Healthy, fresh Mexican quinoa bowl is a timeless year round delicious (and filling!) meal. Fluffy savory quinoa, fresh veggies with a Mexican flare paired with grilled chicken and cool creamy avocado.
A whole meal in one bowl that's so filling! I like to meal prep this for my lunches for an entire week. It's so fresh and healthy and I promise, you will not tire of it.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Great flavors!
- A healthy combination of ingredients!
- Easy to make and perfect for meal prep.
- A great way to make vegetables taste amazing!
What I love about this recipe is how fresh and zesty it is!! The flavors are bomb! Here is what you will need:
- Chicken: Grilled chicken works best! You can use storebought or make extra grilled chicken for dinner one night and save it for this bowl.
- Veggies: We love using diced tomatoes, onions, and fresh avocado to top this Mexican quinoa bowl.
- Feta cheese: If you are not a fan of feta cheese use cojita cheese, or a queso fresco instead. If that doesn't work another favorite is fresh mozzarella.
- Cilantro: For fresh flavor!
- Jalapeno: To add a bit of spiciness to the Mexican bowl. If you don't like spicy you can leave them out!
TIME SAVING TIP: If you're looking to save some time, here are a few tips on ingredients that require no prep. Buy fresh pico de gallo from the produce or deli section and use that instead of the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and jalapeno.
What is Quinoa?
The ingredient highlight in this healthy Mexican bowl is quinoa. Quinoa is a seed and when cooked just right it turns into fluffy little balls of amazingness.
Quinoa is low-carb, high in protein, high in iron, potassium and calcium. It's also gluten-free!
It's such a healthy alternative to a lot of starches. You can add it to salads or eat on its own. I prefer to add it to ANY salad or bowl of fresh veggies.
You can even cook quinoa in the Instant Pot to save some time!
How to Make a Quinoa Mexican Bowl
Are you ready to get started? I know I am! Here's an overview of the steps involved but you can find the full details in the recipe card.
- Rinse the quinoa very well with cool water before cooking.
- Cook the quinoa in broth. You can make it on the stove or in the instant pot, but the pressure cooker is my favorite because it just ends up so soft and perfect. After cooking, let your quinoa slightly cool on some paper towels
While the quinoa cooks, chop all your vegetables as desired. I like to have things like the onions and jalapeños in smaller pieces while the tomatoes, cucumber and avocado work best a bit larger.
- Place the quinoa in a bowl.
- Layer all the veggies on top.
- Add the sliced grilled chicken and cheese.
- Followed by the avocado.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and mix everything up so everything gets covered in the lime juice. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes before serving to ensure the flavors begin to marry.
How to Store
If you are storing leftovers and the avocado has been tossed store it in an airtight container and plan to eat it within 1-2 days.
If you think you will not eat it for a few days consider removing the avocado, the remainder of the ingredients should keep for up to five days.
Your Mexican quinoa bowl needs to be stored in the refrigerator but can't be frozen.
Can I make this Mexican bowl ahead?
Yes, you can! If you are meal prepping I would recommend not adding the avocado to the dish until serving.
All the other ingredients can be combined but you do not want the avocado to turn brown.
Store in airtight containers for up to five days. Meal prep containers like these are great for your daily meals.
How to Serve
Skip the chicken and turn it into a tasty side dish for sticky BBQ chicken, pressure cooker ribs, or this Santa Maria trip tip.
For a healthy side dish add on a fresh fruit salad! Try one of these for a perfect pairing!
- Rinse your quinoa for one minute or until the water runs clear before cooking. This removes the plant compound that can make it taste a bit bitter.
- Cook your quinoa with chicken broth to give it a bit more flavor.
- Let the salad sit before eating so all the flavors can meld together.
- Change up the veggies or flavors to your own tastes if you want!
Yes, you can! You can make a Mexican bowl with white rice, brown rice, or any other whole grain.
Sure thing! Simply eliminate the chicken. Cook the quinoa in vegetable broth and add some black beans or seasoned pinto beans instead.
More Healthy Bowl Recipes
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Fresh Mexican Quinoa Bowl
INSTANT POT QUINOA
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 ¼ cups broth I prefer vegetable but any will work.
- 1 cucumber cut into small bite-size pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved (2 tomatoes)
- 1 avocado
- 1-2 lime
- ¼ red onion diced
- 1 chicken breast grilled and cubed
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 jalapeno diced
- feta cheese as desired or use cotija, queso fresco, or mozzarella
- grilled chicken breast
QUINOA INSTANT POT OR STOVE TOP
- Rinse quinoa for 1 min in cool water. FOR INSTANT POT: add 1 cup broth and 1 cup quinoa to instant pot. cook 1 minute high pressure and natural release for 4 minutes, then quick release.FOR STOVE TOP: In a medium saucepan on high heat put 1 cup quinoa and toast for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring. Add 2 cups water and bullion. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- When done, lay quinoa on double layer paper towels to let excess liquid drain off and cool.
- Chop all ingredients- tomatoes, cucumber, onion, cilantro and toss. Add lime juice over the top and toss again.
- ADD in quinoa and toss. Slice chicken and serve to the sides of the salad.
- When ready to serve cut up fresh avocado and add to salad.
This has become my go to lunch for outings and picnics with kids. Especially beach days! Fresh and healthy and always hits the spot.
OK, this recipe is bomb. I have to double it because my kids devour it so fast!
Emily Kemp says
I love Mexican recipes, these look so delicious!