• Cilantro Lime Quinoa

    by  • April 16, 2014 • side dishes • 8 Comments

    This Cilantro Lime Quinoa is not only the perfect side dish to your meals, but great as a replacement for rice in your Mexican burritos and stuffed peppers! 

    Cilantro Lime Quinoa recipe

    Sometimes it’s hard to believe we used to live in a world when quinoa wasn’t a staple. Not even 5 years ago, the word “quinoa” drew blank stares and confused looks. No one could pronounce it (some still can’t!) and very few people had it in their pantry. Suddenly, thanks to restaurants, chefs, and food bloggers, quinoa has become an everyday ingredient, just as common as rice! Everyone from five star restaurants to home cooks use it in their meals! Not only is it a fantastic as an ingredient, but its nutritional content is awesome as well! It is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. Packed with a great amount of fiber, iron, and magnesium, a powerful antioxidant, it will take your recipes to the next level of flavor and nutrition.

    Oh and the wonders of winter citrus amazes me every year, even through the spring. Thanks to the V-etched Better Zester by KitchenIQ, you get a finer zest than any other zester I’ve ever tried and I’ve tested them all in our professional kitchen. I’m actually requesting that our Executive Chef buys a couple of these for the restaurant – it cuts down the time on zesting and produces better results, thus the name! We have an orange almond cake on our dessert menu and I sometimes need to zest dozens of oranges for it – this zester has become my best friend in the kitchen, plus I adore the bright colors it comes in! Oh and somehow it will not grate your fingers off – I’ve grated my skin/nails many times with other zester, but not this one!

    A little more detail on this zester: it’s made up of over 300 tiny V- shaped teeth and is covered with a non- stick coating. The food- approved coating allows the zester to smoothly glide across the surface of all types of citrus, while finely zesting the outer layer of skin and not the bitter pith. The Better Zester includes a “fresh zest” storage container with squeegee. (Note from me: This storing container on the back is not pictured below but I’ve honestly zested lemons  and just threw the entire zester in the fridge. The zest stays fresh for up to a week!) 

    Cilantro Lime Quinoa zest

    To me, quinoa is a blank canvas ready for your combination of ingredients to make it shine. Don’t get me wrong, fluffy quinoa with a pat of butter and a sprinkling of sea salt is one of the best simple meals ever, but sometimes we’re craving more. More flavor, more texture. That’s where this Cilantro Lime Quinoa comes in – it’s packed with one of my favorite flavor combinations, fresh cilantro, olive oil, and lime juice!

    I’ve got to mention that the simple dressing of freshly squeezed lime juice and California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a touch of sea salt is what makes this quinoa off the charts amazing. My favorite oil to use is the Miller’s Blend from COR – it’s got a bit of sweet fruit and a peppery ending, that when paired with the lime juice, balances out the citrus acid! Oh and I’ve got to mention Ancient Harvest Quinoa, which we stock in our pantry like the world is going to end – it makes perfectly fluffy quinoa all the time!

    Cilantro Lime Quinoa

    Cilantro Lime Quinoa

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Yield: 2 cups

    Flavorful and filling, this cilantro lime quinoa comes together in less than 20 minutes!


    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 lime, juice and zested
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • salt to taste


    1. Place 1 cup quinoa in small sauce pot with two cups water. Cook over medium high heat until most of the water evaporates. Lower heat to low and cover pan. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
    2. Toss warm cooked quinoa with cilantro, lime juice and zest, and olive oil. Season to taste.

    Disclaimer: KitchenIQ sent me a few of their products to review, free of charge but I was not under any obligation to post about it. Stay tuned for a future recipe post and giveaway from them! 


    As a freelance food & travel writer, I not only write for my own food blog, Cooking with Books, but collaborate with SheKnows, Honest Cooking, Marcus Samuelsson, and Startle – Forbes Travel Guide. My work has been published (online and in print) in Woman’s Day, NBC Latino, and other food publications.


    8 Responses to Cilantro Lime Quinoa

    1. Pingback: Ancient Harvest Quinoa Giveaway - Cooking with Books

    2. June 11, 2014 at 7:13 am

      I just saw this on Twitter!! delicious and my fave way to eat quinoa!! love cilantro + lime together!

    3. Pingback: Hearty Spring Quinoa Salad - Celebrating #HealthySpring with a @KitchenIQ #Giveaway - Cooking with Books

    4. April 19, 2014 at 7:17 am

      How simple is this?! Love it Marnely. I have two Kitchen IQ graters, but not this one that zests so finely. I love the ones I have. I love your suggestion to use this quinoa in a burrito. Why not? Yummy!

    5. April 17, 2014 at 8:32 am

      This looks amazing. I make it with rice, never thought to sub quinoa! Seriously delish!

    6. April 16, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Yummm!!! Such a beautiful and simple recipe sure to impress! Thanks for sharing, Marnely.

    7. April 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      I have and LOVE that zester. Also cilantro + lime are BFFs forever and ever in my belly. Looks super tasty!

    8. April 16, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Oooo! I LOVE quinoa and you just amped those flavors right up, Nelly! This looks Heavenly!

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