Quinoa Pilaf

Have you ever cooked with quinoa? It’s a South American grain-like seed that one prepares in a fashion similar to rice, simmered in water until the liquid is all absorbed. I first started cooking with quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) when I lived in San Francisco years ago. It has this wonderful nutty flavor, that actually doesn’t need much added to it; I used to make a quick batch, pour on some flax seed oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and gobble it up. If you have never tried it, I encourage you to track some down. It’s inexpensive, easy to make, tastes great, and is surprisingly high in protein. For those of us who are sensitive to the gluten in wheat or barley, it’s entirely gluten-free. You can find it at Trader Joe’s or at Whole Foods.

The following is a quinoa pilaf recipe based on one given to me by my friend Steve. The first time I made it I thought I would improve upon it by using chicken stock in place of the water. Bad idea. The pilaf ended up tasting like chicken stock, not quinoa. All of the lovely nuttiness of the quinoa was drowned out by the chicken flavor. This time I stayed with water, and instead added fresh herbs from our garden, and a just-picked lemon cucumber. I served it cold, more like a pilaf salad, though it would work warm too.

Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe? If so, I would love to hear about it.

Quinoa Pilaf Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 6-8.

Once you've cooked the quinoa as instructed, feel free to improvise a bit on the add-ins. I chose mint, basil, chives, and cucumber for this recipe, but you could just as easily go with parsley, green onions, chopped fresh red bell pepper.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or Thai basil*
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives (or green onions including the greens)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

* Best way to chop basil or mint is to chiffonade it by rolling up the leaves like a cigar and slicing crosswise from the end.

Method

1 Place quinoa in a large sieve and rinse it until the water runs clear. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil on medium high heat in a 3-4 quart pot. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and pine nuts and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, but not browned. Add the drained quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally for a couple more minutes. You can let some of the quinoa get a little toasted.

2 Add 4 cups of water and one teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low so that the quinoa and water are simmering while the pot is partially covered (enough to let out some steam). Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and put into a large serving bowl. Fluff up with a fork.

3 Let cool until just slightly warm, add 2-3 more tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in chopped mint, basil, chives, and cucumber. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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quinoa-uncooked.jpg

Links:
Heidi's quinoa recipes - from 101 Cookbooks
Quinoa with summer vegetables from Karina of Karina's Kitchen
More quinoa recipes from Karina
Quinoa salad with tomatoes, feta, and parsley - from Lydia of The Perfect Pantry
Quinoa-stuffed zucchini - from Green Lite Bites
Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots and Currants from Sarah of LettuceEatKale

78 Comments

  1. eatlivetravelwrite

    I recently made the following salad which will no doubt become a summer staple in our house:

    http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com/2009/07/lemon-scented-quinoa-salad.html

    Your pilaf looks wonderful too – it’s bookmarked!

    Everything that Heidi creates is outstanding. I’m not surprised you like her lemon scented quinoa, I’m sure it’s terrific. ~Elise

  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Quinoa is a bit of a blank canvas, like couscous. I love spicing it up with cumin and adobo for a Mexican side dish, or with soy sauce and sesame oil for a salad with an Asian twist. Our local discount store, Job Lot, sells the entire line of Bob’s Red Mill products, including their wonderful quinoa.

    Now there’s an idea, cumin and adobo, thanks! ~Elise

  3. Leisureguy

    Well, you probably already know it, but your readers may not: quinoa is not a grain (i.e., the seed of a grass, as are wheat, corn, barley, and oats). Quinoa is from a species of goosefoot. Nor are buckwheat or amaranth grains.

    Thanks! Corrected. I’m used to thinking of it as a grain (amaranth too) because I use it that way. ~Elise

  4. Katrina

    I made quinoa for the first time about a month ago. I got the recipe from my godmother who describes it as a healthy version of fried rice (you can see my post about it here: http://eatingontulsatime.blogspot.com/2009/06/something-healthy.html).

