← Go to Epicurious.com

Community Table from Epicurious

from Epicurious

Take your place at the table

Spicy Green Mexican Quinoa -- light, fluffy and full of flavor! (served with a tasty black bean salad)Pin It Button - Simply Quinoa

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I couldn’t resist passing up another holiday without giving you a recipe to celebrate the occasion. While quinoa isn’t technically from Mexico, it works wonderfully with Mexican-inspired ingredients. In this recipe we’re recreating a classic Mexican dish, “Arroz Verde“, and giving it a healthier spin.

Forget the canola oil and white rice, we’re sticking with all things green and nutritious with for this recipe.

SPICY GREEN MEXICAN QUINOA -- the perfect side dish to your favorite Mexican meal!

Celebrating with friends/family today? Awesome, because this recipe definitely needs to be on the menu.

And seeing that Cinco de Mayo is today and I gave you zero time to prepare, luckily this recipe is super simple to make. You just need to make a quick verde sauce, stir it into the quinoa then cook it like you normally would and DONE. 5 minutes hands on time max.

That means you can whip up a batch of this quinoa, throw on your party outfit and be out the door in under 30 minutes.

Spicy Green Mexican Quinoa -- a super easy recipe that can be served with pretty much anything! Like Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice only BETTER!

Now if you’ve ever made Mexican rice before than you know they usually cook it in oil first and then add the water. The oil gives the rice that slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor. I love the concept of that, but when I tried it with quinoa it was a TOTAL FLOP.

The quinoa was mushy, greasy and seriously disgusting.

So I figure why ruin a good thing? Let’s just leave the oil out and cook our quinoa like we normally would, just add in this yummy spicy green sauce.

Sound good? Awesome 😘

Spicy Mexican Green Sauce -- the perfect way to jazz up a boring old pot of quinoa or rice!

The green sauce starts with spinach, which is very mild in taste but packed with vitamins and minerals. Then there’s cilantro (can’t have a Mexican dish without cilantro!), a jalapeño pepper, some garlic, some lime and a touch of salt.


You just whiz it up in your food processor and you’re done.

Spicy Mexican Green Sauce -- the perfect way to jazz up a boring old pot of quinoa or rice!

In many of my recipes, I actually start with pre-cooked quinoa. I’ve talked all about how I love to cook a big batch of quinoa on Sundays and then keep it throughout the week, but not this time. This time we’re actually cooking the quinoa in the green sauce. So the quinoa soaks up all that amazing green goodness and holy moly… yum!

How to make the perfect Mexican Quinoa -- cook it with a spicy green sauce!How to make the perfect Mexican Quinoa -- cook it with a spicy green sauce!green-mexican-quinoa-5

This has got me realizing that I need to do a lot more experimenting with flavoring quinoa as it cooks!

But back to this recipe…what I absolutely love about it, aside from the color, is the flavor. It’s not overly spicy – I think the quinoa actually mellows it out a bit – but it has an underlying bite that goes so well with pretty much any type of Mexican dish you can imagine. I served mine with a quick black bean salad (in the recipe below!), but you could also serve it with:

It’s super versatile and kind of reminds me of Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice, but spicier and less salty. So good!

Spicy Green Mexican Quinoa -- cooked with spinach, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic and lime!

So now that we have the perfect dish to serve with all our favorite Mexican meals, I think it’s time for you to go off and celebrate. And if you’re reading this after Cinco has passed, take a moment and celebrate you. Because you’re here, reading this recipe, making a healthy choice and nourishing your body with whole foods. You should be celebrated to, friend ❤️

Your turn…

Have you ever tried flavoring your quinoa as it cooks? What is your favorite method?! I’d love to know as I really want to try out some new methods. Share in the comments below 🙂 Next up for me is going to be coconut water and maybe turn it into a breakfast bowl. YUM!

xo Alyssa

p.s. this recipe is totally perfect for packing up and taking with you to a party or potluck! I packaged mine up in this glass containers (which I’m obsessed with) and took it over to up parents house!

The perfect potluck salad >> Spicy Mexican Quinoa with a Simple Black Bean Salad

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spicy Green Mexican Quinoa
Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
15 mins
Total time
25 mins
Serves: 6
  • for the quinoa:
  • 1½ cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1½ cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2¼ cups water

  • for the black bean salad:
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained + rinsed
  • ¼ cup corn kernels
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Lime juice to taste (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Add spinach, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice and salt into a food processor. Pulse until a chunky paste forms.
  2. Add quinoa and green paste into a small sauce pan. Cover with water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Remove lid and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. While quinoa is cooling, add the black beans, corn and tomatoes into a small bowl. Stir together then season with spices, lime juice and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  4. Before serving, taste the quinoa and adjust the salt if needed, then serve warm with the black bean salad and diced avocado. Garnish with cilantro and hot sauce if desired.
adapted from Pinch of Yum

For this recipe I used…

New to cooking quinoa? Grab your FREE Quinoa Starter Guide!

Become part of the Simply Quinoa community and receive weekly emails with exclusive content that I only share in email, as well as my in-depth guide to starting your quinoa journey.

Download Your Free Guide

Want more quinoa salad recipes?
Follow my board on Pinterest!

Spicy Green Mexican Quinoa -- cooked with spinach, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic and lime!

The post Spicy Green Mexican Quinoa appeared first on Simply Quinoa.

Read the original on: Simply Quinoa

Simply Quinoa, Alyssa Rimmer

› See my posts

› Visit my blog

I'm Alyssa, the writer and photographer behind the gluten-free website Simply Quinoa. My passion is creating wholesome, nutrient-rich recipes all with a little quinoa twist.