Quinoa makes a fabulous side dish, but is even tastier as a meal. Try these hearty and unique recipes for healthy and filling meals.
Food & Wine
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Black Bean-and-Quinoa Salad
Ken Oringer believes chefs need to make a point of eating healthy dishes when they can, so he includes protein-rich quinoa in his diet at least three times a week. Here he mixes the grain with black beans, onions and peppers to make a hearty and very satisfying side dish that's a fun variation on prosaic five-bean salad.
At L.A. Bento in Los Angeles, chef Chad Aaland makes quinoa salad with three types of beans and house-pickled onions. This streamlined version with black beans and jarred cocktail onions is tasty, too.
Anna Zepaltas grew up preparing tamales in her mother's Southern California kitchen, but she also loves Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Cumin, coriander and cardamom punch up this salad, inspired by a favorite dish at Chloe's French Cafe in Santa Rosa, California.
Quinoa is definitely a superfood: A grain-like seed, it's a "complete" protein containing all eight essential amino acids (another plus: it cooks much more quickly than most grains). To create a terrific vegetarian main course, Michael Symon of Cleveland's Lola tosses quinoa with arugula, apple, raisins and fresh herbs, then spoons the salad into a halved baked squash (a great source of iron and vitamins A and C).
The Good News Eating quinoa is a great way for vegetarians to get protein. Jeremy Fox tosses nutty-tasting quinoa with crunchy shaved vegetables for a refreshing salad loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Red Rice and Quinoa Salad with Orange and Pistachios
In this fluffy salad, Yotam Ottolenghi blends South American quinoa with nutty Camargue red rice from southern France. The salad gets a fruity sweetness from orange juice and zest and is delicious alongside roast chicken.
Quinoa Salad with Grilled Scallions, Favas and Dates
"One thing I've learned as a chef is not to overfeed your customers--a food coma is very unpleasant," says Charlie Parker of Plum restaurant in Oakland, California. This salad of grilled spring vegetables feels just filling enough, thanks to the protein-rich quinoa and a puree of dates that are grilled first to soften them and intensify their natural sweetness.
"I grew up with a bunch of hippies, so I ate a lot of quinoa," Kerry Simon says. "I thought the taste was so cool." For this tabbouleh-like salad with tomatoes and roasted bell peppers, Simon simmers quinoa in water and orange juice to give it a citrus hit.