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One Pan Mexican Quinoa

  • Author: Kylie Lato
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


This One Pan Mexican Quinoa comes together in about a half-hour with just a handful of simple pantry ingredients. It’s the perfect vegetarian side dish for Taco Tuesday, but is hearty enough to stand alone as a main dish as well!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1.5 cups broth or water
  • 16 oz. salsa
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz. frozen corn kernels
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 oz. shredded pepper jack cheese, optional



  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion along with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, cumin chili powder, and chipotles in adobo along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute.
  4. Add quinoa, broth, salsa, black beans, and corn. Stir to combine.
  5. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  6. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through.
  7. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir in lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Add pepper jack cheese if desired, and broil in the oven for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  10. Garnish as desired and enjoy!


Pinto beans or even kidney beans are both great in this recipe in place of the black beans. You can really replace the beans and veggies as needed, just keep the ratios similar, and you’ll end up with a fantastic result! I always have canned black beans and frozen corn on hand, so that’s what I used in this recipe. However, you could use another can of beans in place of the corn or vice versa. Just keep the ratio of veggies/beans around 28-30 ounces and you should end up with a delicious healthy dinner.

The salsa is a key ingredient in this dish. Salsa is already seasoned so it imparts A TON of delicious flavor into this Mexican Quinoa. Pick a salsa that your family loves – it doesn’t have to be spicy, just something flavorful. Our family loves roasted tomato salsa so that’s what we usually use because it has just a bit more depth of flavor from the roasting process.

Every pan and stovetop cooks slightly differently AND all salsas are created slightly differently with different moisture levels. So if you cook the quinoa for 25 minutes and it doesn’t quite look done, give it a stir, cover it and let it cook for another 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through. On the other hand, the quinoa appears undercooked after 25 minutes but has absorbed all the liquid, add a bit of water or broth, cover, and cook for another few minutes.

You’ll know the quinoa is cooked through when it appears to have popped open exposing the germ which curls around the quinoa like a little tail. Use your judgment when cooking this quinoa dish as to when it’s done. The texture of the quinoa should be soft and fluffy, but not mushy.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top + Oven
  • Cuisine: Mexican/American

Keywords: vegetarian Mexican quinoa, one skillet Mexican quinoa