This post is sponsored by iHerb. As always, all opinions are my own.

This easy quinoa pilaf is made with sweet dried apricots and salty pistachios for a side dish that is full of flavor. Serve this with pilaf your favorite protein or add it to a bed of mixed greens for a delicious and healthy salad.

easy quinoa pilaf

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is technically a seed, although many people think of it as a grain. It’s a complete protein which means it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. It’s a great pantry staple and I love how versatile it is! Check out this post for everything you need to know about quinoa! While pilaf is a dish that is typically made with rice, I decided to create a version with quinoa! This is not a traditional pilaf but I think you’ll love it!

Where to Buy Quinoa

You can find quinoa at most grocery stores, near the rice. There is red quinoa, white quinoa, and tri-color quinoa. There isn’t a big difference in taste, so feel free to buy any of them for this recipe. I love the way the red quinoa looks in this pilaf!

quinoa

How to Prepare Quinoa

Quinoa needs to be rinsed before eating. If your quinoa doesn’t indicate that it’s pre-rinsed, you’ll need to rinse it in a fine-mesh strainer. This helps remove a bitter coating on the quinoa that contains saponins. You will need to dry the quinoa in order to toast it, so I do recommend buying pre-rinsed quinoa if possible. You can make quinoa on the stovetop, as the package will typically suggest, but you can also make quinoa in an Instant Pot or you can cook quinoa in a rice cooker!

Tips for Perfect Quinoa Pilaf

  • Be sure to rinse your quinoa before cooking, unless you’ve purchased pre-washed quinoa.
  • Adding the apricots to the warm quinoa will gently hydrate the fruit, giving them a deliciously plump texture.
  • To save time, buy pre-shelled pistachios. You can also substitute sliced almonds or pine nuts.
quinoa pilaf on a plate

How to Store Leftover Quinoa Pilaf

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This quinoa pilaf can be served cold or at room temperature. It’s a great make-ahead meal because it can be prepared in advance and doesn’t require any reheating.

Ideas for Serving Quinoa Pilaf

This pilaf makes a great side dish with your favorite protein. You can also serve it on top of a bed of mixed greens for an easy salad. You can also add chickpeas or your favorite protein to turn this into a hearty main dish, perfect for lunch!

Print
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Easy Quinoa Pilaf

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Other

Description

This easy quinoa pilaf is made with sweet dried apricots and salty pistachios for a side dish that is full of flavor. Serve this with pilaf your favorite protein or add it to a bed of mixed greens for a delicious and healthy salad.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ½ cups quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

Instructions

  1. If the quinoa is not pre-washed, rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer.
  2. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with a dish towel, and let dry.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, toast the quinoa for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
  4. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl.
  5. In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the diced onion, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, and salt.
  6. Continue to cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the quinoa and water to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
  8. Continue to simmer for 15-18 minutes until the quinoa is fluffy and the water is absorbed.
  9. Remove from heat, add the apricots to the quinoa, and cover for 5 minutes.
  10. Fluff with a fork and add pistachios.
  11. Garnish with fresh mint.

Keywords: easy quinoa pilaf

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quinoa pilaf

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