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.

Giada De Laurentiis' Quinoa Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette for Ladies Empowerment Lunch as seen on Food Networks Giada at Home

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Giada De Laurentiis' Quinoa Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette for Ladies Empowerment Lunch as seen on Food Networks Giada at Home

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