Pilaf is a dish of rice cooked in broth, and often the rice is toasted in butter or oil first for more flavor. Pilaf can also be thought of as a cooking method that can be applied to other grains. This is simple pilaf with the protein-rich quinoa instead of rice.
I wanted this Almond-Apricot Quinoa Pilaf to be vegan and oil-free so I use just a bit of almond butter to toast the grain and it works wonderfully. Topped with roasted almonds and apricots (dried or fresh), it makes a delicious lunch!
Recipe by Katie Mae
Makes 4 servings | Ready in 25 minutes | Stores 1 week in fridge
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic granules)
- ½ tablespoon almond butter
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water, divided
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ½ cup roasted almonds, chopped
- ½ cup dried apricots or 1 cup fresh, chopped
- ¼ cup currants or raisins (optional)
- In a medium pot over medium heat, add onion. After a few minutes, add the garlic, almond butter, 2 tablespoons of the broth, and quinoa. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover. Toast the quinoa for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Add the remaining broth and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low-medium and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The dish is complete when all of the liquid is absorbed, and the quinoa is tender.
- Stir in the lemon, almonds, apricots, and currants.
In a pilaf, the grain is usually cooked in a broth or stock. However, most broths contain added oil and a lot of salt. I suggest making your own or look for one that oil-free and low-sodium. If I don’t have a homemade broth available, my personal preference is to just use water instead. Don’t worry, the pilaf will still have excellent flavor.
This recipe can be made in advance, but do not add almonds until serving. Allow the dish to cool, and then place in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in a skillet and then just before serving, stir in the almonds.