Quick Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.
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Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork and pan in background.

I know you don’t have time to stand over the skillet adding broth to risotto every 5 minutes, so I have a quickie version for you today!  Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner.  This is yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation!  The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish.

WHY QUINOA IS SO SPECIAL

Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, but the texture is similar to a grain.  It has a mild, slightly nutty taste, but it’s mild, so it really absorbs any flavors you mix with it.  It’s a great side on it’s own or ingredient to bulk up other foods, such as stuffings.  It can replace pasta or rice in most recipes and adds more protein and fiber…

Which brings me to the health benefits of Quinoa.  1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8g of complete protein and 5g of fiber.  It also has Iron, Manganese, Lysine, and magnesium!  Combining quinoa with veggies, such as Asparagus here gives you a complete balanced meal with vitamins, fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

Try these other easy and delicious Quinoa Recipes!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need just a couple basic cooking items. A small-medium pot with lid for the quinoa.

Also a large skillet/frying pan for making the veggies and curry sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR THE ASPARAGUS & QUINOA RISOTTO

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below) 

Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 3 cups of the Vegetable Broth in a pot with a fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can do this step ahead and store in the fridge for up to 4 days ahead.

Dice the onion, mince the garlic. Rinse the asparagus and pat it dry. Cut off the woody ends, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias (angle).

Raw Asparagus on counter being cut on a bias.

What kind of quinoa should I buy?

For this recipe, I find that white quinoa works best.  Red quinoa is not as soft and may take longer to cook and give you a more coarse texture.  You can find quinoa in the grain section of just about any grocery store these days.  If you missed all of the benefits of Quinoa up above, be sure to scroll back up!

What other vegetable can go into this?

If you are not an asparagus fan, then you can add peas straight from the freezer.  You can also add in green beans, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms.  For each of these veggies, just follow the same instructions for cooking as the asparagus.

COOK YOUR ASPARAGUS QUINOA RISOTTO 

In a preheated (High Heat) large frying pan, add 1 tsp Olive Oil, the cut asparagus, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together, spread out into an even layer, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate.

Cut cooked asparagus on a plate for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto

To the same large pan on Medium heat, add another 1 tsp of olive oil plus the onions and the garlic. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and the last 1 cup of vegetable broth. Whisk to combine.

Add the pre-cooked quinoa and stir to combine and then simmer uncovered until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the asparagus.

Adding cooked cut asparagus from a plate to risotto in pan for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan a little at a time, so it doesn’t melt into a clump.

Parmesan cheese added to Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Can you make this ahead and reheat it?

Yes, you can make this ahead and store it in the fridge.  When you reheat it, you may need to add a splash of broth to help loosen it up again.  You can also garnish with fresh parmesan to bring it back to life.  This is not an ideal dish for the freezer, however.  The quinoa can do ok in the freezer, but the asparagus may get mushy.  If you do want to make the quinoa ahead and freeze, add the asparagus fresh once you reheat it for best results in texture and flavor.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe below! I love to hear your feedback and your rating helps others to find this recipe. Thanks so much!

Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto with parmesan on top on a plate with fork.
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Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

This Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto is quickie-version that's such a hearty, delicious, and healthy dinner.  It's yet another way to incorporate that fantastic superfood, Quinoa, into your dinner rotation!  The Quinoa beautifully absorbs and plumps up with all of the flavor from the broth, onions, garlic, tomato paste and oregano. Then cut asparagus is mixed in along with nutty and creamy parmesan cheese for a perfect finish.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword asparagus, healthy dinner, quinoa, risotto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth (3 for cooking Quinoa, 1 for Risotto Sauce)
  • 1 ½ cups Quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano dried
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 bunch Asparagus
  • 1-2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to 3 cups of the Vegetable Broth in a pot with a fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. You can do this step ahead and store in the fridge for up to 4 days ahead.

