How to Make Quinoa Taste Delicious: My Favorite Recipes!

In my post the other day, I shared the secret to cooking perfect quinoa every time. No more overcooked mush!

Knowing how to cook quinoa by itself is great, but for many of us, eating it plain has been our only experience with this little super seed. When we think of quinoa we think “bland, boring, and tasteless.”

It doesn’t have to be this way! Today I’m going to share how we make quinoa dishes taste delicious.

Quinoa with roasted red onions, carrots, white sweet potatoes and garlic with Swiss chard

Quinoa with roasted red onions, carrots, white sweet potatoes and garlic with Swiss chard

Here is my favorite way to prepare quinoa. It’s not super technical (i.e., no measurements – AHH!), but that’s okay. Part of the FUN of cooking is experimenting and giving yourself permission to not follow so many stinkin’ rules 🙂

  1. Cook one cup of it. It expands to 3-4 times its size so 1 cup dry = 3-4 cups cooked.
  2. Chop & roast some veggies (I love using red and vidalia onions, garlic, carrots and sweet potatoes or butternut squash, broccoli and cauliflower are great, too!). A few pinches of thyme, rosemary, and/or sage give roasted veggies great flavor. Use whatever veggies, herbs and spices YOU like!
  3. Chop up some greens (kale, Swiss chard, spinach, etc.).
  4. Put the quinoa and roasted veggies in a large skillet or saute pan on the stove and turn heat to medium-low.
  5. Add the greens. Toss everything together for a few minutes with tongs until the greens cook down but are still bright. Add a few splashes of water or veggie broth to prevent sticking/drying out.
  6. Remove from heat and squeeze the juice of 1/2 – 1 whole lemon or splash raw apple cider vinegar over the mixture and stir (acid = bite/flavor!).
  7. Top with toasted nuts/seeds (I like pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pine nuts), and for something sweet, dried cranberries or raisins.
  8. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (you may need more) as well as sea salt and pepper to your liking.
Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, yellow onion, and garlic with toasted pecans and kale

Quinoa with roasted butternut squash, yellow onion, and garlic with toasted pecans and kale

For anyone who likes to follow recipes with numbers in them, check out the yummy ideas below for some seasonal quinoa dishes! We made the first one this week for dinner 🙂

Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale & Quinoa Skillet – This is a perfect, warming winter dish. We cooked it in our cast iron skillet and made a few changes to the recipe. Roasting whole sweet potatoes in the oven took a long time, so next time, we’ll chop them up, toss them in some coconut oil, salt and pepper and roast them in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 400F. Also, we added a few squeezes of lemon juice and some toasted pumpkin seeds to the dish just before serving, and it was delicious!

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash & Roasted Brussels Sprouts – These are a few of my absolute favorite things 🙂

Quinoa Fried Rice – Bill and I prepare variations of this all the time. We throw in whatever veggies we have on hand, so don’t feel like you’re stuck with this recipe as is – modify it to include your favorites!

Super Simple Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili – Is it time to change up your chili recipe? Give this one a try!

I have lots of other quinoa recipes on my Pinterest boards, so check them out!

Roasted sweet potato, quinoa and kale skillet

Roasted sweet potato, quinoa and kale skillet. Yum!

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7 Comments

  1. Floyd, April

    WOW! Thanks for these!!!

  2. Beverly Martin

    Hi Rachel, Thanks for this recipe. I’ve been using quinoa in my soups. But this recipe is excellent. I’ve made it 3 nights in a row with different ingredients. LOVE IT…but I better try something different tonight!

    • That’s so great! Lindsay also sent me the picture of what you had for your birthday dinner – it looked SO yummy! I’m glad you like the recipe and that you’ve been able to change it up to use what you like. That’s the goal! Makes cooking more fun and like an adventure 🙂 Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Jan Sullivan... Joe's Aunt

    Hi Rachel! Oh. My. Gosh. We just made the quinoa, butternut squash, brussel sprout, etc. dish. It was fabulous! We had only red quinoa, which actually made the dish very pretty — red quinoa, golden squash and green brussel sprouts. I also could not find pumpkin seeds without the shell in our grocery so I used sunflower seeds…. they were fine, but I think I would like the pumpkin seeds better. Anyway, we both had 2 helpings before we moved to anything else on our plates! The dish was easy to prepare with 2 of us– I did the quinoa and the oven and stove-top duties and Pete used the mandolin for the brussel sprouts and the squash. Easy and oh so delicious! Would post a photo here but I don’t know how??

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