Quinoa Pilaf

Naturally high-protein and gluten-free quinoa, cooked with onions, garlic, bell peppers, pilaf style, with chopped fresh herbs added for the finish. Healthy and easy!

Quinoa Pilaf
Elise Bauer

Do you like quinoa?

It's one of my favorite things to make.

Even though it's actually a seed, it behaves like a grain, and can easily take the place of rice in many recipes, including a classic pilaf.

Like rice it's gluten-free, but since it is actually a seed, it's high protein. Perfect for those wanting to cut back a bit on carbs.

This quinoa pilaf is prepared in much the same way as rice pilaf.

First we sauté onions, bell pepper, garlic, and the uncooked quinoa, then we add water, bring to a simmer, cover and let cook until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid.

Quinoa
Elise Bauer

If you want, you can use stock instead of some or all of the water called for in the recipe. Personally I prefer it made with water because the quinoa itself has a wonderful nutty flavor which using stock can mask.

Serve it warm, room temp or chilled.

Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe? If so, please let us know in the comments. We would love to hear about it.

Quinoa Pilaf

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 3 to 4 servings

Once you've cooked the quinoa as instructed, feel free to improvise a bit on the add-ins in the last step. 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.

* 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.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided in half

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion

  • 1/4 bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa

  • 2 cups water

  • Pinch ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or Thai basil*

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (or green onions including the greens)

  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, chopped

  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Rinse quinoa if instructed on box:

    Check your box of quinoa, if it recommends rinsing the quinoa, place the quinoa in a large sieve and rinse it until the water runs clear. (Some brands don't require rinsing.)

  2. Sauté onion, bell pepper, garlic, pine nuts:

    Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil on medium high heat in a 1 1/2 to 2 quart pot. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and pine nuts and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, but not browned.

  3. Add quinoa:

    Add the uncooked quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally for a couple more minutes. You can let some of the quinoa get a little toasted.

  4. Add water, salt, bring to simmer:

    Add 2 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.

  5. Stir in olive oil, mint, basil, chives, cucumber:

    Let cool until just slightly warm, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in chopped mint, basil, chives, and cucumber. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Links:

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn here on Simply Recipes

Quinoa Greek Salad here on Simply Recipes

Heidi's quinoa recipes - from 101 Cookbooks

Quinoa Pilaf
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
267 Calories
12g Fat
33g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 267
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 83mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 44mg 218%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 414mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.