Confession: this recipe was a total accident. I attempted to make quinoa crust pizza, ended up failing (what do you mean you can't broil the crust in the oven?), and I wound up scraping all of the ingredients into a bowl. I was one bite in when I realized my epic discovery. My point is that this pesto quinoa had humble beginnings- but don't let that fool you. I know a winner when I see one.

With the pesto, tomatoes, and balsamic reduction, this quinoa tastes like a caprese pizza. However, there's none of the added baddies. Instead, quinoa packs a serious protein punch and contains plenty of vitamins and fiber. Just in case you need another reason to enjoy this bowl of pesto-y goodness.

Vegetable Pesto Quinoa

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:25 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • Pinch salt
  • Balsamic reduction
Jody Brimacombe
  • Step 1

    Prepare quinoa according to package directions.

    oatmeal, rice, milk, sweet, corn, porridge, wheat, cereal
    Jody Brimacombe
  • Step 2

    Using a sharp knife, finely chop the onion and mushroom into thin strips.

    sweet, chocolate
    Jody Brimacombe
  • Step 3

    In a small frying pan, sauté the mushrooms and onion in oil over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion turns translucent.

    pasta, beef, meat, vegetable, mushroom
    Jody Brimacombe
  • Step 4

    In a blender, combine the pine nuts, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth.

    #SpoonTip: Try blending over a low speed, as the pesto tends to stick to the sides of the blender when put on high-speed.

    soup, vinaigrette, vegetable, herb
    Jody Brimacombe
  • Step 5

    Mix the pesto into the quinoa using a spoon.

    condiment, oil, vegetable, herb
    Jody Brimacombe
  • Step 6

    Using a sharp knife, chop each grape tomato in half.

    pasture, pepper, cherry tomato, tomato, vegetable
    Jody Brimacombe
  • Step 7

    Serve the pesto quinoa on two plates, topping it with the fried mushrooms, onions, and grape tomatoes. Drizzle with balsamic reduction to finish.

    Jody Brimacombe

For a dish gone terribly wrong, this pesto quinoa is pretty epic. With the juicy tomatoes, grainy quinoa, and the sweet tartness of the balsamic reduction, this quinoa gives traditional Caprese pizza a run for its money.