Creamy Quinoa Risotto

A healthy weeknight dinner in 35 minutes, without all the stirring.

Christina Cherrier

For a healthy alternative to a creamy risotto, quinoa works wonders. Studded with fennel, spinach and celery, this quinoa risotto makes a colorful and appealing meatless main course for a quick weeknight dinner. Leftovers—should there be any—will be perfect for lunch the next day.

Creamy Quinoa Risotto

Ingredients list for the quinoa risotto

Serves 4-6:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped (only the white stem)
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 can (800ml) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (900 ml) vegetable broth (or 1 bouillon cube + 900ml water)1
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 cup grated parmesan (optional)
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Quinoa  Risotto


1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and sweat onion, leek fennel and celery for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

2. Stir in the quinoa and let the oil coat the grains. Add tomato, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Pour vegetable broth and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked. Adjust seasoning.

4. Add spinach, basil and parmesan, season generously with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes more, until spinach has wilted. Serve hot, garnished with fresh basil, shavings of parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

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Creamy Quinoa Risotto
Creamy Quinoa Risotto