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April 16, 2019

by Alyssa

5-Ingredient Spanish Quinoa

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This quick and easy Spanish Quinoa recipe uses just 5 ingredients and one pot. It's a perfect side dish, but can also be bulked up with protein and veggies!

5 Ingredient Quinoa Recipe

Move over Spanish rice, there's a new kid in town! And yes, it's quinoa.

Ever since quinoa popped onto the health scene about 8 years ago, it's been slowly taking the place of rice in many of my recipes. I now make things like quinoa burrito bowls instead of traditional burrito bowls, quinoa sushi, and even quinoa fried rice. Pretty much anywhere that you use rice you can use quinoa in its place.

So today we're doing just that. We're taking a classic rice recipe – Spanish Rice or Red Rice – and turning it into this fabulous Spanish quinoa!

How to make Spanish Quinoa

What is Spanish Rice?

Classic Spanish rice – or what most Americans think of as Spanish rice – is actually not Spanish at all. It's a Mexican side dish that can also be called red rice or arroz rojo. It's typically served alongside a protein or beans and is meant to add flavor to the meal without overpowering things.

Red rice is made with just a few simple ingredients: onions, garlic, rice, oil, salsa and seasonings.

Easy Mexican Quinoa Recipe

An Easy 5-Ingredient Quinoa Recipe

I wanted to keep this Spanish quinoa as simple as possible. It's made in just one pot and uses just 5 ingredients!

All you need to make it are:

  • olive oil
  • chopped onion
  • jarred salsa
  • quinoa
  • vegetable broth

We'll start by sauteing the onion until it's soft, then adding in the rest of the ingredients and cooking it until the quinoa is fluffy. It's really that simple! And it's one of those recipes you can absolutely bulk up to turn it into an actual meal instead of just a side dish.

Easy 5 Ingredient Quinoa

How to Serve Spanish Quinoa

This is one of those recipes that pretty much goes well with anything! If you want to have it on the side of your favorite grilled protein and beans, awesome. And if you want to turn it into the base of a meal, equally as awesome!

Here are some ways that I would serve up this Spanish quinoa:

  • Mixed with black beans & sauteed veggies
  • Over romaine salad with tofu and avocado
  • In tacos with cabbage and beans
  • Inside a burrito with your favorite fillings

But really the possibilities are endless. And later on this week, I'm going to show you how to take this recipe and turn it into vegan taco meat!

Spanish Quinoa

More Quick & Easy Quinoa Recipes to Try:

Spanish Quinoa

This quick and easy spanish quinoa recipe uses just 5 ingredients and is made in one pot. It's the perfect side dish for your next meal!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 184kcal
Print Pin
Easy Spanish Quinoa Recipe
4.09 from 136 votes



  • Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the onion and saute until tender and golden brown.
  • Add the quinoa, salsa and broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, fluff and allow to sit for 5 minutes, then serve.



Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 701mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2.1mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. How do you decide how much a serving is going to be? Do you just use whatever the serving is for your quinoa

  2. This was so good! Made this in my Instant Pot. I sautéed the onions, added garlic then the rest of the ingredients. One minute on high pressure, 10 minutes natural release. Will definitely make this again and again. Thank you!

    • This will yield three cups of cooked quinoa. If you want to use two cups of uncooked quinoa (getting 6 cups cooked), you can just double all of the ingredients!


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