Zesty Quinoa Tacos with Cilantro Sauce

December 12, 2022

By Dishing Out Health

Taco-spiced quinoa, hearty black beans, and sautéed peppers and onion, these filling tacos are here to appease meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.


  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought, such as Siete brand)
  • ¾ cup dry (uncooked) quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • Sliced avocado for serving

Cilantro Sauce

  • ½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (sub coconut milk yogurt if making vegan)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander or cumin
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. kosher salt (to taste)


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and red onion; cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in tomato paste and taco seasoning; cook 2 more minutes to caramelize the tomato paste.
  1. Stir in quinoa and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, allowing the quinoa to lightly toast. Add broth (or water) and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Stir in black beans, replace lid, and let mixture steam for 10 minutes (off burner). Taste and season with salt if needed. (Saltiness will depend on if your taco seasoning is salted, and whether you used broth or water.)
  3. Meanwhile, prepare Cilantro Sauce by combining yogurt, cilantro, olive oil, jalapeño, lime juice, coriander (or cumin), garlic powder, and ¼ tsp. salt in a standard or small blender (such as a Nutribullet); blend until mostly smooth. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired.
  4. Toast corn or flour tortillas. Divide quinoa filling evenly between each tortilla, and drizzle with Cilantro Sauce. Garnish with sliced avocado and finish with chopped green onions or extra cilantro, if desired.

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