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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 4½ cups pilaf + 3 cups vegetables

Garlicky, herbal, and piled high with freshly grilled veggies, this delightful quinoa pilaf is a summer BBQ recipe for the books. Aromatic mint and dill deliver oodles of fresh flavor to the chewy grains, while nutrient-dense spinach adds an extra dose of fiber to the medley. While the pilaf base simmers, you can get to work on basting fresh produce with a lemon-paprika marinade before sizzling them on a grill pan. The key to delicious, smoky char marks is to let the veggies cook undisturbed on each side for several minutes at a time. You might have to cook the veggies in a few batches depending on the size of your pan, so be sure to start with the densest ingredients first, since those will take the longest and won’t cool down as quickly as the lighter veggies. Finish this healthy dish with a squeeze of lemon juice right before serving, and dig in!

For more healthy quinoa recipes, check out these tasty ideas:


  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 oz. fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
  • 1 medium kohlrabi, cut into wedges (1 cup)
  • 4 scallions, trimmed
  • 6 radishes, halved
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of the broth, the quinoa, garlic, and 1 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, mint, and dill; let stand 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl stir together the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable broth, the lemon juice, and paprika.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat a grill pan over medium-high. Grill asparagus, sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, scallions, and radishes 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning and brushing with lemon juice mixture once or twice. (If necessary, grill in batches and keep warm on a foil-covered baking sheet in a 200°F oven while grilling the remaining vegetables.)
  4. Serve grilled vegetables over quinoa. Serve with lemon wedges and top with additional fresh herbs.

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about the author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.

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