Quinoa pilaff with cherries and walnuts

    40 min

    Quinoa is a super-healthy grain, native to South America. It has a wonderful taste and texture that is perfect for pilaffs, so it is well worth trying.

    13 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 200g quinoa
    • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
    • 50g dried cherries or cranberries
    • 50g walnut pieces, toasted and coarsely chopped
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
    2. Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a large frying pan (not greased) over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until lightly toasted.
    3. Add the quinoa to the onion in the pan, stir in 500ml boiling water, the thyme and salt and pepper to season. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 10–12 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
    4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cherries or cranberries and walnuts. Serve hot or at room temperature.


    *To turn this side dish into a main course meal for four, add some shredded leftover chicken breast or strips of roast pork tenderloin. Other dried fruits and nuts could be tossed in. *Quinoa can be found in health food stores and larger supermarkets. Brown rice makes a good alternative, but it takes 30–35 minutes to cook. Add more boiling water, as needed.

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    Reviews in English (3)


    I have tried this recipe a couple of times now, each time it has not worked and I could not understand why. I was using it for 2 people so divided the ingredient by 3. The quinoa did not look anything like the picture. I have since done some research as we had not had quinoa before so did not know how to cook it. I have now realised that there was not enough water. I have just made some quinoa in a pan for 2 people. 60g of quinoa with 200ml of water, not 160ml as you suggest. I also soaked the quinoa first in cold water as it removed the bitter taste. After cooking it for 15 minutes on a low simmer with a lid on, I then rinsed it with boiling water and let it cool and drain. The difference was unbelievable. Light fluffy quinoa. I will freeze it and use it next time and just add it with some onion, garlic, mushrooms, the walnuts and cherries. I think next time will be a lot better. I don't think the quinoa was cooked enough before. We had it with grilled lamb.  -  12 May 2016


    Tasty moresome and I ate it unaccompanied with anything yumm  -  08 Jun 2015


    My partner grumbled when he knew I was making this for dinner, but he ended up enjoying it like me and wants to have it again! I served mine with salmon.  -  19 Mar 2011