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Quinoa Vegetable Paella

After a long rainy commute, I wanted a dinner that was comforting. A recipe that had the beautiful aromatic flavors of saffron, cumin, paprika – that reminded me of warm tropical days in far off destinations. This fit the bill.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 283.8kcal


  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 tsp saffron crushed
  • 2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 14 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 14 oz light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 can
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 medium zucchini halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 can artichoke hearts rinsed and cut into quarters (optional, I omitted this because the husband doesn’t like artichokes)
  • A few healthy splashes of lemon juice about the juice of 1/2-1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt or more to taste
  • Sliced almonds


  • Put the quinoa into a large bowl. Cover with water and stir well to wash the grain. Pour off the water and then repeat the washing process.
  • Sauté onion and garlic in a deep non-stick skillet with a little (2 tsp) extra virgin olive oil until soft. Add the quinoa and saffron and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.
  • Add paprika, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, tomatoes, peppers, beans, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low, and cook covered for 15 minutes.
  • Place the zucchini on top of the quinoa and re-cover. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until quinoa is done. Remove the cover, stir in the peas, and cook uncovered until peas are warm and all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Season with a few splashes of lemon juice, salt and stir in a few Tbsp of sliced almonds. If you’re using artichoke hearts, arrange them on top and let them heat through for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve each plate with a sprinkling of sliced almonds on top, and a wedge or a slice of lemon (if you want a bit more lemon flavor).



Calories: 283.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.3g | Protein: 13.5g | Fat: 4.7g | Sodium: 993.6mg | Fiber: 13.5g | Sugar: 6.5g