Cilantro Lime Quinoa Recipe - Vegetarian and Gluten-Free (2024)

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Published: January 30, 2014Updated: April 21, 2022Author: Jenn Laughlin

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Get your fiesta on with this zesty cilantro lime quinoa. Gloriously gluten-free, vegan, and just plain delicious! Makes a great side dish or burrito bowl base.

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Recipe - Vegetarian and Gluten-Free (1)

Morning loves!

Today’s post is going to be a bit of a quickie, just like this recipe!

Everyone needs an arsenal of fast, easy, and healthy side dishes so get ready to toss this one into the weekly line-up.

With the refreshing flavors of cilantro and lime, this fluffy quinoa will compliment a bevvy of dishes and knock your typical pot-o-rice out of the water when taco night rolls around. I’m already dreamingup a behemoth burrito bowl with this sassy quinoa as the base. YUM!

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Recipe - Vegetarian and Gluten-Free (2)

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

vegetarian :: vegan :: gluten-free :: dairy-free

yields 3 cups of fluffy quinoa fit for a fiesta!

Need a little less? Feel free to halve the recipe! Feeding a crowd? You can easily double or triple as needed with no additional work. SCORE! Just grab a large enough pot and you’re good to go! Leftovers taste great and can chill in your fridge for up to 4 days.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s get our quinoa on!

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Recipe - Vegetarian and Gluten-Free (3)

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Get your fiesta on with this zesty cilantro lime quinoa. Each bowl is gloriously gluten-free, vegan, and just plain delicious as side dish, salad topper, or burrito bowl base.

5 from 32 votes

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Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keyword: Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Author: Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 1 cup dry quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves plus extra to taste
  • ½ lime, zest and juice (see notes)
  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil or avocado oil
  • salt + pepper to taste


  • First rinse and drain your quinoa using amesh strainer or sieve.

  • Bring a medium saucepan to medium heat and lightly toast the quinoa to remove any excess water. Stir as it toasts for just a few minutes. This step is optional but really adds to the nuttiness and fluff factor of the quinoa!

  • Next add your water, set burner to high, and bring to a boil.

  • Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for 12-13 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid has been absorbed.

  • Add chopped cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  • Toss to combine and taste.

  • Add any extra cilantro, lime, or seasoning that your heart desires and dig in!

  • Leftovers taste great and can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.

  • The quinoa will soak up the lime and oil so, to amp up the flavor, add a little extra dressing the next day and you're good to go! A scoop or two makes a fabulous salad topper or a flavor-filled base for a yummy burrito bowl! I seriously can't get enough of this stuff!


Craving intense citrusflavor? Add the juice and zest of the entire lime!

Nutrition facts below are an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed.


Calories: 126kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 159mg, Fiber: 2g, Vitamin A: 45IU, Vitamin C: 1.8mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1.3mg

Did you make this recipe?I want to see! Tag @peasandcrayons on Instagram and Facebook!

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Recipe - Vegetarian and Gluten-Free (4)

Serve it hot or chilled (my favorite!) but whatever you do… get this citrus-flecked cilantro lime quinoa your face, stat!

quinoa serving suggestions

Making stuffed peppers? Fiesta up your filling and use cilantro lime quinoa in place of the rice. Easy peasy lemon lime squeezy!

You can even try them in these Baked Bell Pepper Tacos– my husband flips over this recipe.

Get your carnivore on by serving it alongside grilled chicken and sautéed peppers or keep things gloriously vegan by topping your quinoa with crispy taco roasted chickpeas.

Basically… anything goes!

Have fun with it and feel free to sharea photo of your creation!

craving more vegetarian quinoa recipes?

  • Greek Quinoa Bowls(reader favorite!)
  • Healthy Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
  • Garden Vegetable Quinoa Soup by Beth at Budget Bytes
  • Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Candied Walnuts

Peas and Crayons is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites at no cost to readers.

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Recipe - Vegetarian and Gluten-Free (7)

About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Hi! I’m Jenn and I’m here to help you eat your veggies! It'll be fun, painless, and pretty darn delicious as I teach you to plan your meals around fresh, seasonal produce with a little help from healthy freezer and pantry staples.

Learn More

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Cilantro Lime Quinoa Recipe - Vegetarian and Gluten-Free (2024)


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