Quick and Easy Quinoa Enchilada Skillet Meal
You’re going to love this 30-minute quinoa enchilada skillet meal- its so fast and adaptable. Its definitely a winner!
If a fast, easy, healthy dinner has your name all over it, consider yourself a lucky winner today.
A faithful reader, Sheriece, emailed me saying a version of this enchilada quinoa meal has quickly become one of her family’s faves and her best take-in meal.
Just based on the ingredients, I knew I would love it, but even more so if it was a 30-minute, one-skillet meal. Because you know that I love me a fabulous one-skillet/one-pot meal, right?
It is flavorful and hearty and super yummy. Tasty on its own, throw a few toppings on there and it’s insanely delicious.
And I know it kind of cancels out the low-carbness of the dish, but I found out through a happy experiment the next day that this warm, cheesy, Mexican-inspired filling is out of this world when rolled up in a tortilla and smashed onto a griddle (à la these crispy southwest chicken wraps).
Since we’re still living in the land of soccer and football practices, easy, healthy, extra-delicious meals are just what this wanting-to-to-stay-sane momma ordered, and this enchilada quinoa totally delivered.
Sanity crisis averted. For now.
What To Serve With This:
This is a pretty complete meal in and of itself but if you want a few sides to go with it consider:
Fresh fruit or a simple green salad
Roasted broccoli, steamed peas or our favorite skillet green beans
One Year Ago: Classic Slow Cooker Chili
Two Years Ago: White Texas Sheet Cake
Three Years Ago: Lemon Cupcakes
30-Minute Quinoa Enchilada Skillet Meal
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 poblano chile, seeded and finely diced (about 1/3 – 1/2 cup) (see note for substitutions)
- 2 cups quinoa, well-rinsed and drained
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from about 1 medium lime
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 cups cooked diced chicken or turkey
- 1/2-1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or sharp cheddar cheese, or a combination
- Optional toppings: avocados, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, olives, etc.
- In a 12-inch nonstick skillet with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic and poblano chile. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Add the drained quinoa, broth, tomato sauce, beans, salt, chili powder, oregano and cumin and stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the temperature, cover the skillet, and continue simmering for 20 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa has popped open and is tender. Regulate the heat during cooking if the mixture is sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
- Uncover and stir in the corn, lime juice, cilantro, and chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes or until heated through. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Sprinkle the top with cheese and cover the skillet to let the cheese melt (or broil – if the skillet is oven-safe – for a more bubbly topping).
- Serve with optional garnishes if you’d like: avocados, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, olives, etc.
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (inspired after a reader, Sheriece, sent me an oven-baked version from Skinny Taste and immediately I knew a one-skillet version was in my future – thanks, Sheriece!)
50 Comments on “Quick and Easy Quinoa Enchilada Skillet Meal”
This recipe has been on our regular rotation for a couple of months now. Mmmm so good!
Another fabulous recipe from Mel !! Substituted eggplant for the meat, enchilada sauce for the tomato sauce.
Loved this recipe!!! I did lettuce wraps with them and they were awesome!!! The only thing I didn’t have to use was the cilantro, but it was divine!!! Thanks Mel! PS: My neighbor Josie Robison told me about you! I’m so excited to try more recipes!!!
Thanks so much, Ashley! Love the idea of this recipe or lettuce wraps!
This has become a staple at our house – husband loves it, kids love it, mom loves how quick and easy it is. Also- never had a problem finding poblano pepper at major grocers.
We love this recipe Mel. I was wondering if you think this would do well as bell pepper stuffing? I want something with chicken, quinoa and cheese, but looking online not a lot is grabbing my attention. I’ve never made stuffed peppers myself so I don’t know how moist the filling should be, and if this filling would get overcooked in the time it takes the peppers to cook.
I haven’t tried it, Kate, but I think it would do great as a bell pepper stuffing!
So good, quick, healthy. Used anaheim pepper- was perfect
Hadn’t cooked anything with quinoa prior to this recipe. Excellent taste (a different kind of hearty) and look (very appetizing), made the full recipe and following it precisely, only adding a bit more cheese at the end. Also used canned chicken breast meat from Costco. Will make this again.
Could this be done in the instant pot? Of so how long would you cook it?
I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know…but maybe start with 6-7 minutes?
So I went into this recipe not expecting much, but being blown away by how much I enjoyed it! I’m not able to give 5 stars because I did a few substitutions that would maybe change the overall taste (I had no corn, meat, or cilantro on hand ) Another hit at our house!
That’s awesome, Tara! Glad you loved it!
I doubled this recipe, used rotel and Feta and made this meatless. It is delicious! I’m on my 4th day eating it for lunch and I’m still in love with it.
I can’t wait to try it again for dinner with ground turkey to feed my kids.
Like wow! Way better then I was anticipating, will defeintly add this to my repitour
A new regular! This recipe is so good and the whole family kids gobbled it up! I love the one pot recipes. Thanks so much!
This was delicious! Everyone from my 15 year old boy down to my 8 year old girl had seconds! (The poblano peppers were mis-labeled as pasillas at my grocery store)
Mel! I am forever indebted to you for this:
“And I know it kind of cancels out the low-carbness of the dish, but I found out through a happy experiment the next day that this warm, cheesy, Mexican-inspired filling is out of this world when rolled up in a tortilla and smashed onto a griddle (à la these crispy southwest chicken wraps).”
