Home > Dinner > Quinoa Tacos Quinoa Tacos January 9, 2020 | 138 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. These flavor-packed, meatless Quinoa Tacos couldn’t be easier; we dump everything into the slow cooker (no chopping or sautéing beforehand) and let the appliance work its magic! Once the quinoa is cooked, load the delicious filling on warmed tortillas and add your favorite taco toppings. It doesn’t get much easier than this recipe! We’re obsessed with good tacos, even if they don’t have any meat! Try some of our other favorite meatless tacos like these black bean and corn Healthy Tacos, these Pinto Bean Tacos, or these sweet potato Vegetarian Tacos. Quinoa Tacos This recipe aims to have a ridiculously quick and easy prep time while still delivering a flavor-packed nutritious meal. That’s a challenging combination! Nutritious and vegetarian (or vegan) meals made in the slow cooker are hard to come by, and that makes me just that much more excited about sharing this recipe. It is quite literally one of the quickest prep recipes — simply open cans or bags and throw everything in — no prepping ingredients, no chopping — just dump it all in, stir it up, and forget about it until dinnertime. Game changer! Quinoa Tacos are certainly unique, but totally delicious nonetheless. They’ve got so much flavor and plant-based protein (thank you beans and quinoa) that you won’t miss the meat. Quinoa Tacos Ingredients Uncooked quinoa. That’s right! The quinoa doesn’t need to be cooked prior to putting it in the slow cooker. Quinoa has a natural saponin coating that needs to be rinsed before eating to avoid bitter-tasting quinoa. A lot of brands advertise they have already rinsed the quinoa so if you’d like to save a minute or two, grab pre-rinsed! Chicken or vegetable stock. I highly recommend Swanson’s® vegetable or chicken stock (not sponsored) which I’ve found to have the most robust flavor for a store-bought stock. Black beans. Thoroughly rinse and drain the beans before adding. If you’d like, you can also use leftover from-scratch black beans in this recipe. Fire-roasted diced tomatoes. The tomatoes make a big difference flavor-wise in these Quinoa Tacos, so I recommend good-quality fire-roasted tomatoes. This type of tomato is charred over a flame before being crushed and canned. Contact with that flame brings out the tomato’s sweetness and gives a distinct smoky flavor; essentially you’re getting more flavor without any extra work. Muir Glen® is my personal favorite brand (not sponsored). Enchilada sauce. Enchilada sauce varies greatly in heat from brand to brand. I personally love and recommend Old El Paso’s® red enchilada sauce (not sponsored). I would say this particular brand keeps these Quinoa Tacos much milder. If you aren’t able to find this specific brand, I’d recommend tasting the enchilada sauce first and making sure it isn’t too spicy. Frozen corn. If you opt for canned corn instead, be sure to drain it first. Taco seasoning. Again, taco seasoning packets can vary in the spice level and even in overall flavor. I’ve generally found the cheaper the taco seasoning packet, the less flavor it has. Our personal favorite is McCormick’s® Mild Taco Seasoning (not sponsored). If you don’t mind spending a couple of extra minutes of prep time, you can always make your own. Check out my “quick tip” box below! QUICK TIP If you’d prefer to make your own taco seasoning blend instead of using a store-bought mix, here’s my go-to taco seasoning blend (this mix perfectly replaces the store-bought mix in this Quinoa Tacos recipe): 1 tablespoon ground chili powder (McCormick for mild chili powder) 1 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin, paprika 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, fine sea salt, and pepper Quinoa Taco Topping Ideas This quinoa-based taco filling is pretty stellar straight out of the slow cooker, but, as with most taco recipes, the toppings really seal the deal. Our “must-have” toppings include lime juice, avocado, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. Below are some other ideas: Grated sharp (or extra-sharp) Cheddar cheese (pretty much any cheese you enjoy on tacos will work well with these!) Chopped cherry tomatoes or pico de gallo Fresh chopped cilantro or thinly sliced green onions Fresh lime wedges Thinly sliced jalapeños A large scoop of sour cream (we use fat-free to keep these on the light side); you can also use Greek yogurt. Sliced avocado or a scoop of guacamole Pickled red onions (I share a quick pickled red onion recipe on these chicken tinga tacos) Add a sauce! The cilantro-lime sauce on these shrimp tacos would be delicious. A quick lime crema would also be great. Recipe Tips Use a large 6-quart slow cooker so the quinoa has plenty of room to properly cook. Cook on high. Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t cook well on low. The quinoa needs higher heat to “pop” and cook through. Generously grease the slow cooker or use a liner. The quinoa has a tendency to stick to the edges. Additional add-ons. If you aren’t optimizing for quick prep, feel free to get creative with add-ins like sautéing some onion and garlic before adding it to the slow cooker along with everything else. Try a diced jalapeño for some heat. You can also add some meat if desired. Add some raw boneless skinless breasts or thighs (cut into smaller pieces and submerged below all the liquid). Once everything is cooked, shred meat with 2 forks, and gently stir it back into the mix. More quinoa recipes Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot ground turkey, black beans, and corn Mexican Quinoa made in the slow cooker with butternut squash Caprese Quinoa Salad with a balsamic vinaigrette Chicken Quinoa Bowl with a mango-black bean salsa Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with a lemon vinaigrette FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Quinoa Tacos 4.95 from 39 votes - Review this recipe These flavor-packed, meatless Quinoa Tacos couldn't be easier; we dump everything into the slow cooker (no chopping or sautéing beforehand) and let the appliance work its magic! Once the quinoa is cooked, load the delicious filling on warmed tortillas and add your favorite taco toppings. It doesn't get much easier than this recipe! