Clean Eating Garlic Parmesan Quinoa Recipe

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Clean Eating Garlic Parmesan Quinoa

This is a wonderful summertime picnic or family gathering dish. Take it to pot lucks or even a company party and I think you’ll find that most people really enjoy it.

I actually made this for the 4th of July. Mini Chef, his dad and myself went to see fireworks at a local school. They shoot them off right over the school soccer field. So if you set yourself up on the field, it’s quite something to have the fireworks going off right over your head. This is Mini Chef’s second time going and he was just as amazed by it this year as he was last year. Although, it’s hard to say if it’s the fireworks or the fact that he gets to stay up late that excites him most.

But then, I can’t say much, staying up late was my main mission as a kid. No matter what was going on or how tired I was, I always wanted to stay up later. I always felt like there was something going on that I was missing out on by going to bed “on time”. I couldn’t wait to become an adult so I could make my own bed time.

But I digress…. big time…

Serve this as a side dish, or as a main, vegetarian course with a side salad. It’s full of flavor without being overpowering, and pairs nicely with just about anything. Even chicken or fish!


Clean Eating Garlic Parmesan Quinoa Recipe
Author: Tiffany McCauley | The Gracious
Serves: Approximately 6 cups
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound cherry or sugar tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh basil
  1. Follow package directions to cook the quinoa, but substitute the water with chicken broth.
  2. When done, fluff with a fork and allow to cool enough so the cheese won’t melt when you add it.
  3. Stir in the garlic powder and parmesan cheese.
  4. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil.
  5. Stir well and serve.


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  1. this sounds amazing, did you use a certain type of quiona?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Colleen – No, just the regular stuff I get at Costco.

  2. Do u think i can substitute Quinoa with millet? I’m fresh out of quinoa. Thanks

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Yamir – Sure. It’ll taste different, but it should still be tasty.

  3. Quinoa is so expensive in the only store in the rural area where I live. Is there any place to get it that is less expensive. It is $14.99 for a small bag. I would really appreciate the input. I would like to try some recipes using quinoa. Looks yummy. Thanks.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Valerie – Have you checked

  4. Valerie, is there a Big Lots near you? I’ve been finding various Bob’s Red Mill brand items there–dried beans, dried bean soup mixes, gluten-free pancake and muffin mixes, flax seed and even quinoa for about $5.50-$7.50 a pound bag.

  5. Oh my goodness, this recipe sounds delish! I just put my box of quinoa on the counter to remind me to make it tomorrow. I have been in a rut coming up with appealing side dishes, and the parmesan quinoa will do the trick. Thanks, Tiffany!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jacqui – My pleasure! Let me know how you like it.

  6. I buy my quinoa from bulk bin at Earthfare $3.99 a lb

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Freedom – Awesome deal!

  7. Made this as a side last night for dinner and it was a fantastic. I didn’t have cherry tomatoes on hand but the dish was still delicious. Nice way to give some oomph to the same, plain quinoa we eat a lot of. Thanks for the recipe, Tiffany!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Crystal – My pleasure! Glad you enjoyed it! 😀

  8. Anne Hachey says:

    Is there a clean eating substitute for quick cooking rolled oats to be used in cooking not baking? I make a meatloaf that calls for quick cooking rolled oats but since switching to more of clean eating,just got curious if there was a better alternative. Thanks Anne

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Anne – Steel cut oats are the default clean eating oats. But that being said, if quick oats are the worst you are doing in your eating plan, I think you can still sleep pretty soundly at night. I still use them myself. Plus, I’m not sure steel cut would work very well in meatloaf, although you could certainly give traditional oats a try. Probably your best bet if you want to avoid the quick oats.

  9. are you supposed to eat this warm or cold? it sounds amazing either way.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Valarie – You could go either way, but I prefer it warm.

  10. Alissa Price says:

    I made this recipe last week! It was my first time cooking with (or even eating) quinoa! I added some shredded, organic chicken. It was delicious and a great recipe to be introduced to quinoa.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alissa – Fantastic! So glad you enjoyed it! Quinoa is amazing stuff. 🙂

  11. Hi Gracious Pantry! I found many wonderful recipes from your site! I thank you so much! I did have a question regarding what your definition of clean eating is. I am very new to the idea and I love every minute of it (almost) 🙂 Although I am new, there were a few things I do recall as important aspects to eating clean. We want to stay away from processed foods, and although cheese came from milk, it is considered processed. Is the case? There are tons of recipes that include cheese that I haven’t been able to make because cheese is a no-no for clean eaters. It has extra fats and preservatives which are also a big no-no. Any advice?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kathryn – That all depends on what type of cheese you buy. I do eat cheese and it’s perfectly fine. But I buy the full fat, organic block of cheese. Of course, you want to eat it in moderation, but it’s not “off the list” just because it’s cheese. You’ll find that with a lot of ingredients. You just have to look for the clean versions. Hope that helps.

  12. Hi Tiffany!
    Tana from Germany here. I have posted a few times but have another question for you. Are there different types of quinoa? I only found the one kind here and tried it out today with this recipe. It said to cook/boil it for 20min and then let it set for 5 minutes. It didn’t make near the six cups like the recipe says. Could I be doing something wrong or is there another type of quinoa?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tana – Yes, I believe there are a few different kinds. Usually you can tell the difference by the color though. I think there is a black and a red if I’m remembering correctly. Not positive though. It is possible, however, that there are many differences between here and there when it comes to cooking. Altitude, measurements, ingredients… a lot can change between countries. I remember when I lived in Germany and first started cooking, everything I made turned out just awful. Still to this day, I’m not sure what the main differences are. I would just follow the package directions on your box or bag and go from there. You can always make extra if you need to. Really wish I could be more help! 🙁

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