Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa

This Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa is chock-full of flavor, totally satisfying, and it makes a great quinoa side dish to serve with grilled chicken or salmon.  

This Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa is chock-full of flavor, totally satisfying, and it makes a great side dish to grilled chicken or salmon. 

Caramelized onions are one of those ingredients that can transform the most plain and ordinary of dishes into something quite extraordinary.  For this quinoa side dish, the onions are slowly cooked in olive oil and marsala wine then tossed in quinoa with some fresh parsley.   Simply delicious!!

This Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa is chock-full of flavor, totally satisfying, and it makes a great side dish to grilled chicken or salmon

The other day I was totally craving French Onion Soup!  My mouth watered as I thought of a bowl of luscious onions simmering in a salty broth with a sheet of gooey melted cheese draped over the bowl.  There was just a wee bit of a problem turning that fantasy into reality.  One –  I didn’t have any cheese (I never buy cheese anymore except maybe Parmesan or Feta now and then) and two – I didn’t have any beef broth (never buy this either).  So I decided to at least  satisfy my cravings somewhat by making some caramelized onions and tossing them in a bowl of quinoa.  I know.  I know.  Not even close.  But it was still so good!

QUINOA RECIPE

This is a basic quinoa recipe spiffed up a bit with garlic, marsala wine, fresh thyme and parsley.

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup brown or sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup marsala wine
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup low-sodium free-range chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme (or small pinch of dried)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE QUINOA

Easy Caramelized Onions
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the onions and cook over low heat.  Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add the marsala wine as the onions begin to dry out.
  4. Stir frequently for about 30 minutes or until the onions turn a golden brown.
  5. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside.
For the Quinoa
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add quinoa and saute 2 minutes longer.
  3. Pour in chicken broth,  water, onion powder and fresh thyme.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.  (Don’t remove the lid)
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Remove fresh thyme sprig.
  7. Transfer quinoa to serving bowl and fluff with a fork, toss in caramelized onions and parsley.
  8. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

This Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa is chock-full of flavor, totally satisfying, and it makes a great side dish to grilled chicken or salmon

I know some folks aren’t terribly fond of onions.  Fortunately I’m not one of those people.  I love onions!!  And I think any dish that highlights the sweetness of cooked onions is a good one, and this Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa gives them center stage!

This Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa is chock-full of flavor, totally satisfying, and it makes a great side dish to grilled chicken or salmon

In addition to tasting great, onions are incredibly good for you!!  You can check out this link to learn more –  Health Benefits of Onions.

Guys if you’re fond of caramelized onions, you’re going to love this Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa!! The marsala wine that I add gives these caramelized onions that extra rich kick of flavor, but if you don’t have any marsala wine, then just add either chicken broth or water as you caramelize the onions.  And if you prefer caramelized shallots over onions, that works just as well!

EASY QUINOA RECIPES

This Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa is chock-full of flavor, totally satisfying, and it makes a great side dish to grilled chicken or salmon.  And it's gluten-free and vegan!  
Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Caramelized Onion Quinoa

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

This Vegetarian Caramelized Onion Quinoa is chock-full of flavor, totally satisfying, and it makes a great side dish to grilled chicken or salmon.  And it's gluten-free and vegan!  

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup brown or sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup marsala wine
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup low-sodium free-range chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme (or small pinch of dried)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

For the Onions
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the onions and cook over low heat.  Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Add the marsala wine as the onions begin to dry out.
  4. Stir frequently for about 30 minutes or until the onions turn a golden brown.
  5. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside.
For the Quinoa
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add quinoa and saute 2 minutes longer.
  3. Pour in chicken broth,  water, onion powder and fresh thyme.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.  (Don't remove the lid)
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Remove fresh thyme sprig.
  7. Transfer quinoa to serving bowl and fluff with a fork, toss in caramelized onions and parsley.
  8. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
 

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