Quinoa and Vegetable Stew

quinoa and vegetable stew

Quinoa and Vegetable Stew

It’s that time of year. The 2017 garden is well underway. In fact, we’ve been eating spinach and lettuce out of the garden since March. But I have plenty of leftovers from the 2016 garden remaining in my freezer and pantry. And I’m still working on the tomatoes I canned back in 2015!

So now I’m looking for ways to use up all those yummy veggies I preserved from gardens past before this year’s garden is in full swing. And what easier way to use up a whole bunch of veggies at once than to throw them together into a stew?

quinoa and vegetable stew

A trio of frozen garden veggies

The Recipe

On a recent episode of America’s Test Kitchen, somebody named Becky cooked up a batch of Quinoa and Vegetable Stew. Host Bridget was thrilled. This gave me an idea. I always seem to have quinoa in my pantry yet I rarely ever make the stuff (even though I know it’s supposed to be good for me). Not only did this recipe provide a way to use the bag of quinoa that’s been giving me guilt in my pantry forever, it also gave me a way to use up a whole lot of veggies.

While the America’s Test Kitchen recipe was inspired by the flavors of Peru, my version is more North African in style – but with quinoa as the protein instead of legumes. In a happy spice rack accident, I used a tablespoon of turmeric instead of the paprika that the America’s Test Kitchen recipe called for. But, as my husband declared, it was hard to imagine the stew without a healthy dose of turmeric. (And I do mean healthy – I’ve been reading a lot lately about the health benefits of turmeric.)

Other changes I made from the original recipe to use up more of my preserved veggies include:

I left off the avocado garnish because I didn’t have any on hand. But feta cheese and chopped fresh cilantro made a great garnish.

I will be making this stew again – and not just because it’s an easy way for me to get rid of my 2016 veggies. It gives me a way to use them that’s healthy, delicious, and a little bit exotic.

Quinoa and Vegetable Stew

Serves 6

Quinoa and Vegetable Stew


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated celery flakes (substitute 1 stalk celery, finely chopped)
  • 1 cup frozen red bell pepper pieces (substitute 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 quart crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 cups grated zucchini, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup prewashed quinoa
  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For garnish: Crumbled feta cheese and chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat oil in heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally, about 7-8 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and paprika and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in broth, crushed tomatoes with juice, and potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pan, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in quinoa and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in corn kernels and simmer for another 5-7 minutes, until quinoa and potatoes are tender.
  5. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and chopped cilantro.