    Now there’s an idea. Usually when one makes fried rice, you want to use day-old rice, so it’s drier and fries up better. I wonder if the same makes a difference with quinoa? ~Elise

  5. The Blushing Hostess

    Yes. I use it for everything because it is so much faster than rice and better for me!

  6. kate

    Wouldn’t you know that just this past week I picked up my first box of quinoa thinking that it was about time I got on the bandwagon. I was about to start poking around for some standby recipes and yours showed up at just the right time.

    I’m so thankful for the advice about the chicken stock. That was my initial instinct and I’m glad to have avoided that. Ok, time to start experimenting with herbs and veggie combos!

  7. Katerina

    I tried making quinoa for the first time a few weeks ago. I was impressed with just how easy to make it is. A whole grain you can cook in 25 minutes? Plus I bought the red quinoa and it has such a beautiful colour.

    I’ll have to try the red quinoa; it is so pretty. ~Elise

  8. Jeanette

    I love to cook it with Moroccan flavors. My favorite recipe with quinoa is from Epicurious.

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/photo/Quinoa-with-Moroccan-Winter-Squash-and-Carrot-Stew-233714

    Hmm, looks good. Looks like they are substituting what would more normally be served with couscous with quinoa. ~Elise

  9. Maggi

    I am totally in love with quinoa! I make a cold quinoa salad with chopped peppers, onions and shrimp tossed in a simple vinaigrette to bring to parties. Then as people ask what is this yummy salad, I promptly give the culinary lesson and extol the virtues of quinoa. My husband says my little trick is getting old, but I love it nonetheless.

    Great to spread the word about quinoa, especially with a delicious dish. ~Elise

  10. Esi

    I love quinoa. My favorite recipe with it mixes in tomato, black beans, and cilantro with a lime dressing.

    Love the Southwestern approach! ~Elise

  11. Elisabeth

    Great recipe, I’ll have to try it soon.
    I’ve found that quinoa tastes great with tex-mex flavors as a substitute for rice mixed right into the sauce. It handles the spiciness of my cooking really well. Or also with sauteed veggies like squash, lemon juice and feta. Quinoa seems taste great with cheeses of all sorts.

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried quinoa with cheese, of any kind. Thanks for the suggestion. ~Elise

  12. CJ McD

    I purchased some quinoa two weeks ago and have been looking for recipe ideas. Most of the recipes have deeply flavored ingredients. I’m thrilled that you posted this recipe and noted why- to let the flavor shine through.

    I’ve got all the rest of the ingredient (except lemon cukes), so am going to make a cool salad for tonight’s dinner.

    Thanks Elise!

  13. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    Lovely dish! I don’t know why I don’t make quinoa more often. It really is a delicious and versatile grain. I love what you did with it here. I’ll bet the fresh herbs really make the dish sing. I’ve prepared it before kind of like a tabbouleh, with tomatoes, lemon and mint. Also very nice.

    It’s a great wheat-free alternative to tabbouleh, isn’t it? In fact I like it better. Has a nuttier flavor. ~Elise

  14. Ophelia

    This looks delicious! I have been cooking with quinoa for a few years now and really love it. It’s got a great nutty taste on its own and is also perfect for pilafs like this one.

    I was thinking, hmmm, how can I add some protein to this pilaf. But then I realized quinoa is a good source of protein itself! I still might add some shredded chicken breast to it if I serve it as a meal or at a pot luck. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  15. Stephanie

    I mix it with wheat berries, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and chopped pecans. Then I add in some olive oil and red wine vinegar. Yummy!

    Sounds like quinoa version of my favorite wild rice salad, great idea, thanks! ~Elise

  16. Heather

    My favorite way to make quinoa is to simply cook it in chicken broth instead of water. So tasty!

  17. Mina

    For the 4th I made an improvised quinoa salad. One box of quinoa prepared according to instructions, one can of black beans, one bag of fire roasted frozen corn from Trader Joe’s, the remnants of some goat cheese that I needed to use, a tad bit of butter, and the rest of the purple basil that came with my CSA box last week. Yum!!

