Quinoa and vegetable paella 017

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a high protein power food. Bon Appétit did a roundup of quinoa recipes from popular blogs (10 Best Quinoa Recipes from Around the Web) and thankfully this one from FatFree Vegan Kitchen was included. It’s seasoned with smoked paprika, saffron, and cumin, which makes for an interesting flavor profile. And here’s a vegetarian dish that can serve as both a main or a side.

Quinoa and Vegetable Paella (recipe adapted from FatFree Vegan Kitchen)


  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • dash cayenne
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 14-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 3/4 – 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken stock for a non-vegetarian dish)
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow summer squash, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and cut into quarters
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Rinse the quinoa with water in a fine mesh strainer.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan or wok over medium heat. Add olive oil, and  sauté onion and garlic until the onion is soft. Add the quinoa. Cook for a few minutes. Add saffron, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, tomatoes (with the juice), bell peppers, pinto beans, and 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 15 minutes.

Add more broth if dry. Put the zucchini and yellow summer squash on top of the quinoa mixture and cover. Cook until quinoa is done and liquid is absorbed. Uncover, stir in the peas, and cook until peas are heated through. Arrange the artichoke hearts on top and serve. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

More quinoa recipes: Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash, Parsnips, and Carrots

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to consider: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

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