How to Make Quinoa Risotto

Oh vegetarian decadence! Serve this divine quinoa risotto recipe to anyone at your dinner table who thinks that vegetarian foods are bland or boring. Infused with wholesome quinoa, rich coconut milk, creamy Kabocha pumpkin, savory broth, and bright green peas, this recipe will surely knock off some socks. It is a bit time consuming, but the results are priceless.

This recipe is infused with lots of love, as it was invented on the fly with my coworker Cynthia. I’ve always thought that I was more of solo cook (I am an Aries, after all…), but time in the kitchen with all my awesome coworkers has proved to be enlightening, collaborative, and educational. I (heart) working with my team of vegetarian chefs, and this Quinoa Risotto is one example of this shared kitchen love! The Risotto can be made vegan by swapping the Earth Balance or olive oil for butter, and eliminating the Parmesan. If you do eat dairy, the tiny bit of cheese brings the whole thing together magically, but it’s quite delish without as well (use a bit extra nutritional yeast to bring it home!)

Quinoa Risotto with Coconut and Pumpkin

1 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (fifteen-ounce) can coconut milk
½ cup mirin (or white wine)
2 cups chopped Kabocha pumpkin (or peeled butternut squahs)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ cup sliced onions
2 Tablespoons dried garlic flakes
2 Tablespoons butter/Earth Balance/Olive oil
2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 cup frozen green peas
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon each dried sage and dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Stir quinoa in a saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes to toast grains.
  2. Stir in vegetable broth, coconut milk, and mirin. Raise heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Add pumpkin, lower heat and let simmer for 40-45 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed by quinoa. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for three minutes or until translucent. Add quinoa/pumpkin mixture and stir to incorporate onions.
  4. Add garlic flakes, butter, and soymilk. Saute for a few minutes or until quinoa absorbs the liquid.
  5. Stir in peas, parmesan, and herbs. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with dried herbs in the center. Serve and enjoy!

Yield: approximately 4-6 servings

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About Andrea Bertoli 597 Articles
A vegan chef, cookbook author, wellness educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in Honolulu. Follow my delicious adventures on Instagram

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