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

Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe with Smoked Ham

Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe in a bowl with spoon and bread dipped in side and parsley, chopped cashews, and ham garnish on top. Ginger root and carrot pieces on table
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Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe in a bowl with parsley, chopped cashews, and ham garnish on top. Ginger root and carrot pieces on table

Want something other than chicken for dinner??  I did too and I also wanted something healthy and nourishing.  And so today I bring you my Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe with Smoked Ham!  This is a slightly sweet, mostly savory soup that’s filled with warm spices that will wake up all of your tastebuds!  It all starts with the fantastic sweet carrot that is blended into the most luxuriously creamy consistency.  Then turmeric is added for a gorgeous golden color and warm taste.  Ginger comes to the party with warm spice, garlic shows up with deep flavor, and ground thyme brings it all down to earth.  Finally, smoked ham is the guest of honor, bringing that smokey flavor and a meaty bite.  It’s an easy make-ahead-and-reheat lunch, dinner, or appetizer.  

Want more tips for making busy family dinners easier?  Click here for my Free Printable 5 Simple Steps to Easy Family Dinners!

EAT MORE VEGGIES WITH SOUP!

Soup is such a great way to get your kids (or grownups) in your family to eat their veggies.  Here are some of the ways that soup can make this task easier.

You can add just about any flavors.  I have some many different flavors when it comes to soups.  Some have a Mexican theme, such as my Chicken Tortilla Soup with Kale or my Chicken Enchilada Soup.  Some have an Asian theme, such as my Chicken Ramen Noodle Soup.  And some are really just infused by the ingredients themselves, such as my Creamy Mushroom Soup and my Chilled Golden Corn Soup

You can mix and match veggies according to preferences.  A great example of this is my Chunky Chicken Veggie Soup or my Chicken Sausage & Tortellini Soup.  You can really swap any veggies you want into these soups.

Finally, you can blend up veggies that may not be favorites into a creamy form to completely transform them.  My girls and husband all hate peas.  I love them though!  So, I blended peas up with some mint and jalapeno for my Zesty Pea Soup.

What’s your favorite soup?  Tell me in the comments!

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 a large (5-6 quart) pot with lid that can go from the stove to the oven. My prized possession dutch oven was perfect for this! Or any good quality enameled cast iron 5-6 quart dutch oven with lid is great.

You also need a blender for blending the carrots into a creamy texture.

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

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR YOUR CARROT GINGER SOUP RECIPE

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)

The great thing about this recipe is that the entire soup can be made ahead and tastes just as good reheated!  But, there are a few steps that you can do even before the soup.  You can dice the carrots, onion, and ham.  Then mince the garlic and ginger.  To save even more time, you can find pre-minced garlic and ginger at the store!  I love Christopher Ranch Minced Garlic and Minced Ginger for quick dinners!

Can I used frozen carrots?

I prefer fresh carrots in this recipe as they really are the sweetest and blend up so beautifully smooth.  However, you can certainly use frozen carrots.  Regardless if they are carrot chips, dices, or other small pieces, simply add them the same way that the instructions indicate for fresh.  You will not likely need the same cooking time, as the frozen carrots will soften faster than fresh raw.  After the soup comes up to a boil, you can test the carrots at around 5-7 minutes to see if they are soft.

What kind of Ham do I buy?

For the ham, you have a few options.  First, you want to look for smoked ham for this recipe.  The smoky flavor works so well in this soup.  You can go to the deli counter and ask for 1/2 inch thick cut slices or you can buy a small cooked ham roast and slice it yourself.  Finally, you can look for a large ham steak in the meat section.  

COOK YOUR CARROT GINGER SOUP

The first step is to sear the diced ham and then transfer it to a plate.

Diced ham cooking in pot for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.
To the same pot, add another teaspoon of olive oil, then add the carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes stirring every so often, until slightly soft and onions are slightly translucent.

Diced carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger cooking in pot for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.
Add the broth to the veggies in the pot, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes to steam until soft. Remove from heat and let start to cool.

Broth being poured into carrots and onions cooking in pot for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.
When the carrot soup is cooled a bit, scoop out all of the carrots and onions with a slotted spoon or small strainer and add to a blender. Using a measuring cup, scoop out about 1-1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and add it to the blender with the carrots. (NOTE: leave some carrots and onions in the pot if you want texture and do not want to fully blend the entire soup.) Blend until you get a smooth creamy consistency, adding more of the cooking broth as needed until you get a thick smooth and creamy consistency. Pour the smooth carrot soup from the blender back into the pot and whisk into the remaining cooking liquid, so that it thins out.

Spoon transfering carrots from pot to blender for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.

Carrot soup blended in blender for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.

Add the cooked ham (leave 3 tablespoons for garnish) to the soup and bring the soup to a low simmer.
Plate the soup in a large bowl and garnish with Parsley, sour cream, and the remaining ham.

Adding diced ham to creamy carrots for Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe.

Can this soup be frozen?

Yes, you can portion out this soup and freeze it in freezer containers or freezer bags.  Thaw it in the fridge the night before you want to cook it.  It doesn’t’ have to be completely thawed, but enough to maneuver it out of the container and into a pot to warm on medium heat on the stove.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe in a bowl with spoon and bread dipped in side and parsley, chopped cashews, and ham garnish on top. Ginger root and carrot pieces on table

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!

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Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe with Smoked Ham

Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe with Smoked Ham is a slightly sweet, mostly savory soup that's filled with warm spices that will wake up all of your tastebuds! Carrot that is blended into the most luxuriously creamy consistency.  Turmeric adds a gorgeous golden color, ginger brings warm spice, garlic gives more deep flavor, and ground thyme gives an earthy finish.  Finally, smoked ham brings smokey flavor and a meaty bite.  It's an easy make-ahead-and-reheat lunch, dinner, or appetizer.  

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Carrots, chicken soup, ginger, ham
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil divided into 2
  • 1 cup Smoked Ham finely diced
  • ½ cup Yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 3 cups Carrots diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
  • 4 cups Chicken or Vegetable broth 32 ounces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnish Ideas

  • 1/2 cup Sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Cashews, Chopped

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Dice carrots and onion. Mince garlic, mince ginger.
  2. Dice Ham.

Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat a large pot on high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the diced ham. Spread it out into a single layer and let it cook for 3-4 minutes until browned. Stir and then transfer to a plate.
  2. To the same pot, add another teaspoon of olive oil, then add the carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes stirring every so often, until slightly soft and onions are slightly translucent.
  3. Add the broth to the veggies in the pot, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes to steam until soft. Remove from heat and let start to cool.
  4. When the carrot soup is cooled a bit, scoop out all of the carrots and onions with a slotted spoon or small strainer and add to a blender. Using a measuring cup, scoop out about 1-1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and add it to the blender with the carrots. (NOTE: leave some carrots and onions in the pot if you want texture and do not want to fully blend the entire soup.) Blend until you get a smooth creamy consistency, adding more of the cooking broth as needed until you get a thick smooth and creamy consistency. Pour the smooth carrot soup from the blender back into the pot and whisk into the remaining cooking liquid, so that it thins out.

  5. Add the cooked ham (leave 3 tablespoons for garnish) to the soup and bring the soup to a low simmer.
  6. Plate the soup in a large bowl and garnish with Parsley, sour cream, chopped cashews, and the remaining ham.