Spicy Quinoa Pilaf

For a spicier pilaf, add even more cayenne. Or for a milder dish, choose a less spicy ground chile, such as ancho or New Mexican.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock, at least
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cayenne. Cook while stirring until the quinoa toasts and begins to pop, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Stir, then cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

  2. Remove the lid and taste the quinoa to see if it is done. If not, check if there is still liquid in the pan. If so, cover and cook another 5 minutes, or until tender. If not, add a splash of stock and cook until tender. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, then add the pecans. Season to taste and serve.

Contributed By Photo © Scott Hocker Published December 2012

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