Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Moroccan Quinoa -Easy, Tasty, and Healthy

Moroccan quinoa recipe

Moroccan cooking is all about the spices! This super easy Moroccan quinoa dish won't disappoint. Whether you serve it as a warm side dish for dinner or a cold salad for lunch, you'll enjoy this versatile, easy, nutritious, and plant-based recipe dusted with cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and pistachio nuts.

Moroccan pottery filled with spiced quinoa
I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put cooled quinoa into the bowl. I wasn't sure if
the hand-painted bowl was safe for food.


It's a quick and easy recipe that I make in one pot- the Instant Pot (you can make it on the stove top).  It doesn't get easier than that. Yes, it does taste as good as it looks. I highly recommend trying this one!

Quinoa and chickpea dish

My Visit To Morocco
I visited Morocco a year ago May before the Pandemic. It was a beautiful country with beautiful pottery and interesting things to see and do. We rode camels, explored caves, enjoyed the gorgeous coastline, shopped, tasted the food, etc. I have visited Arab countries before, so I was accustomed to the markets, the spice shops, the pottery, the culture etc.
We were there during the holy days of Ramadan, when the observant fast all day and only eat at night for I believe 30 days. We were served in restaurants but the community did not eat at all during the day. At night, the shops were full of wonderful foods, cakes, and fruits- specially prepared for Ramadan!

I'm sharing some of the pottery I brought back from my trips!

Beautiful Moroccan Bowl

 I have quite a few Moroccan friends in Florida, and I am always amazed and delighted with their flavorful recipes made with lots of fragrant and healthy spices. 


I originally discovered this recipe when my daughter-in-law, Wendy, served this dish at an outdoor family dinner. I thought it was exceptional, and of course I went back for seconds and asked for her recipe. Quinoa and chickpeas are both good sources of plant-based protein, fiber, and nutrients.

Moroccan pottery

Plan ahead Lunch for WW
This is a perfect plan-ahead lunch. It's a great recipe to pack in a mason jar, so it's all ready for you for a simple lunch. If you are following WW, this recipe is very low in points and very satisfying. On the purple plan- quinoa, chick peas, onion, broth, and spices are each zero points! Sometimes I leave out the nuts for a totally zero point lunch! By having it portioned in a mason jar, I effortlessly am able to stick to my plan.

Experimenting with Global Cuisines
During the shut-in (I am still staying home, except for grocery shopping), I've started to try my hand at more global recipes that previously I only ate in restaurants. I'm proud to say I now make quite a few good Indian recipes such as Savory Indian Vegetable Pancakes (link) 

I've also cooked Chinese food such as Mongolian Mushrooms and Tofu (link)
Plant-based recipes are plentiful in ethnic cooking, unlike American food which heavily concentrates on beef and chicken.  

quinoa and chickpea Moroccan style

The Moroccan quinoa recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and parve. It is really easy to make and is a nice change from rice. 

The recipe calls for pistachio nuts which are widely used in Moroccan cooking. I also like to add some "dukkah" which is a Middle Eastern mixture of nuts, seeds, and spices. 

If you do not need to be concerned about gluten-free, Trader Joe's sells a prepared container of "dukkah" that is vegan, kosher, and oil free. Although it does not contain gluten, it is not certified gluten-free. I've seen it online, but it is very expensive compared to buying it at Trader Joes. Add it to the grocery list next time you go. You can use it as a dip with a little olive oil or add it to this recipe. I make my own gluten-free dukkah. It's quick and easy- here is a link for Dukkah.

Author of the blog: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: warm up time + 2 minutes cook time
Wait Time: 12 minutes to release steam
Serves: 6 

1 cup of chopped onion
2 cups of uncooked quinoa, soaked for 2 minutes and washed well 
2 cups of cooked chickpeas
2 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric 
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios 
Optional: 1 tablespoon of Dukkah

Spray the bottom of the Instant Pot insert liner with oil spray or add 1/4 cup of broth to sauté the onions. Add washed quinoa, chickpeas, vegetable broth, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, and cracked black pepper. Secure lid, close steam valve and set to pressure cook for 2 minutes. When done, allow steam to release naturally for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, carefully release the remainder of the steam according to the manufacturers directions and remove lid.
Transfer to a bowl and add pistachios and optional "dukkah."

Moroccan quinoa and chickpeas

  So Good- you will want to try this easy recipe!



  1. I love Moroccan cuisine and its wonderful spices. This looks really appetizing and filling.

  2. That is a beautiful dish and a great reminder of Morocco.

    We loved it there too, our first trip to an Arab country.

    1. We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the exoticness of the country.

  3. I'm so curious about the taste of this moroccan quinoa!

    1. Dennis,
      It is really a fabulous tasting dish.. give it a try!

  4. What a delight to see the Moroccan pottery and wonderful sounding quinoa dish. Visiting at nurture-yourself-at-the-hearth-and-soul-link-party, where I shared Use Color Ideas to Cultivate Happiness. Happy Fall.

    1. Thank you Nancy. I love the Heart and Soul link party. thanks for visiting!

  5. The wide variety of spices has to be the best part of Moroccan cuisine. I've never tried cooking quinoa with those before, but now you've given me the perfect excuse! Thanks for sharing this. :)

    1. I think this is a great introductory recipe for quinoa!

  6. Not only does this dish sound amazing, I also am in love with your pottery!

    1. Thanks Carol.. I assure you this is one delicious dish and yes I love the pottery too..

  7. Judee, I am so happy to be here. Your blog is great and just pinned this one hoping people will start exploring some of the world to travel to once this virus leaves. Thank you so much and I wish you enjoy your day !


Your comments are appreciated. I love knowing who is stopping by to read my posts! Have a great day.