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 & 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.

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker

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Pulled Beef Brisket in a bowl and in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker is crazy-delicious!  Can I just tell you that there are good recipes and then there are OMG fantastic recipes.  This Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket is OMG fantastic.  It is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor.  There are so many ways to enjoy this amazing beef, but one of my favorites is loaded onto a bun to soak up all the fabulous juices.  Then top with a melty cheese and some pickled onions for the perfect bite.   

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Pulled Beef Brisket to Expand Kids Protein Palettes 

It’s important to me to expose my girls to a variety of foods because that’s the best way to get all of the vitamins and nutrients their little bodies need.  We definitely gravitate more toward lean meat proteins such as chicken, primarily because it has less calories and fat for Dave and I.  However, beef is a better source of iron and that’s very important. 

So, after doing some research, I found out that brisket flat-half (the leaner half of the whole brisket) is actually considered a Lean meat!  To be considered lean, a 3-oz serving of cooked beef must have less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 mg of cholesterol.  And if you do get a layer of fat on the brisket, you will see below how incredibly easy it is to remove and discard. 

This Pulled Beef Brisket is a great way to get the girls to try beef and get more iron into their diet. 

Here are some delicious sides to serve with this Pulled Beef Brisket:

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 :).  But, 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

I made this recipe in a slow cooker. However, you could also make it in the oven in a dutch oven or small roasting pan with a lid.

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR SMOKY PULLED BEEF BRISKET

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

Since this is a slow cooker recipe, you can make the entire brisket in advance and simply reheat it when you are ready to serve.  Or you can do these couple simple steps ahead and cook it in the slow cooker on a weekday morning to enjoy that night!

Prepping ahead simply involves dicing the onion, mincing the garlic, and making the spice rub.  For this spice rub, I used 2 different Paprikas.  I used a Hungarian Hot Paprika which gives you all of the wonderful peppery flavor without as much smoke.  I also used Smoked Paprika for subtle smoky flavor.  If you want more smoke, you can just use double the Smoked Paprika in place of the Hungarian Hot Paprika.  However, you may want to consider adding a touch of Cayenne then for background heat.

Aside from the Paprika, I have garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and black pepper.  

Spices separated in bowl for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's made in the Slow Cooker and is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Spices mixed in bowl for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's made in the Slow Cooker and is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Finally, you can cut the Brisket into 2-3 pieces so that it fits into the slow cooker and then rub the spices all over and store in the fridge until ready to cook.

COOK YOUR SMOKY PULLED BEEF BRISKET 

When you’re ready to cook this baby, add half of the diced onion to the bottom of the slow cooker insert first.  Place the brisket pieces on top of the onion. Add the remaining diced onion and minced garlic. Pour Worcestershire sauce and beef broth over the roast.

Cook roast in slow cooker for 4-6 hours on High setting or 8-10 hours on Low.

Diced onion in Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Spiced rubbed raw brisket in Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Adding Worcestershire sauce to onions and raw brisket in Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Adding water to onions and raw brisket in Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Once the brisket is done cooking, remove it from slow cooker to a plate or cutting board for pulling or shredding it apart.

Using a knife or a fork, scrape away any layer of fat. It should come off very easily. Discard the fat.

Fork taking cooked brisket out of the Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Fork scraping off fat layer from cooked brisket for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Fork scraping off fat layer from cooked brisket for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Then using 2 forks, start to shred the meat. If the piece of meat is really large, you can cut it in half so the beef strands are not too long.

Once the meat is shredded, add it back to the cooking liquid in the slow cooker.

Fork shredding cooked brisket for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Forks shredding cooked brisket for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Now, comes the fun part…eating!  I love to eat this deliciousness on a roll that soaks up all the beef juices.  I place the beef on the bottom of the roll and top with a melty cheese like monterey jack or mozzarella.  Then put it under the broiler to melt!  Finally, I top it with pickled onions to add sweetness, tang, and crunch!

Pulled Beef Brisket Sandwich made in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

However, you can also eat this plated with Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash or any starch such as polenta, risotto, rice, pasta, or potatoes. 

ENJOY!

😍 Carrie

Pulled Beef Brisket in a bowl and in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Smoky Slow Cooker Beef Brisket

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket made in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Beef, Brisket
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings 14 servings
Calories 613 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 3.5 lb Beef brisket, Flat Half
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth

Instructions

Prep Ahead Instructions for your Beef Brisket

  1. Dice the Onion. Mince the garlic.

  2. Cut the Brisket into 2-3 pieces so that it fits into the slow cooker.

  3. Mix the 6 Spice Rub ingredients and rub all over the brisket pieces.

Cook your Beef Brisket

  1. Add half of the diced onion to the bottom of the slow cooker insert.

  2. Place the brisket pieces on top of the onion. Add the remaining diced onion and minced garlic. Pour Worcestershire sauce and beef broth over the roast.

  3. Cook roast in slow cooker for 4-6 hours on High setting or 8-10 hours on Low.

  4. Once the brisket is done cooking, remove it from slow cooker to a plate or cutting board for pulling or shredding it apart.

  5. Using a knife or a fork, scrape away any layer of fat. It should come off very easily. Discard the fat.

  6. Then using 2 forks, start to shred the meat. If the piece of meat is really large, you can cut it in half so the beef strands are not too long.

  7. Once the meat is shredded, add it back to the cooking liquid in the slow cooker.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: If you do not have a slow cooker, no fear!  Simply follow all of the same steps, but cook it in a dutch oven or small roasting pan with a lid in the oven at 375 F degrees.for 4 hours or until it is fall apart tender.

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