Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Nuts

Quinoa Cauliflower pila

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. This serves 6 as a side dish, fewer if used as a main dish.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Nuts
Recipe type: Quinoa pilaf
Cuisine: Healthy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
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.
  • 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
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ 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
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts, slivered almonds, or shelled pistachios
  1. 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.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden.
  3. Add the cauliflower and about ⅓ cup water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just tender.
  4. 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.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter the nuts over the top and serve at once.

Quinoa with Cauliflower and nuts

Quinoa Pilaf with Cauliflower and nuts

Photos: Hannah Kaminsky

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19 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.

  5. Liz

    Made this for my veggie lunch club. I sautéed shaved brussels sprouts with the onion, aded a can of chickpeas, and a steamed potato and carrot, and seasoned with a little ginger and nutmeg. It turned out great!

  6. Tanya

    Made this today for some friends. Got rave reviews, even from the non-vegetarians 🙂
    I added a bit more lemon juice and tiny bit of zest. slightly less oil, Otherwise excatly as written.
    Thanks so much!!

  7. Linda

    For the seder, I wouldn’t be able to make and serve this at once, as the recipe calls for. Would it still be good if I make it ahead and refrigerate it? Would it need reheating or could it be served at room temperature?

  8. Nava Post author

    Linda, you can make this up through through the cauliflower, which is most of the work. The day of the Seder, warm it up and finish with the remaining ingredients. I hope you and your guests enjoy it!

  9. Shirley Warwick

    Loved this recipe ! Followed the instructions to the tee and it turned out beautifully. It’s a keeper Ty.

  10. G

    Made this for lunch today – it’s a great combination of flavors and beautiful to look at too!! I subbed pepitas for the nuts and cilantro for the parsley. Thank you!

  11. Nancy

    My husband and I really enjoyed this dish. I am new to vegan cooking and was looking for something without tomato sauce or cumin type spices and this was excellent. Loved the sweet cranberries and the crunch of the nuts. I did use the sesame oil as suggested and 2 T of lemon juice. I may add another T lemon juice next time. Loved it. Thanks !

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