Crispy Quinoa With Kale

© Image 2014 Jennifer Meier
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
365 Calories
29g Fat
16g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 365
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 160mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 11g
Calcium 226mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

About Quinoa

Quinoa is native to Bolivia and is a relative of Swiss chard, spinach, and beets, and comes in three varieties—whole grain white, red and black. Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it provides all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health. With its mild flavor, light crunch and impressive protein content, quinoa is the perfect gluten-free substitute for pasta, rice or couscous. It’s also frequently milled into gluten-free flour that can be used in baking, or as the base for gluten-free pasta, cereals and more.

Sauteeing quinoa in olive oil gives it a toasted flavor and slightly crispy texture. Add kale and a dusting of grated cheese and you've got a healthy, flavorful side dish or the main course.

Use any type of cheese you like to finish this quinoa and kale recipe. Some to try are Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyere.


  • 1 bunch of kale (thick bottom part of the stem removed)
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 eggs (whisked)
  • 9 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of grated cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Quinoa has a natural coating, called saponin, that can make the cooked grain taste bitter or soapy. Luckily, it's easy to get rid of this coating just by rinsing the quinoa just before cooking. Boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed, but it doesn't hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse at home.

  2. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add kale leaves and boil for 3 minutes. Keep the water boiling on the stove but remove the kale and chop it into thin strips.

  3. Add the quinoa to the boiling water. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the quinoa with a lid for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is soft but chewy. Each grain will look like it has popped open.

  4. Mix the kale, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, and eggs in with the quinoa.

  5. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over high heat. When the oil is sizzling, add 1/3 of the quinoa mixture and smooth it out evenly in the skillet. Let it cook for 3 minutes without stirring so the bottom becomes brown and crispy. Stir once then saute for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.

  6. Heat another 3 tablespoons of oil in the skillet until sizzling. Add half of the remaining quinoa mixture and again let it cook for 3 minutes without stirring so the bottom becomes brown and crispy. Stir once then saute for another 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat this whole process with the last batch of quinoa. (Cooking the quinoa in three small batches helps the quinoa to brown and become crispy).

  7. Combine the cooked quinoa in one bowl and grate cheese on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.