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)
230 Calories
4g Fat
42g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3
Amount per serving
Calories 230
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 725mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 9g
Calcium 135mg 10%
*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 butter (or vegan margarine or olive oil if you want it to be vegan)
  • 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, or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup 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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