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Gluten-free Basil Pesto Quinoa Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time26 mins
Servings: 4 -8
Author: Angela Marinelli


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water less 1 TBS
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • large pinch coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup basil pesto
  • 3-4 basil leaves optional


Ahead of Time

  • Rinse the quinoa under water until the water runs clear. If you have a difficult time digesting grains, you can soak the quinoa in water.
  • Dice tomatoes into small dice.
  • Make your basil pesto. (See basil pesto recipe.)
  • Chiffonade your basil leaves.

Cook the Quinoa

  • Bring the water and lemon juice to a boil.
  • Add the pinch of coarse sea salt.
  • Add rinsed quinoa and stir.
  • Cover and reduce to a simmer.
  • Cook covered for 16-18 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Then turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes covered.
  • Remove cover and fluff with a fork.

Put it Together

  • Add your pesto and diced tomato to your warm, cooked quinoa.
  • Gently stir until it's well mixed.
  • Adjust your seasoning by adding a pinch of salt and pepper to help bring out the flavors.
  • If you like a more intense pesto flavor, add more pesto to your cooked quinoa. Top with chiffonade basil if you like.
  • Eat and enjoy!


  • Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


Copywright: Angela Marinelli, M.S., M.Ed., Nourishment Connection 2013