This zesty cilantro lime quinoa side dish is perfect to pair with any main course. It’s loaded with tangy lime juice and fresh cilantro. Who wants plain quinoa when you can have flavor loaded quinoa?! Vegan, dairy-free & gluten-free.
***This post contains affiliate links and I received the wraps for free in exchange for my honest opinion of them.
This cilantro lime quinoa side dish recipe actually came to be because I had a bunch of cilantro that got pushed to the back of the fridge and when I found it, it was on its last leg.
I hate food waste more than anything so I just couldn’t bear to throw it away because it was a little bit wilted and limp. Just because I couldn’t use it as a garnish didn’t mean that it couldn’t be used in another way.
Note – I did pull out a few leaves that were brown. Do not make this cilantro lime sauce with cilantro that is wet or slimy. That means it has gone bad and you can’t salvage it. You don’t want to risk getting sick to save a few bucks.
Cilantro Lime Quinoa Side Dish
Lightbulb…cilantro lime quinoa!
Quinoa is quick to cook, it’s healthy and I could set it and forget it while I made the sauce. Plus, a quinoa side dish would go perfectly with the sloppy joe’s I was making for dinner.
I think quinoa is one of the best side dishes. It’s filling and pasta-like but it has more protein than wheat pasta, so it’s a great choice to compliment a healthy dinner.
I used to make plain quinoa and add a little bit of garlic powder and parmesan cheese to it. Yes, it was delicious but since I’ve cut dairy I can’t use parmesan any longer. Garlic quinoa was just a little blah. There is no reason to eat bland quinoa when you can have quinoa infused with zesty cilantro lime flavor.
Yes, it’s one tiny extra step to make a sauce to flavor the quinoa with but it’s so worth it. I don’t know about you but I’ll always pick flavor even if that requires an extra step.
Cilantro Lime Sauce
The cilantro lime sauce for this quinoa side dish is so simple to make that its kind of ridiculous to write a whole blog post about it. However, the flavor is so tangy and delicious that that factor alone is worth a whole post!
Easy recipes that only require few steps are my favorite kind of recipes though so that’s always something to consider. I often find recipes that I want to make on Pinterest because they look amazing but they end up getting buried in my recipe box and never being made because they require too many ingredients or have way too many steps.
The flavor of this cilantro lime quinoa side dish is through the roof, you’ll never want plain quinoa again! The zest and juice from the lime gives it that tangy, pucker your lips kind of flavor that I adore. Travis and I are both huge cilantro lovers so using an entire bunch of cilantro in the sauce didn’t phase us one bit.
We loved the cilantro lime quinoa side dish with the sloppy joe’s, so many flavors and all of it’s so good for you!
If you’re one of those people who think cilantro tastes like soap– this recipe is not for you!
Cilantro and lime go so well together in this sauce, yet it’s neutral enough mixed with the quinoa to be paired with pretty much anything. I also like to make a big batch of this quinoa for quick lunches during the week. I like a big bed of spinach or mixed greens with a big scoop of cilantro lime quinoa on top and slices of avocado. Major noms!
Bee’s Wrap vs. Plastic Wrap
I’ve been doubling recipes and freezing a lot of meals for nights that I don’t have time to cook that I used all of my glass Snapware dishes that I use to store leftovers. Thank goodness I had this Bee’s Wrap on hand to cover the cilantro lime quinoa side dish leftovers.
I don’t use plastic wrap because I don’t want chemicals to touch our food. I work very hard to make organic healthy meals that are full of nutrient-rich, plant-based ingredients that will fuel our body. Why ruin it by pressing chemical laden plastic wrap into it to preserve it? No, no, no.
I first saw the Bee’s Wrap in a video on Facebook, what an awesome way to cover your food without using plastic wrap! The wraps are made with organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin + they’re washable, reusable and compostable.
I thought it sounded pretty cool but of course, I had to try it myself to see if it really worked like they said it did.
The bee’s wrap really works! I tested it with the cilantro lime quinoa side dish leftovers and it was just as fresh the next day!
The wraps have an interesting smell when you first take it out of the package but it does wear off after you use/wash it a few times. It molds to any size container using the warmth of your hands and you can easily wash it off with cool water. I’m super impressed!
It doesn’t bunch up and “cling” to the bowl like plastic wrap does but it holds on just tight enough to seal the container from letting air in, which is the whole point, right? I’m definitely a fan and I’m going to keep using the bee’s wraps and I’ll let you know if my opinion changes in a few months. I’m excited to try the sandwich wraps for Travis’ lunch next!
I will say that the next day when we finished the cilantro lime quinoa with spinach salads, it was perfectly fresh! I think the Bee’s Wraps did just as good a job, if not better, than plastic wrap.
- 2 cups dry quinoa
Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Let it cool.
Add all sauce ingredients (except the quinoa) to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth.
Mix the cilantro lime sauce with the cooked quinoa.
Note – You can cut off the thick ends of the cilantro or add them to the sauce, it’s up to you. The stems are edible and full of flavor so I add them to the sauce to reduce waste.
If you make this cilantro lime quinoa side dish, please share it on Instagram and tag @StaceyHomemaker so I can see your delicious creation!
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What would you pair this cilantro lime quinoa side dish with? Let me know in the comments!
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