How to Bring More Superfood Quinoa Into Your Kitchen


Along with blueberries, broccoli and salmon, quinoa is a known superfood that’s chock-full of good-for-you protein and vitamins, and like kale, it’s enjoyed an “in” moment. From soups and salads to next-level side dishes, quinoa is on restaurant menus everywhere, and you’ve surely seen it in go-to recipes from some of your favorite chefs.

On its own, quinoa has a mild, nutty flavor, which makes it a natural pairing with many different flavors and ingredients. Spicy, sweet, crunchy and cheesy — they all complement classic quinoa dishes, most of which come together quickly and simply.

Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Black Olives (pictured above): If you’re pining for new ways to put seasonal asparagus to work, look no further than Bobby Flay’s heathy salad, which features a mix of tender roasted asparagus spears and briny black olives. A few crumbles of goat cheese add a welcome creamy texture to his light dish, while a simple mustard vinaigrette marries the flavors into one bold taste.

Quinoa Tabbouleh: Ina Garten takes a Mediterranean staple — the tabbouleh salad — with fresh mint and parsley, and bulks it up in the form of filling quinoa. Her big-batch recipe can be made days ahead, then mixed with tangy feta just before serving.

Cheesy Quinoa with Turkey Kielbasa: A heavy-handed addition of cheddar cheese makes for a rich, gooey quinoa base to this speedy recipe from Food Network Magazine. Thanks to the addition of roasted broccoli and tender kielbasa, it’s a satisfying all-in-one meal.

Asian Chicken and Quinoa Salad: Food Network Magazine’s Asian-inspired salad can keep for a few days in the refrigerator, so you can make it on a weekend to enjoy during the week; just consider this an easy way to guarantee a not-sad desk lunch. And perhaps even better, this easy-to-make salad, packed with spring-fresh sugar snap peas and crunchy carrots, features rotisserie chicken, an essential supermarket timesaver.

Spicy Quinoa with Sweet Potatoes: Who says you need meat to beef up a dish? Here Food Network Magazine opts for hearty sweet potatoes to add golden heft to its spicy salad. Just a small jalapeno and a sprinkle of ancho chile powder add a kick of heat, but don’t worry about blazing flames: The spice is tamed with the help of fresh cilantro and cooling lime juice.

Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette: Follow Giada De Laurentiis’ lead and boil the quinoa for her roasted eggplant-apple salad in chicken broth to flavor the dish from the very first layer. She builds the salad atop peppery watercress greens along with fresh apples for a tart bite and chewy dried cranberries for a subtle hint of sweetness. When it comes to the vinaigrette, Giada opts for a mix of smoky, tangy tastes in her fragrant dressing, featuring ground toasted cumin seeds and a pinch of ground cloves.