March 18th, 2011

Creamy Quinoa Primavera

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CREAMY QUINOA PRIMAVERA — Quinoa loaded with fresh vegetables in a cream cheese and Parmesan sauce.

Creamy Quinoa Primavera

If you’ve never tried quinoa, you really should.  I’m always looking for new quinoa recipes, and this Creamy Quinoa Primavera is one of my favorites. 

Technically, quinoa is not a grain, but it does remind me of cous cous. The great thing about quinoa, as opposed to other grains, is that it’s very high in protein. It’s also gluten-free. 

You can use any kind of vegetables in this dish.  I like onion, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and carrots, and I’ll add mushrooms sometimes too (don’t tell my kids). 

This recipe is great for using up odds and ends of vegetables you have sitting in the refrigerator.

Creamy Quinoa Primavera

The great thing about quinoa is that it cooks up so quickly. Which means this simple side dish is ready in almost no time.

If I’m really in a hurry, I just give all the veggies a coarse shop in my food processor, but you could even throw in a mix of frozen veggies to save even more time. 

Although I’d typically serve this as a side dish, I’ll happily eat it as a meal on it’s own. You could even add grilled chicken or shrimp for a super protein packed meal.

This is one of those recipes I find myself making again and again. I hope you love this healthy side dish as much as we do!

Be sure to save this Creamy Quinoa Primavera recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.


Creamy Quinoa Primavera

Creamy Quinoa Primavera

Preparation 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 30 mins
Serves 8     adjust servings

Quinoa loaded with fresh vegetables in a cream cheese and Parmesan sauce.


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 cups thinly sliced or bite sized pieces assorted uncooked vegetables
  • 3 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese


  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly; drain. Bring quinoa and broth to boil in a 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until broth is absorbed.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic in butter for about one minute, stirring frequently, until golden. Stir in vegetables.
  3. Cook about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  4. Stir cream cheese and basil into cooked quinoa. Toss vegetables with quinoa mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

Recipe Notes

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2 reviews

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If you love this recipe, you might also like:

Quinoa Pomegranate Salad with Candied Pecans

Quinoa Pomegranate Salad with Candied Pecans

Baked Rice Pilaf

Baked Rice Pilaf

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from my friend Christy over at Yummy Deliciousness.



  1. This looks delicious! I read in the directions that the quinoa is cooked in broth but I didn’t see it under ingredients. Did you use chicken or veggie stock/broth?

    • I happened upon this recipe today, thought I’d try it. I used carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli and red pepper with low sodium chicken broth. It was a hit! Will make it again

  2. Yum! So simple, but it looks so good! I bet it tastes amazing with the cream cheese in it. I’ll have to try this – I bet the kids will love it!

  3. This is totally brilliant! I love quinoa and this is such a unique way to prepare it!

  4. The quinoa is looking so heathy and full of nutrition. I am always looking for great quinoa recipes and this one is just perfect for me… !

  5. Oh yum – I LOVE quinoa! This looks awesome!

  6. This looks amazing! I bought quinoa for the first time a few days ago and think this would be a great “first time” recipe! Thanks!

  7. This looks great! Any suggestions for cream cheese substitutions for a lighter dish? 🙂

  8. This looks like a great combination of satisfying and healthy – will be keen to give it a go. So far, I’ve only used quinoa for porridge for breakfast, so a savory recipe will be a good way to mix things up and try something new!

  9. The only substitution that comes to mind is light or fat-free cream cheese, or maybe sour cream would work?

  10. I have never had quinoa? This sure sounds delicious!

  11. I tried this today, however, wasn’t sure which veggies to use. Which veggies did you use?

  12. Danelle, I am always looking for good recipes with quinoa- and this looks like a great one! Thanks.

  13. This looks incredible! What a fun, healthy, delicious looking dish!!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  14. I love that just a little bit of cream cheese goes a long way with quinoa. The mouth texture of quinoa is already so close to creamy that it doesn’t take much cream cheese at all. You could probably get by with half the cream cheese in this recipe, especially because the quinoa is cooked in broth.

    @Nicole – the fresh vegetables I like to use in quinoa salads are sweet onions, bell pepper, grated carrots, chopped cilantro, celery.

  15. Just wanted to let you know that I’ve added your recipe to my online recipe box! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Living A Bona Fide Life: Recipe Box #4

  16. Nice way to enjoy some quinoa!

  17. This was really tasty. I used zucchini, carrots, cauliflower and brocolli for the veggies, and it was just perfect.

  18. Can’t wait to try this! I have quinoa sitting in my pantry waiting to be used.

    I’ve featured your recipe as one of my Friday favorites this week:

  19. My husband kept saying how good this was tonight. I used mascarpone instead of cream cheese because that’s what I had and only added about half of the cooked quinoa, all of it would have been way too much.

  20. I love this recipe and blog…I posted it on my community foodie blog. Hope you can come check it out

    Also, feel free to post you’re recipes or you’re favourite foodie tips on it whenever you like!

  21. Yum!
    I LOVE quinoa!
    For a dairy free dish, simply saute the onion in coconut (or olive) oil, & drain off the liquid from a tin of coconut milk (you could add that to the cooking liquid) & use the ‘thick’ milk in place of cream cheese!

    Our family is GF & DF, & we use coconut milk in place of most dairy! Had Christmas eve lasagna with a delightful tapioca cheese (my son-in law’s mom made it) There’s also rice based cheese for those who can’t do dairy, or skip the extra cheese.

    I have been baking my quinoa recently – bring to a boil in recommended liquid, transfer to a baking dish & bake covered at 350* for 30 minutes, then uncover & continue baking 10 minutes. Takes a bit longer, but the quinoa is always fluffy! I often replace some of the liquid with 1/2 C pureed squash or pumpkin. mmmm

  22. This looks delicious! I love anything with Quinoa!!


  23. Yum! Had this for dinner last night, and all devoured it, even my 2-year old. So easy to make and a great way to use up veggies.

  24. Sounds delish! Thanks for sharing.

  25. Found this on pinterest, and it was awesome! Even the 15 month devoured it, delish. Thanks for the recipe: )

  26. I just made this today, it is SO GOOD. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  27. So delish! I added 4 oz goat cheese with herbs instead of the cream cheese because a good friend of mine can’t have cows milk…turned out great! Thanks!

  28. I’m just wondering how many servings this makes? It looks absolutely delicious and I’ve got everything in my fridge!

  29. I would say it makes about 8 servings, as a side dish.

  30. I made this as a main dish for dinner tonight. It was my first time cooking (and eating) quinoa, and boy – this was a GREAT recipe to try! Thanks! I’ll definitely make this again.

  31. It occured to me that, although this recipe has been on heavy-rotation for months in our home, I never commented to tell you I LOVE this recipe (as does my husband).

    Your blog is brilliant. You’re brilliant.

  32. Thank you Sparlingo! 🙂

  33. You got me on the word creamy–this looks yummy. Can’t wait to try it.

  34. I just made this and it was very good! Thanks! My 5 yr old said he didn’t want to eat the cooked carrots and then after he tried some he said to himself, “well I liked cooked carrots, but I haven’t tried these things . . . (cauliflower haha) ” It is a good flavor blend.

  35. Instead of the cream cheese, make yogurt cheese. Put the yogurt in a strainer lined with a coffee filter and let it sit a few hours or overnight. The longer it sits the thicker it gets. We use it in place of cream cheese or sour cream.


  1. Quinoa 2.0 says:

    […] fridge. It makes a ton and reheats well for lunch or dinner the next day! Creamy Quinoa Primavera recipe via lets dish ingredients: 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth 4 […]


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