Everyone loves this quinoa caprese dish. Even Erik who refuses to eat quinoa. He once refused to eat cous cous until he realized he really liked it. Men.

I love preparing this dish for potluck style events. It an easy recipe to follow and quick to whip up. And best yet, it’s super healthy and perfect for summer. Especially now that tomatoes are in season and basil is abundant.

Boiling the quinoa in vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you don’t have vegetarians in your group) gives it really great flavor. Because who likes bland quinoa? Not me. The freshly squeezed lemon vinaigrette is light yet boldly flavored at the same time. It’s the perfect summer entertaining dish.

The only person I know who doesn’t like this dish is Juliet. I think it’s a texture thing. She put some in her mouth and then spit it out while scraping her tongue of any offending little morsels. LOL. You can’t please everyone. But I think she’ll eventually come around. Quinoa Caprese (adapted from Too Many Chefs, original recipe from Shape, May 2006)


1 cup quinoa
14 oz. vegetable stock
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced
1 cup torn basil leaves
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper


Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce heat and simmer about 12-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. The quinoa should be tender. Transfer to a large bowl and toss/stir to help it cool down to room temperature.

Smash your garlic cloves, removing the papery outer peel. Heat the oil in a small skillet over low and add the garlic. Sautee over low heat, stirring occasionally for about five minutes. Strain the garlic out of the oil and let the oil cool.

Stir the cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella into the quinoa. 

With a whisk or fork beat the lemon juice and oil together. Pour over the quinoa and toss well. Season to taste.

Do you love quinoa? Try this quinoa mac and cheese recipe. You’ll love it and so will your toddler.