12 Easy Quinoa Recipes for Dinner

12 Easy Quinoa Recipes for Dinner with 6 food images

There are so many delicious ways to use quinoa.  With lots of fiber and protein, plus other nutrients, it’s a healthier substitute for rice.   It’s also such a neutral flavor that it can be used in sweet or savory recipes.  Here we have 12 amazing and easy quinoa recipes that you can make for dinner for you and your family.

MORE ABOUT QUINOA

Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is cooked and consumed much like other grains in recipes.  But it’s health benefits are far superior to most other grains.  In fact, the Incas referred to it as the “mother of all grains” thousands of years back and believed it to be sacred. 

However, Quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, though the texture is similar to a grain.  It has a mild, slightly nutty taste.  Because the flavor is so mild, it really absorbs any flavors you mix with it.  It’s a great side or accompaniment to top with sauces or stews.  It’s also great when used to bulk up other foods, such as stuffings, as you will see in the Stuffed Tomato recipe below.  It can replace pasta or rice in most recipes.

But the greatest things about Quinoa are the fantastic health benefits.  1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8g of complete protein and 5g of fiber.  There are very few plant-based foods that provide complete proteins with all essential amino acids.  You typically need to find this in animal proteins, but Quinoa delivers this!  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.

So, without further ado, here are…

12 DELICIOUS & EASY QUINOA RECIPES FOR FAMILY DINNERS:

1.  Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowl

Taco Quinoa Bowl with Ground Beef, corn, cotija cheese, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and cilantro lime crema drizzled on top. Bowl of crema, bowl of cotija cheese, tomatoes and cilantro on the table.

First up on the list are Ground Beef Taco Quinoa Bowls.  These are so darn tasty, versatile, and easy to make so they are perfect for busy weeknights! Everything can me prepped and cooked ahead, so you only need to reheat and enjoy. The base of these bowls is the Quinoa, which is lightly seasoned and is a perfect fluffy backdrop. It’s topped with saucy ground beef that’s loaded with savory and smoky Mexican flavors from the chili powder, cumin, garlic, and scallions. Corn that is slightly seared brings a pop of sweetness. The Cotija cheese brings tang and creaminess and the tomato a burst of freshness. The avocado adds rich creaminess and the cool cilantro lime crema brings that final bright finishing touch.  If you are at all worried about your family accepting quinoa, this is a great way to try it!

 2. Quick Asparagus & Tomato Quinoa Risotto

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

When it comes to easy quinoa recipes, you probably don’t think ‘risotto’, but now you will!  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.  You don’t need a meat to go with this, but you certainly can add a simple grilled chicken, steak, or fish to it to complete the meal.

3.  Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos

Quinoa Black Bean Burritos cut in half and standing face up on plate. Packed with protein and fiber, but also cheese, tomato, cilantro, and sour cream!  The vegetarian 'meat' is taco-seasoned quinoa, black beans, and cauliflower.

Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos are a scrumptious eat-with-your-hands family, dinner! They are packed with protein and fiber, but also ooey-gooey cheese, tomato, cilantro, and sour cream! The ‘meat’ in this recipe is a flavorful taco-seasoned quinoa, black bean, and cauliflower filling. I mean, could it get any healthier!? But yet, it looks like a traditional burrito and I’m telling you, it tastes like on too.  These burritos are also such an easy Meal Prep idea because you can prep them entirely ahead and wrap them individually in foil to store in the fridge. Then toss them into the oven to warm through.  They make a great snack after school, a quick lunch or dinner, or even a breakfast if you add some scrambled eggs inside.

4.  Quinoa and Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Creamy Lemon Dressing

Close up of bowl of Quinoa & Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas, Pomegranate, Feta, red pepper, and Creamy Lemon Dressing. #glutenfree #lunch #dinner #healthyrecipes #healthyfood #salads #quinoa #kale

Welcome to your new breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between OBSESSION! This Quinoa and Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Creamy Lemon Dressing has everything you could ever want in a meal. It’s fresh, light, and bright from the lemon dressing, kale, scallion, and red pepper. Then it’s hearty, nutty, and salty from the quinoa, roasted chickpeas and Feta Cheese. And then you get a burst of fresh sweetness from the pomegranate seeds. And all of the different textures will make your mouth so happy!  Salads are super easy quinoa recipes. Not only only are they delicious and good for you, they are also incredibly versatile and can be made well in advance to enjoy all week!  Add a small container in your child’s school lunch, pack some for work, or eat for dinner!

5.  Simple Weeknight Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake

Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake in a bowl with potato chips on top. It's a comfy cozy casserole that's perfect to make ahead for a simple weeknight side or main dish.

