Vegetarian Garlic and Parmesan Cheese Quinoa

Garlic quinoa with parmesean

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
301 Calories
10g Fat
42g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3
Amount per serving
Calories 301
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 823mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 115mg 9%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 414mg 9%
*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.)

This is an easy vegetarian recipe for whole-grain quinoa flavored with garlic and Parmesan cheese. Parmesan garlic quinoa isn't quite enough to make a full meal on its own, but it's a good start. It would be great alongside some tofu, a side dish of vegetables, or maybe even alongside a simple vegetarian stir-fry.

For a vegan version of this quinoa recipe, smother the quinoa in nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan cheese and use olive oil in place of the butter. Need it to be gluten free? Just be sure to use a gluten-free vegetable broth, as all the other ingredients (including the butter, onion, garlic, quinoa, and Parmesan cheese) are all gluten free and safe for anyone avoiding wheat. Read the label and look for a vegetable broth clearly labeled to be gluten free, or make your own vegetable broth at home to be on the safe side. ​


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, vegan margarine, or olive oil

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or kosher salt, to taste

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast, to make it vegan

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for garlic parmesan quinoa
    The Spruce
  2. In a medium-sized pan, sauté the diced onion and the minced garlic in butter or olive oil over medium-high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions are just starting to turn soft. Reduce the heat to medium-low.​

    Saute diced onion
    The Spruce
  3. Next, add the vegetable broth and the quinoa.

    Broth and quinoa added to onions in pan
    The Spruce
  4. Cover the pan, and allow it to simmer until the liquid is mostly absorbed and quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.

    Cover the pan
    The Spruce
  5. Remove the pan from heat and gently mix or "fluff" the quinoa with a fork to fully distribute any excess moisture.

    Fork fluffing cooked quinoa
    The Spruce
  6. Season your quinoa lightly with salt to taste and add the Parmesan cheese, stirring to combine and allow the Parmesan cheese to melt. Or for a vegan version, mix in nutritional yeast instead of the Parmesan cheese.

    Parmesan cheese on quinoa
    The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy!

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