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Lemon Basil Quinoa

 March 21, 2021

This Lemon Basil Quinoa has been a staple in my family for years now. In fact, when we were first starting to enjoy more plant-based foods, this was one of the first recipes I ever created! And, it’s just bursting with flavors! In each bite, you get all of that lemon-basil goodness, and what I love the most about this dish, is that it can be eaten warm or cold; and you can enjoy it as a main course or a side dish!

Reasons why quinoa is so good for you

  • Gluten-free
  • High in protein (One cup of quinoa contains twice more protein and about 5 g more fiber than white rice)
  • Contains sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids
  • High in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants

I also love the nutty flavor, and the fact that it really absorbs all of the flavors from what ever sauce or seasonings you use! And, it’s one of those foods that keeps well in your refrigerator all week long, and the flavors get better and better!

What you need to make this Lemon Basil Quinoa recipe

This recipe requires only 6 simple ingredients!

  • Shallot: Shallots are one of my favorite ways to add flavor to a dish! Shallot is from the onion family, and I always use a large one and slice it thin!
  • Quinoa: You can use white or rainbow quinoa, just make sure that you rinse it first.
  • Water or broth: In this recipe, you need water or broth to cook the quinoa. Personally, I love using veggie broth or chicken broth (when not plant-based), because broth adds a nice flavor. But it’s not essential, so if water is all you’ve got, use that!
  • Lemons: This quinoa isn’t called lemon basil quinoa for nothing. You’ll need 3 lemons for this recipe, because we really want that lemon flavor to pop!
  • Olive oil: I love using olive oil in this recipe because of it’s flavor. Butter and ghee are also excellent options if you are not plant-based.
  • Basil: You need fresh basil in this recipe, and that’s because we need that basil flavor to pop! Don’t be stingy with it, be heavy-handed, the more the better!

How to make this Lemon Basil Quinoa

This dish couldn’t be easier to make!

  1. First, sauté the shallots in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
  2. Once the shallots begin to get a little brown, add the rinsed quinoa and the water/broth.
  3. Bring it to a low boil; then cover the pot and turn on a timer for 15 minutes.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, in a medium bowl, add the chopped basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, sea salt, and juice from the lemons. Stir everything together well and set aside.
  5. When the quinoa is finished cooking, remove the cover, and fluff it!
  6. Stir in the lemon sauce; give it a taste, and add salt and pepper to taste. That’s it!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a rating below! This helps other people decide whether to make this recipe and it also helps it appear in Google searches. And, if you are on Instagram, feel free to tag me in your creations so I can see them and repost on my IG stories! Enjoy! xx

Lemon Basil Quinoa

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
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This Lemon Basil Quinoa is the perfect addition to your life! It's a super flavorful quinoa dish, bursting with lemon and basil, and can be served hot or cold, and can be enjoyed as a main dish or a side dish - it's all up to you!


  • ¼ cup  olive oil + 2 tb
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups  quinoa
  • 3 cups water or broth
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  • In a medium pot on the stove, add the two tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the shallots and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Sauté for about 2 minutes, until the edges start turning brown.
  • Add the quinoa and water / broth.
  • Bring to a low boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes (set your timer).
  • While the quinoa is cooking, in a medium bowl, add the chopped basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, sea salt, and juice from the lemons. Stir everything together well and set aside.
  • Once quinoa is done, remove from the heat.
  • Remove cover and pour in the lemon basil sauce.
  • Stir to mix well! If you want to add the roasted lemon slices, I just sliced one lemon and roasted at 350 for 5 min. Enjoy!!!!

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in your posts and I’ll re-share!




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    • Heck yes! It tastes even better the next day. Toss the quinoa with the sauce, so that the flavors infuse into the quinoa. Enjoy within 2 days 🙂