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This nutritious colorful dish is full of high protein quinoa, lots of vegetables and a tangy yogurt tahini sauce. The bold bright flavors of cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and cinnamon make it an exquisite vegan entree or side dish served with fish or chicken.

Why You’ll Love This Dish

The warm, savory and unbelievably delicious Middle Eastern spices turn quinoa and vegetables into a very special dish. It comes together in just 30 minutes. The light tangy Yogurt Tahini Sauce drizzled on top adds even more flavor.  It’s perfect for meal prep and tastes delicious hot, warm or cold. Great for lunch on the go. Chickpeas, chicken or tofu can be added if you want additional protein.

  • savory fresh flavor in every bite
  • powerhouse quinoa is a delicious plant based protein
  • lots of nutrient rich fresh vegetables
  • vegan and gluten free
  • easy to make in 30 minutes
  • reheats and stores beautifully
Middle Eastern Quinoa with Vegetables spoon with Yogurt Tahini sauce drizzled over quinoa


This nutritious dish with fluffy quinoa, colorful vegetables and savory Middle Eastern spices will soon become one of your favorite grain dishes. This is what you need:

  • Quinoa – a protein-packed, quick cooking “pseudo-grain ” (it’s technically a seed). White quinoa has a soft fluffy texture that absorbs flavors well. You can use tricolor quinoa if white quinoa isn’t available.
  • Middle Eastern Spicescumin, coriander, paprikaturmeric, black pepper and cinnamon give this dish a wonderful, rich flavor and warm golden color.
  • Broth – I usually make it with vegetable broth but you can use chicken broth if you’re not vegan or just plain water.
  • Vegetables – colorful carrots, cauliflower and zucchini are gently sautéed with onions and garlic for a garden-fresh flavor.
  • Olive oil – to saute the vegetalabes and spices.
  • Sea Salt – to balance the flavors.
  • Parsley – for a clean, fresh earthy taste.
  • Lemon – squeeze a little on when serving for a little acidity.

Yogurt Tahini Sauce
The sauce is optional but it’s easy to make. I love it with this quinoa dish.

Middle Eastern Quinoa with Vegetables Ingredients

Customize the Vegetables

This dish can be customized with the vegetables you have on hand or your favorites. Use a variety of colors to get the most amount of nutrients. Here are a few recommended swaps.

  • broccoli instead of cauliflower
  • sliced red peppers in place of the carrots
  • frozen peas rinsed and added to the sautéed vegetables at the end
  • yellow squash can replace the zucchini
  • cilantro instead of parsley

Do You Want More Protein?

Each serving of the vegetable quinoa already has 13 grams of protein. If you want even more add chickpeas, white beans or sautéed tofu. If you’re not vegan, shredded cooked chicken or steamed shrimp are good.

Middle Eastern Quinoa with Vegetables close up

How To Make

Basically you’re going to cook the quinoa with the spices to infuse it with lots of flavor. While the quinoa is cooking saute the vegetables. Then mix everything together. Make the dressing if using, but it’s optional, the vegetable quinoa is full of flavor.

  1. Simmer the spices. Start by simmering the spices in a little olive oil to bring the complex aromas to their fullest expression.
  2. Add the quinoa. Pour in the broth or water and your quinoa. Bring it to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook it for 15 minutes then remove it from the heat. The quinoa will be infused with the aromatic spices. YUM! This step can be done hours ahead if you want.
  3. Saute the vegetables. While the quinoa is cooking saute the onions, then add the garlic, carrots and cauliflower. Saute 3-4 minutes, add the zucchini and saute until crisp tender.
  4. Add the quinoa. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and mix into the vegetables until evenly combined.
  5. Add the parsley. Mix in and taste to adjust salt.
  6. Make Yogurt Tahini Sauce. Make the sauce while the quinoa and vegetables are cooking. You can also make it in advance. It will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Storing Quinoa with Vegetables

Store leftovers in a sealed container or bowl covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

For meal prep divide the recipe into 4 separate containers and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week! Top with the sauce when ready to serve or eat plain. It’s incredibly flavorful even without the sauce.

Middle Eastern Quinoa with Vegetables in pan


This dish can be served alone as a vegan entree or as a side dish with chicken or fish. It would go nicely with Simple Sauteed Fish with Garlic, Crispy Almond Crusted Fish, 3 Ingredient Honey Mustard Chicken or Chermoula Chicken.  It’s a fantastic dish to bring to parties or the beach and of course for lunch as mentioned above.

Middle Eastern Quinoa with Vegetables platter, napkin lemon parsley and  yogurt tahini sauce

You may also enjoy these other quinoa recipes:

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Middle Eastern Quinoa with Vegetables

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  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This nutritious colorful dish is full of high protein quinoa, lots of vegetables and a tangy yogurt tahini sauce.


  • 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa*
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 cups cauliflower or broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots cut into half moon slices
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • lemon wedges for serving

Yogurt Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plain  Greek-style yogurt, coconut yogurt or vegan yogurt of choice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, grated (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 13 Tablespoons water


  1. Add ½ tablespoon oil to a medium pot and place over medium heat. Once oil is hot add the spices: turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon and pepper.  Stir and simmer for 30 seconds to enhance the flavor of the spices.
  2. Add broth (or water) and quinoa*. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, heat remaining tablespoon of oil on medium in a large saute pan. Add onions and cook 3-4 minutes until softened.
  4. Add garlic, cauliflower, and carrots. Sprinkle with salt. Lightly saute for 4 minutes. Add zucchini and continue to saute for another 3-4 minutes until the vegetabls are crisp tender.
  5. Use a fork to fluff the quinoa. Add it to the vegetables and stir everything together.
  6. Mix in the parsley, taste to adjust salt.
  7. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and Yogurt Tahini Sauce drizzled on top.

Yogurt Tahini Sauce

  1. Whisk together yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Add 1-3 tablespoons of water to get the right consistency.


If quinoa is not already washed, put it into a fine strainer and rinse thoroughly before adding to the pot.

Nutrition information is with the Yogurt Tahini Dressing

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Vegetable, Side Dish, Main Dish
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy Free

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