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mexican quinoa bowl in brown bowl with toppings

Mexican Quinoa Bowl with Corn and Peppers

  • Author: Beth Allingham of
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Vegetarian main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This tasty and filling Mexican quinoa bowl is seasoned with cumin and chili powder and a simple vinaigrette that brings out quinoa’s nutty flavors. It’s a perfect dish to make a big batch of as it keeps well in the refrigerator and goes with many meals. 



For the quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa (used red or red and white quinoa)
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • 1½ teaspoons pink sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, optional
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice (or white wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

For the bowl

  • 3 cups cooked and seasoned quinoa as prepared above
  • 1 ear of roasted corn, cut from the cob
  • 1 bell pepper, grilled and diced
  • 1/2 cup pinto beans or peas
  • 1/3 cup pickled red onion
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced or cubed
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup white Mexican cheese or feta
  • 2 tablespoons oregano, minced – fresh if available


  1. If there are no directions on your package of quinoa, here’s what I do. Place rinsed quinoa and water into a saucepan.
  2. Cover and heat to a rolling boil, then turn down to a simmer.
  3. Check after 10 minutes to see if the water has been absorbed. If not, simmer for another 3-5 minutes depending on how wet the quinoa is. You can take it off the heat when no visible liquid remains. I use a pan with a glass lid so that I can even tilt the pan without removing the cover, to see if any liquid shows up from underneath.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes to absorb any remaining liquid. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool. 
  5. While quinoa is cooling, cut and prepare your corn, bell pepper, other vegetables and dressing ingredients. You can increase the quantity of any ingredient to feature it! 
  6. Place the cooled quinoa in a bowl and stir in the dressing and main ingredients. Let it sit for a couple of minutes so it absorbs the seasonings, then taste and correct the salt. I like the black pepper even though the recipe also calls for chili powder, but I’ve made that optional. 
  7. Place the pickled onions, avocado and extra cheese in separate bowls. Garnish with cilantro and oregano if your family enjoys them. 


Inspired by a recipe at foodtravelist

Keywords: quinoa bowl, side dish, main dish, Mexican cuisine, Mexican seasonings, gluten-free, grain-free