Creamy Lemon Basil Quinoa

I love quinoa and I normally don’t do much to fancy it up.   Typically, I cook it in water, add a few spices, and mix it with whatever vegetables I have on hand.  While I appreciate all the good nutrition I’m getting when I eat plain quinoa and vegetables, it can get… old… and bland.   This soft and creamy quinoa is anything but bland!  The lemon and basil give it vibrant, fragrant flavor, and the creamy sauce turns this health food into a comfort food.  Because I just can’t help myself from adding vegetables to everything, I added in broccoli 🙂 But I’m glad I did because the broccoli provides a nice textural contrast!

Creamy Lemon Basil Quinoaimage


1 cup uncooked quinoa

1.5 cups broccoli, chopped into small florets

1 container nondairy cream cheese (net wt. 8 oz)

1/2 cup packed basil

Juice 1/2 large lemon

Zest 1/2 large lemon

1/2 t salt

1/2 t garlic powder

3 T water

1 T canola oil


1. Cook quinoa according to package directions (until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy)

2. While quinoa is cooking, lightly cook broccoli by spraying a large pan with cooking spray and cooking over medium heat for 4-5 min, until broccoli is bright green and somewhat soft.

3. Process basil until it is very finely chopped and almost paste-like.

4. Heat a large pan on low heat.  Add oil, cream cheese, and lemon juice and stir until cream cheese melts.  Stir in garlic powder, salt, zest, basil, and 3 T water, until combined.


Chopped and cooked broccoli florets

5. Once quinoa is done cooking, pour sauce onto quinoa and stir to combine.

Cream Sauce

Cream Sauce

6. Fold in broccoli.

7. Enjoy!


2 thoughts on “Creamy Lemon Basil Quinoa

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