Learn how to prepare this quinoa recipe; quick, delicious and healthy. Made using simple ingredients, it forms the base of any good nutritious lunch or dinner!
It’s no secret that I love cooking with quinoa.
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Why you’ll love this recipe
- Quick. In just 30 minutes, this filling and comforting quinoa dish will be ready to serve.
- Healthy. Quinoa is full of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants, making this recipe super nutritious.
- Versatile. This recipe is a blank canvas that can be easily adapted. Add your favorite vegan proteins, switch up the vegetables, or stir through your favorite sauces.
- Easy. It’s a one-pot recipe and needs only 5 easy steps to prepare.
What I love the most about this quinoa recipe is that it’s incredibly satisfying and filling, keeping you full and energized throughout the day!
The following basic ingredients create this flavorful and healthy quinoa dish:
- White quinoa. The star of this show, use uncooked quinoa to begin.
- Olive oil. Use extra virgin olive oil or any other neutral-flavored oil.
- Garlic cloves. Minced.
- White onion. Diced.
- Sweet potato. Diced.
- Red bell pepper. Diced.
- Red chili flakes. For a little extra spice.
- Dried mixed herbs. Use a mixture of your favorite dried herbs.
- Chickpeas. Drained.
- Green olives. Sliced.
- Sun dried tomatoes. Finely chopped.
- Vegetable broth. Adds a savory flavor to the recipe.
- Sugar. To balance the overall flavor profile.
- Baby spinach. De-stemmed.
- Cilantro. Finely chopped.
- Salt. To taste.
How to make quinoa
Step 1 – Saute the veggies. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the white onion, garlic, sweet potato, red chili flakes, red bell pepper and dried herbs. Saute everything for 5 minutes or until the vegetables become soft.
Step 2 – Add olives, sun dried tomatoes and chickpeas. Now, add olives, sun dried tomatoes and drained chickpeas to the pan. Mix well to combine.
Step 3 – Add and cook quinoa. Add uncooked white quinoa to the saucepan and stir well to combine everything. Pour in the vegetable broth and add some sugar, stirring as you go. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for at least 20-25 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
Step 4 – Mix in baby spinach and coriander. Once cooked, leave the pan covered for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and mix baby spinach and coriander into the quinoa. Let it sit for a few minutes or until the spinach wilts.
Step 5 – Serve! Season with salt and pepper as per taste preference and serve warm.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Always rinse uncooked quinoa. Rinse quinoa thoroughly under cold water before cooking to remove its natural coating which is incredibly bitter.
- Optional toasting. Toast the quinoa in a dry pan after washing but before cooking to enhance its nutty flavor. The quinoa should turn a light golden color.
- Don’t overcook the quinoa. It should be tender but still have a very slight chewiness to it.
- Use quality ingredients. Use fresh and seasonal ingredients to give your dish the best taste and texture.
Here are some ideas to alter the flavor of this dish that you may want to experiment with:
- Cook quinoa in different, flavorful liquids. In addition to vegetable broth, you can also use a mixture of water and lemon juice. This will infuse the quinoa with extra flavor.
- Mix in additional ingredients. After cooking the quinoa, mix in nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and other ingredients to add texture and flavor. Try almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, or your favorite chopped vegetables.
- Use different types of quinoa. Try using red, black, or tri-color quinoa to give your dishes a unique flavor and appearance. Each variety has a slightly different flavor and texture, so experiment to find your favorite.
To store: You can place any leftovers in an airtight container to store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
To freeze: In a freezer-safe container, quinoa can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Reheating: You can reheat quinoa in a microwave or pan until warm enough to serve.
- Large saucepan. A must have for quinoa dishes.
More quinoa recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
Rinsing is recommended to remove the natural coating called saponin, which can have a bitter taste. Proper rinsing improves the flavor of the cooked quinoa.
Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it thoroughly under cold running water. Gently stir the quinoa with your fingers while rinsing.
A common quinoa-to-liquid ratio is 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid. For example, if you’re cooking 1 cup of quinoa, use 2 cups of water or broth
Cooked quinoa is ready when the grains are tender to the bite and have a slight chewiness. The grains should be separate and fluffy, with the germ (the small spiral tail) visible. The cooking time is typically around 15-20 minutes, followed by a 5-minute resting period off the heat.
Yes, quinoa can be cooked using various methods. In a rice cooker, simply follow the same quinoa-to-liquid ratio and cooking time as you would on the stovetop. In an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, use a 1:1 ratio of quinoa to liquid, and cook on high pressure for 1 minute followed by a natural release for 10 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 white onion diced
- 1 small sweet potato diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
- 1 can chickpeas drained (14 oz or 420 gm)
- 1 cup green olives sliced
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup white quinoa uncooked
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cups baby spinach loosely packed
- 1 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt to taste
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, white onion, sweet potato, red bell pepper, red chilli flakes and dried herbs. Sauté until fragrant and vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
- To the saucepan, add olives, sun dried tomatoes and drained chickpeas. Stir to combine.
- Add uncooked white quinoa to the pot and stir to combine. Pour in vegetable broth and sugar and stir well. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 – 25 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed.
- Once cooked, leave covered for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove lid and stir in baby spinach and coriander. Let sit for a few minutes to allow spinach time to wilt.
- Season with salt and pepper as necessary and serve warm.