Quinoa Pilaf

I found myself in what has become a common situation, peering into my pantry to discover how many more meals I could eke out of the remaining ingredients. 

With delivery not a viable option in my area, and the thought of another scavenger hunt in the supermarket filling me with dread, I honed my skills of making do. Thrilled to locate a full container of quinoa that had been pushed to that back of the shelves, a pilaf experiment was soon underway. Keep in mind, this pilaf can tolerate a wide range of variations, so play around with what you have on hand.

I hope you love the results as much as we did.


  • 1 bunch red Swiss chard, about 1 pound, stems chopped and leaves rolled together and finely sliced
  • 2 -12 ounces small cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, halved
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups prepared vegetable broth, or water and 2 veggie bouillon cubes
  • A handful of fresh or dried finely chopped herbs (parsley, chives, oregano, etc.)
  •  Salt and ground black pepper
  •  Toasted slivered or chopped almonds


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium. Add onion, and chard stems. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in quinoa to toast lightly (stir frequently). 
  2. Cover with broth, stir, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and reduce heat.
  3. After 15 minutes, remove lid,  add chard leaves and cover again. Continue cooking another five minutes until the liquid has absorbed. Keep the lid on and set aside. 
  4. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil on medium-high in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and sauté, stirring until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork. Fold in mushrooms, herbs and chopped nuts, seasoning to taste. 


Inspired by NYT Quinoa Salad