & this delicious, flavoursome dish has pulled me right out of it!

    So simple to make & as a bonus I have enough left over for lunch tomorrow.

    100% will make again and feed it to friends! 🙂

  23. Angie says

    Wow I can’t stop making this dish! It’s been weekly in my house and we use it to make enchiladas as well. I had to sub poblano pepper for jalapeno and water for broth but increased spices, garlic and onion. Great find THANK YOU!!!

  24. Aarti says

    This recipe was so simple but delicious! Everyone loved it and will definitely be making it again. It also makes a decent sized portion so there was plenty for lunch the next day. Thankful to my friend for recommending and can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  25. Doris says

    This was delicious and easy to make. I haven’t had quinoa in years so this was really nice reintroduction, my kids also enjoyed it.

  26. Robert says

    This has become my lunch for the week…I don’t eat zucchini so I sub celery and carrots as well as sweet onions instead of purple. I also love spicy so I use tomatoes and peppers and add hatch chiles. I also increase the amount a bit as I am having about a cup and a quarter to a half for each day at lunch…super filling and satisfies my spicy tooth. Not sure how to calculate the calories but 162 seems a little low especially for my alterations but is still way better than what I normally have and is helping me lose weight which I need BIG time as I am a really big guy. Sooo good…thank you so much for the recipe. Need to check out more of your recipes.

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