Incredible Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowl

Taco Quinoa Bowl with Ground Beef, corn, cotija cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and cilantro lime crema drizzled on top. Bowl of crema, bowl of cotija cheese, tomatoes and cilantro on the table.
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Taco Quinoa Bowl with Ground Beef, corn, cotija cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and cilantro lime crema drizzled on top. Ground beef bowl, avocado half with pit, bowl of crema, tomatoes and cilantro on the table.

Making a Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowl is so darn tasty and perfect for busy weeknights!  Everything can me prepped and cooked ahead, so you only need to reheat and enjoy.  The base of these bowls is the Quinoa, which is lightly seasoned and is a perfect fluffy backdrop.  It’s topped with saucy ground beef that’s loaded with savory and smoky Mexican flavors from the chili powder, cumin, garlic, and scallions.  Corn that is slightly seared brings a pop of sweetness.  The Cotija cheese brings tang and creaminess and the tomato a burst of freshness.  The avocado adds rich creaminess and the cool cilantro lime crema brings that final bright finishing touch.

Overall, this is one harmonious dinner filled with bright, creamy, savory, smokey, and delectable flavors and textures!  

DINNER BOWLS = EASY FAMILY DINNERS

Dinner bowls are essentially like an at-home buffet bar where you pick a theme, make the main ingredients, then put out a bunch of toppings and let everyone build their own.  I love that you can create your own mix of ingredients so that everyone can take exactly what they want.  For kids, it’s a great way to give them some independence in creating their own meal and often it encourages them to try new ingredients and flavors.

If you have picky eaters or if you have family members that eat at different times throughout the night, then make-your-own bowls are perfect for you. Here is what you do…

  1. Pick a theme – Asian, Mexican, Italian, etc.
  2. Prepare the ingredients for cooking over the weekend – or just on a less hectic day/night
  3. Cook the hot/cold ingredients and place in glass storage containers
  4. Let everyone make their own bowl at dinnertime
  5. If you or your partner are working late or a child has an afterschool activity and needs to eat earlier or later, then put storage containers in the fridge all together in one spot to pull out

Here are some of my favorite bowl recipes:

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you will need a small-medium pot with lid for the quinoa.

You need a sheet pan to roast t…. and a large skillet/frying pan for making the veggies and curry sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR TACO QUINOA BOWL

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

Chop the cilantro for the Crema and toppings. Slice the 4 scallions and divide for the ground beef and the toppings.

Cut the tomatoes in half. Quarter the lime.

Measure the seasonings for the ground beef.  I used (going clockwise) Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, and Salt.

Make the Cilantro Lime Crema by mixing the sour cream, the juice from 1/2 the lime, 1 teaspoon of the cilantro finely chopped, and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Sour cream, cilantro, and lime in bowl for Slow Cooker Pork Tacos with with Pickled Onions, Shredded Cheese, and Cilantro Lime Crema drizzled on top!  It's such an easy dinner since the pork cooks in the slow cooker to be perfectly seasoned and fall apart tender. #tacos #easydinner #glutenfree #dinner #mexican #pork

Can I replace the Cilantro?

If you are really not a fan of cilantro or just don’t have any on hand, you can swap with scallions.  You want something with flavor.  You can also use parsley for color and then add a 1/2 teaspoon of dried or ground coriander or even cumin in a pinch.  If none of these options work for you, just use the lime and the sour cream and maybe a touch of garlic.

COOKING STEPS FOR YOUR TACO QUINOA BOWL

Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 2 3/4 cups water in a pot with a fitting lid. Mix in the Chili powder, ground cumin, and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can also do this step ahead 3-4 days.

Fork fluffing cooked quinoa in pot for Taco Quinoa Bowl with Ground Beef, corn, cotija cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and cilantro lime crema

Preheat a large frying pan on high heat.  Add the olive oil and the corn kernels. You are just looking to brown them quickly for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the corn to a plate or small serving bowl.

Corn in pan getting seared for Taco Quinoa Bowl with Ground Beef, corn, cotija cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and cilantro lime crema

To the same hot pan, add the ground beef and break up the beef with a spatula. Add the chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and scallion. Stir to combine and let cook for 4-5 minutes until the beef is cooked through.

