This healthy quinoa brown rice recipe is surprisingly loaded with flavor and tons of texture. It combines five simple ingredients and transforms them in just minutes.
This quinoa brown rice recipe is simple to make, yet the results are anything but. It combines hearty brown rice with delicate quinoa and a savory broth to make a richly textured and delicious side dish that the whole family is sure to love!
Keep reading to learn the secrets for perfectly cooking quinoa and brown rice every time, no matter how much or how little you’re making. Plus, we’ll share a few simple swaps and suggestions to enjoy this recipe a bit differently every time.
From quinoa cooking tips to quick serving ideas, discover how to cook quinoa brown rice today. Let’s get cooking!
Brown Rice and Quinoa Recipe
Quinoa and brown rice are both nutrient-dense grains that, when combined, make a powerhouse of fiber, protein, and tons of essential vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, iron, and zinc, to name a few.
For this quinoa brown rice recipe, we will be toasting both ingredients in a skillet before adding the liquid. This process of toasting – as opposed to rinsing – helps to break up the starch molecules and make for a more flavorful and even cooking dish. This step also helps to speed up the cooking time.
Then, a flavorful broth is added to impart additional flavor. After a few minutes of simmering, the results are a fluffy and savory side dish that’s hands down the healthiest thing you’ll serve all week!
In addition to being super easy to make, this recipe is also made up of just five simple ingredients, all of which you’re likely to have on hand already.
Here’s exactly what you’ll need for this quinoa brown rice recipe:
- Quinoa: Any color quinoa will do, though red quinoa is best for color and added antioxidants.
- Brown rice: Has a nuttier flavor than white rice, along with more fiber. It can be swapped for white rice if necessary.
- Broth: Adds flavor to the quinoa and brown rice as it’s cooking. Can be either chicken or vegetable broth. Can be swapped with water if necessary.
- Salt: For added flavor, adjusted to taste. Fine sea salt is best, but any salt will work.
- Oil: To toast the quinoa and brown rice. Any neutral cooking oil will do, such as avocado oil, olive oil, or canola oil.
This recipe is great all on its own, but it’s even better when served alongside the perfect main course. Here are some serving suggestions.
- Add to burritos, tacos, or atop salads or soups
- Swap for any recipe that calls for plain white rice
- Add canned black beans, diced tomatoes, and corn for a Tex-Mex quinoa brown rice dish. Garnish with assorted fixings like sliced avocado, salsa, and shredded cheese.
- Swap for rice in sushi rolls
How to Make Brown Rice and Quinoa
In addition to tasting great, making this quinoa brown rice dish couldn’t be easier. Even if you hate making rice, you’ll learn to love it after trying this recipe.
- Toast Quinoa and Brown Rice: Heat oil in a skillet until the pan is hot, then add the quinoa and brown rice. Cook on medium heat until the rice is slightly translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add Broth: Add liquid to the pan in a 1:2 ratio of grains to liquid. Raise the heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover.
- Simmer: Let the quinoa brown rice simmer on medium-low until the grains have fully soaked up the liquid and are fluffy when forked. Serve warm, and enjoy!
This recipe makes four servings, so it’s the perfect side dish for a family dinner. As for leftovers, if there are any, you can store leftover quinoa brown rice in an airtight container. Stored this way, it should keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Alternatively, if you want your quinoa brown rice to last longer, then you can freeze it – once cooled completely – in an airtight container or freezer bag. Stored this way, it should last six months.
To reheat leftover quinoa brown rice, simply transfer the leftovers back to the skillet, add a few tablespoons of water, then heat on medium. Put the lid on and let cook for 4-5 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent burning.
Alternatively, you can microwave the leftover quinoa brown rice, with a few spoonfuls of water, in 20-second intervals until fully reheated.
If reheating from frozen, allow the rice to thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- If the quinoa brown rice is still chewy after all of the liquid has been absorbed, add additional broth or water incrementally, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer with the lid on, checking every 2-3 minutes.
- Alternatively to toasting quinoa and brown rice, you can also rinse the grains to remove excess starch, though toasting does impart additional flavors.
Quinoa Brown Rice
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 1 cup brown rice
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp oil
- salt to taste
- Add oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. When the oil slicks across the pan, add the brown rice and quinoa.
- Toast the quinoa and rice on medium heat, frequently mixing with a wooden spoon, until the rice becomes slightly transparent and darker in color, about 5-7 minutes
- Add the water or broth and salt to taste, then increase the heat to medium-high until the liquid comes to a boil
- Once the liquid is boiling, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the quinoa brown rice to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until flaky when forked.
- Taste and add salt if necessary, then serve