Were you a picky eater as a kid?
I was (kind of). When it came to fruit I remember only liking canned pears (yeah, weird, I know).
Lunch was almost always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and dinner was often cheese and shells. If my parents put creamed corn on the table, it was a guaranteed meltdown (hated the stuff).
Desserts on the other hand? So easy to please, so long as coconut flake, cherries, or raisins weren’t involved.
Another menu item I could always get behind? Tacos. My family loved crispy tacos with ground beef and lots of salsa. My favorite thing to do was mix in some corn to the filling – I know, classy move. You don’t have to tell me how refined my palate was at 6 years old.
These days, ground beef isn’t my go-to filling for tacos*. But sometimes the 6-year-old in me misses its crumbly texture and flavor.
I think you see where this is going. Quinoa makes an excellent substitution! It’s almost uncanny. Come see how.
*Note: you can learn about the origins of tacos here.
This recipe is simple, requiring just 9 ingredients and simple methods.
Prepare quinoa, season with spices and salsa, bake until crispy, devour. See? I told you it was easy.
I got the idea for this recipe when I made my Quinoa Stuffed Peppers for dinner one night and some of the quinoa spilled over in the pan and got all crispy and delicious while baking – I couldn’t get enough. That was my light bulb moment.
I hope you all LOVE this recipe! It’s:
& So delicious
This is the perfect filling for all your Mexican night needs: Tacos, burrito bowls (find my 30-minute recipe in our Everyday Cooking Cookbook!), taco salads, nachos, enchiladas, tostadas (also in the cookbook) – you name it, it works!
If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram so I can see! I love seeing what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Quinoa Taco Meat
- 1 cup tri-color, white, or red quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable broth*
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup salsa (slightly chunky is best – I love Trader Joe’s brand)
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add rinsed quinoa and toast for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add vegetable broth and water and bring back to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to low, cover with a secure lid, and cook for 15-25 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then crack lid and let rest for 10 minutes off heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
- Add cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients (salsa, nutritional yeast, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and oil). Toss to combine. Then spread on a lightly greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-35 minutes, stirring/tossing once at the halfway point to ensure even baking. The quinoa is done when it’s fragrant and golden brown. Be careful not to burn!
- This quinoa taco meat goes extremely well in crispy taco shells and soft taco shells, and I also think it would be perfect on nachos, taco salads, tostadas, and in enchiladas. Dream big!
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave, in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven, or in a skillet on the stovetop.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
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