Quinotto is one of our favourite healthy Peruvian side dishes to cook on Meatless Mondays.
Known locally as Risotto de Quinoa, this easy Quinoa Risotto recipe swaps Italian arborio rice for nutritious gluten free quinoa, which is high in protein and fibre.
The savoury side dish features flavourful South American ingredients like sweet corn, spicy poblano chili, fragrant cumin and cilantro, crumbled queso fresco and squeeze of fresh lime.
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What Is Quinotto?
Quinotto is a combination of the worlds Quinoa and Risotto.
Our quick & easy Quinotto recipe is prepared in a large skillet and features flavourful ingredients commonly found in Latin America like sweet corn, spicy poblano chili, fragrant cumin, cilantro, crumbled queso fresco and squeeze of fresh lime.
Travel to Peru by Making Quinotto at Home
I love traveling to Latin America.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, from traditional markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Quinotto recipe. I’ve embarked on culinary adventures at local restaurants in Mexico, Cuba, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Curacao, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
Authentic Peruvian Quinoa Risotto is known for being a hearty and comforting side dish. Our interpretation features healthy ingredients that contrast nicely in flavour and texture; white queso fresco, green scallions and yellow corn kernels.
After enjoying your first few bites, you’ll realize why a big bowl of Quinotto is a must-try when visiting the Peru!
My Family Loves Healthy Quinoa Risotto
After traveling through South America for 4 months I returned home inspired by the dishes I had enjoyed while trekking in the Andes.
Peruvian cuisine was new to me so I was excited to share some of the new recipes I had enjoyed during my many meals from Lima to Cuzco.
I knew my family would enjoy this Peruvian Quinoa Risotto recipe because they love healthy salads, feta cheese and farm fresh corn.
While my family aren’t vegan or vegetarian we like to incorporate meatless meals into our weekly cooking schedule. Vegan and vegetarian dishes offer a great way to incorporate healthy proteins, fibre and nutrient-dense vegetables into the diet.
The colourful dish bursts with flavour and acts as an excellent rice replacement at lunch or dinner. It can also be served at a potluck or buffet in a salad bowl with a large serving spoon for scooping.
Is Peruvian Risotto de Quinoa Vegan, Vegetarian or Gluten Free?
We often use chicken stock to moisten the quinoa risotto but you can substitute with vegetable stock or mushroom broth if you prefer. If you’re eating meatless meals serve Risotto de Quinoa with grilled tempeh, tofu or roasted vegetables.
Since Quinotto is prepared with quinoa the recipe is gluten free, suitable for celiac diets.
Quinotto Recipe Health Benefits
Our Peruvian Risotto de Quinoa recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
Chili has been proven to help reduce the duration of sickness, prevent heart disease, and promote weight loss.
Corn is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage and wards off diseases like cancer and heart disease. Yellow corn is a good source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for eye health and help prevent the lens damage that leads to cataracts.
Spring Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
A rich source of blood-building iron, cumin may also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol. It is also traditionally used as a digestive aid.
Quinoa is a complete protein, offering essential amino acids in healthy balance. It is also high in fibre, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin E.
Consuming dairy products (such as milk and cheese) provides health benefits — especially improved bone health. Dairy foods provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. These nutrients include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and protein.
A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, limes help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
Quinoa Risotto Recipe Cooking Tips
This healthy homemade Risotto de Quinoa recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time Peruvian cooks!
- We suggest using a large nonstick skillet or wok to cook the Quinotto.
- We’ve used poblano chili in this recipe but you can substitute with jalapenos if you prefer. If you don’t like spicy food feel free to swap with sweet bell peppers.
- We’ve used chicken stock in this recipe but you can make the dish vegetarian by using vegetable broth or mushroom stock instead.
- We’ve used feta cheese in this recipe but suggest using traditional Latin American queso fresco if you can find it at your grocery store.
- You can make your own unique quinotto recipe as it’s easy to customize the ingredients. It’s a great way to use up lonely vegetables in your fridge before they expire. Feel free to have fun in the kitchen by adding additional vegetables like asparagus, sweet potato, broccoli or cauliflower.
- You can make a more Italian inspired Quinoa Risotto by stirring the quinoa with foraged mushrooms, cream and cheeses like parmesan, pecorino or asiago.
What To Serve with Risotto de Quinoa
In my family we often serve Quinotto as a simple lunch all on its own.
It can be served as a warm salad at a buffet or barbecue as well as a hearty side dish as a replacement for rice or pasta. We also like to serve it cold or at room temperature on a hot day.
If we’re serving a larger meal we like to prepare Risotto de Quinoa alongside grilled salmon, barbecue chicken skewers or medium rare sliced steaks. If you’re serving the dish on Meatless Mondays top each bowl with marinated tofu, grilled tempeh or fried paneer.
If you’re hosting a Latin American inspired dinner party you might like to serve Quinotto with these popular recipes:
- Peruvian Quinoa Chaufa
- Aguadito de Pollo Peruvian Chicken Soup
- Tallarines Verdes Peruvian Green Spaghetti
- Chupe de Quinoa Gluten Free Peruvian Soup
- Maduro con Queso Baked Plantain with Cheese
- Chicken Pork & Shrimp Mexican Paella
- Migas con Huevo Mexican Tortilla Scrambled Eggs
- Pastel Azteca Mexican Tortilla Chicken Casserole
- Tostadas de Camaron Prawn Ceviche Tostada
- Tostadas de Tinga Mexican Shredded Chicken Tostada
- Chipotle Mexican Bean Soup
- Guasacaca Venezuelan Guacamole
- Albondigas al Chipotle Smoky Mexican Meatballs
- Limonada de Coco Colombian Lime and Coconut
- Batida de Coco Brazilian Coconut Cachaça Cocktail
- Turron de Vino Chilean Red Wine Meringue Dessert
You May Also Enjoy These Vegetarian Recipes…
- Asian Cucumber Carrot Salad
- Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Caprese Risotto
- Gamja Jorim Korean Braised Potatoes
- Chinese Shredded Potato Salad
- Ukrainian Potato Pancakes Deruni Draniki Deruny
- Pasta Nerano Spaghetti con Zucchine
- Creamy Garlic Lemon Dill Hummus
- Gavurdagi Salatasi Turkish Tomato Walnut Salad
- Fagioli all’Uccelletto Tuscan Beans in Tomato Sauce
- Ciceri e Tria Pugliese Pasta with Chickpeas
How To Make Quinotto Peruvian Quinoa Risotto
Quinotto Quinoa Risotto
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- French knife
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Poblano Chili stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
- 1 cup Corn Kernels
- 4 Scallions white parts minced, green parts thinly sliced
- Kosher Salt and Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 cup Quinoa rinsed and drained
- 3 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 4 oz Feta Cheese crumbled
- 1 cup Cilantro chopped
- Lime Wedges to serve
- In a 12-inch skillet over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the poblano chili, corn, scallions whites, and 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the quinoa followed by the broth, then bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover, reduce to low and cook, stirring and adjusting heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is almost fully absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
- Off heat, add half the feta cheese and half the cilantro, then stir until the cheese has melted into the quinoa mixture. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If desired, transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, cilantro and scallion greens. Serve with lime wedges.
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