Learn how to cook fluffy, perfectly seasoned Quinoa to use in bowls, salads, wraps, or as a simple healthy side dish. Vegan & GF.

 Learn how to cook fluffy, perfectly seasoned Quinoa to use in bowls, salads, wraps, or as a simple healthy side dish. Vegan & GF.

Last night a few of Brian’s foodie friends came over for an impromptu gathering on the patio. We grilled up some fish and farmer’s market veggies and had a fresh green salad, but surprisingly the dish that seemed to get the most attention was this simple quinoa recipe. And if I’m being honest here, the quinoa was a complete afterthought, made in haste because I wasn’t quite sure we would have enough food to feed a group of hungry men.  A week later, when I saw them again, they still talked about the quinoa. So it got me thinking…

By now, everyone knows how to cook quinoa- for goodness sake; the directions are on the package! But I wonder if knowing how to cook it and making it taste good are two different things. So I thought I would share how I cook quinoa in case you need some inspiration in the quinoa-making department.

I love this Quinoa recipe because it is really versatile and pairs well with everything! I often batch cook this  (make a double batch) on Sunday and serve it daily throughout the week- in different ways. See below!

But first, What is quinoa?

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is an ancient seed that originates from the Andes Mountains in South America. Technically it is not a “grain,” but it is classified as a “whole grain” here in the states. High in protein, with zero gluten, nutrient-dense quinoa offers many health benefits.

quinoa in a measuring cup

What you’ll need to cook Quinoa

  • Quinoa- use white, red, purple or tri-colored!
  • Salted Water or broth
  • Shallots
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt and Spices
  • Fresh herbs are always nice
  • Toasted nuts or seeds- optional but adds a nice toasty crunch!
  • Olive oil.

Perfect Quinoa to Water Ratio

I find the best quinoa-to-water ratio is 1 cup quinoa to 1 3/4 cups water, for perfect tender, yet not overly mushy!

How to make Perfect quinoa

  1. In a medium pot, over medium heat, sauté  the shallot in the oil, until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Set half aside for the garnish.
  2. To the pot add the quinoa, water, salt, and spices and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover well, and cook for 15 minutes. Check to see that the quinoa has soaked up all the water and you see the steam holes. ( photo below) If not, continue cooking 2-5 more minutes. Once cooked, turn heat off and let it sit covered 5-10 more minutes.
  3. quinoa cooking in a pan
  4. Fluff with a fork, place in a serving bowl and toss gently with lemon zest, sprinkle with fresh herbs, sauteed shallots and optional toasted nuts. Don’t over-mix.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil.
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

My TOP 3 Quinoa Tips

  1. RINSE: Always rinse quinoa in cold water several times before cooking to help remove bitterness.
  2. RATIO: Use 1 3/4 cups of salted water ( or broth) per 1 cup of quinoa, for perfect tenderness.
  3. DRESS: A drizzle of olive oil elevates it even more.
 Learn how to cook fluffy, perfectly seasoned Quinoa to use in bowls, salads, wraps, or as a simple healthy side dish. Vegan & GF.

Ways to use Cooked Quinoa

Play around with this recipe and embellish it as you please. Perfect for meal prepping and batch cooking!

xoxo

Sylvia

More quinoa recipes you may like

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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

Perfect Quinoa

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 26 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side dish, vegan, gluten-free, healthy side dish
  • Method: Stove-top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A simple easy recipe for  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

Units Scale
  • 1 shallot (or 1/4 of an onion), very thinly sliced – see notes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well, and drained (rinsing removes bitterness)
  • 1 3/4 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • optional: 1 teaspoon cumin
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic (or use 1-2 minced garlic cloves with the shallot)
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano ( dried thyme, italian seasoning, or herbs de Provence, or similar)

Garnish:

  • lemon zest from one small lemon
  • a sprinkling of fresh herbs ( pick 1) Italian parsley, dill, basil, cilantro
  • optional: 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds or pinenuts
  • drizzle of good olive oil– optional but good.

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, over medium heat, sauté the shallot in the olive oil, until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Set half aside for the garnish.
  2. To the pot, 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 the quinoa has soaked up all the water.  If not, continue cooking 2-5 more minutes. Once you see steam holes, turn the heat off and let it sit covered 5-10 more minutes.
  3. To serve: Fluff with a fork, place in a serving bowl and toss gently with lemon zest, taste and adjust salt, adding more as necessary.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, remaining sauteed shallots, and optional nuts. Don’t over-mix.
  5. Drizzle with good-quality olive oil

Notes

Quinoa will keep up to 5 days in the fridge or can be frozen.

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, double the recipe and you may not need any of the garnishes.

