Healthy Coconut Quinoa

Coconut Quinoa

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Gluten free

Excuse me, coming through!… Move over heavy, fatty, nutrition-lacking white coconut rice and enter my Coconut Quinoa. This dish is so light on the belly and is full of goodness. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a Thai stir fry, spicy chicken wings, grilled chicken or fish. Come winter, it will also prove to be the perfect companion dish for a any Indian curry too.

Quinoa is fast to cook making this dish the perfect side to a mid-week dinner. It can be made in advance and served either warm or cold, as-is, or spiced with some fresh cut chillies. The choice is yours.

Serves 3-4


  • Fine Sieve
  • Small saucepan with lid
  • Frying-pan


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp corriander leaves, chopped


  1. Using the sieve, rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water.
  2. Shake dry, then place the quinoa in the saucepan and cover with cold water – (water height to be a few mm above the quinoa).
  3. With the lid on, place the saucepan on the stove, above high heat and bring to the boil.
  4. Once boiled, leaving the lid on, turn the stove down to the lowest heat, allowing the quinoa to steam. The quinoa will be cooked when all of the water is absorbed and it is light and fluffy in texture. This should take 10-15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile to toast the coconut, heat the frying-pan over medium heat.
  6. Add the coconut to the frying-pan and stir frequently with a wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes until toasted. Once toasted, immediately remove the coconut from the frying-pan to prevent burning.
  7. Return the frying-pan to medium heat, then add the roughly chopped cashews, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for 4-5 minutes until toasted and then remove from the heat.
  8. Once all elements are complete, combine the quinoa, coconut and cashews in a bowl.
  9. Immediately before serving, mix the chopped coriander through the quinoa.


Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.


  • If in doubt about cooking the quinoa using the instructions above, then follow the instructions on the packet.
  • If serving with spicy meat, drizzle the Coconut Quinoa with a mixture of 1/2 cup natural yoghurt, 1 tbsp torn mint leaves and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  • If serving with a Thai stir-fry, leave as-is, as the flavour of your stir-fry will infuse through the quinoa.
  • If serving with an Indian curry, leave as-is, or swap the coriander for fresh and very finely chopped curry leaves.
3 replies
  1. Fi
    Fi says:

    Cata I actually made this last night, had it with spicy chicken and yogurt, I’d been at a long lunch and was almost too lazy to cook but read this on the ferry home and realised I already had all the ingredients at home already – great inspiration!!!


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