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Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

This recipe for pomegranate quinoa pilaf is an easy, elegant, and festive side dish. Plus, it’s healthy and you can make it ahead of time!

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle with coming up with side dishes for dinner. I absolutely love side dishes and Josh is more of the kind of guy that if you can eat it and enjoy it on it’s own, all the better. 

Never mind the fact that he is hungry an hour later and whipping up his new evening snack, a protein shake.

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf with ingredients

But when it comes to side dishes, I am not completely inspired to make them. I have my good old standbys, like a side salad (which I do make a really good “house” salad), some sort of roasted vegetable or frozen veggie heated up ( I serve peas and green beans a lot), or of course the good old kid favorite, a crescent roll. 

Recently, I did baked potatoes which I don’t do hardly ever and it was delicious. And if I’m serving Mexican food you can bet there is Mexican rice and beans on the side. But generally speaking, that’s it. Not very exciting!

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf close up

I had forgotten all about this quinoa pilaf on the blog until I was going through the archives not that long ago and I don’t know why I don’t serve this more often. For one thing, it’s gluten free which is great for a lot of people. I don’t have any gluten intolerant people in my house, but I know a lot of people who are gluten intolerant and so just sharing something like this gives a different option for them. 

This is also a healthier meal with tons of texture. I love the crunch of the toasted almonds and the fresh burst of flavor in the pomegranate arils, and just the added fresh/lightness that the lemon juice brings to the dish. 

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf overhead

Not to mention, this is an easy dish to prepare and make for someone if you happen to be bringing them a meal. You could prepare it and just leave off the arils until they’re ready to eat. 

I like that this is also a side dish that you could bring to a holiday or potluck gathering if you yourself are gluten-free, that way you know that at least something there is gluten-free. 

I just love how simple and how pretty this meal is. So if you also find yourself in a side dish rut or are looking for a gluten free dish, I promise that this one will hit all the boxes for ya!

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This recipe for pomegranate quinoa pilaf is an easy, elegant, and festive side dish. Plus, it's healthy and you can make it ahead of time!


  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup diagonally sliced scallions
  • 1 TB chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted


    Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until translucent and fragrant. Add the quinoa and stir to coat. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

    In a small pan over low-medium heat, toast the almonds stirring occasionally until the begin to smell fragrent and start toasting. Set aside.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pomegranate seeds, scallions, parsley, lemon juice, zest, and sugar. Add the quinoa and season with salt, and pepper to taste.

    Garnish with toasted slivered almonds.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 102mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate.


Monday 28th of November 2011

I have actually met Kelsey in real life and had the chance to work with her, and she is just as genuine in person as she is on tv! I love her show and her recipes, and this is one that I need to try out!!

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