I never LOVED the crispy southwest chicken wraps b/c I’m not a huge rice fan. THIS, tho! Soooo yummy! Sharp cheddar surrounding and a dollop of sour cream, with no rice in sight. The quinoa dish is also delicious, btw, completely on its own. This almost makes me thankful that it’s been 80 degree no oven weather in Maine all summer long!
This was divine! Halved the recipe for my family of 3 and it was perfect. Husband and two year old approved! I used a can of diced green chiles, did not half the black beans, added a sliced zucchini to the first sauté step, threw in a hopped green onion with the cilantro, and subbed a couple tsps cider vinegar for the lime juice because I was out of limes!
My husband and I loved it. I substituted the canned chili peppers for the poblano pepper and enchilada sauce for the tomato sauce. I will definitely make it again.
I made this last night and we loooooved it!! Definitely a keeper and it was so quick & easy! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I served this to a bunch of Airmen on base over here in South Korea, we all loved it. Thanks for a great taste of home.
This looks so good! Would like to make it tonight for dinner, but was curious if you thought ground turkey would work okay instead of using chicken?
Thanks for all you do!
Sure, I think ground turkey could work just fine!
That’s what I used, just sautéed the ground turkey first and then added it when you add the chicken and it was delish! Thanks for such a great recipe, we all loved it!
Thank you Mel! It was delicious!
This was fantastic! And with zero prep, walking in the door with this in mind, it was on the table in just over 30 minutes. This is going to be my new go-to dinner. We love mel! Your lightened-up chicken alfredo is on the stove now (oops, should be whisking). Can’t wait!
I love, love, love your site and can always count on your recipes being winners at my house! I haven’t had real good luck cooking quinoa or maybe I just had old stuff, anyhow, what’s the best quinoa and how’s the best way to prepare it?
Hi Cathy – I use quinoa from Costco or TruRoots brand on Amazon. I haven’t used red quinoa much – I usually cook with white. I think the key is to rinse it really well in a fine mesh strainer. I run it under cool water for 30-40 seconds and then drain well. Also, cooking it in chicken broth (if not using it in a recipe like this one) makes a huge difference (for savory recipes).
I wanted to share with you that I made this recipe, and then used the leftovers to make a version of your little quinoa patties. Our family of 4 only finished about half the recipe, so there was plenty left for the patties. I used 2 1/2 cups of leftovers, 4 eggs, 1/4 cup cilantro, handful of Parmesan, and a cup of panko bread crumbs. Served with sour cream, fresh lime and salsa. A big hit!
Great idea! Thanks for sharing. I’m going to try this with our leftovers next time.
That’s brilliant, Julie!
Thank you for another great recipe! Even my husband who was completely against quinoa like this.
Made this 2 nights ago and had leftovers last night. We loved it! The only changes I made were to leave out the teaspoon of salt, use reduced sodium black beans, and sprinkle a little cheese on individual servings as one of the toppings instead of over the whole skillet. I’ll definitely add this to the rotation. Thanks, Mel!
Oh, and today for lunch, I may have taken your advice about rolling it into a tortilla and smashing it on the griddle (we LOVE your Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps, BTW). Yes, it did negate the low carb and low calories of this recipe, but, you know… it had to be done. 🙂
This reminds me of one of my new favorite quinoa recipes. It is the Quinoa Enchilada Bake from Skinny Taste. The best part by far is the homemade chipotle enchilada sauce (I have to cut down on the chipotle peppers and adobo for my kids but even with just a teaspoon, the flavor is incredible. And avacadoes on top? So good. I’ve added diced or shredded chicken sometimes and it’s good both ways. I’ll have to try this as well! Yay for broadening my quinoa use! http://www.skinnytaste.com/2014/10/quinoa-fiesta-enchilada-bake.html
Would I use fresh poblano chiles found in the produce aisle or dried poblano chilis by the bulk/natural foods?
I use the fresh poblano chiles.
Thirty minute, chocked full of health, and delicious sounds divine. Thank you for sharing Sheriece and Mel.
We have been making a recipe very similar to this for a while and it is one of our favorites! I like to make one of those Cafe Rio “knock off” green sauce recipes to pour on and then we dip our chips into it. Definitely takes it to a new level and totally negates the healthiness of quinoa but we love it! Thanks for a skillet version, I’m super excited to try it!
My family loves Quinoa Enchilada Bake from
Two Peas and their Pod, so I’m excited to try this. Also, speaking of amazing recipes, these cookies are so stinking good, and I normally don’t like Peanut Butter cookies. http://realmomkitchen.com/2227/over-the-top-reeses-peanut-butter-cookies/
My family loves quinoa. This looks delicious!
Do you think sauteing some diced onions before the garlic would work in this recipe?
Hooray! This looks delicious, healthy and gluten-free too! It is always nice to make the same dish for the whole family with no funky substitutions.
Sounds like a perfect week night meal. Looks like it makes quite a bit, do you think it would freeze well?
I haven’t tried freezing it, Sheryl, but I think it would probably work pretty well (dishes similar to this freeze well usually). You could also halve the recipe pretty easily if you don’t want to make as much.
Could I sub rice for the quinoa??
Hi Kelly – I haven’t tried that but you could certainly experiment!