Quinoa Risotto

Quinoa RisottoRisotto is prized for its creamy texture and rich taste.

Quinoa is naturally creamy and makes a mineral-rich, whole grain version of this popular Italian comfort food since quinoa (a seed) is high in magnesium and manganese. Spinach adds extra nutrition and flavor.



  1. Hi. I feel dumb for asking this question, but if I were to use cooking wine (gasp!) instead of dry white wine, would it change the flavor of the dish drastically? I don’t drink alcohol, and therefore do not have wine in my home. Can I substitute at a 1:1 ratio?

    • Ask away Megan! Cooking wine works find 🙂 It will change the change the flavor a bit, but if you’re not a wine drinker you can always add a little low sodium chicken broth mixed with water in place of the wine as well.

    • Megan, you may not be a drinker, but a lot of good recipes call for wine, either red or white. IMO I would go buy a BOX of a good burgandy & a good dry white wine and have them on hand just for cooking. In the box they will keep almost indefinitely and once you start using wine to cook with, you will wonder how you ever got along without them. I would never use cooking wine for anything, they taste nasty, add sodium to the recipe you are cooking. I personally do not use wines in cooking that I do not drink myself. Buying cheap wine to cook with, if it is not fit to drink is just asking for trouble.

  2. Ok, thanks. In your opinion, is it better to use the cooking wine or chicken broth?

  3. Is it necessary to have nutmeg

    • Hi Zoe,

      You can leave the nutmeg out!

    • Zoe, yes, you can leave out the nutmeg but you lose some of the essence of the dish when you do. Buy a few whole nutmegs at a spice shop & a nutmeg grater and just a few grates with give you what you want to add to the dish. Whole nutmeg will last a very long time if you store it in a sealed glass jar in a dark cupboard. I never buy ground nutmeg in the spice section of the grocery store, once ground it will not last long enough to use that large a quantity.

  4. Do yourself a favor, Megan, and get rid of the cooking wine. It is just bad wine with a lot of sodium in it. Go to the supermarket and get a bottle of the cheapest dry white wine, and keep it in a cool, dark place, to use whenever you need wine for cooking. Any white wine from the wine aisle will do, and will be much better than cooking wine.

  5. Mark McArthey says

    How does the consistency and texture of the quinoa risotto compare to traditional risotto? Since it is known for the creamy texture due to releasing the starches, I can’t imagine the quinoa has the same final texture. How would you say the final product is different than boiling the quinoa in some chicken broth and adding the ingredients/additional flavorings? The reason I ask is because I make quinoa a lot as I’ve suggested and I’d like to try this if it is significantly different.

    • Hey Mark, thanks for writing in!

      The consistency isn’t as creamy since risotto rich has a lot of starch but remember that what you loose in texture you gain in nutrition. The added goat cheese helps to correct that though, giving it more creaminess.

      Quinoa is a whole grain, risotto rice has all the bran strips from it hence the nutrition isn’t there. I really do love risotto rice and it’s ok to enjoy but I always add in super nutrition add-ins like wild salmon, spinach, and broccoli.

      • When I want to add a thickener or make something creamier, I add a little bit of pureed cauliflower to the recipe. I keep frozen on hand and microwave the desired amount and process in a mini processor.

  6. Quinoa is actually a pseudograin – it’s more closely related to beets, believe it or not! And the arborio rice used in traditional risotto isn’t rice at all – it’s rice shaped pasta, which means it never had bran and is even more refined than rice! In my experience cooking the quinoa slower and longer gets it nearly as creamy – especially if you add more Parmesan cheese. I use 1/2 cup or more. It’s not quite as healthy, but Parmesan is a super low-moisture cheese which means its as low-fat and high-protein as cow cheese gets.

  7. Self-correction – Arborio rice IS rice (I was thinking of Orzo), but an unusually starchy one that’s no good for the waistline or the blood sugar.

  8. Hi All,
    I just made this recipe and thought it was fantastic!! I added in asparagus with the spinach. I didn’t have goat cheese so I used feta instead ( along with the parmesan) and found it a little dry so I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of sour cream and it was delicious.

  9. Recently began experimenting with quinoa recipes and was glad to come across this one. I do have a question regarding the step of adding the 4 cups of broth all at once. With my typical risotto, I add the broth a cup at a time allow each cup to be absorbed (more labor intensive, but better result). What is your reasoning for adding the four cups all at once? Convenience? Necessity?

    • Hi Larry!

      All great questions. The reason you add broth gradually as you cook risotto rice is to bring out the starches. Normally with arborio or whatever risotto rice you use, if you add the broth all at one it will come out gummy. You don’t have that concern with quinoa so that’s why I don’t bother having you add the broth gradually.

  10. This looks yummy! Do you have the nutritional facts on it?

  11. None of my local stores have goat cheese. Is there a substitute I can use? Thanks!

  12. Do you think this would freeze and reheat well?

    • Skinny Chef says

      Mmmm I’m not sure, I would say not. But you can cook the quinoa in advance and store it in the fridge. It will keep refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

  13. Made this tonight and it was delicious!! Even my husband who was super skeptical of quinoa loved it.
    I didn’t have goat cheese so I added a drop more Parmesan. Yum. Can’t wait to make it again!

  14. Can this be cooked in a rice cooker after the veggies had been sauteed?

  15. Hi, I was wondering if this can be prepared in a slow-cooker? If so, any advice? Thanks so much!

  16. Hi! I’m thinking of making this is a side. What would go with this?

Speak Your Mind