    I’ve also tried to make a rice pudding type thing with quinoa using almond milk, sugar and cinnamon. Also yum.

    Quinoa rice pudding? I could totally see that. ~Elise

  18. Sylvia

    I love the nutritional qualities of quinoa. My favorite recipe is in Moosewood’s Simple Suppers. Full of fresh veggies and sprinkled with a bit of cheese. Yum!

  19. Bryan

    Costco carries large bags of quinoa, if anyone wants a large amount for relatively cheap. I think it’s about 3 pounds.

  20. sairuh

    It’s good to see more quinoa recipes! One thing I’ve experienced is that the brand really does matter. I like using Trader Joe’s, which needs very little rinsing and almost never bitter. On the other hand, Whole Foods’ 365 house brand is dreadful: no amount of rinsing got rid of the bitterness, and it came out mushy.

    I’ve also noticed that both quinoa and couscous make a great template for salads:

    http://iwaruna.com/2008/03/23/conditional-salad-couscous-or-quinoa-with-nuts-and-fruit-andor-vegetables/

    Thanks for letting us know about the WF house brand. I too have had better results with the packaged quinoa from Trader Joe’s. Tastes better than what I got in bulk from WF. Perhaps they do a better job of pre-rinsing? ~Elise

  21. Faith

    This pilaf looks great! This recipe reminds me of tabouleh salad, which is made with bulgur wheat instead of quinoa.

  22. Jen

    Excited to try this recipe! I really enjoy quinoa but don’t have a lot of recipes for it.

    I actually just made a quinoa dish last night called creamy quinoa primavera. Cook 1 1/2 cups quinoa in 3 cups chicken broth until broth is absorbed, then stir quinoa together with 2-3 teaspoons freshly chopped basil and about 1/2 a container of light cream cheese. Meanwhile, sautee 5 cups chopped veggies (broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, corn, etc.) in butter with a clove of garlic. Mix together quinoa mixture and veggies for a great side dish that’s excellent hot or cold.

  23. Lori

    I to had it for the first time in CA. The tours we took to the wineries in Napa/Sanoma included lunch and they had a quinoa salad that was so yummy and fresh.

    It was just quinoa (we had 2 different varieties on the 2 days, both were good), cut red and green peppers, olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Serve cold and Enjoy!!

  24. Sean

    I’ve made a red quinoa stuffed white eggplant before that was pretty and yummy. I used Wegmans’ Thai culinary stock to bring the quinoa up, which wasn’t overpowering at all.

    Wegmans also sells a quinoa which, allegedly, is from a farming collective that uses price controls to allow the sometimes desperately poor people of South America to make a living off of an otherwise inexpensive crop. At least that’s why they say it’s more expensive, and if it’s true, then good for them. Their red quinoa is just plain wonderful.

  25. April

    I’m trying that today. Just a warning to those new to quinoa. Do not ignore the step of rinsing. I forgot once, and the result was just nasty. There is a coating on quinoa that tastes like soap.

    Great advice. I do think some producers, like Trader Joe’s, do a good job of pre-rinsing. But in general, rinse until the water runs clear. ~Elise

  26. Paula

    Elise: My first cooking experiment with quinoa was Aztec Platter, a recipe that’s in a cookbook by Nava Atlas & Lillian Kayte (Vegetarian Express). It’s a beautiful and healthful salad consisting of a lot of things, but naturally quinoa, corn, and beans. It’s a composed salad, dressed up with pumpkin seeds, black olives, tomatoes, bell pepper strips and a simple vinagrette-type dressing. For a cooking class ‘exam’ I gussied it up with chipotle aioli & grilled shrimp & served it in tortilla baskets. Whether simple or more elaborate, it was a great way for the uninitiated to try quinoa for the first time.

    Sounds great! ~Elise

  27. DLAOKC

    I love to add an extra dimension to quinoa by toasting it in a dry pan before I proceed with cooking. And I agree with you – I thought I was smart using chicken broth until I tried it in just water…yummy!

  28. Lindsay

    I just like it with honey and blueberries. This looks good though!

