Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf

I don’t know about you, but I had a very indulgent Easter weekend. It started on Friday night and involved lots of yumminess, including wine, cheese, ham, prime rib, risotto, peeps, strawberries and a ton of bread. Needless to say I am in serious need of some nutritious detox.

So with that in mind I set out to create the healthiest dish I could think of. What resulted is a delicious and filling side dish or main course that will blow you away. I packed in a ton of veggies by shredding them up and adding them to a big pot of quinoa.

Have you boarded the quinoa train yet? If not I suggest you do so immediately. I could go on for hours, but quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a seed, not a grain that is related to the spinach family. It cooks and tastes like grain and is easily digested and gluten-free. Best of all, it contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. It is also full of magnesium, copper, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. I like it because it is extremely filling and will cook in only 10 minutes. We eat a lot of it in our house because it will pretty much pair with anything. Sometimes I just eat it plain sprinkled with some hot sauce.

Ok, back to the recipe. I used broccoli, kale and carrots because that’s what I had on hand, but I am envisioning some variations of this with maybe peppers, zucchini, spinach or chard. A bit of spice, some veggie broth and an onion are all you need to give it a rich flavor. I served this with chicken, but it can also be a great main dish. Quinoa comes in three colors, red, white and black. White is the easiest to find, but red and black have more fiber and minerals. Use whatever you can find.

Read more for the full recipe!

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 large head of broccoli, trimmed, washed and shredded
2 cups of green kale, ribs removed, washed and shredded
1 cup of quinoa
3 cups low sodium veggie broth
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
optional: 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Step by Step Instructions:
1. Using a food processor, shred onion, carrots, broccoli and kale
2. In a medium saucepan, saute shredded veggies in olive oil 2-3 minutes
3. Add quinoa, broth and spices
4. Cover and bring to a boil
5. Reduce heat to med-low, and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed
6. Serve warm or cold

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26 Responses to Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf

  1. healthyfoodietravels April 11, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    Mmm, this looks so wholesome and comforting :) A beautiful recovery meal!

  2. bananamondaes April 11, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    Perfect detox recipe. I love quinoa – we have ready made packs in or supermarkets now which makes my life easier! Loving the colour of this.

  3. Tina April 11, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    All these greens will really take care of the previous over indulging-not to mention eliminating the mental guilt as well. Great healthy creation-yum!

  4. Tina April 11, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    All these greens will really take care of the previous over indulging-not to mention eliminating the mental guilt as well. Great healthy creation-yum!

  5. Lori Lynn April 11, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Looks delicious.

  6. yummychunklet April 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    What a great and delicious use for quinoa. I'll have to remember that next time I need to use up the stuff.

  7. Jenn Kendall April 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    oh my god, so many healthy things packed into one dish! and it looks so delicious!

  8. Colleen April 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    This sounds like EXACTLY what I need after my weekend. Doesn't get much healthier than that!

  9. Tiffany April 11, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    I love all of the veggies packed into this pilaf!

  10. Rosella April 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    I will definately be making this! It looks wonderful and packed with goodness! Your prelude and detailed instructions are wonderful. Thanks!

  11. Suzi April 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    This is a fantastic healthy dish you have going on here. Love it and Congrats on the Top 9.

  12. Jennifer Cote April 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Nice- so easy, but soooo good! Thanks for the post :)
    (I've also tried browning the quinoa in a hot dry skillet first; adds a nice touch…)

  13. Dara Reppucci April 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    What a fantastic idea! I will definitely try browning the quinoa next time.

  14. Kristin @ thefreshfind April 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Dara this looks AMAZING! I am totally on board the quinoa train and loving it! I haven't made it with shredded vegetables but I'll have to try that soon. Sounds like a yummy Easter weekend! :)

  15. Her Worldly Pleasures April 13, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    This sounds brilliant, I should try this out on the weekend! I have just started cooking quinoa and lacks of ideas sometimes, this would be a great addition!

  16. Kim Bee April 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    This looks delish. I am on the fence about quinoa. I liked it when I made it solo but I did not like the quinoa noodles I tried at all. Because I love and adore you though I will try eating quinoa again. But only cuz I love and adore you. Nothing to do with how tasty this looks or anything.

  17. Ally April 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Wow, dinner heaven! This is my kind of meal. Thanks for sharing!!

  18. May 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    I made this last night and loved it – it's definitely going to be something I make again. Thanks so much for all the grain recipes – there are a bunch of really good ones here

  19. Dara Reppucci May 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Kim. I am so excited to hear the recipe was a success! Thanks for stopping by and leaving feedback.

  20. Valerie October 24, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    Hey this was soooo good. However, was the 3 cups of broth supposed to be 2? Mine had too much broth. And they were too spicy. But I think 2 cups and half the amount of spice would be perfect:)

    • Dara October 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

      Hello Valerie!I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t perfect. I’m going to dig out my notes and look at this again. Thanks for the tip.

  21. Amanda November 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Great recipe! I followed the directions on the quinoa I had for the amount of liquid, mine was 1 and 3/4 cup of liquid. I had a box of rosemary quinoa on hand, so that is what I used. I also added the zest and juice of one lemon, I love lemon with green vegetables, it really brightens the flavors. And I added lots of fresh garlic. This recipe will become a staple for me because you could really alter it to whatever vegetables you have on hand. It’s also a great way to use up vegetable leftovers. I can’t wait to try other variations!

  22. Jessie February 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    This is quickly becoming one of my favorite recipes. I’ve made it with various vegetables–whatever I have on hand. Right now I’m eating it with a bunch of chopped bell peppers, spinach, onions, and carrots. It’d be great with mushrooms. In response to the poster above, I have always used 3 cups broth and it works perfectly. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Dara February 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

      Jessie. Thank you for your kind comment. Like you, I make this regularly with whatever veggies I have in the fridge. I did a broccoli and cauliflower version recently that I loved. I am so glad you enjoy.

  23. Hannah April 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    I made this dish last night for my family and we were all pretty disappointed by the results. Even though it came together quickly and was filling, it was mushy and tasteless. All of the ingredients are foods we eat on a regular basis, but the overall texture left these usually delicious veggies and quinoa almost inedible. As my 7-year-old said, “this is NOT a make-it-again meal”.


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