Simple, easy, Everyday Quinoa with Lemon, Shallot and Herbs – a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for potlucks or Sunday meal prep. Vegan, gluten-free and full of flavor! 

Simple, easy, Everyday Quinoa with Lemon, Shallot and Herbs - a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for potlucks or Sunday meal prep. Vegan, gluten-free and full of flavor! #quinoa #easyquinoa #vegan #glutenfree #healthy #healthyside #sidedish #wholegrian #quinoarecipe

The other night some of Brian’s guy friends came over for an impromptu gathering on the patio. We grilled up local lamb and farmer’s market veggies and had a fresh green salad, but surprisingly  the dish that seemed to get the most notice was this simple, Everyday Quinoa. And if I’m being honest here, I have to admit the quinoa was truly an afterthought, made in haste because I wasn’t quite sure we were going to have enough food to feed a group of hungry men.  A week later, when I saw them again, they were still talking about the quinoa. So it got me thinking…

I know by now, everyone pretty much knows how to cook quinoa- for goodness sake, the directions are on the bag. But I wonder, if knowing how to cook it and knowing how to make it taste good are two different things. So I just wanted to share how I make it in case you needed little inspiration in the quinoa making department.

I like to call this Everyday Quinoa, for two reasons- mostly because it’s a basic, simple recipe, that pairs well with so many things, and also because I often make a big batch of it and serve up during the week. It’s also a really easy healthy side dish to bring to a pot luck if in a pinch. Simple, easy, Everyday Quinoa with Lemon, Shallot and Herbs - a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for potlucks or Sunday meal prep. Vegan, gluten-free and full of flavor! #quinoa #easyquinoa #vegan #glutenfree #healthy #healthyside #sidedish #wholegrian #quinoarecipe

In this recipe, I add sautéed shallot, to both the cooking quinoa and on top as the garnish. Lemon zest gives it a delicious tanginess. Fresh herbs are always a nice addition along with a nut or seed for added texture. But the two most important things in my mind are rinsing the quinoa beforehand ( to remove bitterness) and adding enough salt. The finishing touch, a drizzle of olive oil elevates it even more.

(Just as a side note, this  beautiful handmade serving bowl is available at our Bowl and Pitcher Shop. I love how wide and shallow it is. )

Simple, easy, Everyday Quinoa with Lemon, Shallot and Herbs - a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for potlucks or Sunday meal prep. Vegan, gluten-free and full of flavor! #quinoa #easyquinoa #vegan #glutenfree #healthy #healthyside #sidedish #wholegrian #quinoarecipe   Simple, easy, Everyday Quinoa with Lemon, Shallot and Herbs - a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for potlucks or Sunday meal prep. Vegan, gluten-free and full of flavor! #quinoa #easyquinoa #vegan #glutenfree #healthy #healthyside #sidedish #wholegrian #quinoarecipe

Play around with this and embellish it as you please.

A easy way to turn this quinoa into a meal….is to serve it with simple roasted veggies and tahini sauce. Or these roasted parsnips! Add this make-ahead kale salad if you like. It really doesn’t have to be complicated! Simple real food -the best kinds of meals!

Perfect for meal prepping and batch cooking!

xoxo

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Simple, easy, Everyday Quinoa with Lemon, Shallot and Herbs - a delicious, healthy side dish that is perfect for potlucks or Sunday meal prep. Vegan, gluten-free and full of flavor! #quinoa #easyquinoa #vegan #glutenfree #healthy #healthyside #sidedish #wholegrian #quinoarecipe

Everyday Quinoa Recipe with Lemon, Shallots and Herbs

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Side dish, vegan, gluten-free, healthy side dish
  • Method: Stove-top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A simple easy recipe for Everyday Quinoa with Lemon, Shallot and Herbs- a delicious healthy side dish that is vegan, gluten-free and full of protein. Can be made-ahead…make a big batch on Sunday for weekday meals, or bring to a potluck!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 shallots ( or ¼ of an onion) – very thinly sliced – see notes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa, rinsed, drained ( rinsing removes bitterness)
  • 2 1/4  cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or use 12 minced garlic cloves with the shallot)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano ( or italian seasoning, or herbs de Provence, or similar)

Garnish:

  • lemon zest from one small lemon,
  • sprinkling of fresh herbs ( italian parsley, dill, basil, cilantro)
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds ( optional- other nuts & seeds are ok, or just leave off)
  • sautéed shallot ( see notes) or crispy shallots
  • drizzle of good olive oil- optional but good.

Instructions

In a medium pot, over medium heat, sauté  the shallot in the oil, until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. If you want, set half aside for the garnish. Add rinsed/drained quinoa, water, salt, cumin, granulated garlic and dried herbs, and give a good stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover well, and cook for 15 minutes. Check to see that quinoa has soaked up all the water.  If not, continue cooking 2-5 more minutes. If it has, turn heat off and let it sit covered 5-10 more minutes.

Fluff with a fork, place in a serving bowl and toss gently with lemon zest, sprinkle with fresh herbs and, sauted shallots and optional nuts. Don’t over mix.

For extra richness a drizzle of good quality olive oil is really nice touch.


Notes

When serving this as a side dish all on its own, I like to use two sautéed shallots, half for cooking with the quinoa, and the other half for sprinkling over the top as a garnish. If batch cooking for the week, you may not need the garnish.

Rinsing the quinoa is imperative. It really does help remove the bitterness.

If making a smaller batch or bigger batch, my general ratio of water to quinoa = 1 cup quinoa to 1.5 cups water.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 185
  • Sugar: 0.6 g
  • Sodium: 391.7 mg
  • Fat: 5.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.4 g
  • Protein: 6.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: easy quinoa recipes, healthy quinoa recipes, vegan quinoa recipes, quinoa recipe, quinoa recipes, simple quinoa recipe, healthy side dish, vegan side dish

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Wow! This has to be the best quinoa that I have ever made. Thank you for another fabulous and easy to follow recipe. I had been sautéing some Shitake and oyster mushrooms with olive oil, fresh thyme and lemon so I put it on top of the quinoa. It was a perfect combination.

    1. Feel free to go lighter on it if you prefer? You can always add more to taste. 🙂

  2. I have shared this recipe with a friend who didn’t like quinoa because, in her words, “It’s tasteless”. This is a great recipe, and turns quinoa into a tasty base for other ingredients.