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Quinoa Pilaf - A healthy, delicious and super easy side dish!

Our rice pilaf recipe (you can see that here) is one of our long-time favorite side dishes at home – and it is very popular with our readers here on A Family Feast as well!  (Seriously – once you try it, you’ll never want to buy the boxed mixes again!)

So with that delicious recipe in mind, we decided to change things up and create this Quinoa Pilaf recipe – and the results are equally as delicious!

Quinoa Pilaf - A healthy, delicious and super easy side dish!

A ‘pilaf’ by definition is a grain that has been cooked in a flavored broth – and quinoa cooked this way is extra flavorful! We used vegetable stock in our recipe today – but you can also use chicken stock if you prefer.

We’ve also included some toasted orzo pasta as part of this quinoa pilaf – and there are some delicious gluten-free orzo options that will work in this recipe if that is part of your dietary requirements! And – if you want to make this a vegan dish, simply swap out the butter for vegan butter (look for Earth Balance brand at your supermarket) or with additional extra virgin olive oil.

Quinoa Pilaf - A healthy, delicious and super easy side dish!

This is an extremely simple, delicious and healthy side dish that can be prepared in just 45 minutes! Enjoy!

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Quinoa Pilaf - A Family Feast

Quinoa Pilaf

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


  • ½ cup dry orzo (feel free to use gluten-free orzo – DeLallo brand is very good)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup scallions diced, tops and bottoms
  • ½ cup carrots, diced small
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa (we recommend Bob’s Red Mill brand)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a medium-sized pan with a tight-fitting lid, brown orzo in dry pan over medium heat. After about five minutes, or until pasta is browned, remove pasta to a dish and hold.
  2. Over medium high heat, melt butter in oil and add scallions, carrots and browned orzo. Cook for two minutes and add garlic, quinoa, stock, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a low simmer and cook 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes remove from heat but leave covered for an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in chopped parsley and serve.

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  • Ellie wrote:

    Any ideas on how I could adapt this for the instant pot / pressure cooker? Thanks! I’d love to make this as the side dish for supper tonight!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Ellie – I’m sorry – I don’t own an Instant Pot…Sorry!

  • Steve Lassoff wrote:

    Sounds great! I shared this on pinterest. I am building a community of vegans and would love for you to hop over and leave a recipe.

  • Nutmeg Nanny wrote:

    The look of this quinoa pilaf is so pretty! Love all the fresh ingredients.

  • foodwanderings wrote:

    Couldn’t leave a comment on recent post so…: You live in Boston? We were just there on Thanksgiving weekend. Love the city and its offerings. Went by The South End. wheat berries are possibly my all time favorite ancient grain!

    • Martha wrote:

      Sorry for the issues with the comment box Shulie! We live about an hour south of Boston and love the city too!

  • Cookin Canuck wrote:

    I absolutely love that included some toasted orzo in this quinoa pilaf. What a fantastic side dish for any meal. Though, honestly, I’d be happy to eat this as the main course!

  • ATasteOfMadness wrote:

    Oh my goodness yum! I have been OBSESSED with quinoa lately! This looks perfect for me!

  • Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom wrote:

    Love this dish as it can be served with any main dish, wonderful!

  • claire @the realistic nutritionist wrote:

    Quinoa is my favorite food!!

  • Stephanie @ Back for Seconds wrote:

    This is seriously gorgeous!!

  • The Food Hunter wrote:

    I love how healthy this is

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