I came up with the idea for this Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad last spring, while trying to figure out a last minute side dish just before some guests were due to come for dinner. I took a quick look in the fridge, grabbed a couple of things out of the pantry, and crossed my fingers. Thankfully, the dish was a hit and after making it all summer for simple dinners and entertaining alike, I figured it was about time I shared the recipe here.
What I love most about this recipe really is how simple it is. I start by making up a big batch of quinoa. For this recipe, you’ll probably want about 3 cups of cooked quinoa. I cook mine in my Instant Pot using this 1 Minute Quinoa recipe. I cook the qunioa in chicken broth instead of water for extra flavor, but if water is all you’ve got, just adjust the seasoning with a little extra salt and coriander and it will be just fine.
While the quinoa is cooking, preheat your oven and grab some carrots. Give those veggies a quick scrub (or peel them – your call!). Toss them with some onion, coriander, and salt and then roast them up with a good bit of olive oil until they are just tender. Chop the roasted carrots into bite sized pieces and toss them into the quinoa. Chop up a little bit of parsley and throw that in there, too. Add in some toasted pine nuts and some golden raisins for that salty-sweet combo we all love.
Now, here’s the key part, make sure you take all of that gorgeously flavored olive oil from the pan you roasted the carrots in and drizzle it all over the quinoa. Give it all a stir and season with a little good, flaky sea salt (like Maldon). Serve immediately or at room temperature. I like to pair this dish with Julia Turshen’s Indecision Grilled Chicken from her genius book Small Victories. It’s also fantastic with grilled chicken sausage sliced and tossed into it, for a simple summer dinner.
Find the recipe below. And as always, let us know how you like it or what we can do to make it better in the comments below or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad
Full of fresh flavors, this easy quinoa salad is your new favorite side dish.
- 3 cups cooked quinoa I recommend cooking in chicken stock for extra flavor
- 6 carrots scrubbed or peeled, tops removed
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into half rings
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F
Line a large baking sheet with foil
Place the carrots and chopped onions on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the ground cumin.
Add the olive oil to the pan and toss to coat thoroughly.
Roast the carrot and onion mixture for 20-25 minutes, until carrots are fork tender.
Place the quinoa in a large bowl.
Add the pine nuts and golden raisins to the quinoa.
Coarsely chop the carrots and add the vegetables and their juices/cooking oil to the bowl with the quinoa. Add the freshly chopped parsley. Toss to coat evenly.
Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately or at room temperature.