If you follow food trends, I’m sure you’re aware of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) by now.  It’s definitely “in” right now.  Quinoa is a grain-like seed that is high in protein.   I had never eaten it before and to be honest, I viewed it skeptically with the slightly wary eye of someone who enjoys healthy foods but not foods that taste too health food-y, if you know what I mean.  Eventually I saw so many enticing recipes I knew it was time to give it a try.  Unfortunately the first recipe I tried was a total bust, not because of the quinoa itself, but the combination of flavors, general appearance and smell of the dish – all decidedly not good.  Despite all of that I could tell that the quinoa itself was actually quite good and so I kept my eye out for other recipes we might enjoy.  Enter this pineapple quinoa.

Right off the bat it wins points because of the pineapple – I love pineapple.  Pineapple juice is used as part of the cooking liquid to further enhance that flavor.  A serrano pepper mixed in provides a bit of heat to balance out the sweet, green onions give a nice little bite, and the cashews provide a nutty flavor as well as another dimension of texture.  Edamame and red bell pepper add more crunch and up the veggie content.  In short, I love everything about this meal.  It is quick, healthy, and tastes fantastic.  We’ve made it many times now and it’s definitely made its way into regular rotation.  If you are new to quinoa, I highly recommend this recipe as an introduction.  I’m officially hooked.


1 cup quinoa
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup cold water
2 tbsp. plus ½ tsp. soy sauce
1/3 cup raw cashew pieces (unsalted)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup cooked edamame
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and grated or finely diced
½ of a medium pineapple, cored, peeled and diced
½ cup loosely packed basil, finely chopped
Lime wedges, for serving


  • 01

    Combine the quinoa, pineapple juice, ½ teaspoon of soy sauce and water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the heat, let stand covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork.

  • 02

    Toast the cashews in a large skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

  • 03

    Return the pan to the stove and increase the heat to medium-high.  Heat the vegetable oil.  Stir in the bell pepper and edamame and stir fry for about 3 minutes, or until the bell pepper is slightly softened.  Stir in the scallions, garlic, ginger, and serrano and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the pineapple, quinoa and basil.  Mix well to combine.  Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and continue to cook for a few minutes more until everything is well blended and heated through.  Serve garnished with lime wedges, if desired.


  • This is BEAUTIFUL. I also haven’t had a fabulous experience with quinoa yet. I may have to try this. The colors are awesome.

  • I adore quinoa, and recently posted a recipe for quinoa salad with arugula, cherries, goat cheese, and sliced almonds. I’ve actually made the Veganomicon version of this pineapple quinoa, and it is delicious! I love that you served it on a slice of pineapple with the rind :).

  • Erin

    Thank you, thank you for this recipe. I enjoy quinoa but have only found one way I prefer preparing it. I cook with 3/4 of the liquid required (for more of a bite) and combine with feta, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and homemade italian dressing. Makes a great lunch! I am looking forward to trying your recipe!

  • I love quinoa. I love pineapple. I won’t combine them – there are so many other things I can do with them individually. For anyone who has not yet tried quinoa: you are really missing something special. It’s inexpensive, as easy to cook as rice, and lends great variety to what you put in front of your family at dinner time.

  • I have been meaning to try quinoa, this recipe may be the ticket!

  • I’ve been thinking about jumping on the quinoa bandwagon too! Like you, the pineapple is going to make me do it. Thanks for all of your tummy recipes!

  • I’m still relatively new to quinoa but this looks like a recipe we would enjoy! Thanks for sharing!

  • Hi Annie,

    First of all, I just wanted to say I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I recently just started my own blog and this really was in large part due to all the amazing recipes you post here. I am also a huge fan of quinoa (especially as I have recently become gluten free). I just thought I’d share with you my absolute favourite quinoa recipe that has always gotten rave reviews whenever I make it!


  • I love pineapple quinoa and couscous… delish!

  • This reminds me of my favorite dish from my trip to Thailand: Fried rice in a pineapple! The quinoa definitely “healths” it up a bit! I’m going to have to make it, but I’ll probably add the Thai spin-cashews mixed in…delicious.

