Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Olive-Mint Pesto

July 10, 2017

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Olive-Mint Pesto

As you are probably already aware, quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients to work because not only it has a great nutritional profile, it also is incredibly versatile.
You can use quinoa in a wide variety of dishes: casseroles, meatballs, salads, pizza crust or soups.
Quinoa is a superfood for many reasons. It’s gluten-free, easy to digest, packed with fiber, essential vitamins, and it’s also a complete protein (meaning that it contains all of the essential amino-acids).
Meaning that quinoa is a perfect option for anyone following a plant-based diet. Also for anyone that is trying to move from a meat centered diet, but is concerned about their protein intake.


Quinoa pairs well with almost everything. Here it’s tossed with a rich and fresh olive-mint pesto and served with roasted zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers.
A tasty, nutritionally complete, and balanced vegetarian/vegan dish that got raves from everyone I served it to.
Roasting vegetable at a high temperature caramelizes their sugars and brings out their natural sweetness. As the vegetables roast, they brown on the outside, become buttery soft on the inside, and their flavors intensify.
The olive-mint pesto has a bright and bold flavor that pairs very well with the nuttiness of the quinoa.
This dish makes an excellent vegetarian/vegan entree or can even be topped with grilled chicken or fish. I tried it once with some of my shawarma chicken and it was perfect!

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Olive-Mint Pesto

A marvelous mix of caramelized roasted veggies and nutty quinoa tossed in a fresh olive-mint pesto, this dish is both nourishing and delicious.
This is the perfect weeknight meal when you’re craving something healthy yet satisfying. Plus, it’s super fresh and light, which is ideal for the summer weather we’re experiencing at the moment.

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Olive-Mint Pesto

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Olive-Mint Pesto                                                      Print this recipe!

Serves 4


1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water

Roasted Vegetables

1 medium zucchini, sliced into round
2 bell peppers (1 yellow and 1 red), cut into strips
1 small eggplant, cubed
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)

Olive-Mint Pesto

1 sun-dried tomato
½ cup green olives, pitted
1 tablespoon capers
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh mint
¼ cup almonds
Juice of half lemon



Place quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cold water for about 2 minutes. Drain
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and toast for 1 minute, or until the water has evaporated.
Add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 more minutes covered.
Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork (you should see tiny spirals separating from the quinoa seeds).
Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.

Roasted vegetables

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Place zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant on a large baking pan. Drizzle with 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the thyme and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven until vegetables are softened and caramelized, about 30 to 35 minutes. If using two baking sheets, rotate the pans halfway through.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Olive-Mint Pesto

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy.

To assemble the bowl, add pesto to the quinoa and toss until quinoa is coated. Arrange roasted vegetables on top, sprinkle with a pinch of thyme, and serve!

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 358 calories, 22 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbs, 9 grams of protein.


  1. This is so my kind of meal! Love all the complex spices and flavors you've incorporated here :)

  2. Yummy! I'll likely substitute the quinoa for couscous...because I'm a sucker for couscous. Thanks so much, Mike. Cheers, Ardith

  3. Your mint pesto got my attention since I have a lot of mint in my garden. I also like quinoa, it's a nice grain.