One Pan Mexican Quinoa


Maintenance Version Pictured

Here’s an excellent one for batch cooking that takes barely any effort. This recipe was inspired by this one over at Damn Delicious.

Did you know that quinoa can be counted as a protein in most food plans? 4 oz, same as if you were counting it as a grain.

To make this work for the weight loss plan, I had to take out the black beans. If you’re going to count the quinoa as a protein, there just isn’t any protein left to work with. But, if you’re on maintenance, you get to count the quinoa as a grain, and then you get to put a can of black beans in the mix!

Either way, it’s delicious. See maintenance modifications below to count the quinoa as a grain instead.

One Pan Mexican Quinoa

  • Servings: Makes 4 Servings
  • Print

Each Serving Contains:

  • 10 oz Veggies (adjust up or down for your meal plan)
  • 1 Protein Serving
  • 1 Fat Serving


Veggie Serving

  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1 small onion, diced (8-9 oz)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (5-6 oz)
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (seeds removed) (or 2-3 oz of diced green pepper if you don’t like heat)

Protein Serving

  • 4 oz (or 2/3 cup) dry quinoa (yields about 16 oz cooked quinoa, or 4 protein servings)

Fat Serving

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (1 fat serving)
  • 1.5 oz avocado per serving, to garnish (3/4 fat serving, accounts for the oil)

Condiments & Spices

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • A couple of generous spoonfuls of salsa (optional)

Maintenance Modifications

  • To make this a maintenance meal, use 1 cup of quinoa instead of 2/3, and add one (15-oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed. It will still consist of 4 complete meals.
  • Math Notes: This brings it up to 6 quinoa servings, four of which count as grain, two of which count as protein, and 2 protein servings worth of beans, for a total of 4 proteins and 4 grains. You with me??


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion and pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add garlic and jalapeño, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin.
  5. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.
  6. If it gets a little dry and the quinoa starts sticking towards the end, add a little broth or water.
  7. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Portion into 4 servings.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes:

  • It might seem like there’s not enough liquid, but there is. It is important to cover this while it’s simmering, because the quinoa gets cooked more by steaming than by boiling.
  • If you are batch cooking this and saving it for later, don’t add the avocado until serving time or it will brown.

Recipe Source: Katie’s Bright Kitchen




Rate This Recipe:


  1. Made the weight loss version last night. So good!
    Thank you Katie.

  2. Looks and sounds like a yummy recipe, love the colors!

  3. I’m reading this and thinking… savoury breakfast? If you leave out the fat, count the quinoa as your grain, the beans as protein and instead of a fruit portion you use veg.

  4. Hi Katie! As I was making this I noticed you mentioned beans, but nothing in the recipe… can you clarify??
    It was delicious though!

  5. Right, so if you are on the weight loss plan, you count the quinoa as your protein and you don’t get any beans. But if you are on maintenance, you can count the quinoa as your grain and have beans as your protein. Does that make sense?

  6. Soooo delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!! I just wish I could add cheese. 🙂