Healthy grains and a boat load of veggies are packed into this easy, delicious Vegetable Quinoa Stir Fry recipe. A weeknight dinner staple!
This Vegetable Quinoa Stir Fry recipe may be one of my favorite side dishes, but it can just as easily be turned into a full dinner in minutes. Crack open a can of white kidney or cannellini beans, stir in some baked tofu or please the fish and meat eaters at the table by adding some shredded poached chicken or sautéed shrimp. Or serve it with a bowl of wonton soup.
If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, zucchini or quinoa for that matter, I included plenty of substitution suggestions below.
Whole grain, packed with veggies, low in saturated fat and savory in all the right ways, this veggie stir fry is one to keep in your back pocket for healthy dinner ideas.
How to make quinoa stir fry:
This veggie stir fry goes together like any other stir fry. The first step is to preheat the skillet over medium-high heat. Typically I use a little oil, such as avocado oil which has a high smoke point, but I opted for olive oil spray in this recipe.
Stir fry the aromatics – garlic and ginger – for about 30 seconds. Any longer and you’ll end up with bitter, burnt garlic.
Be sure to use a large nonstick skillet so that the mushrooms aren’t crowded. This will allow the mushrooms to brown rather than steam, which adds extra flavor.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overcooked zucchini in stir fries. Slow learner. 😉 Don’t give into the temptation to cook it longer – zucchini has a habit of transforming from tender to mushy in the blink of an eye.
If you keep frozen cooked quinoa on hand, this will save you from having to cook quinoa specifically for this recipe. Stir it in at the end, along with a drizzle of sesame oil, soy sauce and spinach.
Can I substitute other vegetables?
Of course! Vegetable stir fries are very forgiving that way. If you want to stick with the mushroom theme, but don’t have shiitakes on hand, use crimini or even portobello mushrooms.
Bell peppers, onion, celery, carrots, broccoli, kale, Napa cabbage, bean sprouts, cabbage and bok choy are all great substitutes. Cook the firmest vegetables first – such as carrots, onions and broccoli – and add more delicate vegetables – such as kale, cabbage and beans sprouts – near the end.
What can I use instead of quinoa?
Rice is always a popular swap. I opt for brown rice to take advantage of the extra fiber.
For less traditional grains, try couscous, farro, barley, cauliflower rice or even rice noodles.
Is this vegetable stir fry gluten free?
It can be made gluten free with one easy swap. Instead of soy sauce, use tamari which is wheat-free.
Other vegetarian quinoa recipes:
Vegetable Quinoa Stir Fry Recipe
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan liberally with olive oil spray.
- Add the ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the shiitake mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are starting to brown and soften, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the zucchini and cook until the zucchini is tender (but not mushy), 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked quinoa, sesame oil, soy sauce and spinach leaves. Stir until the quinoa is heated and the spinach just starts to wilt.
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