Quinoa Taco Bowl

by | Apr 12, 2024

This healthy Quinoa Taco Bowl is perfect for anyone looking for a meal prep friendly recipe that makes 6 bowls at a time! It’s filled with colorful veggies like garden-fresh bell peppers, tomatoes, and canned corn. Plus, you get to customize it with your choice of protein, allowing it to work for all different dietary preferences.

Healthy quinoa taco bowl

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ​Libby’s® Vegetables. All opinions are my own; I never feature a brand that I don’t love!

Why you’ll love it

Taco bowls are a nourishing way to fuel your body, especially when they’re homemade with simple, whole food ingredients. Here’s why you’ll fall in love with this recipe:

  • Versatility: Whether you’re a meat-lover or follow a plant-based diet, this bowl caters to all. Choose from beef, chicken, or a plant-based alternative.
  • Nutrient-rich: Loaded with protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals–this bowl truly has a balance of it all.
  • Meal prep friendly: This quinoa taco bowl recipe is one I often meal prep on a Sunday to have for a busy week ahead. Since it has so many flavors, it’s seriously just as delicious on day one as it is on day four.
Easy quinoa taco bowl in meal prep container

Are taco bowls healthy?

Absolutely! This bowl highlights many nutrient-dense ingredients including quinoa, vegetables, and greek yogurt.

  • Quinoa is the base we are using. It’s a naturally gluten-free grain rich in nutrients like protein, fiber, zinc, and magnesium. Research shows this plant based protein may even help promote muscle growth and healthy digestion.
  • Greek yogurt is something we often suggest using over sour cream. It adds extra protein and probiotics to support our gut and immune health.
  • Tomatoes and bell peppers add vibrant color to the bowl along with antioxidants to support our well-being.
  • Canned corn adds a delightful burst of sweetness and additional fiber.

Is canned corn healthy?

Totally – canned corn adds energizing carbohydrates, fiber, and B vitamins to our bowls. As a time saving tip, we always stock the pantry with Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn. All you have to do is open, drain, and enjoy. Canned goods last for years at a time too!

Libby’s is made with US-grown corn that is picked at the peak of ripeness and canned within hours, sealing in the nutrients and flavor. What’s inside the can? Just corn, water, and sea salt! That’s right—no preservatives or added sugars.

Canned corn is super versatile too. Serve as a standalone side dish or incorporate into delicious recipes that come together in no time like air fried corn fritters or customizable nachos.

canned corn

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Quinoa: Rinse it well before cooking to remove any bitterness.
  • Ground protein: Choose from beef, chicken, or a plant-based alternative. Whether you’re a meat eater or vegetarian–feel free to choose your preferred protein.
  • Black beans: Add fiber and protein, making the bowl more satisfying and nutritious.
  • Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn: Brings a sweet and crunchy element to the bowl.
  • Fresh vegetables: Tomatoes and bell peppers compliment the corn. Try picking these up from a local farmers market or grow some in your own backyard garden!
All the best ingredients for quinoa taco bowl

How to make a quinoa taco bowl

Cook the quinoa

Combine quinoa with water or broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15-20 minutes until fluffy. Keep an eye on it towards the end to see when all the liquid has evaporated.

If you’re using water, you may want to add some extra salt to the quinoa along with the taco seasoning.

Cook the protein

Cook in a skillet with olive oil and taco seasoning until fully cooked. Make sure to break the meat apart for even cooking and to better incorporate it with the taco seasoning.

Ground beef in pot

Assemble the bowls

Divide quinoa into bowls, top with protein, beans, corn, veggies, and a dollop of Greek yogurt and guac. Try arranging each topping in separate sections for an “Insta-worthy” appealing bowl.

Garnish and serve

This last sprinkle of cilantro and squeeze of lime really kicks up the flavors, giving every bite a fresh and zesty boost.

If you want this recipe a bit spicier, try adding some fresh or pickled jalapenos for an extra kick.

