The Best Quinoa Recipe {because of a few secret ingredients}


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All the crunchy foodies are eating quinoa, but I confess that until this fall, I couldn’t stand any quinoa recipe I tried. But that has all changed now, thanks to this recipe. If you’re a doubter like I was, you MUST try this quinoa recipe! It’s the perfect side dish for most any meal!

The Best Quinoa Recipe {because of a few secret ingredients} from

The Best Quinoa Recipe

I’ve long thought I should feed my family quinoa. It is a nutritional powerhouse, for crying out loud. Have you read about all of the amazing properties of quinoa? It’s anti-inflammatory, and it contains heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, and flavonoids. By the way, it’s not a grain. It’s a seed, according to the Huffington Post, and it thrives in harsh climates so it’s pretty eco-friendly too.  I’m not sure what all of that means, but it sounds pretty impressive, right?

The best quinoa recipe ingredients from When I was at Shiftcon (the only conference I know of that feeds its attendees an entirely non-gmo diet) earlier in the fall, we ate some pretty amazing food. And one of the dishes I was surprised that I enjoyed was a quinoa bar. I think they had it set up like a salad bar with lots of different foods you could add to quinoa to make kind of a quinoa salad. I was surprised that I really loved quinoa with sauteed vegetables and feta cheese. So when Lundberg Family Farms sent me out a nice goodie package and some of their Tri-Color Blend Quinoa a while ago, I was excited to make up a similar side dish for my family. Here’s what I came up with.

Let’s get cooking!

Making this recipe isn’t too hard. Cook the quinoa according to package directions, and then get going on the veggies while it cooks. I mentioned a few secret ingredients in my title, and one of them is to cook the quinoa in broth. I used beef broth because that’s what I happened to have on hand. In fact, I didn’t have much, so I cooked my quinoa in half beef broth, half water. Cooking it in broth gives the dish a boost in taste, in my opinion.

Once the quinoa is cooking, prep the veggies and then cook them. I love my veggies cooked in bacon grease. Yes, I save bacon grease! Why not? It’s a free fat if you’ve already eaten the bacon. I simply pour the grease into a container and keep it in my fridge. Then I use it in all sorts of recipes. If you don’t want to use bacon grease, though, by all means, choose whatever fat you want. Just cook the veggies until they’re nice a done. But I tell you what, cooking the veggies in bacon grease just gives this dish somewhat of a bacon flavor without the bacon. A bacon essence, if you will? {At least that’s what my friend Robin says.}

The Best Quinoa Recipe {because of a few secret ingredients}

Then when the quinoa is finished, add it to the veggies, season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with feta cheese. Everything tastes better with feta cheese. I may have a small feta cheese addiction. But it’s not a problem, really.

And that’s it! Enjoy your your heart health fats, antioxidants, and flavonoids. You can thank me later.

Yield: 4-6

The Best Quinoa Recipe {because of a few secret ingredients}

The Best Quinoa Recipe {because of a few secret ingredients}

A nutritious and delicious side dish. The perfect accompaniment to most any meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa seeds (I used Lundberg's Tri-Color Blend)
  • 1 1/3 cups water or broth (I used half water, half broth)
  • 2 TBS bacon grease
  • 1 stalk celery, diced fine
  • 1 small carrot, diced fine
  • 1/2 small onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 small sweet pepper, diced fine
  • 1/2 broccoli, chopped fine
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup - 1 cup feta cheese



  1. Cook quinoa in water or broth according to package directions.


  1. Heat bacon grease over medium high temperature. {Now bacon grease is one of secret ingredients. But if you don't want to use it, feel free to substitute that fat of your choice. You can use butter or olive oil.}
  2. Sautee veggies in bacon grease until cooked through, 5-7 minutes.
  3. When the quinao is finished, add it to the veggies.
  4. Remove from heat and add feta cheese.
  5. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram tagging @simplifylivelove! I love to see your photos!

Lundberg dark chocolate covered rice cakes

By the way, if you’re curious about other Lundberg products, check out the fun package they sent me! I really like the dark chocolate covered rice cakes!! I’ve known about their rice for a long time {since I heard about arsenic in foreign rice – luckily Lundberg rice is safe!}, but I didn’t know about all their other gluten-free products and they have a nice assortment of healthy food options.

Do you eat Quinoa? If so, what’s your favorite quinoa recipe? I need more! 

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. I’ll have to try your recipe because I’ll admit, I haven’t tried Quinoa yet but have thought about how I should. Thanks!