Are you over this whole quinoa thing yet? Cause I’m certainly not! And this Spinach Quinoa Alfredo is delicious! It combines a creamy Alfredo sauce with healthy spinach for a filling lunch.
I’m the kind of person who likes to plan ahead. Every weekend before going grocery shopping I plan out my weekly meals and make my list. This obviously includes planning lunches too. I’d been having some trouble coming up with tasty and healthy ideas for lunch and was getting a little tired of Peanut Butter & Jelly. Trying to find something that I could make over the weekend to last the entire week was proving difficult, even on Pinterest. I know, Pinterest failed me guys, I was distraught. Okay, not really, but I was a little frustrated.
So I decided to come up with something myself. I’m a big fan of fettuccine Alfredo, but something about fettuccine Alfredo didn’t strike me as healthy. Probably because I usually eat enough for four people. Quinoa with Alfredo sauce sounded like it could be a good mix and perhaps a tad healthier. A little healthy, a little tasty. But I didn’t want just quinoa and Alfredo sauce so I added some fresh spinach as well. I gotta say, I did a pretty good job with this Spinach Quinoa Alfredo!
I kind of create a lot of dirty dishes when I make Spinach Quinoa Alfredo, I should probably work on that. You could definitely cook the quinoa and spinach in the same pan, but for the purpose of this post I will tell you how I currently make it, pile of dishes and all.
First thing to do is wash and dry the spinach. I’m not sure exactly how much spinach I use each time. I buy it as a bunch at Kroger and generally use about half of the bunch. Chopped, it was about 6-7 cups. Though you can use however much you want.
Bring the water to a boil, add the quinoa, and then reduce to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, chop the spinach and place in a large pan. When I say large, I mean large. The first time I made this I didn’t use my super ginormous pan and I spilled quinoa all over the place. (If you wanted to save a dish or two, you could cook the quinoa is this pan and then add the spinach to the cooked quinoa to wilt.) I tend to wait until the last minutes to start cooking the spinach since it wilts so quickly.
Add the butter and cream to a different pan and turn the heat to medium until the butter is melted and mixed with the cream. Turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the Parmesan, season with salt and pepper, and stir until fully combined. (I’m usually working both the Alfredo sauce and the spinach at the same time here.)
Combine the quinoa, spinach, and Alfredo sauce in the ginormous pan and mix well.
Spinach Quinoa Alfredo
- 1¼ cups Dry Quinoa
- 2½ cups Water
- 6-7 cups Fresh Spinach chopped
- ½ cup Butter
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- ¾ cup Parmesan shredded
In a pot, bring the water and quinoa to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed. About 15-20 minutes.
Rinse and dry the spinach. Chop the leaves into strips and put in a very large nonstick pan that has been drizzled with olive oil.
Add the butter and heavy cream to a second pan over medium heat. Stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the Parmesan, stirring constantly until fully melted.
While the alfredo sauce is simmering cook the spinach over low-medium heat, until wilted.
Add the cooked quinoa and alfredo sauce to the spinach and mix. Serve immediately or refrigerate for weekly lunches.
Recipe NotesI have found that shredded Parmesan, not grated, works best for this Alfredo recipe.
You could easily mix this dish up, however you want. Add different veggies, different seasonings, some diced chicken. Garlic would probably be great in the sauce! I’d love to hear how this turned out for you!