Dairy Farmers of Canada

Rainbow Quinoa Pilaf

This recipe is taken from the 2011 Milk Calendar. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is an ancient grain that contains complete protein making it super-satisfying for a vegetarian main course or side dish. It’s also quick-cooking compared to most whole grains – you can’t ask for a better reason to enjoy it.

  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
Yields 6 - 8 servings
rainbow quinoa pilaf
The recipe for Rainbow Quinoa Pilaf proposed in this video is an original way to discover quinoa, a nutritious ancient grain with a delicate nutty flavour. Made with a variety of colourful vegetables, this pilaf makes a great vegetarian main meal, as well as a delicious side dish for any meal.


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) quinoa
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) reduced-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups (500 mL) small frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, beans)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour or rice flour
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In a fine mesh sieve, rinse quinoa well under cold running water. Drain and set aside.

In a large measuring cup, combine milk and vegetable broth. Heat in the microwave on Medium-High (70 %) for about 3 minutes or until steaming (or heat in a saucepan over medium heat).

Meanwhile, in a large, deep saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each, salt and pepper and sauté for 5 min or until softened. Stir in frozen vegetables and sauté for 1 min or until starting to thaw. Stir in quinoa and flour. Stir in heated milk mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 min or until quinoa is tender and most of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 min. Fluff with a fork and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Extra pilaf makes a terrific salad to pack for lunch. Let it cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Add crumbled Canadian Feta cheese, drained canned beans and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to re-moisten.

For the Adventurous: Use shelled edamame or lima beans and roasted corn and peppers instead of frozen mixed vegetables.

Healthy Eating Tip: Aim for four (that’s four food groups) at every meal to help make sure you get all the nutrients you need each day. Adding drained canned beans (like kidney, black, chickpea, navy or brown beans) or toasted nuts make this a four food group meal in one. To brush up on food guide basics, visit healthcanada.gc.ca/foodguide.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 192 Calories
Protein: 8 g
Carbohydrate: 31 g
Fat: 4 g
Fibre: 4.3 g
Sodium: 66 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 10 % / 106 mg
Folate: 38 %
Magnesium: 32 %
Vitamin A: 34 %
Vitamin C: 36 %