Full of earthy, autumn flavors, One-Pan Autumn Quinoa tastes like Thanksgiving, without all the work. It's simple to make in just one pan, so you can enjoy this comforting dish anytime.
I look forward to Thanksgiving all year because it's my favorite holiday. I love planning the menu, time in the kitchen preparing the meal, and the long weekend with family eating and spending time together.
I also look forward to the meal, primarily the stuffing. Not the boxed kind or the soggy stuff that comes out of the bird (no thank you!), but the hearty comforting combination of celery, onion, sage and carbs.
These flavors are so satisfying I wanted to create a recipe that evoked the feeling of the holiday classic, but without the effort or the carb load. I immediately thought of quinoa to replace the bread, and added a little twist with delicata squash and dried cranberries.
The beauty of this dish is that it can be made in one-pan and in about 30 minutes. It's great as a side, or as a main dish. You can add some white beans or sausage if you want to boost the protein for a more complete meal. It also packs beautifully for lunch, so don't worry if you end up with leftovers.
It's so good, too, you may find it replacing the usual stuffing on your holiday table. I'm rather surprised to say this myself, but it will definitely be making an appearance on ours!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Omit the sage and sprinkle it on at the end for people who enjoy the earthy flavor.
2 | To add a little extra protein, feel free to add some chicken sausage. Sauté it along with the onions and squash, then proceed with the recipe as written.
3 | Alternatively, add a can of drained, rinsed white beans to this dish along with the chicken stock, then proceed with the recipe as written.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan
One-Pan Autumn QuinoA
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium delicata squash, chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1½ teaspoons salt
3-4 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
½ cup dried, *unsweetened cranberries
2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, squash, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
2. Add the celery, sage and an additional ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the cranberries, quinoa, stock, and an additional 1 teaspoon salt, stirring to combine. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt to taste.
4. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer on low, covered, for 25-30 minutes or until all the liquid has absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through.
5. Turn the heat off, then let stand, covered for an additional 5 minutes.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 4-5 as a main dish or 10-12 as a side.
*Notes: Look for unsweetened cranberries in the bulk section of your local natural foods market. If that's not an option for you, you can order a completely unsweetened, 1-lb bag here (worth it if you also want to have them on hand for other recipes and snacking).
Of course, feel free to use regular sweetened cranberries if that's all you can find, the final results will still taste great and will only add a minimal amount of refined sugar.
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