This Mexican quinoa is a vegetarian and gluten free recipe that utilizes leftovers! The best part? It’s all made in one pan! It’s great for a quick dinner or as an appetizer for football season. Thanks to our favorite gluten free grain quinoa, this Mexican skillet dinner is rich in complete protein and iron. Vegan option in the recipe!
Hey friends! Another vegetarian meal prep meal coming at ya! Don’t worry, I promise there are some delicious meat and fish recipes on the horizon, but for now, enjoy these veggie packed recipes. Because you know what? They make a great base for adding your favorite (go-to) protein too; like eggs, chicken, fish, etc. Just my little tip for ya!
Alright, before we dig into the recipe, I have to tell you how this dish came together. It began on a whim with a slew of leftover veggies and a bag of half used quinoa. These ingredients were just sitting there waiting to be used. At first I thought about making a taco filling. But then I figured, let’s just throw it all in a skillet and make one easy epic one pan dinner, mexican skillet dinner! So that’s what I did.
HOW TO MAKE A MEXICAN QUINOA SKILLET DINNER
It’s time to bust out those pantry staples and leftovers. Because that’s all you need today my friend.
- First, cook you quinoa or use pre cooked leftover quinoa.
- Sauteed your veggies – we’re using onion, garlic, bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, and herbs.
- Mix in those zesty mexican spices
- Top with a little cheese (or vegan sauce).
- Broil in oven safe skillet for extra crispy topping.
- Top with cilantro, optional sour cream, avocado, and salsa!
- Dig in with spoon or tortilla chips.
Bam, Mexican quinoa dinner is made IN ONE PAN! Ahh the magic of a skillet!
Is this Mexican quinoa skillet good for you?
Glad you asked, because yes, yes it is!
Quinoa alone has lots of health benefits and there are plenty of reasons to add it to your diet. Quinoa offers all of the following benefits:
- High in protein, fiber, and iron
- The only whole grain that is a complete protein in and of itself
- Low glycemic index
- Gluten free
- High in a variety of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and all the B vitamins
- Contains all nine essential amino acids
In addition, this one pan Mexican quinoa skillet dinner is packed with fresh veggies. The bell peppers are high in vitamin C. This important element will help your body absorb all the iron found in quinoa.
Onion and garlic, while both strong and smelly, bring along a host of goodness for your cholesterol and blood pressure. Additionally, garlic helps to fight infections, viral and bacterial.
This dish is a whole grain meal. As is, it is vegetarian, but can easily be made vegan by following the alternative cheese recipe (see below).
Can you freeze Mexican quinoa?
This healthy skillet recipe requires quinoa that is already cooked. You will need to prepare it before cooking the rest of the recipe. See recipe card for those tips!
Absolutely! After making this recipe, you can refrigerate it for up to four days or freeze for several months.
For meal prep, divide this dish into individual portions for quick lunches. Quinoa tastes just a good cold as it does warm.
You can freeze plain cooked quinoa to use in any dish like this Mexican skillet dinner as well as toppings for salads, in soups and stews and as a quick side dish.
After cooking the quinoa, allow it to cool completely then pack it in an airtight container. Quinoa lasts for one week in the refrigerator but for eight to twelve months in the freezer.
How do I make it vegan friendly? What is vegan cheese sauce made of?
To make this Mexican quinoa skillet dinner vegan friendly, swap out the cheese for our easy to make vegan sauce. You could buy vegan cheese at the store, but I often find that it is made of ingredients such as soy protein or solidified vegetable oil. Or it’s $15 for a cashew based cheese sauce. Sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it’s not. Am I right? Haha.
My recipe uses a flavored hummus and olive oil – it’s simple yet delicious. You can find that recipe here in this casserole dish. . You simply heat it together until it is the consistency to pour onto the skillet dinner.
Or feel free to use my vegan con queso made with just vegetables, no nuts needed
Other quinoa recipes to try:Print
This Mexican quinoa skillet is a vegetarian, gluten free one pan recipe that utilizes leftovers! Makes a quick dinner or appetizer for football season.
- 2 tsp oil (naturally refined coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil)
- 2/3 cup peeled and chopped onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups cooked or previously frozen corn
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 4 – 5 cups cooked quinoa (about 2 cups uncooked if preparing from scratch)
- 2 – 3 tbsp vegetable broth or stock
- Sea Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup salsa or taco sauce
- Optional – 1 cup shredded mexican cheese or vegan cheese sauce (recipe in notes) or use my vegan queso!
- Chopped fresh cilantro to garnish
- For serving – Optional jalapenos (sliced), tortilla chips, avocado and/or sour cream
*Tips for cooking quinoa and making vegan cheese sauce in notes.
- Heat a large oven safe skillet on medium to medium high. Add 1 tbsp oil and Sauté the onion in olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add minced garlic during the final minute of cook time.
- Next, stir in the corn and bell peppers and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes, or until veggies are softened.
- Add the cooked quinoa, broth, salt, pepper and cumin. Mix together. Stir in the taco sauce, then cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until spices and sauces are absorbed and veggies are cooked.
- Lastly, add your optional shredded cheese (or non dairy “cheese” sauce) and mix together. Cook on medium low heat until melted, stirring occasionally.
- For extra crispy cheesy, add more cheese on top and place under broiler in oven for 1 minute.
- Top with cilantro to garnish. Serve with jalapeños and optional tortilla chips and avocado or sour cream if desired.
Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce
1 cup hummus, 1/4 to 1/3 cup oil, Garlic and spices of choice (red pepper, taco seasoning, etc.)
- Combine in pan on the stove over medium high heat or in microwave until melted and combined.
Tips for cooking quinoa!
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear. This removes the coating that is naturally on the quinoa. Boxed quinoa is generally pre-rinsed.
- For every cup of quinoa you cook, you will need two cups of water. For this recipe, if you want to prepare four cups of quinoa, boil eight cups of salted water.
- Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and allow the quinoa to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Quinoa will look like it has popped open when it is fully cooked. Set it aside for five minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Category: quick meals
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keywords: Mexican quinoa, Mexican skillet dinner, quinoa, one pan dinner, gluten free, vegetarian
Bust out the leftovers and your favorite skillet, because dinner will be ready in a jiffy. ONE PAN MEAL for the win!
Favorite skillet dinner? BTW, this blue skillet (above) has become one of my favorite pans. It’s cast iron but still light. And it’s about 25 years old! Haha. Love it! I’m sure you have a favorite pan you use regularly too. Do share! What brand is it?