Quinoa with Brown Butter & Arugula

Quinoa with Brown Butter & Arugula

Honestly, the recipe should be called BROWN BUTTER Quinoa with Arugula.


Brown butter and quinoa are both all the rage right now in foodie circles but it had never occurred to me to put them together. Good thing we have cookbook authors like Melissa Clark to think of these things.

I made this to go with the fabulous Easy Skillet Chicken with Herbs featured yesterday. Before making this as a side dish, I’ve always had quinoa cold in salads. It’s one of those super grains that is high in protein and can be flavored any  number of ways.

Put it with brown butter and arugula and I’m hooked. The bonus is this cooks in under 15 minutes!

Here’s what you need:

Quinoa, Butter, Arugula, Garlic, Water (not pictured), Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Quinoa with Brown Butter & Arugula Shopping List

Quinoa (which, by the way, is pronounced “keen-wah” – don’t ask me why) is quick to cook. There are a couple of options but this recipe recommends cooking it in a pot of boiling water similar to pasta.

No need to measure the water as we will drain the quinoa when it’s done. Bring a large sauce pan of water to a boil, season liberally with salt, and pour in 1 cup of quinoa.

Let the quinoa boil over medium high heat for about 12 minutes or until the little pieces are opaque in the center and have those tiny little white lines around the edges.

While the quinoa cooks, finely chop 2 cloves of garlic.

Do you know about browned butter? It’s just what is sounds like, butter that you put in a pan and GENTLY heat until it is golden brown. This is not BURNED butter so you have to watch it and not get the heat too cranked up.

Browned, butter turns nutty and even more delicious…if that’s possible with something as delicious as butter.

Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat until foamy.

Continue to cook the butter for 2-4 minutes over medium heat until it turns from golden…

to nutty brown. Do not walk away or it will quickly turn black and burn and you will have to start all over.

Turn the heat down to medium low, add the minced garlic to the browned butter and cook for only about 30 seconds.

Add 4-5 ounces of Baby Arugula to the pan and toss it quickly so that it wilts.

Drain the cooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer…

and stir it into the brown butter & arugula. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Serve as a tasty side dish to your favorite meal. It’s a nice change of pace from rice, potatoes, or couscous.

Goes perfectly with Easy Skillet Chicken with Herbs.

Here’s the recipe:

Quinoa with Brown Butter & Arugula

and here’s the Chicken recipe too:

Easy Skillet Chicken with Herbs

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17 Responses

  1. QUINOA is a South American (Peru etc – we saw the fields) Staple and in the pronunciation there is no “W”. In the Spanish language QU is pronounced as a K and also the O is pronounced. So phonetically correct it is pronounced KINOA and not KeenWah. In the Spanish language I believe the only time the letter W is used is in WHISKEY. Asides from my little language lesson here, the recipe looks good!!!

  2. The only thing better than reading your recipes and seeing your photos of the process and finished product would be if you were also feeding me dinner.
    I’m definitely pinning this to my board! Thanks! 🙂

  3. how utterly awesome 🙂 I wrote it down, but would use olive oil instead of butter, and any green could work, right? basil, spinach or kale!

  4. Claudia — WOW WOW WOW, I read the article on the Internet you incorporated here about QUINOA. And I guess in the native Peruvian Inka Language they are using the letter “W”. So I eat crud and one learns something new every day.
    But aside from this, I’d still rather eat the 2,800 plus kinds of potatoes they grow in Peru!
    I am just not a Grain Type of Person who goes for Rice, Oats and Quinoa……………
    I also have to eat crud regarding Arucula. which I believe in Italian is spelled Rucula or something like that and I thought it was Dandelion leaves and it is NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So one learns something new every day!!!!!!! I loooooove Arucula and I thoroughly love your Cooking Website, very good (except the total VEGAN Dishes)!!!!!!!! Give me some of those Roasts!!!!!!!!! Since I am a CARNIVORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. YUM!!!! I made this and your easy skillet chicken for Mother’s Day. My husband is out of town, but my mother came, one daughter was home and my neighbor across the street (her mom passed away a few years ago). It was just us women, and we devoured it all. Many thanks for sharing such a delicious menu!

  6. I’ve been wanting to try making this….I was kinda scared; intimidated because I knew nothing about it!!! I”LL TRY IT! *shouted from my kitchen table* 🙂

    1. You should! *shouted right back* Gary reports that it’s also quite tasty made with olive oil and lots of fresh basil. I thought of you when I posted a hummus recipe today….look away, garbanzos are lurking there.

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