Quinoa taco bowl topped with cilantro and lime

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Serving Tips: This meal is pretty filling on its own, but feel free to also pair with a side of crispy tortilla chips or a fresh green salad. We also love serving it with a refreshing drink such as a watermelon lime cooler or a pomegranate mocktail.
  • Troubleshooting Tips: If you find that the recommended serving feels like it’s not enough, consider turning this into 4 larger bowls instead of the 6 smaller bowls.
  • Scaling Tips: Feel free to double this recipe if you’re hoping to make multiple meal prep servings or are feeding a large family.

Customize it your way

Like all of my other recipes, this quinoa taco bowl is completely customizable. You get to choose which protein you want to use. Here are some ideas:

  • Protein of your choice: Try ground beef, chicken, or a plant-based ground. You could also consider other creative options like pulled pork, turkey, or even crumbled tofu.
Close up of healthy quinoa taco bowl

Is this recipe vegan?

Yes, this quinoa taco bowl can easily be made vegan. Pick your favorite plant-based protein, leave out the cheese, skip the yogurt–and you’re good to go! The combination of quinoa, veggies, beans, and plant-based protein makes for a super nourishing and flavorful vegan meal.

You could even take out the ground protein altogether and double to two  cans of black beans as your protein source.

Can I make it ahead of time?

Absolutely! This taco bowl shines when it comes to making it in advance. Grab a set of microwave-safe meal prep bowls to add everything into. Just add the Greek yogurt and guac into separate small condiment containers.

Then, heat up the bowl in the microwave for about 2 minutes before topping it with the Greek yogurt and guac.

Quinoa Taco Bowl 31

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. If you’d like to freeze them, prepare the bowls without adding avocado, Greek yogurt, or cilantro. Then, you can freeze this quinoa, meat, and veggie base for up to 3 months.

Quinoa Taco Bowl 26

Quinoa Taco Bowl

Mackenzie Burgess, RDN
This healthy Quinoa Taco Bowl is perfect for anyone looking for a meal prep friendly recipe that makes 6 bowls at a time! Customize it with your choice of protein, allowing it to work for all different dietary preferences.
Be the first to rate this recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 400 kcal

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  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, divided
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 15.25-oz. can of Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn, drained
  • 1/2 bell pepper of your choice (green, red, orange, or yellow), diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 pound ground protein of your choice (96% lean beef, chicken, or plant-based meat substitute)
  • 1 15-oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium tomato, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/3 cup guacamole
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges for squeezing


  • In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa with water or broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Stir in 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil, corn and bell pepper. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, until peppers are slightly charred and corn starts to pop. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Wipe out the pan. To the same pan, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the ground protein and use a spatula to break it apart. Cook until browned, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Divide the cooked quinoa among 6 bowls or meal prep containers. Then, evenly distribute corn and pepper mixture, cooked taco protein, black beans, and tomatoes (*see note below for the breakdown of amounts per bowl).
  • Garnish with Mexican cheese, Greek yogurt or sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, and lime wedges.


Distribution Note: You can just eyeball distributing out all the ingredients, but if you want to be more exact about it, here’s the general breakdown per bowl:
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cooked protein
  • 1/4 cup corn and pepper mixture
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon guacamole
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lime wedge
Storage Note: If meal prepping these bowls, store bowls in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you’d like to freeze them, prepare the bowls without adding avocado, Greek yogurt, or cilantro. Then, you can freeze this quinoa, meat, and veggie base for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Note: This is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Nutrition may vary depending on ingredients used. This calculation is for 96% lean ground beef. For more nutrition information, seek a professional registered dietitian’s advice.


Serving: 1bowlCalories: 400kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 31gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 630mgPotassium: 580mgFiber: 9gSugar: 7gCalcium: 180mgIron: 6mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us @cheerfulchoices and let us know how it was!

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Other canned vegetable recipes you’ll love:

Hi, I'm Mackenzie...

nice to meet you!

I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and recipe developer. I create simple recipes with customizable ingredients “of your choice.” I also help busy people gain kitchen confidence through my hands-on program.

Need more hands-on help?

In my coaching + cooking program, I help busy people with beginner cooking knowledge become confident in the kitchen. Click here to learn more about this virtual program with a dietitian!

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