Casseroles are one of the best make-ahead options for busy families and a classic combo is broccoli and cheese. Usually, it’s made with rice, but this is a healthier version that’s made with Quinoa! Get ready for a comfy and cozy Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Bake that’s a simple side or main dish any weeknight!  This recipe comes together easily and gives the most amazing flavor. The quinoa is hearty, creamy, and flavorful, but also super healthy, loaded with fiber and protein! The broccoli brings color, vitamins, and texture. The cheese, well, it’s creamy and delicious! You can make this casserole entirely ahead and reheat any busy night! It’s a balanced meal on it’s own, but you can add chicken, meatballs, or any other easy meat that your family loves.

6.  Chorizo and Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes on sheet pan on counter with chorizo, quinoa, parmesan cheese, chives, garlic, and oregano are simply divine! 

Stuffed Tomatoes are little treasures! And these Stuffed Tomatoes with chorizo, quinoa, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, chives, garlic, and oregano are simply divine! Juicy tomatoes are hollowed out and the insides are mixed with these amazing ingredients and then stuffed back in. You get the warm juicy tomato with a salty and hearty center. Each bite is salty, peppery, creamy, and incredibly flavorful! These can be stuffed ahead and then baked right before serving and are great as either a side or a main!!

7. Mediterranean Sheet Pan Dinner with Sausage, Chickpeas, & Zucchini

Mediterranean SHEET PAN DINNER on a plate with chicken sausage, parmesan zucchini. and crispy chickpeas over quinoa with dollops of seasoned Ricotta. #sheetpandinner #chickpeas

Raise your hand if you love cooking, but I hate doing dishes. I don’t know about you, but in my house, there are always dishes piling up! That’s one of the reasons I LOVE this Mediterranean Sheet Pan Dinner for easy cleanup! It has hearty and satisfying chicken sausage, creamy and bright zucchini. and crispy nutty chickpeas. Everything is infused with Mediterranean flavors from the garlic, oregano, and olive oil. Serve over quinoa with a few dollops of seasoned Ricotta and you gotta one heck of a delicious dinner!

8. Quinoa Crust Tomato Tart with Artichoke Hearts and Goat Cheese

Close up of cut Tomato Tart on parchment. It gives you crunch from the Quinoa crust, a burst of fresh from the tomatoes, tons of flavor from the basil and garlic, tang and meatiness from the artichoke and so much creaminess from the mozzarella and goat cheese!  It's addictive and delicious!

This Quinoa Crust Tomato Tart has artichoke hearts, goat cheese, basil, and garlic. It’s a healthy alternative to pizza, but still gives you all the pizza feels with incredible taste! This was inspired by another recipe, my Bruschetta Topping with fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and creamy goat cheese. Add some mozzarella and pile it all on a healthy Quinoa Crust and you have an AMAZING and healthy tart! I love this recipe because you get crunch from the crust, a burst of fresh from the tomatoes, tons of flavor from the basil and garlic, tang and meatiness from the artichoke and so much creaminess from the mozzarella and goat cheese! It’s addictive and delicious!

9.  Creamy Cajun Beans & Cauliflower over Quinoa

Creamy Cajun Cauliflower and Beans over Quinoa in a bowl. The mild cajun flavors combined with  healthy garbanzo beans, black beans, cauliflower, and mushrooms make this a hearty, creamy, and delicious dish. 

This Creamy Cajun Beans and Cauliflower over Quinoa is a vegetarian dish for EVERYONE! Kids, adults, meat eaters, and veggie lovers will all love this recipe. The not-too-hot fantastic cajun flavors combined with healthy garbanzo beans, black beans, cauliflower, and mushrooms make this a hearty, creamy, and delicious dish. Creaminess comes from creating a roux and then using low fat milk and broth, no fattening/high-calorie heavy cream here!  For busy weeknights, you can make the cajun beans and cauliflower ahead, as well as the quinoa.  Store both in the fridge and then quickly warm up and serve together any night.

10.  Cilantro Lime Quinoa Side Dish

Cilantro Lime Quinoa in a bowl with spoon with lime and cilantro on counter. It's fluffy, nutty, citrusy, salty, and the perfect accompaniment for any protein or vegetable!  With just a few simple ingredients, you can make this fantastic healthier alternative to rice. #quinoa #quinoarecipes #sides #healthyfood

This Cilantro Lime Quinoa Side Dish is fluffy, nutty, citrusy, salty, and the perfect accompaniment for any protein or vegetable! With just a few simple ingredients, you can make this fantastic healthier alternative to rice. Just 25 minutes to cook the Quinoa, 3 ingredients, and this is yours too!  It goes great with Garlic Lime Shrimp or Sweet and Sour Chicken Kabobs or Roasted Cumin Carrots with Avocado Crema or just about any grilled, broiled, or roasted protein or veggie!

