Beans and Lentils/ Chicken/ Gluten Free/ Mexican and Latin Recipes/ Rice & Grains/ Vegetables

Mexican Quinoa Dinner

Mexican Quinoa Dinner ~ Substituting quinoa for rice, this meal has all the markings for a comfort food favorite with chicken, black beans, corn, and topped with queso fresco

Mexican Quinoa Dinner ~ The Complete SavoristEver since I was little I have loved my Grandma’s Spanish Rice. I can eat it cold straight out of the fridge. Well, I have a large supply of quinoa and keep hearing all of its virtues. I wondered if I could make it like my Grandma’s spanish rice and move to a healthier grain with the same flavor.

Ok, so, no.  No grain substitute can replace plain ole white long grain rice in my Grandma’s Spanish rice.  That being said, this was GOOOOOODDDDDD. I loved the way the quinoa tasted and decided to just keep going with it and turn it into a whole dinner.

I tossed in chicken, black beans, corn, topped with some queso fresco and ate it on a bed of lettuce. Perfect meal! I didn’t add dressing as the quinoa/chicken mixture was fairly ‘wet’ from the seasoned tomato sauce.  I bet ranch or a creamy cilantro dressing would be amazing too, if you needed a dressing.

Mexican Quinoa Dinner ~ The Complete Savorist

Mexican Quinoa Dinner ~ The Complete Savorist

Mexican Quinoa Dinner

Author: Michelle



  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1-15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 oz water
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated garlic plus additional teaspoon
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1/4 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
  • Bay Leaf
  • 1/8 tsp Black pepper


  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 can black beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco
  • Romain lettuce


  1. Bring quinoa, tomato sauce, water, herbs/spices to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Fluff with a fork.
  4. In a skillet, add the chicken black beans, and corn, heat over a medium heat, stirring gently.
  5. Incorporate the cooked quinoa.
  6. Once will mixed serve over the bed of romaine and top with queso fresco.

Mexican Quinoa Dinner ~ The Complete Savorist

Mexican Quinoa Dinner ~ The Complete Savorist

Thank you for sharing!

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  • Reply
    April 21, 2015 at 12:10 am

    I really like what you’ve done here with the quinoa in place of rice. Definitely will be trying this and its a good way to make it a more healthful dish! 😉

  • Reply
    April 21, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Hubby and I love quinoa and am sure he’ll be delighted if I make this delicious meal for him!

    • Reply
      April 21, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Hope you both enjoy it Abigail.

  • Reply
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
    April 21, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I’ve been trying to make more quinoa (as a vegetarian, it’s such a good source of protein!) but sometimes I get in a rut. It’s nice to have new ideas of what to make with it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      April 21, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Hope you enjoy it. I am still getting used to it. It’s a new grain for me, but I really enjoy it.

  • Reply
    Kaitie @ Fuchsia Freezer
    April 21, 2015 at 7:55 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! i love mexican and i love eating healthy – so i think it’s a win-win! Can’t wait to try it out on my family 🙂

    • Reply
      April 21, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Hope you all enjoy it Kaitie! Thank you.

  • Reply
    heather @french press
    April 21, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I don’t know what more I can say – I LOVE this meal – I make Spanish rice once a week for taco Tuesday, but next week I will try it with quinoa –

    • Reply
      April 21, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      It’s a twist, it took my brain and taste buds a minute or two to adjust to it, as it’s programed for rice, but it’s really good.

  • Reply
    Faith (An Edible Mosaic)
    April 21, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I love Mexican flavors and the fact that you used quinoa instead of rice here! Wish I had a big bowl of this right now. 😉

  • Reply
    Dee Dee (My Midlife Kitchen)
    April 21, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I have been playing with subs for rice for awhile now, and quinoa is one of my favorites–it is so darned easy to make, and takes on the other flavors in a dish so well. The black beans make this almost a meaty dish. Yum!

    • Reply
      April 21, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      Thank you Dee Dee, hope you enjoy it if you get the change to make or (or adapt it).

  • Reply
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