A fresh and flavorful side dish, this herbed quinoa pilaf features crunchy almonds and sweet dried apricots. Its an easy and delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with your favorite grilled or roasted meat, fish, or poultry. 

Prep: 10 minsCook: 20 minsTotal: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings 1x


  • ⅔ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ⅓ cups water (or broth)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (½ medium lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey (use maple syrup or agave for vegan)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅓ cup dried apricots, diced or sliced
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves (may substitute parsley)
  • Fine salt and black pepper 
  • Arugula for serving
  • Optional: Feta cheese or goat cheese, if desired (omit for dairy-free and vegan)


  1. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cool water for 20-30 seconds. Shake the strainer gently after rinsing to remove excess water, then transfer the rinsed quinoa to a medium saucepan or pot with lid over medium-high heat along with the water (or broth) and a pinch of salt.
  2. Bring just to a boil then cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing with a fork. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and stir every few minutes to release some of the heat.
  3. While the quinoa cooks, add the lemon juice, oil, honey, and garlic powder to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Add the cooked quinoa to a medium bowl along with the apricots, onions, almonds, cilantro, and mint. Pour dressing over the quinoa and toss gently to combine. Serve over a bed of arugula, if desired. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Note: To toast the almonds, place a small skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the almonds and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until the almonds are lightly toasted and aromatic.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: About ¾ cup (without cheese)
  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 10 g
  • (Sat Fat: 0 g)
  • Sodium: 85 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 25 g
  • (Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 5 g)
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg


© The Real Food Dietitians
Recipe By: Jessica Beacom

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