11.  Sunny Quinoa with Fried Egg & Veggie Medley

This 5-ingredient Sunny Quinoa with Fried Egg & Veggie Medley is simple, but incredible. The Veggie Medley is a trifecta of red pepper, zucchini, and sweet corn that are roasted on a sheet pan. Then on top of it all is a salty fried egg with a runny yoke that oozes out to bring a deep creaminess to the entire dish.

This Sunny Quinoa with Fried Egg & Veggie Medley with only 6 ingredients, is so simple, but incredible because the combination of flavors is just perfect together. And if you have never had a fried egg with the yoke oozing over your rice or pasta or, in this case, quinoa, you are missing out and have gotta try this. The yoke brings a natural creaminess to the dish that you just cannot get from anything else.  This is another dish that’s great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

12.  Easy Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

This is a Creamy Parmesan Quinoa Mushroom Risotto in a pan on the stove is a recipe with garlic, parmesan, and mushrooms. I swapped the heavy cream for low fat milk and you will not miss any of the flavor, I promise! The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way until it becomes creamy deliciousness.

Last, but not least, another easy quinoa risotto! This Creamy Parmesan Mushroom Quinoa Risotto is truly one of my all time favorite recipes!! You get the garlic flavor in the background and the nuttiness from the Parmesan combined with the earthy mushrooms. The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way until it becomes creamy deliciousness.  I suggest rounding out the dinner by adding a simple grilled chicken or steak.  Or how about a super flavorful Paprika Chicken for a smokey and peppery addition?

What are YOUR favorite Quinoa recipes?  Please share in the comments!

😍 Carrie

8 Family Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes for Fall & Winter!

Shredded Beef Ragu Recipe in slow cooker with wood spoon and parmesan on the table. It's so easy to make and has a thick meaty texture and a super rich delicious flavor.

It’s time, my friends!  It SLOW COOKER SEASON!!  If you know…you know.  If you are new to the wonderful world of the slow cooker, well, you are about to have your life changed!  That’s because the slow cooker takes the stress out of dinner, gives you time back with your family, cooks dinner for YOU – oh and leaves the hair on your head (lol – yes, I have wanted to pull my hair out vs make dinner too)!  Because I know first hand how amazing the Slow Cooker is, today I have my top 8 Easy Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes that you really must try this Fall and Winter!

These 8 Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes meet the following criteria:

  1. EASY – 90% of the Dinner is cooked in the slow cooker.  This means that the main protein and veggies are cooked in the slow cooker.  The only other parts of the dinner that may be needed are a starch or grain (pasta, rice, quinoa, potato, etc. and potentially a simple salad if you desire.  
  2. KID-FRIENDLY – these recipes are kid-tested and parents have confirmed to me that their kids enjoyed them!  Let’s face it, kids are finicky.  One day they love something and the next they don’t.  So, I don’t pretend that all kids will love these recipes.  However, there is nothing too spicy or too polarizing here.
  3. COMFORTING – It’s getting cold out and we this year, we all need a bit more comfort, right?  All of these recipes are sure to warm your insides and give you a cozy and comfy feeling.
  4. BALANCED – These are recipes that contain a balanced mix of vitamins and nutrients.  I don’t shy away from the yummy stuff (ehem, cheese:) but I do try to include a healthy dose of veggies!

A Slow Cooker is a Busy Family’s Best Friend

My slow cooker is one of my most beloved kitchen appliances.  Not only does a slow cooker make wonderful food, it helps to make your life easier and gives you peace of mind.  You can fill the slow cooker in the morning and let it cook all day while you are at work.  You come home to delicious and comforting aromas and have a warm dinner waiting for you.

I absolutely love love love my easy and simple (and not expensive) Crock-Pot.  I have the 6-Quart version with 5 settings (low 4-hour, low 6-hour, high 8-hour, high 10-hour, and warm).

There are other fancier versions and if I were in the market for a new slow cooker, I would want THIS one with a browning insert!  You can order this today and have it in a few days to start your Slow Cooker Cookin’!

So, here you go!

8 Easy Slow Cooker Dinner Recipes

1. Comforting Beef Stew over Noodles

Slow Cooker Beef Stew over Noodles on a plate. This is downhome comfort food that's full of flavor and texture with carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, beef, and more. Now, try pouring that salty, chunky, saucy goodness over noodles...yup, even more amazing! #beefstew #crockpot #slowcooker #easydinners #dinnerrecipes

Beef Stew over Noodles is one of those slow cooker dinner recipes that is just downhome comfort food. It’s full of flavor and texture with carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, beef, and more. Make it in the Slow Cooker and it’s like your Mom made it for you because it cooks all day while you are out and it’s waiting for you when you are home. Now, try pouring that salty, chunky, saucy goodness over noodles…yup, even more amazing!

2. Slow Cooker Light & Creamy Broccoli Soup

Slow Cooker Creamy Broccoli Soup in two bowls on counter with crockpot in back. This is easy, comforting, and delicious! With Carrots, Broccoli, Onion, Garlic, and Oregano, this is one flavorful soup. And, there is no heavy cream, just milk and a little half and half mixed with cornstarch, so it's healthy and gluten free!

