One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

Filed under Dinner Recipes on Mar 06 12 by

I’ll admit it: I’m slightly obsessed with the virtual pin board website, Pinterest. I viewed a picture for One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf on Pinterest and was then directed to a site called FOOD 52 with the recipe.

Quinoa is a complete-protein, so it is suitable for vegetarians and those trying to cut down on meat consumption. It’s also an excellent way to integrate one of the most talked-about super foods, kale, into your diet. This recipe is extremely easy and makes for great leftovers. I give this recipe 10 thumbs up (I REALLY love it!). I’ve put my own spin on the recipe below, but you can find the original recipe here.

One Pot Kale and Quinoa PilafYou will need:

  • 2 cups salted water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, washed and chopped into 1″ lengths
  • 1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 scallions, minced (I used 3-4 scallions)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1-2 tbsp. high quality Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  3. Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the pilaf, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. As the hot quinoa hits the scallions and lemon it should smell lovely. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice if needed.

Makes 2-4 servings

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Lindsey Fessel
Lindsey is a recipe blogger for The You Are Project. She completed her marketing degree at Rowan University. Lindsey's recipes demonstrate how to include healthy foods in one's diet in an easy and delicious way.