Note from Julie: The photographs for this 15-minute spinach pesto quinoa bowl have been refreshed. The original recipe from 2014 is the same; just the photos have been given a facelift!
One of my favorite things about summer is the abundant amount of basil that is just flourishing in the garden.
I do also enjoy that basil is relatively easy to find year-round so I can have pesto when the craving hits.
I’m also pretty sure we all know by now my affinity for all things pesto, considering I’m raving about pesto above.
You can really never have enough pesto recipes so why not just another one at you.
This time, it only takes 15 minutes to make!
Yes, super super easy and so filling!
Don’t you love quick dinner ideas?
This 15-minute spinach pesto quinoa bowl brought to you by…me! ‘
This came together because I literally did not feel like cooking one night but we needed something to eat and I’m not a fan of going out to eat when we already have food at home.
Let’s break this down; why is this such a great recipe?
Quinoa cooks incredibly fast;
Spinach wilts down and cooks incredibly fast;
And well, if you already have pesto on hand, you just gotta throw it in, mix everything around, shave some beautiful parm on top and seriously – quick dinner in 15 minutes.
I got you ;)
Can you add a protein to this?
Yes! We’ve added in shredded chicken before or cubed chicken.
Shrimp would be great in this too.
Can you make your own pesto?
In fact, I have a few recipes for homemade pesto if you are interested.
They all would work in this recipe:
If you wanted to make traditional basil pesto, use the arugula pesto recipe and sub out the arugula and sub in basil!
What type of quinoa should I use?
You can use a mix of regular white quinoa and red quinoa or whatever quinoa you want.
Can I make this with rice if I don’t like quinoa?
Farro and other grains would be a good option to sub in here too.
Other quinoa recipes you may enjoy:
- Garlic butter shrimp and quinoa
- Easy chicken shawarma quinoa bowls
- Roasted vegetable and chicken quinoa bowls
- Stovetop turkey quinoa chili
Spinach Pesto Quinoa Bowl
- 2 cups multi-colored quinoa, uncooked
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 4 tablespoons basil pesto
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- Cook quinoa according to the instructions on the box or bag. (Instead of water, I used chicken stock for more flavor but if you want to keep this a vegetarian dish, go with water or vegetable stock.)
- Once quinoa is done cooking, turn heat to medium then add spinach, pesto, salt, and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and heat until spinach has wilted, pesto is evenly distributed, and Parmesan cheese has melted.
- Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Photographs by Erin Alvarez