This easy Mediterranean Quinoa recipe is made in just one pot and is packed with flavor! It's great for leftovers and is a perfect recipe to add into your weekly meal prep rotation too!
There's nothing worse than sitting down after a long day to a wonderful meal you just cooked, only to realize that your work isn't done yet. DISHES.
Honestly, one of least favorite tasks in the world. Luckily I have this great guy named Matt who lets me cook up a storm and then cleans up after me. I think we all need a Matt.
But even Matt gets tired and doesn't feel like cleaning up my tornado of dinner dishes every night. He'll begrudgingly wash while complaining under his breath that I'm a messy cook. Fair enough. Which is why when we whip up meals that only require one pot, like this mediterranean quinoa, Matt's a happy camper.
This one-pot meal has it all. Healthy fats, dark leafy greens, filling fiber, plant-based protein and TONS of great flavor.
It starts by simply sautéing some garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes in a teeny bit of olive oil. Then you add in your spices, some white quinoa, some olives and some chopped sun dried tomatoes and then you just leave the whole thing to cook for about 20 minutes. When its' done, the quinoa will be fluffy, the pot will be fragrant and you'll just stir in your spinach and chickpeas.
Not only is this dish colorful and vibrant, it's one of those “salads” that gets better with age. That sounds strange, but I actually found that the longer this sat and marinated, the more pronounced the flavor.
Here's what we did:
I tested the recipe at home during the day. Tasted it a few times as I was plating it for pictures, but put the rest of it away to save for dinner that night. I put it in one of my glass food storage containers (I have these), then pulled it out for dinner and served it cold over some greens and shredded cabbage. It was delish! The olives make it a little briny, while the tomatoes give it some sweetness and the red pepper flakes just a touch of heat. It's balanced in both flavor and texture too.
Not to mention, it's the perfect meal to make when you really don't feel like doing the dishes 😉
More One-Pot Meals
- One-Pot Lentils + Quinoa with Spinach
- One-Pot Root Vegetable + Lentil Quinoa Stew
- One-Pot Italian Quinoa with Tomatoes & Basil
- One Pot Moroccan Lentils + Quinoa
- One Pot Spring Pesto Pasta with Peas & Asparagus
One-Pot Mediterranean Quinoa with Spinach + Chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 small shallot minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup sliced green olives
- 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup water or more broth
- 1 cup spinach chopped
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots and pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add thyme and dill and cook for another 30 seconds or so.
- To the saucepan, add quinoa, olives and sun dried tomatoes. Stir continuously for 15 - 30 seconds. Add liquids, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer for 20 - 25 minutes until liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove lid and stir in spinach and chickpeas. Let sit for a few minutes to allow spinach time to wilt. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
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87 comments on “One-Pot Mediterranean Quinoa with Spinach + Chickpeas”
This looks fantastic and SO perfect for busy weeknights! Definitely going on the menu this week.
Yay! Can’t wait to hear what you think of it 🙂
I’ve sort of gotten bored with quinoa; this will bring me back into the fold.!
The best news ever! Excited to hear what you think of the recipe 🙂
Do you have a suggestion for a substitute for the olives?
You could just leave them out OR if you want that briny flavor, you could toss in some chopped capers. I’d probably only do about 1/4 cup!
SO glad to read this question and answer, as I am not a fan of olives. I’m going to try this tonight!
Can’t wait to hear what you think!
Delicious!! I used capers and also about 2 tblsp of lemon juice since I had it left over. So good. I only used about 1/2 -3/4 tsp of pepper flakes because I wasn’t sure and it was perfect. I think that artichokes might give the same briny flavor also, might try that next time. I meant to tonight but totally forgot to buy them. =) Thanks Alyssa, it is really good and super easy! (I do wish I had a Matt though. lol)
Yum this looks so good! I love one-pot dinners. Luckily, my husband cleans up after I cook too haha!
We’re two lucky ladies 😉
Ugh the dishes! Definitely my least favourite part about cooking. But somehow cooking delicious new recipes like this one (!!) make it all kind of worth it. Love the olives here. Can’t wait to try it.
Haha TOTALLY agree! can’t wait to hear what you think! xo
This was so easy and delicious; thank you! I love your one-pot recipes.
So glad you enjoyed it! I’m definitely going to have to make more of these! xo
Hi Alyssa, made this recipe the other night and it was very tasty. Didn’t have shallots so I subbed a bit of red onion. It was really easy to throw together and you’re right – it was good warm as well as cold the next day. I only gave it a 4 star because Mediterranean is not my favorite flavor, but the recipe itself was great! Thanks for all the work you do with your recipes. I come here often looking for ideas. Cheers!
Glad you enjoyed it, Toni!! xo
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This was really good! My teen’s comment: Sometimes you surprise me with how good you can make this healthy food taste.
Haha BEST. COMMENT. EVER!
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I just made this… 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes is WAY WAY to much! Can’t eat it… Try a pinch!
Spice is definitely a personal preference. Starting with a pinch is a great idea if spice isn’t your thing 🙂
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Can you use another type of tomato besides sun dried?
