Crunchy Garden Quinoa

I particularly love this salad/quinoa. The flavors create a perfect harmony. It’s fresh, light and hearty all at once. The sauteed shallots and red peppers give the quinoa a rich, deep flavor and the cucumbers a fresh pop. While the arugula offers a bit of spicy contrast. This would also be delicious with some crumbled feta and roasted or grilled diced chicken.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large or 4 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, stemmed, seeded, de-veined and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1/4 cup white wine, such as pinot grigio
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 packed cup arugula, chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan or a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the bell pepper, salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 minutes.
  3. Make a space in the center of the vegetables and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.
  4. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with oil, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer until all of the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Keep covered and let sit for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the arugula, almonds, mint, cucumber and lemon zest and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Adapted From | Giada De Laurentiis

Cook’s Note: To toast the almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before using


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