Stovetop Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing

It will be my pleasure to host the Whole Foods for the Holidays Carnival this Tuesday! Our theme will be side dishes. I love turkey, but holiday side dishes are some of my favorite dishes! I am really looking forward to getting some new, healthy recipes from you all. Since I have two side dishes to share with you, I thought I would get a head start today and post my first one, Stovetop Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing, today.

We love quinoa around here. It has a hearty flavor, but the texture is quite delicate. In this “stuffing”, I’ve flavored it with sage, thyme, parsley, onions, mushrooms, celery and chicken broth-all classic flavors for stuffing. Once it was finished cooking, I add butter for richness and flavor and a big splash of lemon juice to brighten the dish (quinoa is assertive in flavor and can handle it!). My husband and I loved it (though our four year old wasn’t too wowed by it). This recipe is also great for gluten free people as it’s naturally gluten free (as long as you use a gluten free broth).

After a week of eating easy meals of french toast and BLTs and surviving off of a huge pot of beef stew I made, I got the chance to make a real full dinner with a Thanksgiving theme this weekend, which is why I have these two new recipes to share. It was so fun creating new dishes again! I have really missed experimenting in the kitchen since our new one came along and it was very rewarding to actually make creative dishes again. I hope you enjoy. I know that this is a dish that I will make year round, not just during the Holiday season.

Stovetop Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffing

I’ve included directions for soaking the quinoa (you can read about why in my series). If you don’t want to soak the quinoa or don’t have the time, just rinse the quinoa well and use 4 cups of chicken broth when you cook it.  I soaked my quinoa for 24 hours and it actually was quite sprouted by that point. It definitely only needed the 12 minutes to cook it once sprouted.

    2 cups of quinoa
    2 cups of warm water
    2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, yogurt or kefir, or other acidic addition

At least 8 hours before you want to cook this dish, combine the above ingredients and place covered in a warm room to reduce phytic acid. Rinse well, and then continue with the recipe.

    2-4 tablespoons of fat of choice (I used bacon grease, yum!)
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    4 cups of fresh mushrooms, sliced
    4 celery sticks, sliced
    1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed dried sage
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
    2 cups of chicken broth

    1/4-1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
    4 tablespoons butter
    half a bunch of parsley, stemmed and finely chopped
    salt and pepper to taste to taste

In a large pot, heat fat of your choice over medium heat until hot. Add the onions, mushrooms and celery. Sprinkle with a little salt and sauté until quite soft (about ten minutes), stirring as needed to prevent burning.
Add the rinsed quinoa, thyme, sage, broth and a bit of salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft and translucent. Let sit for five minutes and then add the butter, parsley and lemon juice. Mix gently and taste test. Adjust as needed with salt and pepper. Serve.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. Judie Busch says

    I’d love to try it but I have a no mushrooms dictate at my house. Do you have any suggestions what to use in place of mushrooms that would give good flavor to this dish?

    • KimiHarris says

      Hmmmm…..well the other idea I had for this stuffing would have taken it on a different flavoring road using butternut squash and cranberries. The only thing is that quinoa cooks so fast, I wasn’t sure whether or not the squash would need to be precooked, which adds another complication to the recipe. However, I think the flavor would be very nice. Sweet squash and tart cranberries add a lot of flavor. I would take out the celery for sure, and leave in the sage and thyme, and maybe the parsley. You also wouldn’t need the lemon juice-cranberries would give the tartness. However, it would still be flavorful as the recipe is-without the mushrooms too. Quinoa is pretty flavorful all on it’s own, and with the other veggies, chicken stock, and seasonings, I think it would still be good. 🙂

      • Erika says

        I am definately going to try this in our gluten free house next time I roast a chicken. We can have mushrooms, just aren’t big fans, so I am thinking I might try chestnuts? Maybe even with cranberries . . . thanks for the ideas, Kimi, love your blog!

  2. says

    Thanks for this recipe! This will be perfect for my kids who can’t eat my dairy and egg laden southern cornbread dressing. The best thing is I have EVERYTHING needed for this recipe. I may have to try it out tomorrow!

  3. says

    This is awesome! I love mushrooms, sage and quinoa, so I know I will be trying this very soon. I also think I will be making this along with my own gluten free, grain free stuffing/dressing recipe.

  4. kitblue says

    During heating season I have no warm rooms. I am always hot so my thermostat is set at 17C, which means lower 60’sF. Any suggestions?

  5. says

    I saved this recipe for after Thanksgiving, and we are just about to have it. I taste-tested it a moment ago, and I look forward to a hearty helping! Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be passing along the link for others to enjoy!


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