Mexican Quinoa

by Shawnda on April 25, 2012

in Cinco de Mayo,Holiday Favorites,Lighter & Healthier,Mexican & TexMex,Pasta, Rice, and Grains,Sides

Mexican Quinoa

We are great big fans of Mexican food. It’s a shame that traditional Tex-Mex is not very figure friendly. Things are fried in lard and served wrapped in other things that were fried in lard. But it’s delicious :)

In an attempt to lighten up Mexican night at home, I usually target the sides. Because trying to healthify queso is just… wrong :) Pinto beans take a whirl in the food processor for homemade refried beans. And we swap the rice side dish for quinoa.

Quinoa is a grain that we’ve incorporated more and more into our menus over the last year. It’s higher in protein and fiber than rice and makes a healthier alternative – and it tastes a lot like brown rice.

On Mexican night, we mix a generous batch of pico de gallo and lime juice into cooked (and cooled) quinoa. It can be served warm but it really shines as a cold dish. The flavors are fresher and brighter and the veggies offer a cold, crisp contrast to the quinoa – it’s the perfect summer side dish when TexMex is on the menu.

Mexican Quinoa

Tomatoes, lime, red onion and quinoa make a fresher, lighter side dish for taco night.


  • 2 cups quinoa, uncooked
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano, seeded and diced
  • Juice of 1-2 limes (to taste)
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Cook quinoa in chicken broth, according to package directions.
  2. Place quinoa in a shallow dish and spread out, covering with damp paper towels and refrigerate until cold, about an hour. (This step is optional, but recommended)
  3. Toss cold quinoa with the juice of 1 lime, onion, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste and add additional lime juice if desired.
  4. Serve cold and store leftovers in an airtight bowl.


Yields: 8 generous side servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 2 hours

Nutritional Information
Calories: 195.0 | Fat: 3.5g | Fiber 11.7g | Protein 8.1g | Carbs 31.7
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4

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