One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf

"This recipe came from, from member "deensiebat." This was my first time using lacinato kale, which I find I like better than standard kale (although the standard kale or chard can also be used). I was thrilled to find such a delicious dish made of complete-protein quinoa and antioxidant-rich kale. AND it's easy to make all in just one pot!"
photo by The Food Gays photo by The Food Gays
photo by The Food Gays
photo by DriaDB photo by DriaDB
photo by The Food Gays photo by The Food Gays
photo by The Food Gays photo by The Food Gays
Ready In:


  • 2 cups salted water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, washed and chopped into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 14 cup crumbled goat cheese (feta is also good)
  • salt & pepper


  • Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, walnut oil (you can substitute olive oil if you desire), pine nuts, and goat cheese.
  • Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed--the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the pilaf, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice if needed.

Questions & Replies

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  1. annroberts54
    Awesome recipe. I did slightly alter the cooking directions, cooking the quinoa and kale separately and not combining til after they were both well drained. I also lowered the amount of quinoa due to my own personal limitations on carbs. But otherwise did exactly as told. Including the roasted walnut oil and meyer lemon. Now I am sure if you did not have these 2 very specific items available you could sub another oil and any decent fresh lemon. Oh-I also did not have pine nuts on hand so next time I will make sure I add them to the recipe.
  2. Alphacook
    Made this for dinner last night. YUMMY!!! The only addition that I made was to add a combination of pistachios, almonds and walnuts. Will definitely make this again soon!



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