Peppy Quinoa

Makes:  6 Servings

Prep time:  15 minutes

Cook time:  1 hour & 5 minutes

This surprisingly peppy side dish combines spicy green chilies, cilantro, and toasted pepitas with the nutty flavor of quinoa, giving this dish a Latino flair that will spice up any menu. 


1/8 cup Pepitas/Pumpkin seeds

1 1/4 cups Quinoa, dry

3 teaspoons Low-sodium chicken base

1/2 cup Fresh onion, peeled, diced

1/2 cup canned diced green chilies

2 1/4 teaspoons Fresh garlic, minced

1/2 cup Fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup Fresh green onions, diced

Fresh lime juice (2-4 Tbsp., optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.

2. Toast pepitas in oven for 10 minutes or until light brown and aromatic. Set aside.

3. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear, not cloudy. Combine quinoa, 2 ½ cups water, and chicken base in a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer until water is completely absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. When done, quinoa will be soft and a white ring will pop out of the kernel. The white ring will appear only when it is fully cooked. Fluff with a fork. Set aside. A rice cooker may be used with the same quantity of quinoa, water, and chicken base.

4. Mix quinoa, onions, green chilies, and garlic in an 8” x 8” nonstick baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover pan and bake at 350°F for 40 minutes. 

5. Toss in cilantro, green onions, pepitas, and optional lime juice to taste. Serve hot. 


Source: United States Department of Agriculture -

Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook for Homes