This delightful Quinoa Side Dish has pine nuts, green onions, and cilantro, or use flat leaf parsley if you’re not a cilantro fan.  

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Quinoa Side Dish Recipe with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

How do you feel about quinoa? It’s something I was slow to warm up to. Then I made Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, Cucumbers, followed by Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad and Southwestern Quinoa Salad and I realized I was starting to become a quinoa fan.

This Quinoa Side Dish may be my favorite quinoa recipe yet. The quinoa is sauteed in oil for a few minutes before it’s cooked in chicken or vegetable broth, and then a generous amount of toasted pine nuts and chopped green onion and a little chopped cilantro (or parsley) is stirred in before it’s eaten warm. And if you haven’t had quinoa yet, this is a recipe you should definitely try. And of course, PINE NUTS! Go ahead and use extra pine nuts if the budget can handle it.

What is quinoa?

The food product we call quinoa is actually the seeds of a flowering plant, and the seeds are higher in protein, fiber, and nutrients than many grains.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • Grapeseed Oil (affiliate link) or other neutral-flavored oil
  • quinoa
  • canned chicken broth (affiliate link) or vegetable broth
  • salt to taste
  • pine nuts
  • green onion
  • cilantro 

What if you’re not a cilantro fan?

For everyone with those no-cilantro tastebuds, this recipe will be just as good with flat leaf parsley!

What can you use instead of pine nuts?

Pine nuts can be pricey, and I recommend buying the bags at Costco for the most affordable ones I’ve found. But if they’re not in the budget or you don’t want to buy them for one recipe I’d use slivered almonds or chopped cashews for this recipe.

Why does Quinoa need to be rinsed?

Quinoa Side Dish Recipe with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro (Gluten-Free, Vegan) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Most quinoa has to be rinsed to remove a natural coating called saponin. Check the package to see if the quinoa you have needs rinsing, but most likely it does. Rinse until there is no foaminess, and then let the quinoa drain.

Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro

How to make this Quinoa Side Dish:

Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, add the rinsed quinoa and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the quinoa starts to smell slightly toasted.
  2. Add the canned chicken broth (affiliate link) or vegetable stock (it will sputter a little).
  3. Give the mixture a stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook until the liquid is absorbed.
  4. While the quinoa cooks, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan just until they smell toasted. (This will take only 1-2 minutes at high heat; don’t let pine nuts get too brown or they’ll taste bitter.) 
  5. When the liquid is all absorbed, let the quinoa sit covered for five minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  6. Slice green onions and chop cilantro (or parsley) while the quinoa sits.
  7. Stir in the toasted pine nuts, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro. 
  8. This is meant to be served warm, but I ate some leftovers the next day right out of the fridge and it was really good that way as well!

Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro

More Recipes with Quinoa:

Southwestern Quinoa Salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen
How To Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker (plus recipes) from Gluten-Free Goddess
Asian Quinoa Salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro
Yield: 4 servings

Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

I love to use cilantro in this Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Cilantro but just use flat leaf parsley if you’re not a cilantro fan.

Ingredients

  • 1 T grapeseed oil (see notes)
  • 1 C quinoa, rinsed (unless the package says it does not need to be rinsed)
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • salt to taste, about 1/2 tsp. or a bit less
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 T finely chopped cilantro (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Check the package to see if the quinoa needs to be rinsed, and if it does put quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears; let quinoa drain at least 5 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Add quinoa and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the quinoa starts to smell toasted.
  4. Add the chicken or vegetable stock, being careful if the stock sputters up from the hot pan.
  5. Add salt, stir and bring the mixture to a boil; then lower heat to a simmer and let the quinoa cook covered for 15 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed.)
  6. While quinoa cooks, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over high heat, just until the nuts smell toasted.  (This will only take 1-2 minutes if the heat is high; don’t let the pine nuts get too brown or they will taste bitter.)
  7. When quinoa is done, let stand covered for 5 minutes.
  8. While quinoa stands, slice green onions and chop cilantro (or parsley.)
  9. After 5 minutes, fluff quinoa with a fork.
  10. Stir in toasted pine nuts, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro.
  11. Serve hot or warm.

Notes

You can use any neutral-flavored vegetable oil if you don't have grapeseed oil. I'd use slivered almonds if pine nuts aren't in the budget. Just use parsley if you're not a cilantro fan.

Recipe adapted slightly from The Sunset Cookbook. (affiliate link)

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 393Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 505mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 20g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

Did you make this recipe?

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions: 
Quinoa is a high-protein seed which is eaten as a grain. This recipe would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. Quinoa is relatively high in carbs, even though it’s also rich in protein and has fiber. Check the nutritional information if you’re eating this for another type of carb-conscious diet, and limit serving size if you don’t want too many carbs.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dish Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2011. It was last updated with more information in 2021.

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