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Spicy Quinoa Taco Bowl


At first, I was planning on making this recipe as a quinoa taco filling, which would be added to corn tortillas. But that seemed way too difficult. I mean, you would have to actually spoon the ingredients into the tortilla, fold in half, and then eat. Ugh. What a bother. 🙂 My solution to this dilemma? Put the tortillas right INSIDE the bowl.

So that’s what we’re doing here: making a fresh quinoa salad tossed with spicy taco seasoning and then we’ll add some diced corn tortilla strips right into the bowl along with all the other ingredients. This is actually one of my favorite things to eat. It’s a perfectly balanced meal with fresh veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats. It’s a great combo of delicious flavors and like so many “one ingredient” recipes, you could pretty much eat this at every meal and only get healthier.

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 2 cups corn
  • 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 3 green onions
  • 4 small corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Step One

Cook the quinoa. In a large pot, combine 1 part quinoa with 2 parts water. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and then allow to simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Note: it’s important to first rinse quinoa under warm water to remove the bitter coating. This is best done in a fine mesh kitchen strainer.

Step Two

Meanwhile, prepare the tortilla strips. You *can* just throw chopped corn tortillas into the bowl, but I find them much better after being toasted. To do this, cut 3-4 corn tortillas into small pieces, and toss in a 375Âş oven for 8-10 minutes until they just turn slightly crispy.

Step Three

While those things are cooking along nicely, prepare all the fresh ingredients. Dice the avocado. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Slice the green onions. Chop the cilantro. Prepare the corn (frozen works well). Drain the can of beans.

Step Four

Prepare the lime taco seasoning. Basically, this simple taco sauce will coat the quinoa and boost the flavors of this bowl off the charts. To make, combine the juice of about 2 limes (if you run out of limes, feel free to top off with water) along with the listed spices in small bowl and whisk until incorporated.

Step Five

Toss everything together. When the quinoa is perfectly fluffy, remove from the heat, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and gently drizzle in this lime taco seasoning. Then add all other ingredients (including those tortilla pieces) and toss until evenly mixed.

Optional: Cashew Lime Sour Cream

If you’ve read my recipes for any length of time, you should have expected to see cashews here. I use them all the time, especially for a vegan sour cream. To make this, add to a blender: the juice of 1 lime, 1/4 cup soaked (and drained) cashews, a pinch of salt, and just enough water to make a smooth sauce. Blend until completely smooth. Drizzle over the top of each serving bowl to take this recipe to the next level.

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