This Slow Cooker Creamy Broccoli Soup is easy, comforting, and delicious!  With Carrots, Broccoli, Onion, Garlic, and Oregano, this is one flavorful soup.  And, there is no heavy cream, just milk and a little half and half mixed with cornstarch, so you can feel good about eating this gluten free veggie-loaded soup!

3. Homemade Chicken & Veggie Soup

5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup in a bowl with spoon and crockpot in background. This soup is thick, creamy, and hearty. It's filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies. You can prepare all of the ingredients ahead and freeze them until you are ready to cook. Then, thaw, pour into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.

This 5-Ingredient Homemade Chicken Soup is thick, creamy (but, no dairy!), and hearty.  It’s filled with flavorful broth, meaty shredded chicken, and sweet bursts of bright veggies.  But, this version is also the easiest ever because you prepare all of the ingredients ahead (even months ahead) and freeze them until you are ready to cook this wonderful meal.  Then you thaw, pour all of the ingredients into the Slow Cooker, set and forget.  Forget until those amazing and comforting aromas remind you that you have a Homemade Chicken Soup waiting for you!

4.  Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs are always a show-stopper and the perfect main dish for entertaining.  I have made them for holiday dinner parties, for Sunday family dinners, visits from out-of-towners, and thank you meals for friends.  They are incredibly decadent and taste like you slaved away in the kitchen for your guests.  The flavors from the onion, carrots, demi-glace, thyme, and garlic all seep into the meat, which is fall-apart tender and absolutely delicious.  These Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs taste amazing with Creamy Parmesan Polenta, so check out that recipe too!

5. Simple Weeknight Paprika Pork Stew Recipe

Paprika Pork Stew Recipe in a bowl with carrots, onion, parsley. It's an easy family dinner. 

This Paprika Pork Stew Recipe is loaded with flavor and texture.  With each spoonful you get a smokey and salty bite flavor from the pork, paprika, oregano, garlic and onion.  Carrots balance out this dish with a slightly sweet and tender bite.  Finally, the pork is so moist and fork tender.  But the best part is that this entire dinner can be made in the slow cooker during the day.  Or you can make it ahead in the oven and then reheat on a busy weeknight!

6. Mouthwatering Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos with with Pickled Onions, Shredded Cheese, and Cilantro Lime Crema drizzled on top!  It's such an easy dinner since the pork cooks in the slow cooker to be perfectly seasoned and fall apart tender. #tacos #easydinner #glutenfree #dinner #mexican #pork

These Slow Cooker Pork Tacos are mouthwateringly fantastic!  Top them with with Pickled Onions, Shredded Cheese, and Cilantro Lime Crema drizzled all over!  You get the salty and smoky flavor from the perfectly seasoned and slow cooked pork, a sweet and tart bite from the pickled onions, with creaminess from the cheese, and tang from the cilantro lime crema.

7. Shredded Beef Ragu Recipe

Shredded Beef Ragu Recipe with Pappardelle with a fork on plate with basil and parmesan on the table. It's so easy to make and has a thick meaty texture and a super rich delicious flavor.

This is my easy, made-for-busy-moms Shredded Beef Ragu Recipe!  It has a thick meaty texture and a super rich delicious flavor.  It’s made with beef chuck, so it’s affordable and easy to work with.  It’s made without wine, but instead gets that acidic backdrop from Balsamic Vinegar.  And it’s easy for busy moms because it’s made in a slow cooker!  Just toss all ingredients in, set for 6-8 hours, shred the beef, and that’s it!

8. Slow Cooker Detox Cabbage Soup

Comfort soups can be good for you too.  This Slow Cooker Detox Cabbage Soup is really easy, low-calorie, veggie-packed, which is a great way to get some healthy in between the holiday feastes! This soup is light, but filling with cabbage, tomato, carrots, onion, and garlic. It is also so easy because it is made in the slow cooker, but you can make it faster on the stove as well. It is so good for you and so low calorie, that this makes a great dinner, lunch the next day, and snack whenever you get hungry!

BONUS: 9.  Brazilian Black Beans (Feijão)

Slow Cooker Brazilian Black Beans are thick, rich, and delicious! Serve as a side or main over rice.

These Slow Cooker Brazilian Black Beans, known as Feijão, are a traditional dish in Brazil. The slow cooker makes it incredibly easy to make these anytime and it allows all of the flavors from the meat, onion, cilantro, and garlic to cook into the beans for a distinctive, thick, saucy, and hearty dish. They are great as a side or a main dish. If you have never tried these beans, you really MUST and I promise you will love them.

 

What are YOUR favorite Slow Cooker recipes?  Please share in the comments!

😍 Carrie