Roasted tomatoes or cherry would be delicious!
I used fresh cherry tomatoes and put them in with the spinach and chick peas and it was perfect. SO good!
This is delicious! I did no olives and it still turned out AMAZING!
So glad you enjoyed it! xo
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This was amazing!! I’m pregnant and vegan so I’m trying to find a lot of protein packed one pot recipes. This was perfect!
Yummm so glad you enjoyed it! And congrats on the baby 🙂 xo
Alyssa, I happen to have a lot of leftover cooked quinoa and was wondering if it could somehow work to use it instead of uncooked. Would I add any liquid to it or omit the liquid altogether? Absolutely loved this recipe and wanted to double it for lunches. Just as tasty and it is healthy!! love love
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I added cucumber and avocado and did not use spinach – yummy!
Sounds LOVELY! <3
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This recipe is dynamite! I made it this evening and was blown away by the vibrant flavors and simple preparation. It was easy, fast, and very healthy- it will be on my regular meal prep rotation. I used black olives instead of green, which worked well. I’ll serve it with sides of steamed red potatoes and fresh cucumbers. Great job, and thanks for sharing this recipe!
AMAZING!!! So happy you enjoyed it, Ashley! Love the addition of black olives, I bet that had a great flavor 🙂 xox
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What’s the serving size? Thanks!
I usually serve about 1.5 cups 🙂
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Made it tonight for dinner with chicken thighs. So fast and so good.
Oh yum sounds amazing!!
Glad I found this – made it tonight and is delicious. Used kalamata and green olives as well as smoked dried tomatoes – gave it an earthiness that I really enjoyed! Can’t wait to try it tomorrow cold like you mentioned you did the next day. Thanks!
Amazing! Sounds like great substitutions and I’m thrilled you enjoyed it!
I made this tonight and it’s delicious. Didn’t have any chickpeas on hand, so I used black beans. My family doesn’t like olives, so I I left them out. I added capers to offset the loss of saltiness from omitting the olives. Perfection!
YUMMMY! Love the idea of the black beans 🙂
This looks incredible! Even better news–olives are actually growing on me! I wouldn’t eat them on their own, but in a quinoa medley like this, they would taste amazing!
Hope you enjoy it!
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Hi Alyssa. Can quinoa be substituted for something else? I know that’s the main ingredient but my husband can’t have quinoa. Thanks!
I think you could make this with rice! It would also be yummy with pasta 🙂
Tried it last night and it was delicious ! Perfect after a long day at work: easy and quick to put together. I even took the leftovers in my bento for lunch at work, and it was still delicious cold !
Thank you for this recipe Alyssa 🙂
So glad you enjoyed it, Camille! xx
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I used a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes instead of sun dried tomatoes, swapped kale for spinach and Kalimantan olives for green olives. I also didn’t have shallot on hand so I used red onion and I added 1/2 a red bell pepper. I also cooked everything in my crockpot. Yay, awesome!
Yay! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 Loving all the changes you made!! xo
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I actually used couscous because I read it wrong. Turned out great. Love this. Very flavorful. Using couscous cooks faster though which was nice.
YUM! So glad you enjoyed it and love the couscous!
You say the prep time is five minutes, so please post a video of you in your kitchen with nothing for the meal out yet. Then have the meal cooking with all ingredients in 5 minutes with no edits to the video. I’m betting my life savings you can’t do it. And no cheating – no pre-pealed garlic or shallots. Everything still in the fridge or cupboard when you start – including cutting board, knives, and pot. Start from scratch like anyone else prepping this meal.
Thanks for the feedback!
I have made this twice now. I absolutely love it. This second time I am attempting in my instant pot fingers crossed it turns out just as great! Thank you for this amazing recipe.
YAY! Def keep me posted on the IP!
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Would this freeze well? Trying to prep and freeze meals as I am 36 weeks pregnant.
I think it would! I haven’t personally tested, but I’ve frozen quinoa before and it’s been fine 🙂 also, CONGRATS!!
Delicious meal! I used it for my meal prep and doubled it for myself and my boyfriend. I used Chicken stock instead, because that’s all I had at home. Made it more salty didn’t need to add additional salt. Still delicious. Only addition was Smoked Spanish Paprika. Really tasty addition if you like Paprika. Thanks for sharing!
Yum, yum!! So glad you liked it 🙂
This is so delicious! I added mushrooms and zucchini and when I serve it, I sprinkle a little bit of feta. I’ve made this multiple times now and it’s always a hit. Also, I just started weight watchers and after calculating the nutrition facts, it’s a 9 point meal! The feta added 3 extra points so that’s totally optional. Overall, this is one of my favorite one pot dishes!
Love the additions! One of my favorites too 🙂
This is a really good, easy salad/side dish. I used Kalamata olives instead of green olives and I would add more spinach. Yum!!
I love your additions! Thanks for the review!
This is one of my favorite bowls! I’m making it now, I love it so much! Thanks!
so glad you are loving it!!