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 is 1 cup quinoa to 1.75 cups water.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ¾ cup
  • Calories: 196
  • Sugar: 0.5 g
  • Sodium: 294.8 mg
  • Fat: 6.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.4 g
  • Protein: 6.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Comments

  1. so many to try – can’t wait! Think I’ll be doing the Everyday Quinoa with Lemon, Shallots and Herbs for dinner tonight! Thanks for sharing!






  2. Perfect easy dish for potlucks. Love the combination of flavors and the fresh lemon flavor.

  3. I’ve been trying to like quinoa forever & this did it! I serve it with a grilled lemony Greek chicken and some sauv Blanc- perfect for hot nights






  4. This is hands-down the BEST quinoa I have ever had/made! This has the most amazing flavour and it’s so versatile. I can’t WAIT to make it again!






  5. Delicious, there are so many quinoa recipes, but this rates up there with one of the best. I toasted the quinoa mixture for a bit before adding the water. Thank you!!






  6. Made this last night – amazing!! Perfect texture ! Thank you:) Quick question – the quinoa to liquid ration seems different – I thought quinoa was 1c quinoa to 2 c liquid – this recipe was off 3/4 cup liquid – but turned out fabulous!! Not sure how to measure going forward – really enjoyed the light – fluffy texture with this recipe. Can you advise on measurements? Thanks again for a fabulous recipe!!






  7. what’s the best way to rinse quinoa? it goes right through the holes of a fine mesh colander. cheesecloth should work well but I would like to avoid using that if you know of a better way. either way I will be trying this recipe today.

  8. I am so glad I stumbled across this recipe. I was going out on a limb last night when I picked up some quinoa for the first time at the local Winco. I have heard from many people (and sources online) about how much of a super-food that quinoa can be, and had been hesitant to try it with a picky 8-year-old at home (and Father-in-Law who loves to eat microwave meals.) Finally, we took the plunge, and I am so grateful for the tips in this recipe (I would never have thought to soak the quinoa.)

    Once this finished up, we added a bit of soy sauce, and it was simply delightful. Highly recommend!






  9. Very nice fresh salad with a good protein number in the quinoa.Lots of lemon zest for me kicks it up a notch.Thank you for the recipe.As you mentioned you could add anything to turn this salad into a main course.






  10. Haven’t made this yet but I’m bringing this to a thanksliving potluck tonight. I can’t wait! Thank you for this beautiful vegan friendly recipe!






  11. I get recipes off the internet all week long, but rarely do I come back to leave a comment. This dish has probably been one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. It was such a pleasant treat, so full of flavors! I loved it so much and will definitely be adding it into my rotation. If you’re looking for a fantastic, healthy side dish, this is it!! Yum, yum, yum! ?






  12. Top notch! Wow this is such an easy and delicious recipe it’s definitely going into my “go-to-recipes”. Thanks so much again Sylvia. You never disappoint.






  13. If you’re looking for extra flavor with your quinoa, I will suggest toasting it in a skillet over medium heat stirring constantly for a couple of minutes to lightly brown it gives it a Nutty flavor

  14. Made this using chicken broth instead of water. Cumin added a nice warmth. Topped with shallots, toasted pepitas & toasted sliced almonds, chopped parsley. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice boosted the freshness. I think next time I will add golden raisins. Nice layers of texture & flavor. Served alongside grilled pork tenderloin & roasted asparagus.
    Thanks for good recipe!






  15. Excellent and easy! Thanks!!!

    We’re big herb fans so rather than sprinkling as garnish I diced up a bunch of fresh parsley and cilantro and mixed it in with the lemon zest and olive oil at the end. Delicious.






  16. Wow! Super easy and wonderful flavor!!! My family loved it and they have never been quinoa fans. Great to have a go-to simple recipe like this. Can’t wait to try it out on company. Thank you!






  17. I have one kilogram of quinoa – that would require 1.5liters of water would you say?
    Eager to cook this.
    Not been able to make a nice quinoa dish as of yet. Cheers, thanks from Korea!

    1. So I actually measure by volume, not by weight. 1 cup quinoa to 1 ½ cups water. 1 part quinoa to 1 ½ parts water… hope this helps! 🙂

  18. Hi, I don’t have any lemons on me, but I do have some lemon juice. Would drizzling a tiny bit of the lemon juice on it still deliver the flavor? Or am I better off without?

  19. Delicious especially if you enjoy it a day or two later. I’ve been searching for a quinoa recipe that would get me to eat this healthy food and this is it. I also warned slightly and tossed with crumbled (creamy German) Feta cheese. I think it will make a great cold or room temperature salad. Thanks for a great healthy recipe.






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