Spanish Quinoa





I discovered quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) about a year ago. Turns out it’s a superfood. And, it’s tasty. You can basically use it to replace rice in just about any dish but it’s a healthier option.

I used to make Spanish Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo) all the time when my son was little – it was easy and he loved it. This is my basic recipe, but replacing the rice with quinoa. Also, I usually cut this recipe in half and still have leftovers for lunch the next day. Make the full recipe if you’re feeding more than 2 adults, I think.


  • 2 c quinoa
  • cooking oil
  • medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 3/4 c veggie or chicken broth (if you aren’t adding chicken to the meal, it’s better with vegetable broth)
  • 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes with sauce OR one 8 oz. can of just sauce if you’re anti-tomato chunks.
  • Saffron  (Real saffron is a tad expensive, but you use so little of it that it lasts a long time. Some people like to use chili powder instead, but I think saffron gives it a unique Spanish flavor.)
  • Frozen Peas
  • (salt, oregano are optional)


(If you’re making this with chicken, brown both sides of each chicken piece in a large skillet in some oil. Take them out when done, follow the rest of the instructions and add the chicken into the skillet to cook when you add the liquids- they’ll cook together with everything else.)

  1. Sauté chopped onion and garlic.
  2. Add quinoa and sauté for 3-4 minutes – stir continuously. Keep on medium-low heat; don’t cook this too quickly.
  3. Add broth, tomatoes and saffron. You only need to add a few saffron threads for flavor- maybe 10 threads if you’re making the full recipe. (Add salt, oregano or whatever else you like here as well.)
  4. Cover and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  5. Quinoa cooks just like rice- fluff it with a fork when it’s done.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat, add frozen peas, replace the cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Peas will cook quickly from the heat that’s already trapped in the skillet.


Hmmm… what about adding pine nuts? That could be good…


  1. Bill says:


    Welcome to the blogosphere. Irena and I love quinoa and I will have to try out your recipe.



    1. Diane. says:

      Thanks, Bill! I have a photo blog- well, had- for years on Blogger, but it’s *so old and I don’t keep it anymore. This will be fun- I’m combining food and photos. 🙂


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