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Parsley Quinoa and Brown Rice Pilaf

I’ve fallen in love this month, in love with the gorgeous bunches of bright green Italian flat-leaf parsley we’re finding in our CSA farm share boxes. This parsley quinoa and brown rice pilaf, with its serious dose of finely chopped fresh parsley, is my food love this week!

Parsley Quinoa and Brown Rice Pilaf

Just hearing the word parsley gets me singing the Simon and Garfunkel ballad. “Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, remember me to the one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine.”

Each of the four herbs in that song has ancient love and health connotations–parsley is the one thought to lessen the bitterness of love lost.

No love lost here. Parsley is much more than a decorative plate garnish, for sure. Though we tend to forget this common herb has outstanding flavor and healthful qualities.

fresh parsley for Parsley Quinoa and Brown Rice Pilaf

If I owned that juicer on my wish list, I’d be adding parsley to my green drinks, for its blood cleansing benefit.

Parsley sprigs are part of classic stock or soup’s bouquet garni. In cooking school, we wrapped parsley, along with sprig of thyme and a bay leaf, into a neat package made of lightly blanched leek.

Finely chopped parsley is essential in tabouleh, the mid-eastern bulgur wheat salad.rice, onion, and vegetable broth cubes for Parsley Quinoa and Brown Rice Pilaf

Tri-color quinoa for Parsley Quinoa and Brown Rice Pilaf

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Parsley Quinoa and Brown Rice Pilaf
Parsley Quinoa and Brown Rice Pilaf
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins

The pilaf gets a flavor and protein bump from the quinoa. Recipe makes about 8 servings.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: quinoa, rice, parsley
Servings: 8 servings.
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or grapeseed oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 1 cup tri-color quinoa , rinsed
  • 3 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup very finely chopped parsley
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  1. In a saucepan over medium flame, heat the oil.
  2. Add the onion and cook and stir until the onion is translucent.
  3. Stir in the brown rice and cook so the rice gets a bit brown and begins to crackle.
  4. Stir in the rinsed quinoa and the vegetable broth.

  5. Cover the pan. Allow the grains to come to a boil, and then lower the heat to the lowest setting possible.
  6. Cook without stirring, 35 to 45 minutes. (To check if the liquid has been absorbed or not, tilt the pan to the side.)
  7. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  8. With a fork, mix in the parsley, lemon zest and juice. 

Recipe Notes
  • I use 2: 1 ratio, liquid to rice. Quinoa doesn’t need as much water—1 ½: 1. When rice and quinoa are steamed together, reduce the vegetable stock so the rice doesn’t absorb extra liquid and become sticky.
  • Quinoa grows with a natural pesticide coating called saponin. Saponin doesn’t harm humans; it just makes the quinoa bitter if not rinsed well.

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