  2. Dice the onion, mince the garlic. Rinse the asparagus and pat it dry. Cut off the woody ends, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias (angle).
    Raw Asparagus on counter being cut on a bias.

Cooking Steps

  1. In a preheated (High Heat) large frying pan, add 1 tsp Olive Oil, the cut asparagus, 1/2 of the minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together, spread out into an even layer, turn the heat down to medium, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate.
    Cut cooked asparagus on a plate for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
  2. To the same large pan on Medium heat, add another 1 tsp of olive oil plus the onions and the garlic. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and the last 1 cup of vegetable broth. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the pre-cooked quinoa and stir to combine and then simmer uncovered until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid, about 10 minutes. Stir in the asparagus.
    Adding cooked cut asparagus from a plate to risotto in pan for Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan a little at a time, so it doesn’t melt into a clump. Serve and enjoy!
    Parmesan cheese added to Asparagus and Tomato Quinoa Risotto in a pan.

Easy Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with Tofu & Veggies

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Get ready for a flavor explosion with these Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies!  The sauce is nutty, tangy, salty, slightly sweet, and spicy with peanut butter, teriyaki, Thai red curry paste, sesame oil, and garlic!  The tofu is seared for a perfect outside and creamy inside.  The zucchini, peppers, and peanuts on top add crunch and texture.  The noodles, well they let you slurp everything up perfectly!  It’s irresistible!  

This is perfect for a prep-ahead and last-minute-weeknight-cook dinner.  The cooking only takes about 15 minutes, so most of the work is the prep for the tofu and the veggies. 

MEATLESS MONDAYS!

I have said this before on the blog, but I love building themes into weekly meal planning.  It makes dinners so much easier when you have a guide for what to cook.  And one of my favorite themes is Meatless Mondays!  The kids like it especially because they don’t have to eat meat.  I like it because we all get more veggies and healthy plant-based proteins.  

Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles are a great addition to my Meatless Monday repertoire.  Here are some other meatless favorites to try!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles Recipe, you will need a large skillet/frying pan for making the veggies and curry sauce. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. 

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR THAI PEANUT SAUCE NOODLES & TOFU

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

Since cooking only takes about 15 minutes, if you can do these steps a day ahead or even the morning of, you can have a super fast dinner!

Start with the tofu prep.  Cut tofu into 1 inch square pieces and pour teriyaki sauce over to coat. Marinate in fridge for 15-30 minutes.

Firm tofu cut into cubes and marinating in teriyaki sauce for Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies.

Slice red pepper into thin strips.  Slice Zucchini into triangles about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Finely slice 1 tablespoon scallion greens for garnish, then rough chop remaining the scallions into 1/2 inch pieces. Peel and mince the garlic.

Make the sauce by measuring out 4 teaspoons of peanut butter and soften by either microwaving for 10 seconds or putting it in a glass container and submerging the bottom into hot water until softened. Once the peanut butter is softened enough to mix, add the Thai Red Curry Paste, teriyaki sauce, water, sesame oil, and minced garlic. Whisk to completely combine.

Peanut butter, thai curry paste, garlic, and honey in a bowl for Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies.

Thai peanut sauce mixed in a bowl for Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies.

How many days ahead can I prep?

You can cut the tofu up to 4 days ahead and lay it on a paper towel lined dish.  I would not marinate the tofu in the teriyaki more than 24 hours as it may start to break down and not sear nicely.  You can prep the rest of the ingredients up to 4 days ahead.

What if I don’t have thai curry paste?

You can skip it all together and this dish will still taste great, but it really brings the thai and pepper component to the recipe.  You could also replace it with a teaspoon of Harissa paste or red pepper paste.

COOK YOUR THAI PEANUT SAUCE NOODLES & TOFU 

The rice noodles cook very quickly, so I like to start boiling the water, but then wait to put the noodles in until just before I want to add them to the pan.  They only take a few minutes to soften and if they cook too long, then can get very mushy.

