Mexican-Inspired Quinoa Bowl with Avocado, Squash, & Queso Blanco

Mexican-Inspired Quinoa Bowl

with Avocado, Squash, & Queso Blanco

30 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This hearty grain bowl is packed with bright flavor thanks to toppings like a fresh tomato salsa, toasted pepitas, and one of our favorite varieties of autumn squash—creamy, sweet delicata, which we’re coating with a blend of traditional spices before roasting.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    720 Cals (est.)
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tips & techniques
Prepare & roast the squash:
1 Prepare & roast the squash:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Line a sheet pan with foil. Cut off and discard the ends of the squash; halve lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds, then thinly slice crosswise. Place on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and half the spice blend. Toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 19 to 21 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

Cook & finish the quinoa:
2 Cook & finish the quinoa:

While the squash roasts, add the quinoa to the pot of boiling water and cook, uncovered, 14 to 16 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the cheese (crumbling before adding). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Cover to keep warm. 

Prepare the remaining ingredients & make the salsa:
3 Prepare the remaining ingredients & make the salsa:

While the quinoa cooks, if necessary, peel 2 cloves of garlic, then roughly chop. Drain and rinse the beans. Quarter the lime. Halve and pit the avocado. Using a spoon, remove the avocado from the skin, then thinly slice. Place in a bowl and top with the juice of 2 lime wedges. Season with salt and pepper. Halve the radishes lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Depending on their size, quarter or halve the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Combine in a large bowl with the juice of the remaining lime wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. 

Toast the pepitas:
4 Toast the pepitas:

While the salsa marinates, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepitas; season with salt and pepper. Toast, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant (be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they toast). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the pan. 

Cook the beans:
5 Cook the beans:

In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until softened. Add the beans, 1/3 cup of water, and the remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and mashing the beans with the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked off. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Serve your dish:
6 Serve your dish:

Serve the cooked quinoa topped with the roasted squash, cooked beans, seasoned avocado, and salsa (including any liquid). Garnish with the toasted pepitas. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare & roast the squash:
1 Prepare & roast the squash:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Line a sheet pan with foil. Cut off and discard the ends of the squash; halve lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds, then thinly slice crosswise. Place on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and half the spice blend. Toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 19 to 21 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

2 Cook & finish the quinoa:

While the squash roasts, add the quinoa to the pot of boiling water and cook, uncovered, 14 to 16 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the cheese (crumbling before adding). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Cover to keep warm. 

Cook & finish the quinoa:
Prepare the remaining ingredients & make the salsa:
3 Prepare the remaining ingredients & make the salsa:

While the quinoa cooks, if necessary, peel 2 cloves of garlic, then roughly chop. Drain and rinse the beans. Quarter the lime. Halve and pit the avocado. Using a spoon, remove the avocado from the skin, then thinly slice. Place in a bowl and top with the juice of 2 lime wedges. Season with salt and pepper. Halve the radishes lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Depending on their size, quarter or halve the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Combine in a large bowl with the juice of the remaining lime wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. 

4 Toast the pepitas:

While the salsa marinates, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepitas; season with salt and pepper. Toast, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant (be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they toast). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the pan. 

Toast the pepitas:
Cook the beans:
5 Cook the beans:

In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until softened. Add the beans, 1/3 cup of water, and the remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and mashing the beans with the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked off. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

6 Serve your dish:

Serve the cooked quinoa topped with the roasted squash, cooked beans, seasoned avocado, and salsa (including any liquid). Garnish with the toasted pepitas. Enjoy! 

Serve your dish:
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