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Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf

Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf


It may seem like an unlikely pairing, but the combination of pumpkin and quinoa really works. This casual yet elegant dish is a great way to provide a healthy and creative option for your next meal. The pumpkin provides a creamy texture and warm, comforting flavor perfect for fall. The quinoa adds a nutty boost and packs a hefty punch of protein, iron and other essential minerals. Together, the two ingredients make a colorful, flavorful and sustaining dish fitting for the change in seasons.

This Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf recipe is easy to whip up with just a few ingredients. And while it works great as a main or side dish, it’s also hearty enough to stand on its own as a one-pot meal. If you’d like to give it a try, here’s everything you need to know to get started.

Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf

Ingredients You’ll Need For the Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf Recipe

The main ingredients for this dish are quinoa, pumpkin puree and vegetable broth. Here’s a list of all the items you’ll want to have on hand:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions To Prepare Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf

This dish comes together in no time. Before you start, make sure you have all of the ingredients prepped according to the list above. Then, follow these simple steps to get started:

  • In a medium-sized pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the diced onion and garlic, cooking until fragrant and the onion is translucent.
  • Add the rinsed quinoa to the pot and mix together with the onion and garlic.
  • Add the cumin, salt and pepper and mix until everything is combined.
  • Pour the vegetable broth and pumpkin puree over the quinoa. Stir to combine.
  • Bring the pot to a low boil, then reduce the heat and allow the quinoa to simmer for 20 minutes (or until most of the liquid is absorbed).
  • Once the quinoa is cooked, fluff it with a fork and transfer to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

The Benefits of Eating a Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf Meal

Aside from the wonderful flavors of this dish, there are many nutritional benefits to be had. Quinoa is well-known for being a powerful superfood. It contains more protein than wheat and other grains, it’s packed with minerals like magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, and it offers high levels of healthy fats and dietary fiber.

Pumpkin also provides a huge array of vitamins and minerals. It’s a great source of folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene, and is low in calories. And while the protein and fat content is low, it still packs a lot of nutritious punch.

Tips and Tricks For the Best Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf Result

Here are a few tips that might come in handy when preparing this easy meal:

  • Make sure to rinse and drain the quinoa before cooking. This will help remove any bitter flavor.
  • Once you add the broth and pumpkin, be sure to stir it into the quinoa. This will help fully incorporate the flavors.
  • Be sure to reduce the heat once the mixture starts to boil. If you let it boil too long, it will turn into a soupy mess.
  • If you find that the quinoa isn’t cooked after 20 minutes, you can add 1/4 cup of water and continue to simmer until tender.
  • If you’d like to add a bit of crunch and texture, you can top the pilaf with toasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas.

Serving Suggestions For the Perfect Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf Plate

You can easily turn this simple dish into a complete vegetarian meal. Here are a few suggestions of what to serve with your Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf:

  • Roasted vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and broccoli).
  • A simple side salad with a light dressing.
  • A dollop of hummus.
  • Grilled tempeh or mushrooms.
  • Crunchy roasted chickpeas.

Or, if a meat protein is more your style, this dish would go great with baked or grilled chicken or fish. Plus, the flavors and colors will be lovely when plated.

Fall is the perfect time to fill your table with hearty, comforting dishes like this Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf recipe. And whether you make it as a main or side dish, you can count on nutritious and delicious eating. Plus, all it takes is a few simple ingredients, a few easy steps and little bit of time.

So, why not give this dish a try? Not only is it nutritious and tasty, it couldn’t be easier to make. Give the Pumpkin Quinoa Pilaf a go and see what your family thinks.

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