  29. misca

    the BEST quinoa dish I ever had was when I wanted cheesey grits topped with shrimp…And was outta grits.

    So I grabbed the box of quinoa and used that instead of grits added after it was done stired in a tlbs of butter, and some chedder and monteray jack cheese. Then COVERED it in satueed shrimpy goodness.

    I have never EVER eaten such delicious ness due to a shortage :D.

    As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention”! ~Elise

  30. Regan

    For all of you quinoa lovers out there, they make pasta versions as well. I haven’t tried it, but a friend of mine claims it is a great alternative for those gluten-free pasta fans. I’ve seen it made by the “Ancient Harvest” brand.

  31. jen

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been trying to find more recipes using this. I’ve got a ton of this stuff left and just didn’t know what to do with it.

  32. Karina

    Looks delicious. Quinoa is my new favorite grain (psuedo-grain?), hands down. I love it for hot dishes, like stir-fries (Elise, I use it fresh and hot right from the rice cooker; but I’ve also used leftover quinoa in stir-fries; both ways work). I also love cooked quinoa for salads (it reminds me of cous cous, which is off my list due to gluten). My favorite additions are fresh mint and parsley with a good squeeze of lime juice- and any garden fresh veggie you can throw in. Fabulous.

  33. Stephanie

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I make rice constantly for my husband and in-laws and am so excited to try something healthier. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that my picky husband likes it.

  34. Kate Mai

    This is a favorite recipe of mine that I use as a main course or as a side. So fresh and delicious!
    Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa

  35. Jessica

    My absolute favorite quinoa recipe:

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quinoa-and-Black-Beans/Detail.aspx

    I make this quinoa and black bean dish a l-o-t. We’ll eat it as a side dish or scooped up with freshly made whole wheat pita bread. Yum. My family and I could eat it all day long.

    (Love this blog, by the way. It’s my new go-to site for recipes. Thanks so much for sharing all you do!)

  36. Carla

    Quinua (or quinoa, I guess) is very common here in Peru! My mom used to serve it with rice in some kind of vegetable stew. Some people prepare it similar to oatmeal for breakfast.

  37. Marjorie

    What a great post! I “discovered” quinoa earlier this year and am addicted! Here’s my recipe for a great side or even main dish salad.
    http://meeksfood.blogspot.com/2009/06/for-my-fatherthe-vegetarian.html

  38. Kiran

    I have not cooked quinoa before but want to try it out. It looks like millet or rye grains ? this is a great recipe.

  39. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    Well, I hope you’re satisfied! ;)

    I couldn’t stop thinking about this quinoa all afternoon. So, on my way home from work I stopped and picked some up. I’m making your basic recipe, but I am going to also add fresh tomato and oregano with some Greek salad dressing and a little feta on top.

  40. Angie

    My favorite quinoa recipe is from Veganomicon. It’s quinoa salad with black beans and mango. Other ingredients include red bell pepper, scallions and cilantro. The dressing is simply red wine vinegar, grapeseed oil and salt. Very refreshing and delicious.

  41. AndyC

    I typically go the Southwestern route with my quinoa (cumin, corn and black beans), but a friend of mine simmered it with coconut water (not coconut milk!) which lent just a hint of sweetness but kept the nutty taste of the quinoa. It was phenomenal served with some grilled fish and veggies.

  42. Sara

    I was just trying to find a good quinoa recipe for the box I bought at Whole Foods. All these suggestions are fantastic. Thanks!

  43. redfox

    This sounds good — I think that your technique (pilaf-style toasting of the grains plus letting some of the steam escape) may cure the problem I’ve had the last couple of times I’ve made quinoa, where it surprised me by turning mushy.

  44. Sarah Henry

    While I love the quinoa salad you linked to (thanks for the link love) we also serve quinoa at my house as a simple side dish and jazz it up a bit with lemon zest, currants, a dash or two of cumin, and a splash or two of olive oil.

  45. hoger

    A very nice quinoa variation is to mix 1/2 & 1/2 with brown rice and cook together. The rice adds a nice texture to the quinoa.

