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Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa Pilaf with Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese

This toasted quinoa pilaf combines butternut squash, caramelized onions and goat cheese for a delicious flavor combination.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword quinoa pilaf
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings (side dish) or 3 servings (main dish)
Calories 218 kcal
Author Marjorie @APinchOfHealthy


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 3 cups of cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of sugar (1/4 teaspoon or less, or none at all)
  • 1.5 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped (optional)
  • 1 ounce goat cheese (or more to taste)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel, de-seed and chop the squash into small, bite-sized cubes (or high five yourself if you bought it already processed).
  3. Toss the squash in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Bake on a baking sheet lined with either parchment paper or a silicon liner for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
  5. Take the uncooked quinoa and toast it a saute pan (no oil or butter!) over medium low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring/ shaking the pan frequently. You will hear a little popping, and you will smell the toasty quinoa when it is about ready. Careful not to burn it!
  6. Pour the toasted quinoa in a heat safe bowl and set aside.
  7. Add half a tablespoon of butter, and half a tablespoon of olive oil to the (same, now empty) pan and heat on low.
  8. Add the chopped onion, sugar and a little salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Stir the onions frequently. Tip: If needed, use some extra stock (like 2-3 tablespoons - I do not measure) to de-glaze the pan a couple of times, and scrape up the brown bits. It will evaporate pretty quickly.
  10. Cook the onions slow and low until fully caramelized, about 20 minutes. The secret to good caramelized onions is patience.
  11. When the onions are caramelized, add the 1.5 cups of stock, and increase the heat to bring to a boil.
  12. Once boiling, stir in the quinoa and 1 tablespoon of the thyme.
  13. Reduce heat to low to a slow simmer, and simmer for about 15 minutes covered, stirring occasionally.
  14. Remove the lid, and gently fold in the roasted squash. Recover the pot.
  15. Turn off the heat (with the lid still on) and remove the pot from the heat, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  16. Transfer mixture to serving dish, and top with goat cheese crumbles and remaining fresh thyme.
  17. Serve immediately.
    quinoa pilaf nutrition label

Recipe Notes

Nutrition label generator was used to calculate additional nutritional information for a 1-cup serving above, and all nutrition information is approximate.


Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Pilaf with Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 218 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 116mg5%
Potassium 509mg15%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 7630IU153%
Vitamin C 19.8mg24%
Calcium 69mg7%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.