In this recipe, I'll show you how to easily spice up your quinoa so that you can enjoy a more flavorful, vibrant, golden version. Whether served cold as a base to a salad or warm as a side to your main, it will be a tasty, filling, and colorful addition. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, grain-free (quinoa is technically a seed), oil-free, and satisfies a whole food plant-based lifestyle.
Take your golden quinoa up a notch in color and flavor with this easy method. It's a beautiful addition to a spring table, though it can be eaten year round.
Serve it with soups, salads, mains, side dishes - there are so many ways to enjoy this quinoa! It's wonderful hot or cold.
I enjoy this spiced quinoa in Quinoa Tabbouleh.
Another quinoa recipe I make on repeat is this Easy Vegan Broccoli Quinoa Casserole.
We only have three main ingredients in this recipe!
Golden quinoa: This recipe will taste similar with colorful quinoa, but won't absorb as much golden color, so I recommend using the light gold-colored quinoa here.
Vegetable broth: I like using Better Than Bouillon with filtered water, but use any veggie broth you like (extra points if you use homemade!).
Spice: There are two tasty options. Yellow curry or Ras El Hanout with turmeric. I think you will understand why I'm giving you two options when you see the list of ingredients each is made of. They are both a bit sweet and spicy, with amazing depth of flavor. I am partial to the Ras El Hanout, but they're both wonderful options.
• The yellow curry I use is made of coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, cumin, yellow mustard seed, black pepper, cardamom, anise, cayenne, clove, and allspice. I get it from Mountain Rose Herbs. I would think any yellow curry would work well here.
• The Ras el Hanout I use contains saffron, rose petals, grains of paradise (seed of a pepper plant, not actually a grain), fennel, monk pepper, galangal, orris root, white peppercorns, anise, lavender, ginger cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, allspice. Doesn't that sound amazing? The brand is Villa Jerada. Because Ras el Hanout does not contain turmeric, I add that seperately.
Salt and pepper: These are optional additions when serving to bring out more flavor.
Squeeze of lime: Or citrus of your choice
Yogurt: A plain unsweetened plant-based yogurt makes a nice creamy addition.
Fresh herbs: I love cilantro, parsley, basil, and/or mint on top.
See recipe card for quantities.
Aside from measuring cups, a teaspoon, and a wooden spoon for stirring, you just need an appropriate-sized pot (depending on whether or not you're doubling the recipe, for example), and a cooktop.
Our first step is to choose which spice option we're going to use.
Choose either yellow curry or...
...Ras El Hanout and turmeric
To a pot, stir together the quinoa and chosen spice blends.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Cover and simmer for 15 minutes
Remove from heat, stir, then set aside for 5 minutes, covered. Fluff and serve.
Allow the cooked quinoa to cool before storing. Make sure it sits out less than two hours to keep fresh. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a few days or in the freezer for up to a few months.
Double or triple the recipe and enjoy in a variety of ways. Serve cold as part of a salad or warm as a side to your main course, or in a soup - it's wonderful all the ways!
The combination of veggie broth and spices added during the cooking process in this recipe should do the trick. If you still need more flavor, add salt and pepper to suit your taste. Still need something? Add a little more of your chosen spice blend (yellow curry or Ras El Hanout and turmeric) and/or a squeeze of lime.
In addition to more of the spices, salt and pepper, or squeeze of citrus, fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, and mint work beautifully with this spiced quinoa.
Looking for more quinoa recipes? Try these:
How to Spice Up Quinoa
- measuring cups and spoons
- wooden spoon or other spoon for stirring
- 1 cup golden quinoa (yellow) dry, rinsed
- 2 teaspoons Ras El Hanout or yellow curry powder
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric not necessary with yellow curry
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste optional
- fresh herbs cilantro, mint, basil, parsley
- more of your chosen spice
- lime wedges to squeeze over the spiced quinoa
- yogurt plain plant-based
- Optional: Toast the quinoa in the pot over medium heat for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the chosen spices, then the broth.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, uncover and stir, then set aside for 5 minutes, covered.Stir to fluff. Taste and add more spice or salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve with fresh herbs, a squeeze of lime, salt and pepper. Or, add to a soup or serve cold in a salad.
- Once the quinoa is no longer steaming (but within 2 hours of cooking), place the spiced quinoa in a sealed container and store it in the fridge for up to a few days. It can be stored in the freezer in a freezer-safe container for up to a few months.
general food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands and ingredients well before using
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove