Pineapple Fried Quinoa

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A healthy take on fried rice, this pineapple fried quinoa is delicious and super fun served in a pineapple boat. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.

One of my all-time favorite recipes here on EBF is my quinoa “fried rice” with shrimp. It’s a super simple weeknight meal and everyone seems to love it!

Today I have a fruity take on that recipe. It’s a spruced up version with fresh pineapple, lots of veggies and edamame. This version also skips the eggs so it’s perfect for all my vegan friends who want to get in on the quinoa “fried rice” action.

Pineapple boat full of pineapple fried quinoa.

The flavor of this fried quinoa is very similar to that of pineapple fried rice. You still get all that grainy goodness and the sweet, fresh pineapple combined with the salty, spicy sauce is perfection.

Simple Weeknight Dinner

The best part? This dish shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes or so to whip up. Once the quinoa is cooked and the pineapple boats are ready, everything is simply tossed in a large skillet and heated. Easy enough to whip up on a weeknight!

Pineapple boat full of pineapple fried quinoa. Bowl of garlic chili sauce is next to the pineapple.

Is Quinoa “Fried Rice” Healthy?

On the health front, this dish is loaded with fresh veggies and has a good source of protein from the quinoa and edamame. The sauce is homemade and is just a simple mixture of low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce), sambal oelek and lime juice – it’s quite light in comparison to most sauces you’ll find at restaurants.

Ingredients to make pineapple fried quinoa measured out.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe:

  • quinoa – you can prep this in advance for a super quick dinner! Here’s how to cook fluffy quinoa.
  • avocado or olive oil – either of these oils work perfectly for sautéing the vegetables for this recipe.
  • yellow onion – gotta have onion in fried rice!
  • red bell pepper – adds a pop of color, crunch, fiber and flavor.
  • fresh garlic and ginger – the perfect flavor duo for this dish!
  • pineapple – you’ll need one whole pineapple if you want to serve this up in a pineapple bowl! Scoop out the inner fruit and chop for the fried rice. If you don’t want to serve it in a pineapple boat, you can just measure out 2 cups of fresh pineapple.
  • edamame – add a boost of plant-based protein and flavor with edamame beans.
  • low-sodium tamari – you can also use coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce if you’d like.
  • sambal oelek or homemade garlic chili sauce – I love adding a little kick of spice to this dish!
  • lime juice – use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • green onion – slice the green parts of the onion for a zesty garnish.
  • roasted cashews – add some crunch by sprinkling on roasted cashews!
Four photos. Pot of quinoa, hollowed out pineapple halves, skillet with peppers and onion, and lastly skillet with pineapple fried quinoa.

How to Serve Pineapple Quinoa Fried Rice

Serving the dish in a pineapple boat isn’t 100% necessary, but it does make the dining experience just a tiny bit more enjoyable. It’s an elevated touch for a dinner party or just a fun way to serve this dish to kiddos! There’s really nothing better than eating food out of a fruit bowl. Am I right?

This whole idea for the pineapple boat was inspired by our local Thai restaurant, Sabai. They serve their pineapple fried rice in a pineapple bowl and I thought it was such a fun way to present this dish!

To make the pineapple boat: simpy cut a full pineapple in half, scoop out the fruit inside (to use in the dish!) and then set aside. After cooking the quinoa fried rice, you’ll fill each pineapple half and top with cashews and green onions.

Pineapple boat full of pineapple fried quinoa. Bowl of garlic chili sauce is next to the pineapple.

More Quick Dinners to Try:

Pineapple Fried Quinoa in a Pineapple Boat

5 from 10 votes
A healthy take on Thai fried rice, this pineapple fried quinoa is bursting with flavor and super fun served in a pineapple boat. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.
Pineapple boat full of pineapple fried quinoa.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry uncooked quinoa
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 whole pineapple, for bowl
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped in bite-size chunks
  • 1 cup cooked edamame beans
  • 3 Tablespoons reduced sodium tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons sambal oelek or homemade garlic chili sauce
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • green onion, sliced thin, green part only
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Make the quinoa: Prepare quinoa if you haven’t already: Bring 2 cups water and 1 cup uncooked quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes; fluff quinoa with a fork. Allow to cool. This step can be done the day before.
    Pot with cooked quinoa.
  • Prep pineapple: While quinoa is cooking, prep pineapple by cutting it in half lengthwise. Scoop out pineapple flesh using a knife and a spoon so you’re left with two pineapple boats for serving. Chop the fruit and set aside.
    Two halves of pineapple on a cutting board. One half is scooped out.
  • Sauté veggies: Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until mixture is fragrant and onions are translucent.
    Pan with sautéed onion and bell pepper.
  • Combine: Add fresh pineapple, edamame, tamari, sambal oelek, lime juice and cooked quinoa to the pan. Stir to combine.
  • Cook: Cook mixture on medium-high for 5-7 minutes or until everything is heated through. I like turning the up the heat quite a bit so that all the sauce is soaked up or evaporated and the quinoa starts to crisp up a little in certain spots.
    Skillet with pineapple fried quinoa.
  • Assemble and enjoy: Transfer cooked quinoa mixture into pineapple bowls, top with cashews and green onion and serve. Add extra sambal oelek or sriracha if you need more spice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 413kcal Carbohydrates: 56g Protein: 13g Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 7g Sodium: 576mg Fiber: 9g Sugar: 13g
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: pineapple fried quinoa

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    33 comments
    1. Jessica
      June 24, 2021 AT 7:12 pm

      5 stars
      Our family tried this recipe for the first time tonight. So easy and so delicious! This will make into the rotation of meals!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 25, 2021 AT 11:14 am

        Yay! I love hearing this, Jessica! Thanks so much for the review. I really appreciate it!

    2. LR
      January 4, 2021 AT 5:42 pm

      5 stars
      This is the best! It’s on the regular dinner rotation with salmon or tofu and is the greatest way to use up random vegetables in the fridge (I just toss in whatever we have)! Thank you for this!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 5, 2021 AT 9:45 pm

        So glad you loved this recipe!! Thanks for the review, I so appreciate it. 🙂

    3. Katie
      October 28, 2020 AT 8:33 pm

      5 stars
      Love this recipe!!! I added shrimp and next time will add carrots as well. This will be a regular meal at our house!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 29, 2020 AT 1:48 pm

        Ahh yay! That makes me so happy to hear, Katie. I’m so glad this recipe is a hit. 🙂

    4. Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah’s Cucina Bella)
      June 14, 2016 AT 6:38 am

      This sounds incredible, and I love, love, love the serving idea!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 14, 2016 AT 8:40 am

        Thank you, Sarah!!

    5. alexandracaspero
      June 9, 2016 AT 12:36 pm

      My favorite thai restaurant does this with their fried rice, and it’s one of my favorite dishes. Love the addition of quinoa instead of rice.

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