This is a super easy quinoa pilaf that works well as a side or even as a main dish.
More holiday recipes: Butternut Squash Ratatouille with Chimichurri Tofu, Sweet Orange-Rosemary Shrub, Cauliflower Comfort Bake
For this quinoa pilaf, I made my grains in the rice cooker, but you can cook yours on the stovetop if you don’t have a rice cooker. Did you know that you can cook quinoa in the rice cooker? You can actually cook pretty much any grain you want in there, quinoa included. You can also make lentils in the rice cooker! Just learn from my cooking disaster and don’t try making rice cooker steel cut oats, OK?
ANYWAY. Enough about my rice cooker obsession.
What I love about a pilaf recipe is that it’s so versatile. If you don’t have quinoa, you can use rice, millet, or wheat berries. The veggies are also totally mix-uppable. Asparagus and mushrooms is lovely, but broccoli and carrots would be nice. Or Brussels sprouts and caramelized onions. Ooh or some roasted butternut squash, maybe? Think of my quinoa pilaf as a jumping-off point for your own pilaf recipe!
Quinoa Pilaf with Asparagus and Button Mushrooms
The mushrooms go into the pan a little bit earlier than you might expect. Starting them a bit sooner lets them go from soft to a little bit browned and crispy. It’s such a nice texture paired with the fluffy quinoa!
Yield: 4 main dishes or 6-8 sides
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 a sweet onion, chopped
- 8 ounces sliced button mushrooms
- 2 cups chopped asparagus (1″-1 1/2″ pieces), woody bottom of the stems removed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- Put the quinoa and broth into your rice cooker, and turn it on. When the cooker clicks off, it’s ready. If you’re cooking on the stovetop, bring the broth to a boil, add the quinoa, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer – covered – until all of the water absorbs. It takes about 10-15 minutes on the stove.
- While the quinoa cooks, heat your oil on medium high in a medium skillet. Add the garlic, onion, and mushroom and cook, stirring, until the onions turn translucent and the mushrooms soften.
- Add the asparagus, thyme, and sage, and cook until the asparagus turns bright green.
- Toss the quinoa and veggies together in a large serving bowl, and eat up!