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Quinoa Paella

Vegetarian Quinoa Paella

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  • Author: Andrea Sprague


This hearty Paella makes a satisfying main dish if you are vegetarian, or a great side dish to accompany whatever you are making.


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ¾ cups quinoa, rinsed
  • ¼ tsp. saffron, crushed
  • 1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¾ tsp. ground cumin
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 14-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • ¾ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained and cut into quarters


  1. Place olive oil in a large, deep non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and sauté for one minute or until soft and translucent, stirring frequently. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the quinoa, saffron, paprika, cumin and cayenne, and stir to toast the quinoa and spices for 1 minute.
  4. Add the thyme, salt, couple turns of ground pepper, tomatoes, bell pepper, beans and stock, stirring to combine. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini to the pot, return cover and cook 15 more minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork to check for doneness. It’s cooked when the quinoa is tender throughout and yellow in color. If the quinoa isn’t done, but the liquid has evaporated, add another ½ cup stock, cover and simmer for a few more minutes.
  7. Once the quinoa is done, remove the lid and continue cooking, uncovered, for another 5 minutes or until the zucchini has softened.
  8. Stir in the peas and artichoke hearts. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.


  • Reheating: If the paella has become too solid and dry, add ¼ cup stock while heating and gently stirring.