I cannot even begin to express how amazingly good this Cilantro Lime Quinoa recipe. I got the idea for it while eating some Cilantro Lime Rice from Whole Foods a couple weeks ago.

So yummy, but definitely not Weight Watchers friendly.

So I made my own version using quinoa instead of rice, and I added more texture and flavor. I also toasted the quinoa beforehand, which I had seen done in another quinoa recipe, and in my opinion, this made all the difference.

This low calorie side dish recipe is a much tastier and healthier alternative to Mexican rice, and each serving is just 3 Points. It goes great with your favorite Weight Watchers Mexican Recipes and is loaded with much more nutrition than rice.

I am in love with this Cilantro Lime Quinoa, and I have no doubt you will be too.


Cilantro Lime Quinoa

A tasty new spin on quinoa recipes, this is the perfect healthy side dish for your favorite Mexican meal as an alternative to rice. Get the health benefits of quinoa flavored with roasted chiles, cilantro and lime.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fat free vegetable broth
  • 1 4 oz can green chiles
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 2/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Set a large skillet over medium high heat, and leave dry. Add in quinoa and toast until quinoa starts to darken at the edges, about 3-5 minutes. Using a fine sieve, rinse quinoa and set aside.
  2. Spray a large saucepan with nonfat cooking spray and set over medium high heat. Add in onions and garlic and sauté until tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes. If onions and garlic start to stick to the pan, add in a bit of the broth to deglaze.
  3. Stir in chiles and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add in quinoa and remaining broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Add in remaining ingredients and fluff with a fork. Serve immediately.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced fat

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Mexican

Entire recipe makes 6 servings
Serving size is about ¾ cup
Each serving = 3 Points

PER SERVING: 132 calories; 22g carbohydrates; 4g protein; 3g fiber


  1. I just made this last night for a work potluck. I was suppose to bring Spanish rice, which I did. I knew I wanted to stay healthy, so I found this recipe and made a batch. I brought just enough for me because I didn’t think my co-workers would take kindly to having their rice replaced with “healthy food (ick)”.

    I have decided that I never need to make rice again. This was WONDERFUL! The taste and texture were perfect. The only thing I did was add some powdered tomato bouillion, cumin, and chili powder to the onions and garlic and I used more canned chilis instead of the jalapeno. Several of my co-workers tried it and LOVED it…and these people do not like “health-foods”.

  2. Making a batch of this tonight to have for lunch this week! Also going to add some sliced Mexican chipotle baked chicken!

    • laaloosh

      Hmmm….I’m not sure. I tested both the Pin It button installed in my tool bar and my Pin It button at the bottom of a post, and both ways worked fine for me. I’ll look further into it.

  3. Josée Levesque

    I just did this recipe tonight and it was a hit! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  4. Elizabeth @ Food Ramblings

    delish! i make something like this all the time :)