  46. Susan H-M

    I have 2 quinoa recipes I make often. A pilaf, usually using either veg or chicken stock, with sliced/chopped carrots cooked with the quinoa. At the end toss with chopped pecans and parsley. And a coconut “stew” served over quinoa (cooked with water), we especially like this with the red quinoa. The stew is a bit of whatever is on hand, but always includes sweet potatoes, stock and coconut milk, and some combination of crookneck squash, peas, carrots, chicken, tofu. So yummy and comforting in the winter.

  47. maris

    The one time I finally decided I was going to try quinoa, I bought it, found a recipe to use as a guideline, had all my ingredients and it turned out I had bought bulgar by mistake! They were next to each other and I just grabbed the wrong package.

    My bulgar salad was delicious! But I am still anxious to try quinoa since I’ve heard so many great things!

  48. Haley J.

    I have made quinoa twice, and both times have resulted in a major fail. I made the chicken stock mistake the first time, and it was inedible. I love the flavors you use in this, so I will try again, with hopefully more success!

  49. Cookin' Canuck

    Quinoa has been a favorite of mine for a long time. It’s quick to make and has a lovely nutty flavor. Have you tried red quinoa? It has a deep, rich color and even nuttier flavor. I found it at Whole Foods.

    As for a recipe, I usually cook the quinoa, throwing in some raw (red pepper) or tender-crisp veggies (green beans, snap peas, that sort of thing), cooked salmon, feta cheese, and extra-virgin olive oil. Then I serve it over a bed of spinach.

  50. Marjy

    I love quinoa in most forms. The last couple of times, it’s been simple (okay, lazy). I toss in a little corn at the end and put out a few condiments so my DH and I can season to taste. I like a dab of butter and a splash of soy sauce- he likes soy sauce and hot sauce. There’s also a quick service place near us that offers it as an option in their bowls and wraps instead of rice.

  51. Trish in MO

    I love quinoa! My family likes quinoa whereas they did not like couscous (much to my chagrin). Go figure. I’ve printed two of Heidi’s before, and this one goes in my book too!

    I’m going to love experimenting with different oils with quinoa. Next week I am going to St. Louis, where there is a Trader Joe’s and a Whole Foods market, and I’ll stock up on quinoa, specialty oils, and other goodies I can’t find here down on the farm in the middle of nowhere ;)

  52. Ruth

    Thanks for the great quinoa recipe, Elise. Here’s a recipe for Curried Quinoa that I really like. It serves 4 as a side dish and is especially good with pork or grilled chicken:
    1 cup quinoa; 1 1/2 TB vegetable oil; 1/2 onion,
    diced; 1 tsp grated fresh gingerroot; 1 tsp turmeric; 1 tsp corriander; 1/4 tsp cinnamon; 1/2 tsp salt; 1 3/4 cups water; 1/2 cup frozen peas. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in cold water. Saute onion in oil 4-5min. Add ginger and quinoa; cook 1 min., stirring constantly. Stir in turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and salt. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 min. Stir in the peas. Cover and cook 4-5min. or until peas are tender and all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before
    serving.

    Love it! Thank you. ~Elise

  53. Anna

    I use a little quinoa here and there, as a couscous substitute (especially if I have a meaty sauce that needs a side dish to soak it up) or to thicken up a stew that came out too soupy.

    I like that the amino acids are more complete and plentiful than in traditional grains, plus quinoa fits with my gluten-free cooking needs. The texture is also quite nice.

    But, I still go easy on quinoa in terms of amount and frequency. While not as starchy as wheat and rice, it is still high in starch for me to consume without measured restraint, as any starch can raise my blood glucose level too high as well as cause weight gain.

    I probably use only 1/4-2/3 cup dry quinoa when making a meal for the family (3 people plus leftovers sometimes) so the quinoa amount serving is still quite small.

    I’ve also soaked and sprouted quinoa. Being so small, it takes no time at all. Sprouting increases nutrients and decreases starch. I toss sprouted quinoa in with salad greens.

