Italian Tomato, Baby Spinach and Chickpea Quinoa Risotto

The traditional Italian risotto rice is replaced with quinoa for a richer and nuttier flavor. The high levels of iron in this tasty dish are increased by the addition of tomatoes and spinach. It can be eaten as a complete vegetarian meal by itself or as a side dish to meat eaters. Serve it with a crisp green salad.


1 cup quinoa
1 large can organic chickpeas with 1 cup of liquid
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Italian herbs finely chopped (mixture of oregano, sweet basil, rosemary and thyme)
½ teaspoon freshly crushed garlic
1 medium can organic crushed tomatoes
1 cup organic baby spinach, washed and roughly shredded
Seasoning to taste


  1. Put quinoa, chickpea liquid, olive oil, Italian herbs and garlic into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes and baby spinach. Season to taste.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes until quinoa grains are tender, but not soft.
  4. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and allow to steam for five minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 2 – 4

Try quinoa in other exciting ways. Grind it to make flour for breads. Add it toasted and pre-cooked to yogurt with fruit. Use it as a great addition to soups and stews in the place of pearl barley and pasta.


  1. I like using quinoa as a replacement for bulger wheat in tabouleh. It is great in a lot of things but I prefer it seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Otherwise it is a little plain.
    Your recipe looks really good too. I’ve made rissotto with coconut milk and it makes it very cheesy tasting. It was with arborio rice but I am sure it would have the same affect with quinoa.

  2. When do we add the chickpeas themselves?

  3. LOL! This recipe has been up for almost a year and you are the first person to notice! Good Job! Add the chickpeas with the chickpea liquid. Let me know how it turns out for you! Thanks so much!

  4. Loved this receipe! We had leftovers so I cooke d some turkey breakfast sausage and added it to the leftovers and some mozzerella cheese and used it to stuff some yellow bell peppers! What a treat! I still had some “stuffing leftover” – I think I’ll stuff those mushrooms in the frig that need to be eaten and try that too! What a versatile recipe!!!


  5. Speaking of uncertainties, how big is a large can of chickpeas? I only see them in 15-ounce cans. Do I need to look for a 28-ounce can?

    Ditto medium crushed tomatos. I only see 15 ounce and 28 ounce cans, and can’t decide which is medium.

    My cook’s intuitions say to use 15-ounce cans of both, but if you had something else in mind please let me know. Thanks.

  6. The recipe looks great. I am allergic to chick peas, do you have any suggestions on a subsitution. I could probably just replace with 1 cup of water, but I am sure I would lose all flavor or maybe with chicken broth. Thoughts?

  7. This is a grate recipe. We have made a couple tweaks to it that we have enjoyed; instead of the spices you mentioned we use some red pepper flakes. And we added some sliced calamata olives at end when we took it off the heat. It is good served with a bit of parmesan cheese.

  8. Mmm, that sounds really good Doug! Thanks for the idea!

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