Recipe: Quinoa and Veggie Pilaf

Add this healthy one-pot meal to your lunch rotation.

Quina pilaf

Photo by Emily McLaughlin

Set your rice aside. There’s a new pilaf in town.

This vibrant quinoa pilaf is packed with nutritious veggies, making it a great healthy meal to add to your rotation. It’s also vegan-friendly and gluten-free. Another perk: It’s a quick and easy one-pot meal.

Eat this quinoa pilaf as a dinner side, or bring it for lunch. It can be served cold on a bed of greens, or warm with extra protein, such as grilled chicken.

Serves 4-6

1 cup red or white quinoa, uncooked
1 large beet
1 medium/large sweet potato
2 large carrots
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup dried cranberries
Extras: salad greens, grilled chicken


Start by prepping the vegetables. Wash and peel the beet, then slice it into bite-sized cubes. Next, wash and peel (peeling is optional) the sweet potato and carrots. Chop them into bite-sized pieces.

Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer. Add 2 ½ cups of water to a pot. Add the quinoa, beets, sweet potato, carrots, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Depending on how large your veggies are, you might need to add a little more water.

Let the quinoa and veggies cool, then toss in the sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. To avoid sogginess, wait to add the greens and/or protein until you’re ready to serve.