    Quinoa makes a great GF tabhouli, too, though I tend to emphasize the veggie ingredients rather than the quinoa.

  54. Siri

    I loved the crunchy taste to Quinoa the moment I tasted it couple of months ago. My first recipe to try was – Quinoa Vegetable Pancakes.
    http://siri-corner.blogspot.com/2008/11/rm-2-quinoa-vegetable-pancakes.html

    Next on my list is this Pilaf. I will give it a try sometime soon.

    Best,
    Siri

  55. Chris

    I love quinoa. It was hard for me to find at first. It has such a unique texture. The pilaf sounds wonderful. A splash of seasoned rice vinegar would be nice with the cucumbers.

  56. Laura

    This looks delicious. I have a favorite recipe for curried couscous salad and a while ago I made a Curried Quinoa Salad recipe from Ann Gentry’s Real Food Daily Cookbook. Ann Gentry’s recipe was basically the same thing as my favorite couscous recipe, but with Garam Masala instead of curry powder and with some sesame oil added in. The salad was delicious warm as a pilaf, too. The sesame oil was very good with the quinoa.
    http://pragmaticattic.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/curried-quinoa-salad/

  57. julie

    Best quinoa recipe, ever: quinoa with kale and walnuts.

  58. Linda Larsen

    Love your recipe for quinoa. I also like that you call for rinsing the grain first. Quinoa has a bitter coating called saponsin which is easily removed with water. Most processed quinoa has had that coating removed, but it’s still a good idea to rinse it, as you say, until the water runs clear.

  59. DK

    I love quinoa. They are so versatile. I eat them as pilaf, as substitute for rice or as patties.

    Quinoa dinner rolls, Baked Quinoa and mixed bean croquettes ( I have posted these in my blog) are my all time favorites! Do give them a try, you will love them too

  60. Alecia

    Mmmm! I love quinoa. We like to cook it in our rice steamer with fresh mango cut into bit sized chunks. When done cooking, I mix in fresh spinach (it will wilt down) and feta. Really good as a side with grilled chicken or fish.

  61. Nick

    This recipe looks fantastic (as usual, Elise!) but I haven’t seen my favorite use for quinoa in the comments, so thought I’d chime in. It’s a very simple presentation of steamed/cooked quinoa, which you top with wilted beet greens or swiss chard, and then drizzle the whole thing with a tahini-lemon dressing. The combination is definitely more than the sum of its parts.

  62. Anonymous

    I love quinoa! I have never made it with as many ingredients as you do, though, honestly I just eat it plain. Yours looks really good, and I will try to use this recipe! Thanks.

    -OCV

  63. Kelly Lenihan

    I actually used quinoa last night in lieu of rice to serve with orange chicken. I made it with vegetable stock instead of water and it was flavorful and delicious. Vegetable stock doesn’t seem to be as overpowering as chicken stock, so it turned out great.

    I like the idea of serving quinoa cold with fresh cucumber, thanks for another great recipe.

  64. anita

    Made this pilaf recipe this evening and it was so yummy. I actually did add the chicken stock instead of water because in this family we do have to mask the taste of the quinoa, lol.

    I’ve also made a quinoa risotto type dish from the following site, which my 3 year old ate!

    http://south-american-food.suite101.com/article.cfm/three_quinoa_recipes_from_ecuador

  65. Trig

    Here’s a photo-recipe from my one and only blog post about quinoa: Quinoa Tabouleh. Cheers, Elise.

    Isn’t that beautiful. I especially love the idea of serving it with fried sardines. ~Elise

  66. Leslie

    I made this over the weekend. It was fabulous! I added some feta cheese to give it a kick. Absolutely wonderful. I love your ideas Elise!!

  67. misscriss

    I really love Quinoa the way my friend Jax makes it…replace half of the water with OJ, add in a little orange zest & toss in a handful of slivered almonds. mmm. It’s great (and tangy) hot, and left overs make a beautiful addition to a salad the next day.

