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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
1-2teaspoonssambal oelek or homemade garlic chili sauce
juice from 1/2 lime
green onion, sliced thin, green part only
1/4cuproasted cashews, chopped
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.