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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.

Quinoa with Ground Beef and Corn Taco Bowls

These Quinoa with Ground Beef and Corn Taco 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 5 servings
Calories 461 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler


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
  • ½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt


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


  • 1 cup Cotija Cheese (or shredded cheddar)
  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 2 Tomatoes, medium (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 Scallions
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1 Lime
  • ½ cup Sour Cream
  • ½ teaspoon Salt


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 ½ the lime, 1 teaspoon of the cilantro finely chopped, and the ½ teaspoon of salt.

Cooking Steps

  1. Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 2 ¾ 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.


  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!

Recipe Notes

  1. Can I substitute ground chicken or turkey in this quinoa ground beef recipe?
    If you want to make this lighter, you can use ground chicken or ground turkey instead of beef. 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.
  2. Can I replace the Cilantro in the Crema for this Quinoa Bowl?  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 ½ 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.
  3. How long can I store the cooked beef in the fridge?  The cooked beef for these quinoa taco bowls can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.