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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!
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.
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. )
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!
Everyday Quinoa Recipe with Lemon, Shallots and Herbs
- 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
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!
- 1–2 shallots ( or 1/4 of an onion) – very thinly sliced – see notes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed, drained ( rinsing removes bitterness)
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or use 1–2 minced garlic cloves with the shallot)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano ( or italian seasoning, or herbs de Provence, or similar)
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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
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!
Looks so delicious!! I truly love your recipes. I cannot wait to try it.
thanks so much ❤️
Perfect easy dish for potlucks. Love the combination of flavors and the fresh lemon flavor.
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
Awesome Julie- glad you enjoyed this!
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!
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!!
Nicely put. Thank you!
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!!
It just depends on how you want the end result. I wanted this one to be a little more chewy!
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.
That is so strange, it doesn’t go through my strainer? That is what I use.
Maybe she’s using the wrong strainer.
Hi. Would you suggest toasting the almonds? Thanks
Yes, that would be nice!
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!
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.
This recipe is amazing
Thanks so much!
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!
I hope you enjoyed this!!!
how’d it go?
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! ?
I’m so happy you liked this!
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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!
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! 🙂
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?
Yes, this would be fine!
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.
Im so happy you enjoyed it Celia! Thanks for sharing how you served it!
Easy and very good taste! Totally recommend this recipe.
Thanks Jacqueline, I appreciate your comments and ratings~!!!
Thank you , amazing recipes very healthy easy to make
I am very please thank you
Awesome Maria, thank you so much!