Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Published: Apr 2021, Updated with new pictures: Apr 2023.

Quinoa burrito bowl with delicious toppings and protein rich quinoa is a healthy and ideal meal packed with flavors and nutrition. This can be made in 30 minutes too making it a perfect weeknight meal or weekend brunch.

Why this burrito bowl?

  • This is comfort food.

  • Easy to make for a weeknight dinner too.

  • This bowl is loaded with proteins. With quinoa, a plant based complete protein, along with beans, this bowl has tons of proteins to keep you satiated.

  • This bowl also has lots of fresh components like salsa, guacamole, corn, lettuce.

  • There are tons of flavors and textures in this bowl making it a hearty meal.

Why is quinoa used in this bowl?

Quinoa has all the nine essential amino acids in sufficient quantities. This makes it an ideal plant based protein source with complete proteins. Replacing any grain with quinoa is a great idea because of its nutritional profile.

What are the ingredients required to make this burrito bowl?

Quinoa - Quinoa is the base for this protein rich bowl. Regular quinoa, or colored quinoa can be used.

Guacamole - Store-bought or homemade guacamole can be used.

Beans - Beans add to the proteins. Black beans or pinto beans work great for this recipe.

Salt - Adds flavor.

Oil - A little of neutral oil to cook the beans.

Onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and coriander powder, cayenne - These flavor the beans.

Toppings - Jalapeno slices, Lime wedges, Sourcream, Shredded cheese, salsa, pico de gallo

Cilantro - for garnish.

A not about cooking fluffy and perfect quinoa….

Quinoa should be perfectly cooked. It shouldn't be mushy too. Most of the packages would recommend adding 1:2 water, but reducing the water by about ¼ to ⅓ cup and let the cooked quinoa sit in its own steam works magic. This gives perfect pearls of quinoa which we love. Try and you won't be disappointed. I guarantee that.

What are the other toppings for the quinoa bowl?

Salsas and sauces make any food flavorful and this bowl is no exception. Though I love fresh pico de gallo, sometimes, a different salsa like this Mango Habanero Salsa would jazz up the flavors. Trying adding any seasonal salsa for flavor variations. In addition to guacamole, moles can also be used as per preference. Now and then we prefer a drizzle of chipotle cream for an extra dash of flavor based on whether I have it on hand.

What can be served with a quinoa bowl?

This bowl is rich in nutrition with tons of proteins and veggies. All you need is a drink. I would recommend a lemonade, maybe Strawberry Lemonade, Mango ginger Lemonade, or Dragonfruit Lemonade are perfect choices to serve with this quinoa.

More quick ways to make this bowl……

Quinoa cooks very quickly and is an ideal protein source. So it can replace rice in any burrito bowl. Leftover quinoa can also be used to make this bowl. Whenever I make cilantro Lime Quinoa, I make sure to double the recipe, so I can fix the next meal easily. The flavors of Cilantro Lime Quinoa also complements the burrito bowl. In fact, if you prefer any grains, any leftover cooked grain can also be used in the recipe. 

Swap with a can of corn (drained and rinsed) instead of roasted corn. When fresh corn is not in season, it is easier to use frozen or canned corn. Canned corn saves time. Also, using canned beans instead of dry beans helps in bringing the food to the table faster. If you have time, plan, soak and cook the beans to use in the recipe. 

Burrito bowls are loved here just like how we love this 7-Layered Dip. I often use quinoa to make it. Sometimes I make it with leftover Mexican Beans and Rice too. Cilantro lime quinoa is yet another family favorite and when looking for protein rich vegetarian options, quinoa ranks higher. So I include it to make power meals like this Ginger Garlic Quinoa and Quinoa Garbanzo Tacos. These are great options that you would love to make often for your family.

Serves 4

For quinoa

Quinoa - 1 cup
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Water - 1 and 3/4 cup
Lime juice - 3 tbsp
Cilantro - 3 tbsp, chopped

For the beans

Pinto/black beans - 1 cup, dried or 1-14oz can
Water -4 cups
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Onion - 1/4. finely chopped
Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Serrano peppers - 1 tbsp, chopped
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

For the Toppings

Guacamole - 1 cup
Sour cream - 1/2 cup
Shredded cheese - 1/2 cup
Jalapenos - 2 tbsp
Salsa/Pico de Gallo - 1 cup
Roasted corn - 1.5 cups
Lettuce - 2 cups, torn


If using dry pinto or black beans: Pressure cook the beans for 3 whistles. Add salt and boil for a couple of minutes. Drain and set aside. 

For canned as well as cooked dry beans: In a cast-iron pan, add oil followed by garlic, cumin, onion, serrano peppers. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add the beans, cumin powder, coriander powder, and cayenne. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add cilantro and set aside. 

Rinse the quinoa. Add the quinoa, water, oil, and salt in a bowl. Cook on a medium flame. When more than half the liquid is absorbed, lower the flame, cover and cook for 5 -7 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it rest. After 5 minutes, gently fluff it. Add the lime juice and cilantro. Mix gently, cover, and set aside.

To assemble: Keep everything ready in bowls to aid mixing as per requirements.

Add the quinoa to the serving bowl and then add the rest of the ingredients as per preference. Garnish with extra cilantro and/or cheese. Serve with some pickled jalapenos, sour cream, and cheese, if preferred.


  1. Oh my goodness you packed so much amazing stuff in there! Yumm!

  2. I love making bowls. So delicious and nutritious and this one looks so very very good.

  3. Burrito bowls are so much fun. A lot easier than when we used to make taco salad with the tortilla bowls. I am glad to see some jalapeno there. We are into the spicy foods here!

  4. Great idea to serve this with quinoa. I love bowls because everyone can put in the toppings they like best.

  5. Great idea for a wonderful lunch and dinner. Create your own...great for picky kid eaters.

    1. Yes, Lisa. This is great for picky eaters to choose their way and be fuss free. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. This recipe looks wonderful and so easy to make how everyone loves. Can't wait to try.