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Seasoned quinoa garnished with fresh parsley leaves on a plate

Seasoned Quinoa Recipe

My Lemon Quinoa recipe is a great example of a perfectly seasoned quinoa. It is also easy to make, vegan and gluten free. You can serve it as a side dish with meat, fish, or vegetable dishes or just by itself for a light lunch.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 cups
Calories 297kcal


  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion or 2 small shallots ¾ cups chopped, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups raw quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups of water vegetable broth or chicken stock would also work
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley chopped - plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh or dried thyme chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds lightly toasted
  • 2 small sliced radishes optional


  • Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add in the shallots (or onion) and ground cumin. Saute mixing constantly until shallots are translucent or softened 5-6 minutes.
  • Add in the minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the quinoa and toast (or sautee), stirring constantly, for a minute. Add in the water, salt, and black pepper. Give it a stir. Put the lid on. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and there are tiny holes on the surface of the quinoa.
  • Turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  • Fluff the now-cooked quinoa with a fork.
  • Add in lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, sliced almonds, and sliced radishes if using.
  • Give it a gentle toss and serve while it is still warm.


Make-Ahead Instructions:
If you want to make this seasoned quinoa side dish ahead of time:
  1. Cook the quinoa according to instructions in the recipe.
  2. Let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Place it in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. It should keep fresh up to 4 days.
  4. When ready to serve, warm it up in a saucepan (or microwave).
  5. Add in the quinoa seasonings, i.e. lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, thyme, sliced almonds, and radishes in the end.
  6. Give it a toss and serve.
A note on the salt that is used:
In my opinion, the amount of salt that I listed in the recipe is not enough for flavorful lemon quinoa, but it is a great place to start. I recommend giving it a taste and adjusting it after adding all the garnishes to properly season it to your liking.


Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 251mg | Potassium: 484mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1144IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 4mg