one pan chipotle mexican quinoa

Jessica Penner, RDDinner, Meatless, Recipes8 Comments

Chipotle Mexican Quinoa

What are your go-to meals? You know, the ones that you keep coming back to. The ones for which you usually have the ingredients stocked in your kitchen. The ones that you make when you’re like “oh shoot, I forgot to plan something for dinner and it’s 5:00 already!”  

This is one of mine. 

I’m surprised I haven’t blogged about this recipe before. I guess I don’t really think about it when I’m planning my posts since it’s not “new” to me.  I forget that this will be new to you!

When it comes to getting started with meal planning, I recommend to people that they write out a list of a few recipes that can be made at a moment’s notice. Basically, I tell people to plan to fail on their meal planning. Because it inevitably happens. Things don’t always go according to plan (this is a lesson God has been teaching me lately. Well, more like the lesson is things don’t always go according to my plan). 

So when you plan to keep a backup meal in the house,  and you find yourself left with no plan for dinner, you still have something you can make!  You don’t have to quickly call in for delivery. 

This recipe mainly relies on frozen and pantry basics. The onions, garlic, and peppers are fresh but those are usually items I keep in my house anyway. In a pinch, they could be omitted and the dish would still be delicious!

Chipotle Mexican Quinoa


Why It’s A Smart Choice

This is a well balanced vegetarian or vegan meal. Those who follow vegetarian and vegan diets are at a higher risk of iron deficiency since the iron from plants is not as easily absorbed by the body as the iron from meat is. There are ways to maximize iron absorption though. One of which is to pair a high iron food with a food high in vitamin C. In this meal, the iron from the beans and the quinoa is paired with the vitamin C from the red pepper. 

If you give this recipe a go, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram!  I’d love to see your creations! Knowing someone has enjoyed one of my recipes always makes my day brighter. 

Chipotle Mexican Quinoa

Chipotle Mexican Quinoa

  • Author: Jessica Penner, RD


A well-balanced meal that’s perfect for those vegans or vegetarians concerned about their iron intake!


  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 red or orange pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon (I like the Better Than Bouillon brand)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups black beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernals
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  • shredded cheese (optional)


  1. In a dutch oven or large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, oregano, cumin, chili flakes, and salt. Saute until the onions are soft.
  3. Add the bell pepper, garlic, chipotle pepper, and bouillon. Saute another minute.
  4. Add the salsa, quinoa, and water. Heat to boiling and then turn down to low to simmer until the quinoa is cooked.
  5. Add in the black beans and corn. Stir until heated through.
  6. Serve with cilantro and cheese (if desired).


  • Serving Size: 4
Calories: 400, Fat: 10.5g, Carbs: 64g, Fibre: 11g, Sugar: 6.5g, Protein: 15.5g

Chipotle Mexican Quinoa


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