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Quinoa Paella


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Quinoa Paella


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Quinoa Paella

Paella is traditionally made with rice and seafood and meat, but for Passover I made it with quinoa, sausage and chicken and it was healthy and delicious. It is often made with chorizo, but you can use any sausage you can find.


  • Prep Time : 20 min
  • Cook Time : 30 min
  • Ready Time : 50 min


8 Servings


  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 oz. regular or spicy sausage (chorizo flavored is ideal), sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, diced or 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1/2 head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons parsley


  1. Put saffron in ¼ cup hot water, let sit 15 min.  Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh colander under cold running water until water runs clear, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cold water and soak 15 minutes; drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a deep wide pan over medium-high heat.  Add the quinoa and toast, stirring, until beginning to golden, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and paprika.  Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and then add the chicken.  Brown on both sides and remove to a plate.  Add sausage, brown and remove to a plate.   Add the other 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and then add garlic, peppers, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in reserved quinoa, reserved saffron in water, tomatoes, and stock. Place chicken and sausage on top.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 15 -20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and toss with a little bit of oil.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt to taste.
  5. Remove the paella from heat, top with cauliflower and mix in a bit and cover with a clean kitchen towel; let sit for 10 minutes. Uncover, season with salt and pepper and top with parsley and serve in the pan.

Note: This dish reheats well.  Some consider saffron to be kitniyot, it adds a nice complexity to this dish, but it can be left out on Passover.


About Tamar Genger MA, RD


Tamar lives in New York and is the mother of three amazing children, a Registered Dietitian, professor of Nutrition, and as you can probably guess, a foodie! Tamar loves to travel with her family and visits kosher restaurants wherever she goes. Although she loves the sights, she spends more time talking about the restaurants and food she ate! As a mom and a nutritionist, Tamar tries to balance her passion for healthy cooking with her insatiable desire for chocolate!




18 Responses to Quinoa Paella

  1. A keeper for sure. My kids will love this one.

  2. avatar says: Michelle

    The recipe sounds amazing, but I don’t see a description of when to add the cauliflower. Can you please let us know. Thanks.

    • Sorry about that, the recipe doesn’t really need the cauliflower, but I like how it makes it even more complete, so I roasted it on the side and added it at the end, I have put that in the instructions.

  3. avatar says: bfr

    I keep saving your wonderful recipes, and I do mean wonderful. But–they would be so much easier to keep track of if there were some way to sort either alphabetically or by category. Am I missing something?

  4. avatar says: Marcie

    What brand of sausage is Kosher for Pesach?

  5. avatar says: michal

    Are you sure you let the quinoa toast for 20 minuets om medium-high flame? seems too long.

  6. avatar says: sophie

    amazing recipe! made it on pesach and for shabbos!
    just wondering- why do we toast the quinoa before cooking it?

    • Thanks Sophie, so glad you like it. To be honest I never toasted it before this recipe, but I liked the idea and usually when you toast a grain it helps to keep it from getting too mushy when cooking for a longer period of time and I think it helped do that in this recipe.

  7. avatar says: tcrystal

    At what point does one add the saffron?

  8. avatar says: Malke

    what an amazing dish. we made it last year and everyone loved it. even those that don’t like quinoa. definitely on the menu again this year.

  9. Sausage? I assume it was beef sausage and not pig sausage. If it was pig sausage, why not add ham somewhere to the recipe?

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