  • Oops! How did I miss the cashews my first time reading the recipe!?!? I will definitely be trying this! You read my mind!

  • This is such a yummy sounding recipe. I also love pineapple in all sorts of dishes. Yum!

  • I was intrigued but wary about quinoa, having had a number of mushy, overcooked, bland quinoa salads at local potlucks. I recently bought some (great price at Costco!) and decided to give it a try. Just following the directions for basic cooking, it was already a world better than the watery stuff I’d been served before. It was more like a mix between brown rice and cous cous — light and fluffy, separate grains, but a bit more flavor than plain white cous cous. And so fast to cook! Also very cute, with that littel squiggly tail. In short, a winner!
    Now, I’m on the lookout for more recipes to use up the rest of the enormous bag I have in the pantry (it was Costco, of course — everything there is HUGE!). This one looks like something I’d love. Thanks for the tip!

  • Crystal Power

    I really like quinoa, but have only tried a couple of different recipes because some of them just do not look good. I’ll have to give this one a shot!

  • Quinoa is one of my favorite foods to work with and I’m so excited to try this recipe. We try to eat meatless once a week or so and I’ve got a few quinoa recipes I LOVE, including mango black bean quinoa salad and quinoa stuffed peppers (they’re topped with CHEESE). Thanks for a new addition!

  • krista lou

    Looks so good! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Ellen

    Thanks for sharing the pronunciation of quinoa. I’ve been saying it “Qwi-NOH-ah” to myself for a while now… oops!

  • I love, love, love quinoa and this pineapple version sounds like quinoa paradise! I will totally be making it before the end of the summer.

  • This looks so mouthwatering! I love quinoa! and I love your photography!

  • Come to think of it, the first quinoa recipe I made sucked too. But now I absolutely love quinoa. What’s so great about it is that it’s so healthy, but it doesn’t taste or feel at all “health food-y”. The texture is so light, almost like white rice. Plus it cooks up so much faster than a lot of whole grains.

  • Gorgeous presentation!

  • I love quinoa but haven’t seen many with fruit that I want to try, this looks awesome!!! I just started a blog myself and I hope one day my photography will compare! =)

  • I’ve had this on my weekly menu off and on for like a month, but I keep bumping it off. I really need to make it!!

  • love the presentation on a pineapple slice!

  • Maggi

    Ooooh! I love quinoa! Having celiac disease means that I have had to investigate ‘alternative’ grains and this one is a winner in our house.

    Did you thoroughly rinse your quinoa before cooking it? Quinoa has a natural saponin coating that can lend a bitter taste to the dish. Once I figured out how to rinse it, my family embraced this ‘new’ grain. Just toss it into a fine-mesh strainer and run it underwater. Cook as usual.

    Makes a great ‘tabbouleh’, by the way. ;)

  • The photo is gorgeous,and the recipe sounds very tasty. I never knew how to pronounce quinoa before, so thanks for that little tidbit as well.

  • Charlie

    Hi Annie!

    Thanks so much for this recipe.
    I love quinoa and would eat it daily.
    My Mom however doesn’t so I don’t get to cook it very often :((
    I will try this though, and praying she likes it.

  • I’m a loser. I wanted to make this so I got all the ingredients at the store only to find out that they had no quinoa. I didn’t want to go to another store (I know they have it at the natural foods store) so I just made it with rice instead. Not quite as healthy, but it was still a great meatless meal. Even with boring rice, the flavors totally rocked!

  • Annie

    What a bummer! Our grocery used to only have quinoa in kind of a weird obscure place and only one type, but now they have several types/brands in more than one aisle. I bet you can find it somewhere else, not necessarily just at a natural foods store. Good luck!

  • I had never had Quinoa before and we tried this recipe the other day. We added chicken and left out the basil (bc I forgot to buy it at the store) but it was VERY good!

  • Jess

    absolutely delicious – perfect summer meal! threw the cashews back in the pan after i stirred in the last tbsp of soy sauce, and squeezed in some lime juice before serving…great recipe!

  • Alisa Simonson

    meh, it was ok. I probably won’t make it again.

  • We really enjoyed this – delighted to have some leftover for lunch boxes :)