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Spicy Lemon Quinoa


This recipe for spicy lemon quinoa is an ideal accompaniment to steamed halibut.

  • Servings: 4

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October Fall 2007


  • 2 cups quinoa
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Transfer to a medium saucepan, add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until water is completely absorbed, 18 to 20 minutes.

  2. Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl along with pine nuts, lemon zest, parsley, cumin, cayenne; drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss until well combined. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reviews Add a comment

  • spulley
    25 JAN, 2011
    I made this recipe this evening with a couple of changes and loved it. One cup of quinoa cooked in two cups of chicken broth (about 14 mins) let stand for 15 minutes. I omitted the pine nuts. Will make again, good accompaniment to fish
  • TexasTraveler
    19 JUL, 2009
    Follow the proportions in the recipe from Martha, unless you want it to be the consistency of mush!
  • Since1982
    14 JAN, 2009
    Because of the controversy over the amount of water necessary for the recipe, I cooked the quinoa according to the instructions found at in their lemon quinoa recipe. This method produced a VERY fluffy result which was delightful. Beyond the cooking method for the quinoa, I followed the MSL recipe exactly and it was utterly delicious! What a great combination of flavors. I will be making this again and again.
  • ee1
    9 JAN, 2009
    Wrong proportions for the quinoa.
  • stylegirl
    30 JUL, 2008
    My guess is the recipe is referring to 2 cups cooked quinoa - that would be 1 c dry to 2-21/4 c water when cooking. 4 c cooked quinoa seems like way too much for the other ingredients in the recipe.
  • cook2go
    10 JUN, 2008
    I just made this - but I increased the water to 4 cups, as 2 1/4 cups didn't seem like enough. I looked at several other recipes for quinoa, and they all had a two to one ratio of water to quinoa. Even the directions on my package said one cup quinoa to 2 cups water. Anyone have a problem with just the 2 /14 cups of water? Its delicious, by the way! taking it to a potluck dinner tonight.
  • CarolWY
    8 MAR, 2008
    This is a lovely, flavorful side dish with just a bit of a crunch. It went great with the Roast Maple-Glazed Salmon at Topped off with some sautn n n n ed asparagus, it made a delicious, eye-pleasing meal.
  • jessicasherwood
    13 FEB, 2008
    This was so easy and delicious. I served it as a room temperature salad similar to couscous and everyone loved it. It's a wonderful simple supper or dish for sharing/entertaining.