Bright, delicious flavor in one of the easiest, most delicious sides dishes you’ll ever make!
I was tempted to call this dish “easiest ever quinoa”, or something along those lines, because Lemony Quinoa with Sun-Dried Tomatoes is so simple to make you barely even need a recipe. For food blogging however, specific, more descriptive titles are always better as they show up in internet searches more readily, and besides, any recipe title that begins with “lemony” always catches people’s attention, and believe me, this dish is deserving of attention! This is one of my go-to side dishes for entertaining because it’s easy, delicious, and only requires a handful of ingredients. Simply cook quinoa in vegetable stock (chicken and beef stock work too if you’re not vegan) and let it cool. Then, add lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh chopped parsley, and sun-dried tomatoes, and season to taste. That’s it! It doesn’t get much easier than that!
One of the reasons that Lemony Quinoa with Sun-Dried Tomatoes has so much flavor is because the quinoa is cooked in vegetable stock. Package directions usually call for quinoa to be cooked in water but quinoa cooked in water turns out rather bland. An easy way to jazz it up without any extra work is to cook it in broth or stock. This infuses it with flavor and seasons it throughout. I prefer using stock to cook quinoa instead of broth. Stocks tend to be deeper in color with richer, more concentrated flavor – characteristics that get imparted to the quinoa. If you prefer more delicately flavored quinoa, and don’t want its color to change too much, cook it in broth.
Quinoa is an awesome healthy alternative to rice so I’m always looking for recipes like Lemony Quinoa with Sun-Dried Tomatoes to add to my cooking repertoire. One of the things I love about quinoa is that it’s one of the few plant foods considered to be a complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine of the “essential” amino acids our bodies need for good health. We make “nonessential” amino acids on our own, but we can only get “essential” amino acids from the foods we eat. Don’t forget too, that quinoa is gluten-free, high is fiber and protein, and a good source of iron.
Lemony Quinoa with Sun-Dried Tomatoes is an awesome side dish, but you can easily make it a complete meal by adding chicken, shrimp, or salmon. Here’s a great time-saving, meal-prep tip that I often use. When serving chicken, shrimp, or salmon for dinner, prepare a double batch of quinoa (cooked in broth or stock) as a side dish. The next day, make Lemony Quinoa with Sun-Dried Tomatoes with the extra quinoa and mix in the leftover chicken, shrimp, or salmon. Now you’ve got another delicious meal with very little effort. If that doesn’t make you crazy for quinoa, nothing will! Check out these other recipes using quinoa: Curried Cranberry Cashew Quinoa, Sprinach Parmesan Quinoa, and Turkey Cheddar Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable stock (see notes)
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, julienned, from a jar of oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa in vegetable stock according to package directions (see notes) and let cool.
- Combine the quinoa with the remaining ingredients. Serve cold or at room temperature.