This one-pot southwest quinoa is so easy to make and captures the flavors of Southwestern food. It’s gluten-free & oil-free yet incredibly tasty and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.
I’ve always loved Southwest/Mexican food but I used to feel so heavy after eating it. Looking back, I realize it was the dairy-laden cheese and sauces that are typically abundant in those dishes.
I’ve revamped a few of my old favorites to make them vegan-friendly like my Vegan Chipotle Queso. Seriously check that dip out if you want a dairy-free cheesy alternative – it’s delicious!
Another dish that I made plant-based which I think captures the essence of Southwestern food is this southwest quinoa. It’s a delicious meal without all the lethargy I used to feel after eating those dishes filled with dairy.
Quinoa can be used in so many ways. You can use it in place of rice in any dish.
I have quinoa for dinner a number of times each month because it’s so tasty and cooks in about 15 minutes.
Another benefit to quinoa is its nutritional properties. One cup of quinoa contains over 8g of protein and 21% of the recommended amount of dietary fiber. Quinoa is also a good source of iron as well as whole-grain carbohydrates.
Meal Prep Tip: I make a big batch of grain (brown rice, quinoa, wild rice) every Sunday or Monday to add to make quick meals throughout the week (like this southwest quinoa) .
Quick & Easy Southwest Quinoa
I love my Southwest Quinoa because it’s so easy to make. For this dish, you seriously only have to heat a pan, cut up some veggies, and toss in your already cooked quinoa.
Like I said above, this dish only takes about 20 minutes to make in total (which includes all the prep work) if you pre-cook the quinoa on the weekend. I always have a grain prepped so that I can make quick meals like this during the week when I’m short on time.
For more info on how to meal prep like a boss, check out my Vegan Meal Prep Tips.
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic grated/minced
- 10 oz tomatoes with chile peppers drained (but save liquid)
- 15.5 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 zucchini diced
- 2 ears of fresh organic corn kernels (or about 1 cup frozen)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika (the smoked kind is my favorite for this)
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1.5 cups pre-cooked quinoa
- 1 avocado diced
- 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- In a large skillet, heat vegetable broth, onion, and garlic and cook until for 3 mins.
- Add corn and zucchini and cook for another 2-3 mins.
- Add beans, tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. If you need more liquid, you can add some of the tomato juice or some veggie broth/water.
- Turn off heat and add in cooked quinoa to skillet and fluff with fork until quinoa is heated through.
- Remove from heat top with add the avocado, cilantro, and lime juice.
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Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who helps vegans find ways to make mealtimes easier (and healthier).
When she’s not creating new recipes for her blog, you can find Mary Ellen doting on her two shih tzus or exploring the world with her husband.