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This Mexican-inspired cilantro lime quinoa recipe is so easy, healthy and quick to make so it's great for a weeknight side dish. In addition, it is vegan, gluten-free, meal-prep friendly and customizable!
You can also serve this fluffy and tangy cilantro lime quinoa for Cinco De Mayo and enjoy it with friends and family. It's a perfect rice alternative and also made in just one pot! If you love quinoa as I do, you should also check out my Quinoa Tabbouleh or Mediterranean Quinoa Salad!
Before we jump into the recipe, let's talk about how you can customize it and learn some tips.
How to make Cilantro Lime Quinoa
You can use tricolor or white quinoa for this recipe but just make sure to rinse it before you cook it. It's a good idea to buy quinoa in bulk at Costco since it's cheaper and usually pre-rinsed.
If you are not a fan of cilantro, you can try to use parsley instead. But I think cilantro really gives this quinoa that unique flavor especially combined with limes.
Always use fresh lime because the bottle ones do not taste good or fresh. You can also add a little bit of the zest for a tangy flavor. Just make sure you are only zesting the surface otherwise it will get bitter.
If you don't have limes on hand, you can also use lemon juice instead. You can add more if you want that tangy flavor.
Using just 1 garlic clove gives a little hint of garlic taste without being overpowering but you can omit it. You can also use more garlic cloves for a stronger flavor.
I usually use avocado oil or garlic-infused olive oil but you can try different infused oils to change up the flavors. You can also use just plain olive oil or coconut oil.
How to make Cilantro Lime Quinoa step by step
- First, you will need to rinse your quinoa if it's not pre-rinsed.
- Optional: You can add the oil to the pan and when the oil is hot, add the quinoa to lightly toast for a few minutes for a nuttier flavor.
- Now, you can add water or vegetable broth, bring it to a boil, cover and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Next, let it sit for 5 minutes and then add the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, oil, and salt. Stir and fluff it with a fork. You should taste it and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Cilantro Lime Quinoa Tips & Variations
Since this side dish is so versatile, here are some tips and variations you can make:
- You can add bell peppers for some color, texture, and also flavor.
- Also, try adding smoked paprika or another favorite seasoning.
- Try adding some black beans for more protein.
- You can sautee diced onions first and then add the quinoa to lightly toast for onion flavor.
- Make sure that you fluff the quinoa and stir the ingredients really well because quinoa has a mild flavor. You want all the flavors to marinate so it will get better as it sits in the fridge.
How to store it
You can store the leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days but also great when it's fresh.
It takes 20 minutes to make this quick, easy, and also versatile Mexican inspired rice alternative. It is also:
- Meal-prep friendly
- And delicious!
So, did you make this? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, Selin
More Vegan recipes to add this zesty quinoa
- VEGAN BREAKFAST BURRITO (EASY & HEALTHY)
- REFRIED BLACK BEANS RECIPE (VEGAN & OIL-FREE!)
- STUFFED SWEET POTATOES (VEGAN & HEALTHY)
This Mexican-inspired cilantro-lime quinoa recipe is so easy, healthy, and quick to make so it's great for a weeknight side dish. It is vegan, gluten-free, meal-prep friendly, and customizable!
- Optional: In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the oil and when the oil is hot, add the quinoa to lightly toast for a few minutes for a nuttier flavor. Add the water or vegetable broth and bring it to a boil.
- If skipping the toasting option: In a medium saucepan, add water or vegetable broth, bring it to a boil and add the quinoa.
- Reduce the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- After all the liquid is absorbed, let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, oil, and salt. Stir and fluff it with a fork.
Add bell peppers for some color, texture, and also flavor.
Try adding smoked paprika or another favorite seasoning.
Try adding some black beans for more protein.
Sautee diced onions first and then add the quinoa to lightly toast for onion flavor.
Make sure that you fluff the quinoa and stir the ingredients really well.
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 190
- Sugar: 0.1g
- Sodium: 85mg
- Fat: 6.1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 28g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 6.1g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: cilantro lime quinoa recipe, how to make cilantro lime quinoa