Grilled Shrimp with Mango-Orange Quinoa and Cotija

Updated February 23, 2016

I first made this dish for my book group, which weighed in with a unanimous thumbs-up. I like it because the quinoa, a grain that can be traced back thousands of years, can be made a day ahead with just a couple of ingredients added at the last minute. Most of all, I like the citrusy flavors in this dish combined with the salty, crumbly cheese.


Cooking Methodbroiling, grilling



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecheesy, fruity, hot & spicy, sweet


  • Juice of one lime, to make about ¼ cup
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 24 large (16–20 count) shrimp (about 1¼ pounds), peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup canned black beans, drained
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, seeds removed and very finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 medium mango (about ½ pound) cut into ½-inch dice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro plus whole stems for garnish
  • 4 ounces cotija cheese, coarsely crumbled (or use feta)


To prepare the shrimp: In a large bowl, mix together the lime juice, peanut oil, cumin, and salt. Set aside.

Put the shrimp in a glass dish and pour the lime juice mixture over the shrimp, being sure to coat both sides. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat a gas grill to medium high. Alternatively, set a rack in the broiler about six inches below the heating element and preheat.

To make the quinoa: In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the quinoa and salt. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes. Add the beans, corn, jalapeño, orange zest, and cumin and cook for 10 more minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and leave the pot covered. (Note: The quinoa can be made 1 day ahead up to this point and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and add the mango and cilantro just before serving.)

To grill the shrimp: Place the shrimp on the grill. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, or until they are just pink and feel firm but not hard to the touch. Overcooking will make the shrimp tough and dry.

To broil the shrimp: Transfer the shrimp to a broiler pan. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp have turned light pink and feel firm but a tad springy to the touch. Overcooking will make the shrimp tough and dry. (Note: No need to turn the shrimp.)

To assemble: Gently mix the mango and cilantro into the quinoa. Transfer to individual plates or a large platter. Lay the shrimp on top, and sprinkle the cheese over the shrimp and quinoa. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


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