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My Easy Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls are packed with lots of powerhouse nutrition and they are super easy to make.
You can’t go wrong with a protein-packed meal like these, especially when they are so adaptable and delicious. They are gluten-free and low in fat.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is amazing for so many reasons. It’s affordable, full of protein, and requires very little effort to cook. Did you know that it is an ancient grain and is thought to be a superfood?
Yep, it is pretty awesome to know that quinoa is a nice source of proteins. In fact, it is one of the few plant-based foods that includes all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein.
So these bowls are packed with protein thanks to the quinoa and all the yummy toppings we’ll be adding. Quinoa is a great substitute for other grains like rice or pasta.
As I was working on this recipe, I was reading up on quinoa, and I was shocked to learn that there are around 120 different types of quinoa. Did you know that? Good, it’s not just me then
The most common types you’ll see are white, red, tri-colored, and black. While the white variety is the most abundant type of quinoa available in grocery stores, red and black quinoa are also becoming easier to find.
I chose to go with the tri-colored variety in this recipe because it is what I have in my pantry. Just look how pretty it is below in this photo. Pretty and tasty, two great qualities!
How To Cook Quinoa In The Instant Pot?
For today’s post, we’re using some tri-colored quinoa because it’s what I had on hand at the time, but really you can use any color you’d like here in these bowls.
Honestly, white is my favorite, but really all types of quinoa have similar nutrition, although I will say you can tell the difference in the different types when it comes to texture.
White quinoa is must softer when cooked, whereas colored, specifically the tri-colored quinoa tends to be a bit firmer or slightly crunchy when cooked correctly.
If you’ve never cooked quinoa before, it’s super easy either on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. You just need three ingredients: your quinoa of choice, water, and a dash of salt.
Most packages come with cooking instructions for the stovetop on the back of the package, but my favorite way to cook my quinoa is in my Instant Pot.
The tri-color variety only takes two minutes to cook once the Instant Pot comes under pressure. So all you do is add one part quinoa and 1.5 parts water along with a dash of salt (or not if you prefer) and set it to manual pressure for 2 minutes.
Once the two minutes are done let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes then do a quick release for the remaining pressure.
Open the lid and fluff it with a fork. You’ll have perfectly cooked tri-colored quinoa!
For the white quinoa, I’d reduce the actual cooking time down to just 1 minute if it were me since it is a softer texture, to begin with.
You don’t want the grains to be mushy or clumped together.
How to Make Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls
I love recipes like these quinoa bowls because you really can adjust them in so many ways to fit your tastes in things.
If you don’t enjoy the veggies or the type of fish I have listed just swamp them out for some of your favorites.
Usually, we enjoy the fresh crunch of raw veggies so my favorite way is going the Mediterranean-inspired veggies like olives, peppers, onions, and cucumbers.
I also use a really simple dressing to liven things up a bit in these bowls.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- cooked quinoa: I used tri-colored for my bowls but you can choose any color you can find in your local retail store. See the section above this for information on how to cook it in the Instant Pot.
- yellow bell pepper: these will bring a slight sweetness and great crunch to these quinoa bowls. Remember you can go with any bell pepper you like best. Just wash and take all the insides out before chopping them into bite-sized pieces.
- red onion: I love the bite of the red onion in these bowls. I think it does a great job of breaking up the milder flavors like quinoa and chickpeas. After removing the skin, simply slice and then chop the onion into small pieces.
- cucumber: I really like to use English cucumbers in recipes like these. The skin is much more tender than other varieties and they don’t have those seeds in the center. The color and crunch of the cucumbers are so refreshing. Just wash the cucumber well and then dice it into bite-sized pieces. You could peel them if you prefer to, but remember a lot of the nutrition is in the beautiful green skin.
- white fish of choice: I like to add a nice meaty piece of cod (or any other white fish) on top of these quinoa bowls for some added protein, but salmon would be amazing too. I prepare my cod loin fillets in my air fryer. I’ll talk about that more in the next section. However, if you want vegetarian options you can leave this off and just add more chickpeas to your bowl for the protein.
- dressing of choice: I’ll have a simple dressing in the recipe card for you that I use on a lot of my salad-type bowls, but also I have a friend, Dawn, over at Oh Sweet Mercy that has a wonderful FP dressing that would be delicious on this as well. Of course, you can use your favorite here too. So many possibilities.
- seasonings: the seasonings I use in this recipe are super basic. Just some good ole salt and pepper. I add a pinch of salt into my quinoa when I cook it in my Instant Pot, and salt and pepper my fish before I cook it. Use these and others if you want to spice it up more.
- chickpeas: for the chickpeas, you can simply open a can from the store or prepare your own from the dry chickpeas found in the bean aisle of any grocery store. These are also known as garbanzo beans and they add some nice protein and bulk to these Easy Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls.
How To Cook Cod Fish In The Air Fryer
I purchase a large bag of cod loin fillets from Sam’s every time we go because our family loves the mild flavors and flakey texture of this type of fish.
Cod is so mild but delicious that I feel like all it really needs is some salt and pepper to really highlight its simple goodness.
It works great in these quinoa bowls. It along with the chickpeas will be a wonderful source of protein that will fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied longer.
I cook my cod in my air fryer while my quinoa is cooking in my Instant Pot. To prepare the cod fillets, make sure they are thawed. Pat them dry if they are damp and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
Next, spray the basket or tray for your air fryer and carefully lay the fish out in a single layer. Cook the fish for 10 minutes at 360 degrees.
It should be perfectly done, but if you want it well done just add 3 more minutes to your cooking time.
Cooking times may vary depending on how large or thick each of your pieces of fish is, so just check the enteral temperature and make sure it reads 145 °F (63 °C) before you consume it.
I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious recipe. If you are a fan of quinoa and want to try another recipe my family enjoys, then be sure to check out my Italian Chicken and Veggie Quinoa.
A bed of quinoa topped with fresh veggies, chickpeas, a juicy pieces of cod, and it all gets topped with a super easy dressing.
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 4 (4 ounce) fillets of cod, cooked
- 1 1/4 cups of cooked chickpeas
- 1/4 cup of chopped Kalamata Olives (optional)
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small red onion, cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 of a large English Cucumber, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 1/3 cup of lime juice
- 2 tablespoons of Dijion mustard
- 2 teaspoons of sweetener of choice
- 1 teaspoon real or vegan mayo
- 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- To make the dressing mix all the ingredients into a small bowl or glass jar. mix them thoroughly with a whisk. Taste and adjust the flavoring to your liking. Set aside and assemble the Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls
- To begin add 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa per serving bowl. Next, add a little of each of the toppings around the quinoa. You can add a sprinkle of the olives as well or leave them off for an even lesser fat option.
- Top the finished bowls with a piece of cooked fish and drizzle on as much of the lime dressing as you would like for each bowl.
- Serve warm.
- For more information on how I cook my quinoa in my Instant Pot see the blog post above for those details and steps. Same for cooking the fish in the air fryer.
See the blog post for how I cook my quinoa in the Instant Pot.
Serving Size1 bowl
Amount Per ServingCalories 301Total Fat 4.8gTrans Fat 0gCholesterol 37mgSodium 582mgCarbohydrates 42.4gNet Carbohydrates 35.9gFiber 6.4gSugar 5gProtein 54g
I am not a nutritionist. If you have strict dietary needs I always recommend using an online nutrition calculator to calculate your totals using your exact brands you're using in this recipe as values may vary per brand.
I am a southern girl through and through that loves to laugh, cook, read and spend time with family. My passions outside of home schooling my son are ministering to those in need and creating art in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure in our little house and I wouldn’t trade it or the chance to share here with you for anything!