Cilantro Lime Quinoa

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Cilantro Lime Quinoa – a quinoa recipe for the books. Quick and easy to make, and goes with any Mexican dish! A great alternative to rice!

Cilantro lime quinoa recipe

Quinoa Recipe perfect for any Mexican meal!

Today, I am sharing an easy quinoa recipe, Cilantro Lime Quinoa. This is one of go to side dishes. I love that it is easy to make and healthy! We probably make this easy quinoa recipe once a week, it is so good and good for you too!

This Cilantro Lime Quinoa recipe is very similar to our Cilantro Lime Rice  – we just swapped the rice for quinoa. I love the boost of protein from the quinoa. This Quinoa recipe will surely please quinoa fans. The Cilantro Lime Quinoa goes great with any and every Mexican dish – enchiladas, burritos, burrito bowls, fajitas, quesadillas, and tacos.

Quinoa recipe with cilantro lime, perfect for Mexican Food

Tips for Cooking Quinoa

  • Make sure you rinse the quinoa before cooking. Quinoa has a natural coating, called saponin, that can make the cooked grain taste bitter or soapy. Place the quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse under cold water.
  • To cook 1 cup quinoa, you need about 2 cups liquid.
  • Quick tip for getting extra flavorful quinoa from this, or any savory quinoa recipe: cook the quinoa in vegetable broth or chicken broth. 
  •  You can use a rice cooker or Instant pot to cook quinoa. Follow the manual’s instructions.
  • Fluff your quinoa with a fork before serving so it is nice and fluffy.

When the quinoa is done cooking spice it up by adding: garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. That is it! The quinoa has a nice flavor and is the perfect side dish for any Mexican meal.

If you like this cilantro lime quinoa, you might also like:

How to season quinoa - boil in broth!

quinoa recipe with lime and cilantro

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

This easy and flavorful Cilantro Lime Quinoa goes great with any Mexican meal.
4.95 from 17 votes


  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large pot, combine the broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook until broth is evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered. Remove lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  • Stir in garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I LOVE your cilantro lime rice recipe and I also love quinoa – so in my eyes, this is a match made in heaven!! Can’t wait to try it.

  2. I have to give this recipe a try…I just happen to have all of the ingredients in my kitchen…love quinoa and of course limes and cilantro…Gracias amigos for a great new recipe for me to try..should go great with my pork ribs tonight! Sabroso! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!!

  3. Looks delicious! I am in love w/ lime these days and have been looking for a good quinoa recipe to try. Thanks!

  4. Love that you substituted quinoa for the rice! This looks great. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

  5. Yum! I had quinoa for the first time this week and I love it! I’ll have to try it with Cilantro Lime!

  6. Yum, I’m always looking for new quinoa ideas as I try to learn to like it. This looks great!!

  7. I am just now really starting to experiment with quinoa. This looks like the perfect recipe to try next 🙂

  8. I made something very similar the other night. Love all the lime in this, so yummy!

  9. Fabulous idea. I have been swapping quinoa for rice and pasta in most of our meals. Love this flavor combination!

  10. Love this idea – I think I definitely need to pick up some more quinoa this weekend.

  11. This looks like a wonderful recipe for a side dish. So healthful and flavorful!

  12. I just love your website!
    the recipes (have tried many!) are always creative and healthy with great pictures and love your blogging!!
    thanks, keep up the good work!
    YOur little pea is cute as a button :))

  13. Hi, I need something clarified for me…have you heard as I have that since americans are eating so much quinoa that the prices for it in south america have gone up and the native peoples can no longer afford this nutricious grain and that we should not be buying it? Do you know anything about this? I am not using it anymore in my diet until I find out the answer. It might be the Ugly american striking again. thanks, Mary in Cincinnati

  14. What a great idea to swap the rice with Quinoa! You use quinoa is so many amazing ways, I love it! Great recipe 🙂

  15. I have a bag of quinoa that I have yet to dip into and I don’t know what is stopping me. I’ve never tried it before but I felt compelled to give it a go. This will be my first recipe with it, I’m sure. It looks so fresh and delicious Maria. Wonderful!

