colorful quinoa non-casserole

by Stacy

Sometimes I forget how much I like quinoa. Unlike rice which I buy in multi-pound sacks, I buy quinoa judiciously from the bulk bins at the natural foods store. I end up with small remnant bags scattered throughout the cupboard until I collect enough to make a whole batch.

This was a great quinoa dish that used up a bunch of dregs of things laying about the house. I didn’t want pasta, and I wanted something substantial but not heavy.

hearty quinoa with roasted tomatoes

A quinoa base mixed with wilted greens, garlicky pesto, and corn, then topped with bright roasted tomatoes and chopped almonds definitely fit the bill.

As with most of the grain salads I like this dish has nice contrasts. Zesty arugula (spinach, chard, or kale would work, too) is balanced by the acidic tomatoes. The almonds add crunch to chewy quinoa. The corn adds sweetness, and the pesto just makes it all extra delicious.

hearty quinoa with roasted tomatoes

Colorful Quinoa Non-Casserole

Serves 2-3

This is a fridge-and-pantry buster. It’s all to taste and easy to make substitutions.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups dark leafy greens such as arugula or spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 2/3 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen and defrosted
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut tomatoes in half and lay cut-side-down on a baking tray. Roast or broil at 450F for about 10-20 minutes until shriveled. (I do this in my toaster oven.)
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add greens and stir until wilted. Add garlic. Stir a few more times and remove from heat.
  3. Stir together quinoa, cooked greens, corn, and pesto until evenly mixed. Taste and add salt as needed.
  4. Serve warm topped with tomatoes and almonds.

hearty quinoa with roasted tomatoes

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mom November 4, 2010 at 7:51 am

I had a great quinoa salad on the cruise that had either cranberries or craisins in it. I liked the color and unfortunately gobbled it up so quickly that I forgot to check out the other ingredients. I ate it every time that had it.


Charlie November 4, 2010 at 10:08 am

I made something similar last weekend with a base of barley/lentils/split peas rather than quinoa. Same general idea of using up odds and ends – mirepoix, spinach, asparagus. Greer can attest it was both healthy and tasty. Next time I’ll add some almonds like you did; that’s a nice touch.


Kate November 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm

I love a good quinoa salad, this looks delicious. Definitely on my list of things to try.


ronnie November 5, 2010 at 12:24 am

Is now the time to point out that we also just put black quinoa on our menu? Just sayin’.


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