Cilantro Lime Shrimp Quinoa Bowls are a flavorful, healthy, and filling lunch. Yes, again with the cilantro and lime.
I work from home and I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m obsessed with food, recipes, eating, cooking, all of it. So you would think that I’d love lunchtime. Umm, not at all. The truth is it’s a struggle most days to remind myself to eat, to step away from the computer long enough to eat, to be excited at all about lunchtime. And, if the only option is a sandwich, well I pretty much can’t be bothered.
Then there are the days when I have these Cilantro Lime Shrimp Quinoa Bowls waiting patiently in pretty layered mason jars for me to pour in a bowl. On those days, I remember lunch at home can be amazing and delicious. Nothing says take a lunch break like shrimp roasted in a flavor-packed cilantro lime garlic marinade and quinoa covered with a cilantro lime dressing.
Cilantro. Lime. Heaven.
It’s back to school time and back to productivity time and I think we can all use a little boost in our lunch routines. My Cilantro Lime Shrimp Quinoa Bowls are a healthy lunch that totes well and powers you up through the afternoon slump or at least until 2:00 latte time. <– Now THAT is something I get excited about during my work at home days and never miss.
Let’s talk shrimp and quinoa bowls. Basically that’s a fancy term for a salad with a few different yummy components. Don’t be alarmed by the length of the recipe or the ingredients. I was feeling very over-shar-y (sound it out) when I typed it up. All we are doing is cooking quinoa and roasting shrimp, letting both cool to room temperature, and then storing away for a week of lunchtime happiness.
We start with my recipe for Cilantro + Lime Shrimp, which has to be the fastest and easiest supper idea on my blog. We are using FROZEN shrimp, people. Frozen – as in it can be just thawed enough for each shrimp to lay flat on a baking sheet.
What could be better than a recipe that is already forgiving you for forgetting to thaw out the main ingredient?
Now, let’s chat about quinoa. I don’t mean to be bossy, but it’s time to change up the way you are cooking quinoa. And, if you are like “umm… Jessica, I never cook quinoa…” well then it is time to start! Here’s what I want you to do – look at the directions on the back of the box and then ignore them because they are asking you to use too much liquid.
We want quinoa that still has some texture left, especially since our cooked quinoa is going swimming in cilantro lime dressing. I like to use a ratio of one cup of quinoa to about 1 ¼ cup water or broth. I also want you to toast your quinoa before you add the water so we can get a little bit of quinoa nuttiness in our shrimp quinoa bowls.
Now, go forth and make Cilantro Lime Shrimp Quinoa Bowls and enjoy lunch again!
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 limes
- 12 oz shrimp, peeled
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 ¼ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Avocado, diced
- Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Extra limes for serving
- Make Quinoa: Rinse 1 cup of quinoa in a sieve and add to medium-sized pan over medium heat. Toast quinoa for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in chicken broth and bring to light boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook 15-18 minutes or until liquid is evaporated.
- Meanwhile, in a food processer combine 1 clove of garlic, juice of 1 lime, ½ bunch cilantro, a pinch of salt and pepper, and ¼ cup olive oil. Pulse until smooth in consistency.
- Once quinoa is finished cooking, pour cilantro-lime dressing over quinoa and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Make Shrimp: Line sheet pan with aluminum foil and place pan in cold oven. Heat oven to 425.
- Combine ½ bunch chopped cilantro with 2 minced garlic cloves and the juice of 2 limes. Add a generous pinch of both salt and pepper and stir to combine. Whisk in about ¼ cup olive oil until mixture is well combined. Pour over thawed shrimp and let marinate while oven preheats.
- Once oven reaches temperature, carefully remove sheet pan from oven. Pour shrimp and cilantro mixture onto sheet pan and arrange shrimp in single layer. Return to oven and cook for 4 minutes. Stir shrimp and cook another 3-4 minutes until shrimp are pink and just cooked through. If your shrimp were frozen, you will need a few more minutes in the oven. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Shrimp and quinoa can be eaten immediately, but if you plan to prepare the mason jars, let them cool to at least room temperature before laying so you avoid steaming your toppings and lettuce.
- Prepare Bowls or Mason Jars: You will be able to make 4-5 bowls or mason jars with the shrimp and quinoa you’ve prepared. I like to add cherry tomatoes, avocado, black beans, lettuce, and an extra squeeze of lime to my cilantro lime shrimp quinoa bowls.
- The key to keeping everything crisp inside the mason jar is in the layering. Start with quinoa, then black beans, shrimp, and tomatoes. Finish with chopped lettuce and diced avocado on top. I squeeze lime juice over the top of my jar to keep the avocado fresh and add a little flavor to the lettuce. When you are ready to eat, turn everything over into a bowl and dig in.
- Hope you enjoy this healthy lunch or dinner!
Psst. Your friends will love this healthy lunchtime goodness and I will love you for sharing it with them!