Pesto Quinoa With Italian Roasted Tomatoes

6 servings
30 min

Are you craving classic Italian flavors, but don’t want a bowl full of pasta? I got you.

This easy, vegetarian dish is made up of two main parts: quinoa and roasted tomatoes. My husband, JJ, and I love cooking this meal together because we each have our own task and don’t step on each other’s toes in the kitchen. His job is to make the quinoa and mine is to roast the tomatoes to perfection. When the dish is complete it is a match made in flavor heaven.


Benefits of Quinoa

Instead of making this Italian flavored meal with pasta, I love using quinoa.


Quinoa is a grain with superfood status. It contains all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete source of protein. It also provides a great range of minerals, B vitamins, and omega 6 fatty acids.


Quinoa cooks in a similar way to rice and has a mild nutty flavor. Quinoa is my go-to grain because it’s healthy and you can add so much flavor to it.

Pesto Quinoa cooked in an Instant Pot.
The Process

Like I mentioned earlier, when cooking this meal, my husband and I each take on one part of the recipe. We are that weird couple that enjoys cooking together. But this is a simple recipe and can easily be made by one person.


JJ likes to cook quinoa in an Instant Pot, but I prefer cooking it in a saucepan on the stove. It’s a personal preference and you can cook it either way. First, start the quinoa because it usually takes slightly longer to cook than the tomatoes. I like using vegetable broth to cook quinoa with because I think it adds more flavor than cooking it with water. When the quinoa has finished cooking, mix in spinach, mozzarella cheese, and pesto.


Next, slice cherry tomatoes in half and throw them into a baking dish with olive oil and spices. I like to broil the cherry tomatoes to soften and blister the skins. After broiling the tomatoes for about 10 minutes, take them out and add the butter/breadcrumb mixture on top. Pop them back in the broiler for round two for a few minutes to brown the breadcrumbs and form a crunchy crust.


Assembly: Add the pesto quinoa mixture to a bowl and top it with the roasted Italian tomatoes. To add a bit more crunch to this dish, you can add toasted pine nuts as well. And, of course, I’m a cheese lover, so I add lots of grated parmesan cheese on top. Voila!

Roasted tomatoes right out of the oven.
Pesto Quinoa with Italian Roasted Tomatoes
Course: Main Dish, VegetarianCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: EasyServings

6

servingsPrep time

10

minutesCooking time

20

minutes

Italian flavor packed vegetarian dish with superfood quinoa and roasted tomatoes.

Ingredients for the quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked

  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or water)

  • 5 cups spinach

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 7 oz. jar pesto

  • Ingredients for the Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons basil

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 teaspoon thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions for the quinoa
  • In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and broth to a boil. Cover saucepan with a lid and cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, leave the lid on, and let stand covered for 3 minutes or until broth is absorbed.
  • Add in spinach and stir for 1-2 minutes to allow spinach to wilt.
  • Add in mozzarella cheese and pesto. Mix.
  • Directions for the Roasted Tomatoes
  • Preheat broiler.
  • Cut cherry tomatoes in half and add them to a medium-large baking dish.
  • Add olive oil, garlic, and spices to the cherry tomatoes. Stir to mix.
  • Broil tomatoes for 10 minutes.
  • Mix melted butter and breadcrumbs together in a bowl.
  • Take tomatoes out of the oven and add the butter/breadcrumb mixture to coat the top of the tomatoes.
  • Broil again for 3 minutes until the breadcrumbs are turn light brown and crunchy.
  • (optional) Top finished bowl with grated parmesan and/or toasted pine nuts.

Notes
  • You can cook the quinoa in an Instant Pot instead of the stovetop method.
  • You can top this dish with toasted pine nuts for an added crunch.

Pesto Quinoa With Italian Roasted Tomatoes

Recipe details

  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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Ingredients


  • Ingredients for Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, uncooked
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 5 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 7 oz. jar pesto
  • Ingredients for the Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

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