Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Nuts

Quinoa and cauliflower pilaf

This pilaf combines two companionable ingredients—cauliflower and quinoa. If you can plan ahead, having cooked quinoa and chopped cauliflower makes this dish a breeze to put together. Serve with a simple bean or lentil dish and a colorful salad. 

Serves: 6 as a side dish

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or
    water with 2 low-sodium bouillon cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small pieces and florets
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, or more, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fragrant oil, like walnut or toasted sesame, optional
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, slivered almonds, or shelled pistachios

Combine the quinoa with the broth in a saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden. Add the cauliflower and about 1/3 cup water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just tender.

quinoa and cauliflower pilaf recipe

Once the quinoa is done, add it to the cauliflower mixture, followed by the cranberries, parsley, optional oil, and lemon juice. Toss together, then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the nuts over the top and serve at once.

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9 comments on “Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Nuts

  1. Fran Wolok

    This quinoa recipe looks great! Thanks, I am going to add more vegetarian side dishes and cut down on some of the more traditional stuff (maybe)!

  2. Kirsten

    This is very delicious and festive on the table. I used toasted slivered almonds instead with compliments around.

  3. Nava Post author

    Thanks, Kirsten! In fact I amended the recipe to incorporate your substitution, since pine nuts have been ridiculously expensive these last couple of years.

  4. Susan

    Made this today – added fresh spinach, used dried cherries and pistachios, and at the end, added some grated lemon rind. Very delicious.

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