  16. You know I’m a sucker for quinoa salads. Can’t wait to try this out for lunch tomorrow. My cilantro plant is ready to be harvested. 🙂

  17. This looks amazing! I did not find it in time for Cinco de Mayo, but I will certainly be making it very, very soon.

  18. Yum! I’ve never cooked with quinoa and have been looking for a recipe to use to begin cooking with it. Looks like I found it!

  19. I made this last night with salmon filets on the grill and steamed broccoli. Everyone loved it! The first bite my bf took he made a face and then wiped his plate clean! I will make this again and again!!!

  20. How do you think this would be without the sugar? I am eating sugar-free. I do use stevia, but am not sure if it would work well. Have never sweetened quinoa!

  21. We normally use chicken broth when making our quinoa and did so when we made some lime-scented quinoa. Did the veggie broth bring out a good flavor in this recipe? We’ll have to try the little big of sugar next time, too!

  22. Love this! I am a big fan of quinoa, but get tired of doing it the same way. I also adore cilantro, but it comes in such large bunches I often have a hard time using it all up. This is brilliant!!

  23. this was my first time making quinoa and it turned out excellent! I’m on a diet so I omitted the sugar and salt, I didn’t have any low sodium vegetable or chicken broth on hand so I just made it with water, even with these changes it still tasted great! Thanks for the great recipe, I’ll be adding this to my regular rotation 🙂

  24. I made this last night as a side for jerk chicken. It was our first experience with quinoa. My husband & I both loved it and will definitely be having it again! Thanks for the recipe!

  25. I don’t think that 1/4 t sugar is that high of an amount to this recipe when you consider the amount of servings. Also, I add cumin, and corn, black beans, diced red pepper, even maybe large diced shrimp. I love these flavours!

  26. What temperature do you cook the quinoa at? It say bring to boil, but it doesn’t say if you lower the temp after the initial boil. The first time I made this it turned out great. But I just made it again and the bottom burned. I stirred it several times and turned the heat down several time, ending on about medium (5).

  27. I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! Since I am really the only quinoa-eater in my family, I have enough left for a few meals! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  28. I love love cilantro and love quinoa and have no idea why I never thought to make something like this! Kudos, and I’m gonna do it this weekend. Thanks!

  29. My quinoa takes forever too get tender and way more liquid than any recipe calls for…what am I doing wrong?

  30. Jody, did you ever make this recipe – Cilantro Lime Quinoa? I tried making it one time and I was not impressed. It has been so long, of course, I don’t remember what recipe I tried. This one sounds very interesting though.
    My neighbor, who is a vegetarian, made a vegetarian chili which was delicious. She said the quinoa was what it gave it a good texture and helped people not miss the meat.

  31. When I made this, the quinoa did not come out soft and fluffy; in fact, it was hard. After bringing the broth to a boil, I added the quinoa. But was I supposed to turn down the heat? Should I have covered it?

    1. Try adding the water and quinoa together and then bringing to a boil. It should be tender after 15 min. of simmering. No cover needed.

  32. Somehow I never made quinoa before now, and I’m so glad I used your recipe for my first try – I loved it! I’ve generally shunned quinoa, not enjoying many pre-made offerings. But this recipe – combined with your fajita quinoa bowls – made me a big fan! Thank you!

  33. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! I didn’t have sugar and it still tasted great! I love having something healthier than rice to put in my taco bowls! Thanks!!

  34. 5 stars
    I haven’t liked cilantro in the past, but I love this recipe. I have made it a number of times since I discovered it a few months ago. I would make one small change though. It’s great warm, yes, but it is just as tasty cold.

  35. I don’t understand people talking about sugar – there is no sugar in the recipe that I can see?

  36. 5 stars
    This is an awesome side dish to probably any Mexican meal. We served this with the grilled shrimp and poblano peppers tacos from the website and both recipes were amazing. Thank you Maria for the excellent recipes… It keeps me coming back.