Think of this red quinoa bowl as a vegetarian burrito without the tortilla. Top it with beans, corn, tomato, and avocado and toss in homemade lime cilantro ranch.
I’ve always wondered who has the lucky job of developing the recipes found on the back of Trader Joe’s products.
This quinoa bowl was inspired by ingredients purchased from Trader Joe’s.
Forget boring salads.
Grain bowls are all the rage these days.
Grain bowls are super customizable and very easy to make. Start with a high-protein grain like quinoa or farro.
Top it with greens, vegetables, and other proteins like beans, tofu, or meat.
And finally, bring the bowl together with a nice dressing or sauce!
I really like quinoa. There are several types of quinoa ranging in different colors: red, black, tri-color (rainbow).
Quinoa is such a better and healthier alternative to rice. It is rich in protein and dietary fiber.
Quinoa is such a versatile grain. Eat it sweet, savory, hot, or cold!
Any which way you prepare it, it’s going to taste delicious.
You can’t go wrong with this dish. It’s like a vegetarian burrito in a bowl without the extra carbs of a tortilla. And it’s gluten-free.
Not only is the quinoa bowl easy to make ahead of time, it holds up well in the fridge making a perfect lunch to bring to the office.
Say hello to my designated lunch option for Meatless Mondays!
Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing
Of course you could simply purchase pre-made ranch dressing.
Trader Joe’s happens to sell a delicious cilantro dressing.
However, there’s something so satisfying about homemade ranch dressing.
All you need to a food processor to whip this dressing together.
Add the fresh cilantro (leaves and stem) into the food processor along with sour cream, fresh squeezed lime juice, ranch powder, and optional jalapeño.
Drizzle in olive oil while the machine is running. Pulse until mixture is smooth and homogenous. That’s it!
Note: You may use store-bought ranch powder or make your own! Recipe for homemade ranch seasoning powder in the notes section of recipe card.
Red Quinoa Bowl with Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing
Red Quinoa Bowl:
- 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cup chicken or vegetable broth, reduced-sodium variety
- 15 oz canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cup roasted corn kernels
- 1 avocado, large dice
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- ⅓ cup chopped red onion
- 2 Tablespoon chopped jalapeño, remove seed if desired
- sour cream, to garnish
- chopped cilantro, to garnish
- salt and pepper, to taste
Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing:
- ¾ cup cilantro
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 Tablespoon ranch powder
- 1 Tablespoon chopped jalapeño
- 3 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions using broth. Place 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups broth in medium sauce pot. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover pot and cook for 12-15 minutes until all the broth has been absorbed by the quinoa. Remove cover and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine black beans, roasted corn, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion and jalapeño. Add about half of the lime cilantro ranch dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Set aside.
- To serve, distribute cooked quinoa between serving bowls. Top with bean, corn, avocado mixture. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of chopped cilantro, and a wedge of lime. Serve with additional lime cilantro ranch dressing on the side.
Lime Cilantro Ranch Dressing:
- In a food processor, combine cilantro, sour cream, lime juice, ranch powder, and jalapeño. With the processor running, drizzle in olive oil. Pulse until mixture is smooth and homogenous. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
- Quinoa comes in a variety of colors. Choose whatever version you’d like.
- Quinoa can also be cooked in water. However, it won’t be as flavorful as quinoa cooked in broth.
- Corn: Thaw frozen corn, drain canned corn, or use fresh cooked corn
- Homemade Ranch Seasoning (makes about 1/2 cup) store excess in airtight container in the fridge:
- 6 Tbsp dry buttermilk powder
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried chives (or freeze dried chives)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper