Corn and Jalapeno Skillet Quinoa

 Corn and Jalapeno Skillet Quinoa great side dish
While I love quinoa, sometimes it can be a little mushy. So I decided to crisp it up a bit. My crisping technique worked and I love the little bit of chew it gave this dish. Now, to enjoy the crispness, you must serve this soon after making it or the crispy edge will disappear. 

To get the crispy texture I used my favorite cast iron skillet. It’s my fave because of it’s 15″ size. At first I thought I would never need a pan that big, but I use it all the time. It gives you so much surface area to work with and makes cooking go a little faster when everything has room to brown. I love it. 

My idea with this dish and with all cooking is that you have to layer flavors. Every component needs it’s own seasoning step. This is why I made my quinoa with chicken stock (instead of water) and the reason I grilled my corn (to get a smokey taste). This way when you put everything together at the end it always tastes great.

Corn and Jalapeno Skillet Quinoa
I used my grill pan (another kitchen must) to make this one ear of corn. Grilling it lended a smokey flavor I knew would play well with the other components of this dish. I removed the kernels with a knife and added the corn to my skillet.

This is a great side dish to be enjoyed with Mexican food. I would even love it in a taco. Hmmmm…

Print Recipe

Corn and Jalapeno Skillet Quinoa

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: Serves 4


  • 1 cup dry quinoa (cooked in chicken stock according to package directions)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ear of corn, grilled and kernels removed
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined and chopped
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


  • Make 1 cup of dry quinoa according to package directions. However, instead of making with water, use chicken stock for more flavor. Set aside.
  • In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, saute corn kernels, jalapeno and onion in olive oil until softened; about 5 minutes. Add cumin, smoked paprika and salt, stirring until fully incorporated. Add quinoa and let it brown, stirring only occasionally over a 15 minute period. Turn off heat and stir in lime zest and juice. Let quinoa sit in the hot pan (do not stir) while you continue to make dinner, about 10 minutes more. It will continue to crisp and you will have bits of crunchy quinoa which is a nice textural change. Sprinkle with cilantro when ready to serve.

Corn and Jalapeno Skillet Quinoa side dish

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Post a Comment

10 Comments and 4 Replies

  1. Aida 1

    love the idea of crisping the quinoa. There is nothing like a large cast iron skillet to do the job! Can’t wait to try this!!

  2. Wendy 3

    Oh this flavor combo is right up my alley, nice and smoky!

  3. Oh my gosh, you are my hero. I am so not a fan of the mushy texture of quinoa and have been trying to come up with ways to make it crispier but still edible… so THANK YOU. Going to make this dish ASAP! :)

  4. Mmm this sounds lovely!

  5. Diana @GourmetDrizzles 8

    What a lovely recipe and photos… so nice to have stumbled upon your blog today! ;-)

  6. Floree 9

    Made this last night, it was absolutely stunning. Love the crispiness.

  7. Rita Forrester 11

    Made it solutely stunning in flavor and texture. Thanks for the technique!

  8. Pamela Fragoso 12

    I’ve made this twice, love. Added black beans tonight, worked out wonderful, added a little more ingredients to for the addition. Read a very similar recipe using orange segments and red onion. All is good, thanks for all you do.

  9. I wanted to let you know that I will be featuring these tomorrow in my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post -stop by and see!

  10. Lynn Ryan 14

    I’m thinking ground turkey added to this would be wonderful – or even some chicken sausage!!


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