Baked Quinoa with Lemon and Parsley

Baked quinoa with lemon and parsley is a cinch to make and makes the most of this nutty, nutritional wonder. Amped up with the addition of lemon, parsley, and broth, it couldn’t be simpler.

Baked quinoa with lemon and parsley in a turquoise bowl with a wooden spoon, surrounded by lemon halves and parsley sprigs.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen | Cook for Your Gut Health | America’s Test Kitchen, 2021

There are many ways to prepare quinoa, but this hands-off method delivers perfectly cooked “grains” every time. For the cooking liquid, we turn to chicken broth (vegetable broth works well, too), which we heat with lemon zest, so the dish has citrus flavor throughout. We pour the hot liquid over the quinoa in a baking dish, cover it with foil, and bake.–America’s Test Kitchen

WHAT IS QUINOA?

You might know what quinoa is, but you might not know much about this pseudocereal. It’s an ancient seed that’s packed with protein and is gluten-free, so it’s suitable for many diets. A flowering plant in the amaranth family, it’s grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds. The seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, and B vitamins, and have dietary minerals in amounts greater than most grains. Considered a superfood because of its nutritional benefits, it’s grown in popularity over the last decade.

For convenience, you can buy prewashed quinoa. If you buy unwashed quinoa (or if you’re unsure if it’s washed), rinse it well before cooking to remove its bitter protective coating, called saponin.

Baked Quinoa with Lemon and Parsley

Baked quinoa with lemon and parsley in a turquoise bowl with a wooden spoon, surrounded by lemon halves and parsley sprigs.
Baking is a supremely easy way to cook quinoa. Lemon juice and parsley are stirred in before serving to lend bright notes to this pilaf to go alongside a delicate protein like cod, or even with a heartier side.
America’s Test Kitchen

Prep 15 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 50 mins
Sides
American
4 servings
302 kcal
No ratings yet
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Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) pre-washed white quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest preferably organic
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • In an 8-inch square baking pan, combine quinoa and oil.
  • In a covered medium saucepan over high heat, bring broth, lemon zest, and salt to boil. Pour hot broth over the quinoa mixture and cover the dish tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil. Bake quinoa until tender and no liquid remains, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove dish from the oven, uncover, and fluff the quinoa with a fork, scraping up any quinoa that has stuck to the bottom. Re-cover the dish and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Fold in lemon juice and parsley. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Serve.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 302kcal (15%)Carbohydrates: 42g (14%)Protein: 9g (18%)Fat: 11g (17%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 502mg (22%)Potassium: 372mg (11%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 365IU (7%)Vitamin C: 4mg (5%)Calcium: 34mg (3%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Roasting imparts a nice nuttiness to quinoa in this simple and rather fool-proof dish of baked quinoa with lemon and parsley. This quinoa comes out a bit fluffier than the stovetop version–it would be great in a tabouli-style salad, or served next to anything saucy where you need to soak up the last bits of flavor.

What a great method for cooking quinoa! I’ve only cooked it on the stovetop and this resulted in a fluffier grain and it was perfectly cooked. The prep time is minimal and then it goes in the oven while you can be off doing other things. The quinoa has only a hint of lemon and I’ll add a bit more next time.

The preparation of this baked quinoa with lemon and parsley was so fast that the oven didn’t have time to preheat, qualifying it as an excellent weeknight side. I liked it with only one teaspoon of lemon juice, but I threw in the remaining 4 1/2 teaspoons from the zested lemon after tasting, and it was even better though slightly bitter.

Because my chicken broth was already salty, I didn’t add any salt until the end. I subbed cilantro for the parsley and it was a good trade in this dish. Initially, I didn’t think the recipe called for enough liquid compared to the recipe on the quinoa package, but the quinoa was perfectly cooked. I had some sticking during the initial fluff, but once it had rested for the specified ten minutes, all the bits had released into the dish—no cleanup issues.

I used a 9-inch square Anchor Hocking glass dish with a glass lid, so sealed with only one layer of foil and the lid; it worked well. Next time I’ll try just the lid, and there will be many next times, because this dish will go well with most chicken and fish dishes and it’s a great packable lunch, too. The next day we sliced mild green olives (Castelvetrano and Frescatrano) into the cold leftovers and added shredded poached chicken for an excellent lunch.

This baked quinoa with lemon and parsley is an incredibly easy recipe but you may have to bake for longer to get the quinoa to be tender enough. I would definitely make this again. Note that quinoa works best if it can be rinsed 3x and also if you squish them in your hand under the running water.

Originally published October 25, 2021

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