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Quinoa Tacos 4.95 from 39 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe These flavor-packed, meatless Quinoa Tacos couldn't be easier; we dump everything into the slow cooker (no chopping or sautéing beforehand) and let the appliance work its magic! Once the quinoa is cooked, load the delicious filling on warmed tortillas and add your favorite taco toppings. It doesn't get much easier than this recipe! Course Dinner, Main Course, Vegetarian Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian Keyword quinoa tacos Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 4 hours Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes Servings 6 -8 Calories 272kcal Cost $6.72 Equipment6-quart slow cooker/crockpotOlive oil or canola/vegetable oil cooking spray Ingredients1 cup (190g) uncooked quinoa1 cup (245g) chicken stock or vegetable stock (we love Swanson's stock best)2 cans (15.25 oz.; 432g EACH) black beans, drained and rinsed1 can (14.5 oz.; 411g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (we love Muir Glen)1 can (10 oz.; 283g) enchilada sauce Note 11-1/2 cups (205g) frozen corn (or 1 can corn, drained)3 tablespoons taco seasoning or 1 packet (1.25 ounces) Note 2Corn or flour tortillasTop with your favorite taco toppings: cheese, avocado, diced cherry tomatoes, cilantro, fresh lime, etc. InstructionsPREP: If the quinoa isn't pre-rinsed (the bag will usually specify if it is), rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve under cool water for about 30 seconds.SLOW COOKER: Generously spray a large slow cooker (6 quarts) with nonstick cooking spray. Add in the rinsed quinoa, chicken or vegetable stock, drained and rinsed black beans, undrained tomatoes, enchilada sauce, corn, and taco seasoning. Stir everything well. Cover and cook on high for 2.5 hours to 4 hours, depending on the heat of your slow cooker (Note 3). Once cooked, stir through gently and taste for seasonings, adding additional salt/pepper if needed.TORTILLAS: See Note 4 for preparing the tortillas. I typically char them over a gas flame on my stovetop, but any method works.ASSEMBLE: Fill warmed tortillas with the quinoa filling. Drizzle on fresh lime juice, add fresh cilantro and avocado if desired. Add in cheese and any other favorite taco toppings. (Cheese, lime juice, and diced cherry tomatoes are "must-haves" for us) Recipe NotesNote 1: We personally like medium enchilada sauce in this recipe, but use mild if you're worried about the heat. Enchilada sauce can vary greatly in heat from brand to brand. I personally love and recommend Old El Paso's red enchilada sauce. I would say this particular brand keeps Quinoa Tacos quite mild. If you aren't able to find this specific brand, I'd recommend tasting the enchilada sauce first to make sure it isn't too spicy. Note 2: Taco seasoning packets vary in spice level and even in overall flavor. I've generally found the cheaper the taco seasoning packet, the less flavor it has. Our personal favorite is McCormick's Mild Taco Seasoning. If you don't mind spending a couple of extra minutes of prep time, you can always make your own: 1 tablespoon ground chili powder (McCormick for mild chili powder) 1 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin, paprika 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, fine sea salt, and pepper Note 3: Slow Cooker: Slow cookers cook at different temperatures! You'll want to watch this carefully if you have a slow cooker that runs hot, so the quinoa doesn't get mushy. This recipe doesn't work on low because quinoa gets mushy when cooked on low for long time periods. You'll know it's done when the quinoa has popped and absorbed most of the liquid. Note 4: Instant pot: I prepared this recipe in the Instant Pot and unfortunately wasn't successful. It kept getting the burn warning and with more liquid added it ended up overly mushy. Note 5: To warm tortillas: Spray both sides of the tortillas with olive oil cooking spray and char the tortillas directly over the gas flames for a few seconds. Use tongs to flip until tortillas are lightly charred and soft. Immediately fold the tortilla in half (so it will fold into a taco nicely later) and place it under a towel to keep warm. Alternatively, warm tortillas in a large skillet over medium heat (in batches so the skillet isn't over-filled). Flip to warm each side, remove from heat, fold in half, and place under a towel to keep warm. Special diets: If you're gluten-intolerant, make sure to buy a gluten-free taco seasoning packet. If vegan is a concern, make without cheese! Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.6g | Protein: 12.3g | Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 0.9mg | Sodium: 729mg | Fiber: 11.4g | Sugar: 3.5g DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.