As much as I’ve enjoyed the quinoa recipes I’ve tried so far, they all fit the same pattern: rinse and cook the quinoa in the rice cooker, chop and mix remaining ingredients, mix in the quinoa. I’ve tried some that required baking, but it was still pretty much the same process, just with an additional step of dumping the mixture into a new pot and sliding it into the oven (yay, more dishes).
What if quinoa could be cooked in the crockpot? One dirty pot after prepping a complete meal and a whole lot more freedom in terms of timing. Dinner can be hot and ready whenever I want, without needing me to start cooking in that 20-30 minute window before everyone is hungry. This particular recipe is especially easy since it doesn’t even require much chopping. With the short (for a slow cooker) cooking time, this also makes for a delicious lunch; just toss it together after breakfast and it’ll be ready for you by mid-day.
Recipe: Tex Mex Quinoa
Yield: Serves 6-8
active prep: 15 minutes
hands-off cooking time: 3-4 hours
1.5 cups uncooked quinoa, well rinsed
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can green chiles (mild or spicy)
1 cup frozen corn, unthawed
1-2 bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T chili powder
1.5 t ground cumin
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 T lime juice
2-4 T taco seasoning
1.5 cups shredded cheddar
Optional toppings/additions: diced green onions, sour cream, diced tomatoes, avocado or guacamole
- Rinse the quinoa well.
- Place the washed quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, undrained diced tomatoes, frozen corn, and diced green chiles in the slow cooker.
- Chop the bell peppers. Add the chopped peppers, minced garlic, and chopped onion to the slow cooker. Stir everything together. Add in the chili powder, ground cumin, taco seasoning, and broth (or water). It should look soupy; see picture below. Stir again and cook for 3-4 hours on high or until the water is completely absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through. All slow cookers cook a little differently so make sure to occasionally check the dish to make sure the quinoa isn’t burning or sticking all to the sides.
- Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, and green onions if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese and enjoy immediately.
Note: The leftovers taste great wrapped in tortillas for burritos or mixed with greens. We’ve also made delicious nachos with the mixture by adding cheese, salsa, the optional toppings, and chips.