Mexican Style Quinoa

mexican-style-quinoa-3Although I love complicated flavor profiles,  every mom needs a few basic dishes in their arsenal. Last week I mentioned that because of the arsenic in rice issue that I was converting most of my rice dishes to quinoa.

We already eat a lot of quinoa around our house (I’m sure that is shocking), but the truth is that the boys still really enjoy rice.  Luckily they like quinoa too, so it hasn’t been such a big deal.

This Mexican Style Quinoa is a play on Mexican Red Rice.  The quinoa cooks in the tomatoes, giving it a great flavor.

I’ve added smoked paprika, which gives a smokey flavor that our whole family enjoys.  Feel free to leave it off if your family isn’t as enthusiastic.


This is a great side dish to serve with tacos, enchiladas or pretty much anything. I also like it in a Mexican Wrap.

Mexican Style Quinoa

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 47 minutes

Total Time: 57 minutes

Yield: 8

Calories per serving: 186

Fat per serving: 2.9g

Mexican Style Quinoa


  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 15 ounces whole peeled tomatoes in juice
  • ½ teaspoon organic canola oil
  • 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed


  1. Place vegetable broth and tomatoes in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil to medium high. Add chiles and onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add quinoa, then garlic and paprika and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring often. Add tomato mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes. Add peas and recover. Cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 more minutes. Fluff and serve.


Servings 8, Calories 186, Fat 2.9g, Carbohydrates 32.4g, Protein 7.9g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 216mg, Fiber 4.6g, Sugars 2.8g, WW Pts 5

  • Fred

    Figured this might be handy – we use it for soup base when I don't have any veggie broth on hand. My personal notes are in the parenthesis on each line.

    Quick and easy veggie broth powder:

    (this can be cut in 1/2)
    From Dr. Christopher's Herbal Legacy Newsletter 3-10-10
    Found at

    Recipe created by Kal Sellers from the book Traci's Transformational Health Principles by Traci J. Sellers


    · 2 c nutritional yeast flakes
    · 1/2 c sea salt (did not use any)
    · 2 T onion powder (I used 6 Tbls dried Whole Foods Onions)
    · 1 T turmeric
    · 2 t dried dill weed
    · 2 t marjoram (optional) (I use)
    · 2 t dried powdered lemon peel (optional) (I did not use)
    · 1 t celery seed
    · 1 t basil
    · 1 t powdered thyme
    · 1 T dried parsley


    1. Place all ingredients except parsley in blender in order listed and blend until powdered together.
    2. Add parsley and pulse to chop. Store in an airtight container in the cupboard indefinitely.
    To make broth, add 1 heaping T per quart of warm water. Simply stir powder into water, or shake together in a quart jar (I think this is too thin; I use 3-4 TBLs per quart. Makes a great base for lentil soup)

    • Wendy Polisi

      Sounds great Fred! I will have to make this and keep some on hand.

  • Gabby

    Sounds great lady!

    In other news, I have a couple quinoa recipes, one of which is for YOU. I'll have to send it soon :)
    My recent post healthy vegan friday #38

    • Wendy Polisi

      Looking forward to it Gabby! :)

  • Alexandra

    I love finding new ways to prepare quinoa; we've done some "Mexican" variations as well, but this is different than anything we've tried so far. I especially like the addition of the jalapeno peppers and smoked paprika! I'll have to give this a try next time I make quinoa!
    My recent post Confession #118: I Love Cake… Mini Vanilla Bean Ruffle Cakes

  • Kate

    Mexican food is my fav! This sounds great :)
    My recent post Cruelty-Free Beauty Brands

  • Elaine

    Your ingredients list says canola oil, but the directions say olive oil, so I assume olive oil. I made this last night. It was definitely spicy. I think I need to cool it down a bit with some greek yogurt. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kara

    Hello. Do you serve anything else to eat with this? I just see it is only 186 calories per serving? Or does your family just double their servings? Thank you, your little girl is absolutely adorable! Kara ^_^

  • Eric

    @Kara … I use this as an additive to my salads for a little extra protein boost. Good stuff!