Smoky Garlic Quinoa Stir-fry Dinner In 30 Minutes!

I cook a lot of quinoa. As a vegan, quinoa is a staple in my diet because of it’s exceptional nutrients and quality protein. It is so versatile too. You can literally add any type of flavor profile to it and it is fabulous. I have a confession…I used to dislike quinoa…but that is because when I had tasted it, it was so bland. Once I started cooking with it on my own and creating my own flavors and recipes, I fell in love with it. It is very filling too so you don’t miss the meat! This recipe is full of garlic and a deep smoky flavor!

Recipe:  Serves 4  Prep time: 10 mins  Cook time: 20 minutes   Click here for a printable version

Ingredients to first prepare the quinoa:

1 cup organic quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth

Juice from half of a lemon

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for stir-fry:

2 small or 1 large zucchini cut in half moons

1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper chopped

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon regular paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon chipotle ground chili spice

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Juice from half a lemon (optional)

Prepare the quinoa first according to the package directions. While the quinoa is cooking prepare the vegetables. Put 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and turn the heat to medium low. Put all the spices in a small cup and stir to mix well. Chop up all the vegetables and throw into the pan with the spices and stir to evenly coat all the veggies. Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally so they cook even. Should take about 10 minutes. Once the vegetables are tender, squeeze the lemon juice over them and stir. Turn the heat off. Quinoa should be done by now. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Pour some quinoa on a plate and the vegetables on top. A quick and easy dinner when you are pressed for time!

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11 Comments on “Smoky Garlic Quinoa Stir-fry Dinner In 30 Minutes!”

  1. Alicia Bailey
    August 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM #

    I hate giving reviews on recipes where I made changes, but as I couldn’t find certain ingredients, I subbed where I had to and otherwise stuck to the recipe. Instead of the chipotle and smoked paprika, I found a Lawry’s Chili & Garlic blend, which has both, including garlic. It also has sodium, so I didn’t add extra. I really hate bell peppers, so I used fresh raw spinach (more on that at the end). I made the quinoa as specified and because I am staying in a B&B on a job with my husband, I only have a large stock pot and ONE electric eye…all this delicious food and no real kitchen. I added the veggies, I didn’t sautee them as I was only using one pot, so no oil (the lemon is a must! I was doubtful, but I kept it in and it creates a low note of flavor and nothing lemony). Don’t be afraid of the chipotle…it is not like Cheyenne pepper in the slightest. It will give a slight kick and that’s all (ie, no heart burn!). I kept the mushrooms because we love them and I’m excited to try a medley of mushrooms instead of just one kind (take note my fellow fungi lovers!). When it was cooked, I placed a handful of uncooked spinach in a bowl and placed the hot quinoa/veggies on top. It wilted the spinach perfectly, and if you’ve read through this site, you’ll note that spinach is best eaten wilted. While my dish didn’t turn out as smoky looking as Brandi’s (I still tasted the smoky flavor), it still made a beautiful presentation. And my husband gobbled it up and is excited for the leftovers it will make for lunch tomorrow! 🙂 This is a VERY flavorful dish and with the “base” of the quinoa recipe, I can see changing up veggies to add a new dimention every time you make it (and you WILL make it again).


  2. August 7, 2012 at 7:31 PM #

    Well given your situation, I understand you couldn’t make the recipe as follows but it sounds like you reached the similar flavor profile! Yes, these flavors are so great they are versatile with your desired choice of veggies :). And yes, my ingredient of lemon is really brightens up the warm spices without it screaming lemon flavor! Thank you so much for trying it and so glad y’all loved it! Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  3. RubyShooZ
    August 10, 2012 at 10:21 PM #

    Oh boy I can’t wait to try this. It sounds so delicious and I love all the ingredients in it. I might put some homemade seitan in it. Either way I believe it might even be what’s for dinner tonight!

  4. August 11, 2012 at 4:33 AM #

    Thanks so much Ruby Shooz!! It is HUGE on flavor and a favorite with my husband! Please let me know how it turned out for you and thank you for stopping by 🙂

  5. August 11, 2012 at 10:01 AM #

    We had this for dinner last night and it was just as you said; HUGE on flavor and so filling it even filled my husband up with one plateful.

    We toured the garden before dinner (where we found an out of control zucchini that had grown to a small bat size) and some peppers that my husband tossed in that were extra spicy so it was a pretty warm flavored meal. It’s now on our list of “meals” that we can make with no fuss and in record time.

    Thank you!

    • August 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM #

      Oh that’s wonderful! I’m so glad it worked out for you both and you and your husband loved it! Thank you so much for trying my recipe! And I’m jealous you have a garden, hehe 🙂

  6. August 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM #

    What a wonderful dinner! I love quinoa too but my husband isn’t a lover! I will make this soon, when he isn’t at home! 😉 Yum Yum Yum!

  7. August 19, 2012 at 6:09 PM #

    OMG YUM!!!

  8. August 19, 2012 at 7:32 PM #

    Thanks Heather! It is a weekly meal in our house! 🙂

  9. September 9, 2012 at 6:00 AM #

    Hi there! I can’t find your email address so am contacting you this way. (my sincere apologies!). You are currently subscribed to (my food blog) through WordPress and I have recently moved to self hosting so you will not receive my posts anymore automatically. If you’d like to continue reading, please go to and subscribe via RSS or email. I hope to keep you as a reader! Thank you so much!

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