Preheat a large frying pan on medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Drain the tofu pieces and pat dry, then add to the hot pan. Seared on all sides for 1-2 minutes each side. Remove the tofu to a plate and set aside.

Firm teriyaki-marinated tofu cut into cubes searing in a hot pan for Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies.

Add another teaspoon of Olive oil to the pan, then add the zucchini, scallion, and red pepper to the pan. Let sear for 4 minutes, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the sauce and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan.

Thai peanut sauce added to zucchini and red pepper in a pan for Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies.
Add the tofu pieces back with the drained noodles, then stir to combine. Cook for just enough time for everything to get hot.  Serve and garnish with sliced scallions and chopped peanuts.

Cooked Rice noodles being added to a pan with Thai Peanut Sauce with tofu and veggies.

Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies in a pan on stove.

Can I make this ahead and reheat it?

Yes!  This dish will reheat wonderfully, so go for it!  To reheat it, you can either use the microwave or the stove.  For the stove, try to find a large pan with enough surface area for everything to warm up on the pan rather than steam.  You can add 1/4 cup of water to loosen it up as it warms.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Easy Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with Tofu and Veggies

Get ready for a flavor explosion with Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies!  The sauce is nutty, tangy, salty, slightly sweet, and spicy with peanut butter, teriyaki, Thai red curry paste, sesame oil, and garlic!  The tofu is seared for a perfect outside and creamy inside.  The zucchini, peppers, and peanuts on top add crunch and texture.  The noodles, well they let you slurp everything up perfectly!  It's irresistible and easy to make for a family dinner!  

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Keyword gluten free, meatless, noodles, tofu, vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 14 oz Extra Firm Tofu or Super Firm
  • 1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce

Peanut Sauce

  • 4 tsp Peanut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 2/3 cup Teriyaki Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Garlic minced (1 clove)

Other

  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Zucchini medium
  • 4 Scallions
  • 3 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 oz Rice Noodles thin
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Peanuts

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Cut tofu into 1 inch square pieces and pour teriyaki sauce over to coat. Marinate in fridge for 15-30 minutes.

    Firm tofu cut into cubes and marinating in teriyaki sauce for Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies.
  2. Slice red pepper into thin strips. Slice Zucchini into triangles about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. 

  3. Finely slice 1 tablespoon scallion greens for garnish, then rough chop remaining the scallions into 1/2 inch pieces. Peel and mince the garlic.

  4. Make the sauce by measuring out 4 teaspoons of peanut butter and soften by either microwaving for 10 seconds or putting it in a glass container and submerging the bottom into hot water until softened. Once the peanut butter is softened enough to mix, add the Thai Red Curry Paste, teriyaki sauce, water, sesame oil, and minced garlic. Whisk with a fork to completely combine.

    Thai peanut sauce mixed in a bowl for Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies.

Cooking Steps

  1. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat on water and add the rice noodles to the hot water. Stir to submerge and remove once soft, about 3-5 minutes. Drain and then rinse with warm water (rice noodles are very starchy and you need to rinse off the excess starch).

  2. Preheat a large frying pan on medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Drain the tofu pieces and pat dry, then add to the hot pan. Seared on all sides for 1-2 minutes each side. Remove the tofu to a plate and set aside

    Firm teriyaki-marinated tofu cut into cubes searing in a hot pan for Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies.
  3. Add another teaspoon of Olive oil to the pan, then add the zucchini, red pepper, and scallion to the pan. Let sear for 4 minutes, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the Thai Peanut Sauce you made earlier and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan.

    Thai peanut sauce added to zucchini and red pepper in a pan for Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with seared tofu and veggies.
  4. Add the tofu pieces back with the drained noodles, then stir to combine. Cook for just enough time for everything to get hot.  Serve and garnish with sliced scallions and chopped peanuts.

    Cooked Rice noodles being added to a pan with Thai Peanut Sauce with tofu and veggies.