Quinoa has become a staple in my diet. I love how nutritious and versatile it is! It can range widely in texture and flavor depending on how it is prepared. While smooth and creamy quinoa can be delicious, I love when my quinoa has a bit of texture.
This Taco Seasoned Quinoa has a little crunch and a whole lot of flavor. Enjoy it on its own or in your favorite dishes. I love adding it to tacos, buddha bowls, or breakfast scrambles.
A closer look at what’s inside:
Quinoa is great to include in your diet if you are vegan or vegetarian as it is a complete protein — meaning it contains the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own. One cup cooked provides roughly 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. It is also gluten-free for anyone that has a sensitivity to grains.
I regularly incorporate sunflower seeds into my diet as part of seed cycling for natural hormone balance. They contain healthy fats and various vitamins and minerals. Perfect for adding some extra crunch!
While cumin is thought to be beneficial to your health in a number of ways, it’s primarily used to help with digestion. It is often used in taco seasoning and Indian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern cooking.
Paprika is made from dried sweet peppers, making it less spicy than most chili seasonings. It’s bright red color isn’t just pretty, it is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin A.
If you are sensitive to spicy foods, you may want to use less chili powder in this recipe. It has quite a bit more heat than paprika — measuring 1,000 to 1,500 on the Scoville scale compared to 100 to 500.
Many cultures have used garlic medicinally for centuries. It boasts a ton of health benefits like improving immunity, promoting heart health, and working as a natural antibiotic. Plus, it adds a ton of flavor to dishes.
While traditionally used in Italian cooking, oregano is utilized in many taco seasonings. This spice is loaded with antioxidants making it anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is also thought to be beneficial for gut health and inflammation in the body.
I put turmeric in everything! Well not everything, but a lot. Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that is thought to help fight disease. While not traditionally in taco seasoning, I think it works well in this recipe and adds health benefits. Feel free to leave out if you don’t have or don’t like turmeric.
Salt + Pepper
Of course you need a little sea salt and pepper! Pepper helps the body absorb the curcumin in turmeric. It also is high in antioxidants and has been studied for its impacts on fighting tumors. I like using fresh ground pepper, so I include a generous sprinkle in this recipe.
Looking for tortillas to pair with this taco seasoned quinoa? Try these Red Lentil Tortilla Wraps!
Taco Seasoned Quinoa
- 1 heaping cup cooked quinoa
- 1-2 tablespoons sunflower seeds de-shelled
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Generous sprinkle pepper
- Avocado oil for cooking
- Cook quinoa per package instructions — you will need 1 cup of cooked quinoa for this recipe. You can use freshly cooked quinoa or cold leftover quinoa. I often double or triple this recipe so feel free to adjust accordingly.
- Preheat a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add high heat cooking oil (I use avocado oil) and spread the oil to cover the cooking surface (about 1 teaspoon).
- Add cooked quinoa to the oiled pan and sprinkle sunflower seeds and spices on top. If you don’t like things spicy, feel free to use less chili powder and slightly less of the other spices as well. This recipe is flavor-packed!
- Using a heat safe tool, mix the quinoa with the spices and seeds.
- Continue cooking, stirring every minute or two, until the quinoa reaches the desired texture. The longer you cook it the crunchier it will get. Taste as you go and adjust spices if needed.
- Remove from heat and serve.