Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa Medley – Hearty enough to be a meal or makes a FANTASTIC side dish with loads of textures in every bite!! A super FLEXIBLE recipe that’s HEALTHY and makes a big batch for planned leftovers!!

Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa Medley - Hearty enough to be a meal or makes a FANTASTIC side dish with loads of textures in every bite!! A super FLEXIBLE recipe that's HEALTHY and makes a big batch for planned leftovers!!

Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa ‘Salad’

There are so many layers of flavors and textures going in every single bite of this medley with Mexican-inspired ingredients that’s so easy and ready in 30 minutes.

There’s rice, quinoa, hearty black beans, crunchy bell peppers, juicy tomatoes, corn, a bit of heat from a serrano chile, along with plenty of cilantro, cumin, garlic, and red onions for flavor galore.

The recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free although you’d never guess it because it has enough heartiness to keep you satisfied.

I almost used the word ‘Salad’ rather than Medley, but because you can serve it warm, I didn’t want to confuse anyone. 

You can also serve this recipe at room temp or chilled, more like a salad.

It reminds me of a Mexican-inspired version of this Lemon, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Almond Quinoa Salad which is one of my favorite quinoa recipes of all time.

It makes a fairly big batch and the leftovers are great to have on hand in upcoming days.

Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa Medley - Hearty enough to be a meal or makes a FANTASTIC side dish with loads of textures in every bite!! A super FLEXIBLE recipe that's HEALTHY and makes a big batch for planned leftovers!!

Very Flexible Quinoa Recipe

I’ve never made any dish with rice and quinoa but I found a packet of grains that said “rice and quinoa”, and ingredients are random and in short supply at times depending on the supermarket, I rolled with it.

If you want to just use rice, or just use quinoa, go for it.

Here’s what I used in this recipe with notations for substitutions or additions in parentheses:

  • Red onion (yellow or white are okay)
  • Garlic
  • Rice and quinoa (all rice or all quinoa okay)
  • Black beans (garbanzo, pinto, kidney, or your favorite beans are okay)
  • Corn (I used canned; fresh, frozen, or grilled would be great)
  • Tomatoes (I used Roma, cherry, grape, heirloom are fine)
  • Yellow bell pepper (another color may be substituted)
  • Serrano chile (adds heat but for flavoring this big of a batch of food, I felt it was necessary; try jalapeno for less heat, or omit if you’re heat-adverse)
  • Cumin (I used ample amounts for flavor, adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro 
  • Lime juice (brightens the overall dish)

Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa Medley - Hearty enough to be a meal or makes a FANTASTIC side dish with loads of textures in every bite!! A super FLEXIBLE recipe that's HEALTHY and makes a big batch for planned leftovers!!

How To Make Mexican Rice and Beans Medley

Begin by sautéing an onion in a large skillet before adding garlic, rice, quinoa, water, and cook covered for 10 to 15 minutes or until all the water has absorbed and the grains are tender.

Add black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, optional serrano chile for more heat or a jalapeno, salt, pepper, cilantro, lime juice, stir to combine and dig in!

This is such a fast and easy recipe.

Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa Medley - Hearty enough to be a meal or makes a FANTASTIC side dish with loads of textures in every bite!! A super FLEXIBLE recipe that's HEALTHY and makes a big batch for planned leftovers!!

Tips For A Great Mexican Black Bean and Rice Salad

Aside from the ingredients I used, you can also include:

  • Avocado
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Green onions
  • Leftover chicken (bonus if it’s grilled chicken)
  • Or just about anything in your produce drawer that needs to be used or you enjoy the flavor of!

Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa Medley - Hearty enough to be a meal or makes a FANTASTIC side dish with loads of textures in every bite!! A super FLEXIBLE recipe that's HEALTHY and makes a big batch for planned leftovers!!

Yield: 8

Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa Medley

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa Medley - Hearty enough to be a meal or makes a FANTASTIC side dish with loads of textures in every bite!! A super FLEXIBLE recipe that's HEALTHY and makes a big batch for planned leftovers!!

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 large or extra-large red onion, diced small
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 cup dry rice and quinoa medley (all rice or all quinoa is okay)
  • 3 cups water, or as directed on the package to cook 1 cup dry grains
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used low-salt)
  • one 14-ounce can corn, drained and rinsed (fresh or frozen may be substituted)
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, diced small (cherry, grape, or heirloom may be substituted)
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced small (another color pepper may be substituted)
  • 1/2 to 1 serrano chile, seeded and diced micro tiny; optional and to taste (jalapeno may be substituted for less heat)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cumin (not teaspoons), or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup finely minced fresh cilantro, or to taste
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste

Instructions

    1. To a large and fairly deep skillet, add the olive oil, onions, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened and just begin to lightly caramelize, about 5 to 7 minutes; stir frequently.
    2. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stirring nearly constantly.
    3. Add the rice and quinoa and stir it into the onion mixture and let it toast for about 30 seconds.
    4. Add 3 cups water, or what the package instructs you to add if you're cooking 1 cup dry rice/quinoa.
    5. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until all the water has absorbed and the rice and quinoa are tender. Check at 10 minutes, stir, and cook for additional time as necessary. All grains cook at slightly different rates. Tip - Drizzle in another 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil into the water. This helps prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
    6. When tender, add the beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, optional serrano chile (if you are sensitive to heat, start with 1/4 of the chile and work up from there; or use a jalapeno which are less spicy; or omit), cumin (tablespoons is not a typo for teaspoons, but you can start with 1 or 2 teaspoons, and work up from there as desired), and stir to combine. If necessary to avoid dryness, drizzle in more olive oil at any time, to taste.
    7. Add the salt, pepper, stir to combine, and taste. Depending on your preference for heat, you may want to add more serrano or jalapeno. Or additional cumin, salt, and/or pepper for more developed flavor. This is a fairly large batch of vegan food and in order to taste good, my advice is not to be shy with seasoning it.
    8. Add the cilantro and lime juice to taste, stir to combine, and serve immediately. Medley can be served warm, at room temp, or chilled. Will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

1. Tip - While the grains are cooking in step 5, make sure you are working ahead chopping everything you need for the rest of the recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 552mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g

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