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Quinoa Pilaf

This tasty Quinoa Pilaf is loaded with good-for-you ingredients! Quinoa, chicken, and chickpeas form the protein-packed base. We add lots of veggies and an incredible lemon-herb sauce to finish it off. Healthful, hearty, and so much flavor!
Course Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword quinoa pilaf
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings (6-8 if this is served as a side)
Calories 780kcal
Cost $6.72


Quinoa Pilaf

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup (135g) finely diced yellow onion (~1 medium onion)
  • 3/4 cup (101g) finely diced carrot (~2-3 medium carrots)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons finely minced garlic (~2-3 cloves)
  • 1 cup (180g) white quinoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH: curry powder, paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: fine sea salt, ground cumin
  • 1 and 2/3rds cup (400g) good quality chicken stock (we like Swanson)
  • 1/3 cup (45g) coarsely chopped dried cherries, optional (See Note 1)
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.; 439g) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup (36g) honey roasted almonds
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 and 1/2 cup (190g) diced rotisserie chicken

Herb Infusion

  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons (30g) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (58g) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup (11g) tightly packed flat-leaf Italian parsley


  • QUINOA PILAF: Heat the olive oil in a medium non-stick pot (that has a fitted lid) over medium-low heat. Add the diced onions and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and seasonings and cook for 1 more minute. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  • QUINOA PILAF CONT.: Pour in the chicken stock, chickpeas, and optional dried cherries. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot with a lid, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until liquid is absorbed and quinoa has "popped", about 18-25 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, for 5-10 minutes to steam.
  • CHICKEN AND ALMONDS: Meanwhile, prepare the remaining additions. Fluff quinoa with a fork and stir in the chicken to heat through. Add in the almonds and parsley and mix to combine.
  • HERB INFUSION: Meanwhile, prepare the herb infusion by adding the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, parsley, and salt/pepper to taste (I add 1/4 teaspoon each) to a small blender or food processor. Blend until the parsley is broken down and all ingredients are incorporated. Drizzle the herb infusion over everything and gently toss to combine. Enjoy!


Note 1: Currants, raisins, or coarsely chopped dates can be used instead of dried cherries. If you'd like the dried fruit to be soft, add with chicken stock, but if you'd prefer them to retain their chewy texture, add them into the pilaf when adding in the almonds. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 780kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 509mg | Potassium: 911mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 10855IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 6mg