Ground beef and seasonings cooking in pan for Taco Quinoa Bowl with Ground Beef, corn, cotija cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and cilantro lime crema

Cooked ground beef in pan for Taco Quinoa Bowl with Ground Beef, corn, cotija cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and cilantro lime crema

Can I substitute ground chicken or turkey?

Yes, though you will need to add a bit of olive oil to the pan before adding the chicken or turkey, as they have less fat than the beef.  Simply swap with 1 pound of your protein of choice.  Taste as you go to see if you need more seasoning.

ASSEMBLE!

Right before serving, prep the avocado. Using a large sharp knife, cut around the middle of the length. Whack the pit with the sharp side of the knife and then pull out the pit. Gentle peel the outer skin off the avocado flesh. Then lay each half down and slice thin. Gently press to the slices fan out on a plate.

Knife pulling pit from avocado half for Taco Quinoa Bowls with Ground Beef, corn, cotija, tomatoes, and cilantro lime crema.

Hand peeling the skin from avocado half for Taco Quinoa Bowls with Ground Beef, corn, cotija, tomatoes, and cilantro lime crema.

Peeled and sliced avocado fanned out on a plate for Taco Quinoa Bowls with Ground Beef, corn, cotija, tomatoes, and cilantro lime crema.

Fill bowls with the various toppings: crumbled cotija cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, corn, avocado, and cilantro lime crema. Fill individual bowls with a heaping spoonful of quinoa, then the ground beef mixture. Let everyone pick their toppings. 

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Taco Quinoa Bowl with Ground Beef, corn, cotija cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and cilantro lime crema drizzled on top. Bowl of crema, bowl of cotija cheese, tomatoes and cilantro on the table.
5 from 1 vote
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Incredible Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowl

These incredible Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowls are so darn tasty and perfect for busy weeknights!  Everything can me prepped and cooked ahead, so you only need to reheat and enjoy.  The base of these bowls is the Quinoa, which is lightly seasoned and is a perfect fluffy backdrop.  It's topped with saucy ground beef that's loaded with savory and smoky Mexican flavors from the chili powder, cumin, garlic, and scallions.  Corn that is slightly seared brings a pop of sweetness.  The Cotija cheese brings tang and creaminess and the tomato a burst of freshness.  The avocado adds rich creaminess and the cool cilantro lime crema brings that final bright finishing touch.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword ground beef, healthy dinner, quinoa, taco bowl, tacos
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Corn and Ground Beef

  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil or spray
  • 1 cup Corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 pound Ground Beef, 90% lean
  • 2 Scallions
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Quinoa

  • 1.5 cups Uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Toppings

  • 1 cup Cotija Cheese (or shredded cheddar)
  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 2 Tomatoes, medium
  • 2 Scallions
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Chop the cilantro for the Crema and toppings. Slice the 4 scallions and divide for the ground beef and the toppings.

  2. Cut the tomatoes in half (do this step right before you are going to eat). Quarter the lime.

  3. Measure the seasonings for the ground beef – Paprika, Cumin, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, and Salt.

  4. Make the Cilantro Lime Crema by mixing the sour cream, the juice from 1/2 the lime, 1 teaspoon of the cilantro finely chopped, and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Cooking Steps

  1. Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 2 3/4 cups water in a pot with a fitting lid. Mix in the Chili powder, ground cumin, and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can also do this step ahead 3-4 days.

  2. Preheat a large frying pan on high heat. Add the olive oil and the corn kernels. You are just looking to brown them quickly for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the corn to a plate or small serving bowl.

  3. To the same hot pan, add the olive oil and the ground beef and break up the beef with a spatula. Add the chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and scallion. Stir to combine and let cook for 4-5 minutes until the beef is cooked through.

Assemble

  1. Right before serving, prep the avocado. Using a large sharp knife, cut around the middle of the length. Whack the pit with the sharp side of the knife and then pull out the pit. Gentle peel the outer skin off the avocado flesh. Then lay each half down and slice thin. Gently press to the slices fan out on a plate.

  2. Fill bowls with the various toppings: crumbled cotija cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, corn, avocado, and cilantro lime crema. Fill individual bowls with a heaping spoonful of quinoa, then the ground beef mixture. Let everyone pick their toppings. Enjoy!

