Mexican Quinoa Bowl

H and I are massively into having  rotis these days, that my taste buds were killing me this week. I decided that it would be the week for my week night favorite Thai-curry, and something Mexican. The dish being a super duper hit at home the last time I made it, I decided to do the veggie quinoa burrito bowl. I took inspiration from a few independent recipes I found on Pinterest, and my all time favorite Chipotle chain. I know! I know! They’ve been in the news for the wrong reasons in recent times, and this only adds to the reasons why I had to make this dish at home.

I am not much of  food blogger, except that I wanted to share my recipe, so excuse me for the pictures and the clumsy presentations!

This bowl may seem like an onerous task while starting out because of the amount of multitasking required. But it is one of the easiest, yet fancy things to put together. It took me about an hour and a half, including the vegetable chopping.

The following are the components for the bowl:

  1. Bottom layer of quinoa (instead of the rice that usually goes with Mexican bowls).
  2. Black beans (probably the easiest part of the dish)
  3. Vegetable component: Fajitas/  sweet potato
  4. Salsa
  5. Corn salad
  6. Chipotle yogurt dressing
  7. Guacamole
  8. Lettuce (I ran out of these, this time)

I had the quinoa going in my Instapot, while I made the guacamole and corn salad.

After this you would rinsing the beans, and cook it to add some flavors, cook the veggies, make the dressing and salsa, and assemble the dish.

Ingredients (for 4 very generous servings)

  • Quinoa – 1 cup
  • Sweet potatoes – 2 medium
  • (or) green pepper-1, red pepper -1 for fajitas
  • Cilantro – a bunch
  • Black beans – 1 can
  • cumin powder – 2 tsp
  • chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • cayenne pepper – 1 tsp
  • Chipotle pepper seasoning – 2 tsp
  • garlic powder – 1 tsp
  • jalapenos – 6 spoonfuls (from the pickled jar)
  • onion – 1 medium
  • tomato – 1 small
  • corn – 1 cup
  • greek yogurt – 1 cup
  • avocados -2
  • required water, salt, pepper, lime juice and olive oil
  • Mexican cheese (optional)
  • Shredded lettuce (optional)unnamed


Cook the quinoa, just as you would the rice. 1 cup quinoa would need 2 cups water in the Instapot or in a rice cooker.

You could use the same ratio if you want to cook in a pan on stove top.

Black beans

Drain and rinse the black beans.

Add some oil to a pan, and to this add one or two bay leaves. You could add onions (about halfan onion chopped) here and cook until they are translucent. Add cumin powder and chilli powder (1 tsp each). Now add the black beans, adjust salt to taste, add very little water, and let it boil for a few minutes.

Fajitas/ Sweet potatoes

This is the veggie portion of the dish that differentiates it from its meat variants.


Add some olive oil to a pan, add chopped onions and let it cook for a bit. Then add the peppers and stir fry this mixture with salt, pepper and cumin powder. You could also use chili powder here, instead of the pepper.

Sweet potato mixture

This is a recent addition to my Mexican cooking. I love making stuffed peppers/ tacos with sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 425F. In the mean time, cube the two sweet potatoes. Spread it on a baking sheet over aluminum foil. Sprinkle some olive oil, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt. Bake for about 40 minutes, turning it half way, or till they start getting a little brown and crisp.

Baked sweet potatoes


To make things easier, you could use the store bought salsa that you like the best. If you don’t mind some sweet and hot flavors for a kick, I would recommend Costco’s Habanero and mango salsa. I used store bought salsa this time, but what’s the charm in an otherwise fully assembled dish if you don’t make your own! I made the salsa from scratch last time using the following recipe.

Blend together 1 tomato, a handful of cilantro, half an onion, 4 spoonfuls of jalapenos, lime, salt and pepper to a course mixture. You could try grinding it in a mortar too, and add black beans/ corn/ serrano chillis according to your taste.

Corn Salad

Cook the fresh corn/ frozen packet according to directions on the packet. Add in lime juice, salt and  little bit of paprika. Chop some cilantro leaves well, add to the corn. I added very finely chopped onions too. Then chill until it needs to be assembled.


I improvise a little every time I make the guacamole. Pit and scoop the avocado from its shell.Mash it up well, and immediately add lime juice to the mixture, to prevent it from browning. This time, I added salt, pepper, half a tomato, a little bit onions and jalapeno peppers (can be substituted with serrano peppers depending on your spice levels). Adjust according to your levels of zing, tangy-ness and the amount of pepper you like. I add corn to it sometimes, but H hates corn.

Now, for the portion I consider important for the dish, the yogurt dressing.

Chipotle yogurt dressing

I have my own variation for it, but again, this is something you can work on to suit your taste. This is a healthy substitute for sour cream.

Blend together 1 cup Greek yogurt, a handful (or more) of cilantro, lots of Chipotle pepper spice (or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a more authentic taste), salt and lime juice.The chipotle pepper spice is used is from Penzey’s spice in Philly. A small jar of it has  lasted me pretty long (about to 2 years) .I use it for my black bean chilis, soups and other Mexican cooking.

Some recipes I found online for this include Mayo and Dijon mustard. I am yet to try that variation. Let me know how you like that if you try it.

Assemble all of these in layers in the order specified in the recipe.

Once assembled

If you are up for it, add Mexican cheese on top.

I usually add some lettuce while serving.

From last time I made it with Fajitas.

Buen provecho!

2 thoughts on “Mexican Quinoa Bowl

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