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Lemon Pepper Quinoa

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Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 8

Inspired by: I started making my fiesta couscous with quinoa occasionally because it’s healthier and started thinking that it would be nice to have a savory version of the quinoa as well. I add the below ingredients and loved it! I’ve decided that I prefer quinoa in a savory dish than a sweet one.


  • 2 cups quinoa (any color, but I prefer white to red or black)
  • 2 ½ cups water (I always use 1 1/4 cup water for 1 cup quinoa)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-4 teaspoons olive oil
  • freshly zested or grated lemon peel from 2 lemons
  • juice of those 2 lemons (or more if you love lemon)
  • 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch finely chopped kale or spinach or both (optional – when using kale I usually remove any tough veins)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)


  • Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve – run under cold water until water runs clear.
  • Transfer to medium saucepan, add 2 ½ cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer; cook until water is completely absorbed – about 20 minutes.
  • While it is cooking, zest and juice two lemons (I like meyer lemons). Add to that 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and the black, white and cayenne peppers.
  • Remove from heat and add the above lemon juice/zest/oil/salt and pepper mixture and combine well.
  • Add parsley and any other greens, toss well and put the lid back on for another 5 minutes so the greens can wilt.
  • Toss again until well combined.
  • Season further to taste.

Notes: This is good hot or at room temperature so it’s easy to make ahead for dinner parties. It’s great as a leftover and heated up the next day too.

Lemon Pepper Quinoa - White

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