This Quinoa Taco Bowl recipe is a delicious and nutritious vegetarian meal that is oh-so satisfying! Even the most dedicated meat eater will embrace this delicious recipe. It is the perfect weeknight dinner or weekend lunch. And you can meal-prep this recipe to enjoy all week!
Homemade Taco Salad Bowl with Quinoa
I'm a sucker for a delicious homemade taco salad, but this version takes it to the next level with a crispy tortilla bowl and a flavorful meat-free taco filling made with quinoa, sweet corn kernels, and pinto beans.
This is a great weeknight dinner because it comes together in about an hour, or even less if you meal-prep ahead of time. It can also be made ahead of a busy work week and assembled during your lunch break!
Or serve this on a hot summer day for a filling and refreshing veggie-packed meal!
Ingredients for Making Vegetarian Taco Bowls
- Oil Spray - I use avocado oil, but you can use your favorite oil.
- Onion - Either a white or yellow onion works well here.
- Garlic - I like garlic and enjoy the way it adds flavor here. If you are not a fan, feel free to adjust the amount to your liking. Garlic powder may be used in place of fresh garlic.
- Taco Seasoning - Use purchased or make your own.
- Chipotle Chili Pepper - You find these chili peppers in small cans, typically in the ethnic section of the grocery store. They pack on the heat - a little goes a long way.
- Quinoa - Don't skip rinsing it to remove the saponin on the exterior. Otherwise your "meat mixture" will have a bitter taste.
- Broth - Homemade vegetable broth is best, but if you are short on time, you can use purchased.
- Lime juice- I like the freshness of freshly squeezed lime juice here.
- Beans - I used pinto beans, but black beans are also a great option.
- Corn - Thaw and rinse frozen corn first.
- Cilantro- Omit if you don't care for it.
- Lettuce - Romaine or crisp iceberg lettuce is great here.
- Cheese - Use cheddar cheese for vegetarian taco bowls or a vegan cheese such as Daiya to make a vegan taco bowl.
- Avocado - If you happen to have it, guacamole is an excellent alternative to avocado and adds a delicious flavor.
- Salsa - Try my homemade Chipotle Salsa, and be prepared to have your tastebuds do a little happy dance.
- Chips - Use tortilla chips or make homemade tortilla bowls with corn or flour tortillas.
- Sour Cream - Sour cream, Mexican crema, or Greek yogurt all add that final touch to your quinoa taco salad.
How To Make Quinoa Taco Salad Bowls
- Spray your skillet with nonstick spray, and cook the onions until transparent. Then, add the garlic, taco seasoning, chipotle chili, and quinoa. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. (The goal is to slightly toast your quinoa before boiling to make it extra toasty fluffy.)
- Next, add vegetable broth, and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and cook for approximately 30 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, pinto beans, corn, and cilantro. Cover, and let sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Fluff.
- To serve, fill bowls (either regular or tortilla bowls) with romaine lettuce. Top with quinoa mixture, cheese, avocado, and salsa. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream or Greek Yogurt. Enjoy!
The best part of this Quinoa Taco Bowl recipe is that you can truly customize it to fit your palette!
Not a fan of beans or corn? Omit them! Want to use meat instead of quinoa? Go for it! Ground beef, turkey, chicken, or pork would be delicious; as would grilled chicken or steak. Want more veggies? Go crazy! It's totally up to you!
More Recipes To Try
- Beef Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream
- Slow Cooker Beef Tacos
- Greek Chicken Tacos with Tzatziki Sauce
- Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Citrus Slaw
Quinoa Taco Salad Bowl
- Olive oil spray
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- ½ - 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce chopped fine
- ½ cup quinoa rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 ½ cups cooked pinto beans about 1 can
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn thawed
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 6 cups romaine lettuce
- ½ cup grated Cheddar of Daiya
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 cup salsa
- For serving: tortilla chips OR tortilla bowl sour cream/Greek Yogurt
- Spray a medium skillet well with olive oil spray. Add chopped onion and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender. Add garlic, taco seasoning, chipotle chili, and quinoa. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and cook for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Stir in lime juice, pinto beans, corn, and cilantro. Cover and let sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Fluff.
- Fill bowls (either regular or tortilla bowls) with romaine lettuce. Top with quinoa mixture, cheese, avocado, and salsa. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream or Greek Yogurt.
This post was originally published in 2017; It was updated June 2021.