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Southwestern Bell Pepper Quinoa

5 from 1 vote

This Southwestern Bell Pepper Quinoa makes a great summer side dish or even a lunch idea. Made with fresh bell peppers, tomatoes and corn, it’s not only hearty it’s healthy as well. Make it for your next weekend barbecue side dish or even weekday lunch.

Southwestern Quinoa in a bowl with toppings
Southwestern Quinoa

So, we got Friday’s recipe on a Saturday this week friends. Oops! As much as I tried to get this finished yesterday, my darn headache just wouldn’t let me get it finished. And when you know you know. It was a fun (NOT), 24 hours. Thankfully, today I woke up migraine free and am ready to tackle life once again.

And today, I’m starting with sharing this easy stove top Southwestern Bell Pepper Quinoa dish. A great summer side dish. Much like my Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad, this one’s a keeper. Keep on reading to see how to make it!

Southwestern Quinoa with toppings on the side
Southwestern Quinoa

Ingredients to Make The Southwestern Bell Pepper Quinoa

We’re starting with all basic, fresh and easy to find ingredients. If you follow my blog, you’ll know by now that I don’t often use hard to find ingredients. Every now and again, I add something a little more adventurous to spice it up a bit! For the most part, it’s all well known ingredients.

Ingredients to make southwestern style quinoa

Start Cooking

First up, get your vegetables chopped and ready. Easy.

I like to use a medium sized skillet for this amount of quinoa. Start by setting the skillet over medium heat and adding the garlic and olive oil. Stir just for a minute.

Best time to add spices

I like to add the spices at the frying stage. It adds a whole lot of flavour to the end dish, by frying it off at the beginning in the oil. So, add the cumin, give a quick stir and fry it for 1 – 2 minutes.

Add the peppers and onions and give a really good stir.

Cooking The Vegetables

Cook the peppers and onions, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Then toss in the chopped tomatoes and give a really good stir. Cook the tomatoes for about another 5 minutes

Cooking the Quinoa

If you’re new to cooking quinoa, it’s not difficult. Just keep in mind, it will go stodgy if you add too much liquid. So follow the recipe below and you’ll be good to go. I like to go with a 1 1/2 x ratio. This recipe uses 1 cup of dry quinoa, so I used 1 1/2 cups of stock.

For best results, push the vegetables to one side of the pan and then add the quinoa. Stir it into the vegetables really well.

Adding the Stock and Corn

Next up, we add all the stock at once and the corn. Give it a quick stir, reduce heat to low and we leave it to cook.

It will be done in about 15 minutes!

Southwestern Bell Pepper Quinoa is Ready

Remove it from the heat and fluff it up with a fork. Then I like to top it off with the cilantro and the green onion. It’s ready to enjoy or you can carry on and all add the toppings like you will see below.

close up of Southwestern Style Quinoa
Southwestern Quinoa


The toppings for this dish are totally optional, but we quite liked it. I just used fresh lime, grated cheddar and chopped avocado. It really elevated the dish to a whole new level. I recommend the toppings!

Avocado, cheese and limes

The Toppings are Added and It’s Ready to Enjoy

I personally like to top off individual bowls instead of the entire dish. This way, people can add as much or a little as they like. And remember, don’t top this dish until you are ready to serve it.

You can serve this hot off the stove or at room temperature. I personally don’t think it’s great cold, but you might like it, who knows?

I only used one avocado between four servings, but feel free to use as much as you like.

Southwestern style quinoa in a bowl with toppings
Southwestern Quinoa

Can I make This In Advance

Absolutely! What’s great about this dish, is you can easily make it in advance and enjoy it later on. We had this with a barbecue last week and I made it in the morning. We enjoyed it at room temperature with all the fresh toppings. It was a great addition as a side dish. But it’s also great on it’s own as a lunch or a light dinner.

table setting of southwestern style quinoa
Southwestern Quinoa

Here’s a few More Dishes You Might Like To Try

southwestern style quinoa in a bowl
Southwestern Quinoa

And that my friends, sums up this easy and tasty recipe. I hope you get a chance to give it a try sometime this summer. Like I said, great as a barbecue side dish!

Well, since I am headache free, we’re planning a trip away tomorrow and I’m hoping it will be a bit more eventful than our picnic in the rain last Sunday. We shall see. Enjoy your weekend and I’ll see you all on Monday.

Keep on cooking!

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Close up of southwestern style quinoa with lime wedges
Southwestern Quinoa

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Southwestern Bell Pepper Quinoa

This Southwestern Bell Pepper Quinoa makes a great side dish or even a lunch idea. Made using fresh bell peppers, tomatoes and corn, it's not only hearty it's healthy as well.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: North American
Keyword: bell peppers, quinoa
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 446kcal
Author: Julia Pinney


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced small
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper diced small
  • 1/2 green bell pepper diced small
  • 1/2 white onion diced small
  • 1 green onion finely chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • small bunch fresh coriander


  • 1 lime cut into quarters
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese grated


  • In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil and garlic. Stir for a minute and add the cumin. Stir for another minute.
  • Add diced peppers and onions. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  • Push all the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the quinoa. Quickly dry fry the quinoa stirring for about a minute and incorporate it into the vegetables.
  • Pour in the stock and add the corn. Stir, cover, reduce heat to low and leave to cook for 12 – 15 minutes until all the stock has absorbed and quinoa is cooked.
  • Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Top with fresh cilantro and green onions.
    If using, top with a squeeze of lime, grated cheddar and fresh avocados.

*A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.


The toppings are completely optional. If using, do not top until just before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Southwestern Bell Pepper Quinoa
Amount Per Serving (4 servings)
Calories 446 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 497mg22%
Potassium 831mg24%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 1617IU32%
Vitamin C 80mg97%
Calcium 203mg20%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thanks For Stopping By And Hope To See You Soon!

By on June 6th, 2020
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