Spanish Quinoa

This Spanish Quinoa (also called Mexican Quinoa) makes a perfect quinoa side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican meal.  It has all the authentic flavors as Spanish rice and it’s quick and easy to make – coming together in just 20 minutes.
This Spanish Quinoa (also called Mexican Quinoa) makes a perfect quinoa side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican meal

MEXICAN QUINOA

This easy one pot Mexican quinoa has the same delicious flavors as classic Spanish rice.  It’s made with onion, garlic, chicken broth, tomato sauce and a dusting of onion and garlic powders, and it turns out perfect every time!

This Spanish Quinoa (also called Mexican Quinoa) makes a perfect quinoa side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican meal

I love I love this Mexican style quinoa so much that I can eat leftovers….cold.  Straight from the refrigerator.  And I love leftovers heated up in the morning with fried eggs.  That’s the best!  Hot or cold, I never tire of this Mexican quinoa. 

MEXICAN QUINOA RECIPE

I make this Mexican quinoa recipe at least once a week.  Sometimes I serve it as a side, and other times I just crave it and eat it as a light vegetarian main course with a green salad.  This was the first quinoa recipe I ever made when I started cooking with quinoa.  Since then I’ve branched out with all of these delicious healthy quinoa recipes.

  • 1 cup white quinoa (rinsed well for a good minute in a strainer before cooking)
  • Yellow or brown onion, finely chopped (don’t use sweet onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium tomato sauce (roughly about 1/2 of an 8 ounce can)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (1 14.5 ounce can)
  • 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

VARIATIONS 

Add ins…

  • Corn, peas and carrots
  • Fresh or canned chopped tomatoes
  • Seasoning like cumin or chili powder
  • Celery seed
  • Cilantro
  • Black, pinto or navy beans

HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN QUINOA

This Mexican style quinoa comes together in about 30 minutes start to finish.   Five minutes prep, 20 to cook and 5 to sit to absorb all liquids.

  1. Saute onion and garlic
  2. Stir in quinoa
  3. Add tomato sauce, broth and onion and garlic powders
  4. Simmer for about 20 minutes with the lid on the pot
  5. Remove from heat and let quinoa set for 5-7 minutes
  6. Fluff cooked quinoa

This Spanish Quinoa (also called Mexican Quinoa) makes a perfect quinoa side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican meal

This easy quinoa recipe was inspired by this Spanish Rice recipe, which I love and used to make all the time before I started cooking with quinoa.  If you like good classic Spanish rice, you’ll love this Mexican quinoa recipe!  It takes about 20 minutes to cook and it turns out perfect every time! 

This Spanish Quinoa (also called Mexican Quinoa) makes a perfect quinoa side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican meal

HEALTHY QUINOA RECIPES

Originally published 4.2015 – updated 5.2019

This Spanish Quinoa (also called Mexican Quinoa) makes a perfect quinoa side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican meal
Yield: 4 servings

Spanish Quinoa

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

This Spanish Quinoa is quick and easy to make and it makes a perfect side dish to serve with your favorite Mexican dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white quinoa (rinsed well for a good minute in a strainer before cooking)
  • 1 whole yellow or brown onion, finely chopped (don't use sweet onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium tomato sauce (roughly about 1/2 of an 8 ounce can)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (1 14.5 ounce can)
  • 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion.
  3. Cook the onion for a minute or two or until it starts to soften.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  5. Stir in the quinoa and blend well.
  6. Add the tomato sauce and stir to incorporate well.
  7. Add the chicken broth and the onion and garlic powders.
  8. Place a lid on the saucepan and turn the heat down to low.
  9. Stir about 3 times or so for the first 5 minutes, then leave it alone and let it simmer.
  10. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes total or until the liquid is mostly absorbed but it still looks slightly moist on top.
  11. Remove from heat and let set for about 5 to 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

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