Passover: Ashkenazic-Style Seder/ Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Salads/ Vegan Side Dishes

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.

Quinoa and cauliflower pilaf

Quinoa with Cauliflower, Cranberries, and Nuts

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.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Quinoa pilaf
Cuisine: Healthy
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Veg Kitchen


  • 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.
  • 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.

Quinoa with Cauliflower and nuts

Quinoa Pilaf with Cauliflower and nuts

Photos: Hannah Kaminsky

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  • Reply
    Fran Wolok
    April 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    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)!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Love the combo of cranberries and quinoa! This sounds festive and delicious.

  • Reply
    December 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm

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

  • Reply
    December 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm

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

  • Reply
    November 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I love roasted cauliflower so I will try it this way.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm

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

  • Reply
    March 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it, Susan, and I love your tweaks, they sound great!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Nava, Yummy! Cauliflower and quina, delicious and filling. Photo looks awesome.

    • Reply
      January 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks, Johanna!

  • Reply
    March 13, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    March 28, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    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!!

    • Reply
      March 29, 2016 at 7:53 am

      So glad that you and your company enjoyed this, Tanya! Thanks for your comment.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      March 31, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Shirley Warwick
    January 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

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

  • Reply
    June 1, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    5 stars
    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!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2017 at 5:11 am

    5 stars
    Thank you for this yummy recipe, we made today for dinner and enjoyed.

  • Reply
    March 17, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    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 !

    • Reply
      March 17, 2018 at 7:16 pm

      Thanks so much, Nancy. Glad you enjoyed this!

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