Zesty Orange Quinoa Stuffing


Colorful, seasonal vegetables and bold citrus flavors make this a perfectly tasty gluten-free side dish for every Thanksgiving celebration.

This delicious quinoa dish is one of our family favorites. I love this dish as a healthy, flavorful and versatile gluten-free vegan entrée or winning side dish in place of traditional Thanksgiving stuffing. Zesty Orange Quinoa is the perfect substitute for traditional bread stuffing.

Why swap stuffing this year? Trade out your traditional stuffing for this nutrient rich version. Super-grain quinoa (actually a seed) is loaded with protein.

Most of the highly beneficial phytonutrients in oranges are found in the peel and inner white pulp of the orange. Together with a high concentration of vitamin C, this zesty orange adds amazing flavor while boosting immunity, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Now that's delicious food that truly fuels your body!

Packed with fabulous fresh veggies, this dish always receives rave reviews and pleases even the pickiest of eaters (i.e. my own daughter and the neighbor's small children). The flavors in this dish are even better the next day but I rarely have left overs.

Zesty Orange Quinoa will quickly become a staple in your own home. The crisp, fresh flavors of the raw vegetables combine with the hint of citrus to make this a sophisticated yet simple dish. I love making this dish with friends gathered round as the quinoa cooks. While you chop, soak the currants to add a lovely sweet flavor and soft texture.

Eat Inspired Today Tip: A rice cooker is a great, time-saving way to perfectly cook almost any grain, including quinoa.  I like to cook a larger-than-needed amount and then refrigerate for use throughout the week. This is especially great for quinoa, which is delicious served hot or cold.

Remember to take advantage of what’s local and in season in your area! Fresh-from-the-market vegetables will add their own unique flavor! In a pinch you can swap out whatever you have on-hand or in the garden. A few of our favorites include roasted squash and pomegranate seeds or golden raisins instead of currants.

This recipe offers a perfect opportunity for age-appropriate cooking with kids – from selecting and washing ingredients to measuring and combining. Adult supervision is always recommended.


Zesty Orange Quinoa

Serves 6-8


  • 1 Cup Dry Quinoa, Cooked (yields approx. 3 Cups Quinoa) (Alter Eco Pearl Quinoa)
  • 3 Tablespoons Dried Currants
  • 1 Cups Celery, Finely Chopped (approx. 4 stalks)
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Small Zucchini, Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Small Bell Pepper, Red or Yellow, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Carrots, Finely Chopped
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt, Divided
  • 1/4 Teaspoon  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup  Shallots, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Zest, Grated
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Orange Juice (best fresh-squeezed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Champagne Vinegar (O Olive Oil Citrus Champagne Vinegar)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Olive Oil


  1. Prepare quinoa per directions. Eat Inspired Tip: Use a rice cooker to make this step super simple. You can even make it ahead of time. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine 1 cup hot water and currants in a small bowl; let stand 30 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Combine quinoa, currants, celery, parsley, chopped vegetables, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. You can easily substitute other crisp, organic seasonal vegetables that you have on hand or in the garden.
  4. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, shallots, zest, juice, oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir well. Let stand 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in oil with a whisk. Pour your vinaigrette mixture over quinoa. Toss well to coat.
  6. Great the next day – simply cover and refrigerate.
  7. ENJOY!
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