Basil & Pine Nut Quinoa Recipe

I first made this dish for a women’s weekend and it was a big hit.  Since then I’ve made it several times, including today, by request.  It’s good hot or cold and I love it for this time of year because it has such strong fresh spring/summer flavors.  Plus, there’s also lots of room for interpretation if you have picky eaters. The recipe below will serve 4-6 depending on how your serve it – main dish or side.


  • 2 cups Quinoa (cooked via instruction on packaging – we like Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/8-1/4 cup pine nuts (we’ve also substituted cashews and almonds)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (you can add more or less depending on how much you like basil)
  • 1 tomato diced (pulp and seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesean (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper

Cook the quinoa using the directions on your packaging.  If you buy it in bulk rinse it first then it’s usually two cups of water for every cup of quinoa, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes until the water is evaporated and the quinoa looks like a small spiral.  Toast the nuts in a small saute pan over low heat tossing regularly until they start to brown just a little bit.  Do not overcook or the burnt flavor will transfer to your quinoa. (Yes, this has happened to me.)  They should only take a few minutes to toast.  Toss pine nuts and all ingredients except the quinoa in a large bowl with a lid.  When you’re ready to serve, mix the olive oil, tomato, basil, pine nut  mixture with the quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper.  You can serve this hot off the stove or store it in the fridge overnight and serve it cold.  Tasty and healthy either way. 

I wish I had a picture, but the camera batter was dead.  If you try it, I’d love to see your pictures!

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