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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!

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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?

Yes!

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?

Sure!

Farro and other grains would be a good option to sub in here too.

Other quinoa recipes you may enjoy:

4.78 from 9 votes

Spinach Pesto Quinoa Bowl

You’ll have dinner on the table in no time with this 15-minute spinach pesto quinoa bowl! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups (340 g) multi-colored quinoa, uncooked
  • 6 cups (180 g) baby spinach
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (50 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
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Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25of recipe, Calories: 470kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 18g, Fiber: 8g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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Photographs by Erin Alvarez

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106 Comments

  1. This was great! I used yakina greens in place of the spinach, so I sauteed them in olive oil before tossing with the rest of the ingredients. Quick and easy side for roasted chicken.

  2. Can you heat this up as left overs? Would it still be good? I was thinking of doing this like a night before and taking it for lunch a couple days.

  3. quinoa, spinach, pesto – all my favorites together in the same dish, of course. Thanks for tonight’dinner!.

  4. Hi this looks awesome! What recipe do you recommend for the pesto recipe (to make the actual pesto for this recipe)

  5. So, 2 cups of uncooked quinoa will turn into 4 cups of cooked quinoa. Therefore, the recipe would serve 8 1/2 cup servings, not 4. I used 2 cups of cooked quinoa with the rest of the ingredients and it was good. Also added cooked asparagus and some lemon juice..