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This Superfood Quinoa Pilau is a nutrient dense meal or side dish. It contains a fabulous variety of superfoods to support and truely nourish your body.
5 from 2 votes

Superfood Quinoa Pilau

This Superfood Quinoa Pilau is a nutrient dense meal or side dish. It contains a fabulous variety of superfoods to support and truely nourish your body.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Servings: 4


  • 170 g quinoa (1 cup)
  • 1 red onion/s -finely diced
  • 500 ml water (2 cups) or bone broth
  • tsp sea salt - or to taste
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 4 cardamom pods -bruised
  • 1 sweet potato/s -diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil -extra virgin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 bunch/s kale -leaves torn off stems
  • 30 g pumpkin seeds (¼ cup)
  • 30 g goji berries
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Ground black pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (fan-forced).
  • Rinse the quinoa really well in a fine sieve or ideally soak it for 1-12 hours to remove the bitter tasting saponins.
  • Finely dice the red onion and put into a pot with the quinoa and 2 cups of water or broth. Add ½ teaspoon of sea salt, cinnamon quill and cardamon pods. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is all absorbed.
  • Whilst that is simmering, line a large oven tray with baking paper.
  • Dice the sweet potato into 2 cm pieces and place at one end of the tray leaving room for the kale and pumpkin seeds which you'll add later.
  • Drizzle with half tablespoon of the olive oil, toss and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the sea salt and the cinnamon. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Now wash the kale leaves well and tear the soft leaves from the woody stem. Place them into your serving/ salad bowl and add the remaining one and half tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of the sea salt. Massage the oil into the leaves.
  • After the sweet potato has cooked for 12 minutes, add half of the kale leaves, in a single layer. I choose the thicker outer leaves to roast and reserve the younger, more tender leaves for the salad.
  • Also add the pumpkin seeds to the tray. Cook along side the sweet potato for the remaining 8 minutes to crisp the kale leaves and toast the pumpkin seeds.
  • By now your quinoa will be close to being cooked. Stir it and make sure it has absorbed the water or broth. Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. This step gives the quinoa time to pop open and the little white spiral to appear. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool a little. Add the turmeric and black pepper and mix well.
  • You can serve this dish either warm or cold. If serving cold allow the quinoa to cool completely.
  • Remove the cinnamon quill and add the quinoa to the salad or serving bowl.
  • Mix in the roasted sweet potato, pumpkin seeds and top with the crisp kale (add the pumpkin seeds and crispy kale right before serving or they lose their crunch).
  • Sprinkle over the goji berries and enjoy.


  • As is or with a simple piece of grilled, baked or BBQ'd protein like fish, chicken, red meat or a vegetarian protein.


  • Just keep the kale chips and pumpkin seeds aside until serving.


  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge.


Vegetarian and vegan

Choose water or vegetable stock to cook the quinoa.


Replace the onion with finely diced fennel.

Cheats version

Use leftover cooked quinoa. Fry the red onion in a little olive oil to soften it. Then add the pre-cooked quinoa, half teaspoon ground cardamon, half teaspoon ground cinnamon (these replace the quill and pods) and one teaspoon sea salt. Toss together and continue from step 5 in the method.

Add more/different vegetables

Yes, you can absolutely add in extra or different vegetables. It's a very versatile dish. 

For more delicious superfoods recipes’ click HERE.