  68. Alex

    I like this recipe a lot but the problem is that it made way too much! My family only ate 1/4 of it and we wound up throwing it all away since it went bad. Next time I make this recipe I will definitley make 1/4 to 1/2 the recipe. It is definitley much more healthier than white rice or white pasta, plus tasty. Thanks.

  69. Ashley

    Elise, thanks so much for posting this recipe and for encouraging other people to post their own. I have been looking for recipes that both take advantage of quinoa and fit my sometimes picky tastes.

    Also, I wanted to second one readers comments about quinoa pasta. Personally I like it better than rice pasta because it doesn’t get gummy while you’re cooking it. Also, because I really enjoy pasta with just fresh parmesan cheese, and I find the taste of the pasta to be really important with that.

  70. sandra

    i love this. first time with quinoa and my entire family loved it. Even the super picky 4 year old who hates everything, from risotto to lasagna. I really enjoyed the nutty taste.

  71. Christine

    I just made this, it is delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever made quinoa before! Only thing, when you rinse it is smaller than pasta, so it was falling through the holes :) Need a different strainer!

  72. Diana

    I really like the idea of pine nuts in the quinoa. I love chimichurri quinoa, with all the awesome flavors of a chimichurri sauce served with a nice steak.
    http://dianasaurdishes.com/04/south-american-steak-with-chimichurri-herb-quinoa/

  73. RD

    I first heard about quinoa a few years ago from a couple of recipes in Sunset Magazine (an asian-style seafood stew and a unique take on chili rellenos). Back then the only place I could find it was at Whole Foods. I picked up a big (4 lb) bag at Costco at the beginning of summer (Safeway still does not carry it).

    So I made this recipe for some friends we had over for dinner back in July and then for a potluck bbq at a friends house in August. It is so delicious and the recipe makes a lot. This recipe is now my new “go-to” side dish for summer barbeque pot-lucks.

  74. love to cook

    My family’s favorite quinoa recipe: after quinoa is cooked, I put it in a small baking dish, add 1 small can of chopped green chilis, 1/2 can chopped jalapenos, 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream and a handful of grated mexican cheese and mix everything together, then add a sprinkle of the grated cheese on top. I bake it at 350 for about 10 min, until the cheese is melted.

    I should have this recipe printed on cards, because everyone that comes over and eats it ask for the recipe before they leave!

  75. Jessica Whistman

    We tried quinoa for the first time the other night in this absolutely delicious side dish with some chicken my dad made using the leftover brine from our turkey. The quinoa salad contained mostly quinoa, but also fresh chopped mangoes, a few handfuls of craisins, and some chopped fresh parsley, and was tossed with a vinaigrette… the combination (to me at least) was DELICIOUS, and I don’t usually like anything with vinaigrettes. My dad found the recipe in an old spiral bound cookbook my mom had and I probably liked it the best of anyone, and I like the least healthy food of anyone in the house, haha.

  76. Purvis

    This was wonderful. I made this pretty much as written (fresh herbs included) except with red quinoa. It tasted moist and substantial, with the herbs contributing it a nice freshness, and the quinoa giving it a deliciously unique texture and taste. Usually my husband adds lemon, spices or hot sauce to everything I make to add flavor, but he didn’t think this needed anything–it was perfectly balanced.

  77. Mary Morris

    This is a great starter recipe, and variations of it have become a new summer staple in our household. For color and flavor, instead of cooking bell pepper with the quinoa, I like to add fresh sweet red bell pepper, that compliments the fresh greens that I add after the quinoa is cooked and has cooled. Instead of pine nuts, which are expensive, I have been using slivered blanched almonds, which I toast in a sautee pan, adding flavor and texture. For seasoning, along with the salt and pepper, I add fresh squeezed lime juice and a bit more olive oil. A very satisfying dish that goes well with sliced melon and barbequed chicken or steak on a hot summer evening.

  78. Angie

    I love quinoa and have been planning a post similar to this. Though I use olive oil and lemon juice as the dressing. I agree, quinoa is an amazing grain.

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