Quick Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.
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Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork and pan in background.

I know you don’t have time to stand over the skillet adding broth to risotto every 5 minutes, so I have a quickie version for you today!  Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner.  This is yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation!  The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish.

WHY QUINOA IS SO SPECIAL

Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, but the texture is similar to a grain.  It has a mild, slightly nutty taste, but it’s mild, so it really absorbs any flavors you mix with it.  It’s a great side on it’s own or ingredient to bulk up other foods, such as stuffings.  It can replace pasta or rice in most recipes and adds more protein and fiber…

Which brings me to the health benefits of Quinoa.  1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8g of complete protein and 5g of fiber.  It also has Iron, Manganese, Lysine, and magnesium!  Combining quinoa with veggies, such as Asparagus here gives you a complete balanced meal with vitamins, fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

Try these other easy and delicious Quinoa Recipes!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need just a couple basic cooking items. A small-medium pot with lid for the quinoa.

Also a large skillet/frying pan for making the veggies and curry sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THE ASPARAGUS & QUINOA RISOTTO

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 3 cups of the Vegetable Broth in a pot with a fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can do this step ahead and store in the fridge for up to 4 days ahead.

Dice the onion, mince the garlic. Rinse the asparagus and pat it dry. Cut off the woody ends, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias (angle).

Raw Asparagus on counter being cut on a bias.

What kind of quinoa should I buy?

For this recipe, I find that white quinoa works best.  Red quinoa is not as soft and may take longer to cook and give you a more coarse texture.  You can find quinoa in the grain section of just about any grocery store these days.  If you missed all of the benefits of Quinoa up above, be sure to scroll back up!

What other vegetable can go into this?

If you are not an asparagus fan, then you can add peas straight from the freezer.  You can also add in green beans, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms.  For each of these veggies, just follow the same instructions for cooking as the asparagus.

COOK YOUR ASPARAGUS QUINOA RISOTTO 

In a preheated (High Heat) large frying pan, add 1 tsp Olive Oil, the cut asparagus, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together, spread out into an even layer, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate.

Cut cooked asparagus on a plate for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto

To the same large pan on Medium heat, add another 1 tsp of olive oil plus the onions and the garlic. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and the last 1 cup of vegetable broth. Whisk to combine.

Add the pre-cooked quinoa and stir to combine and then simmer uncovered until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the asparagus.

Adding cooked cut asparagus from a plate to risotto in pan for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan a little at a time, so it doesn’t melt into a clump.

Parmesan cheese added to Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Can you make this ahead and reheat it?

Yes, you can make this ahead and store it in the fridge.  When you reheat it, you may need to add a splash of broth to help loosen it up again.  You can also garnish with fresh parmesan to bring it back to life.  This is not an ideal dish for the freezer, however.  The quinoa can do ok in the freezer, but the asparagus may get mushy.  If you do want to make the quinoa ahead and freeze, add the asparagus fresh once you reheat it for best results in texture and flavor.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.
5 from 1 vote
Print

Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

This Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is quickie-version that's such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner.  It's yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation!  The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword asparagus, healthy dinner, quinoa, risotto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth (3 for cooking Quinoa, 1 for Risotto Sauce)
  • 1 ½ cups Quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano dried
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 bunch Asparagus
  • 1-2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 3 cups of the Vegetable Broth in a pot with a fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can do this step ahead and store in the fridge for up to 4 days ahead.

  2. Dice the onion, mince the garlic. Rinse the asparagus and pat it dry. Cut off the woody ends, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias (angle).
    Raw Asparagus on counter being cut on a bias.

Cooking Steps

  1. In a preheated (High Heat) large frying pan, add 1 tsp Olive Oil, the cut asparagus, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together, spread out into an even layer, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate.
    Cut cooked asparagus on a plate for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
  2. To the same large pan on Medium heat, add another 1 tsp of olive oil plus the onions and the garlic. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and the last 1 cup of vegetable broth. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the pre-cooked quinoa and stir to combine and then simmer uncovered until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid, about 10 minutes. Stir in the asparagus.
    Adding cooked cut asparagus from a plate to risotto in pan for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan a little at a time, so it doesn’t melt into a clump. Serve and enjoy!
    Parmesan cheese added to Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.