This Oriental Moroccan Quinoa Stir-fry is a delicious 20-minute recipe of colorful veggies and plant-based proteins with a punch of global flavors that’s quick and easy to make in one pan. It’s the dish to bring to a potluck, BBQ, or dinner party which will fit into practically any diet that everyone can enjoy!
Oriental Moroccan Quinoa Stir Fry
Moroccan cuisine is a gold mine of warm-flavored and fragrant spices! The most distinct of which is a multi-spice mixture called Ras el hanout, which means ‘head of the shop’. This implies that this particular spice blend has all the best spices the shop has to offer mixed into one. How cool is that?
Since Morocco is also known to produce a lot of Mediterranean veggies and fruits, they are a culinary haven for vegetarians and vegans alike! They make very healthy meals that mostly consist of veggies, grains, spices, and sweet fruits. This nutrient-dense Quinoa Stir-fry recipe has the perfect blend of everything good that Oriental Morocco has to offer!
Ingredients Used in Making Oriental Moroccan Quinoa Stir-fry
Perfectly spiced quinoa and stir-fried veggies topped with the sweet bursts of pomegranate, crunchy toasted cashews, and fresh minty herbs. This wonderful quinoa stir fry dish gives you small pops of flavors dancing inside your mouth in the Moroccan heat! Here is what you’ll need to make it:
- Plant-based Protein: Quinoa and chickpeas are high in protein, making them a good choice for vegan-friendly recipes. Quinoa has many of the key amino acids our body requires, whereas chickpeas are high in dietary fiber.
- Moroccan Spices: To give this meal a superb flavor and lovely color, I use ras el hanout, paprika, and cumin.
- Veggies: What I like about this stir-fry is that it pretty much can be made with whatever veggies you have in the fridge. I used red onion, leek, carrot, bell pepper, zucchini, peas, and cherry tomatoes.
- Olive oil: For stir-frying, I prefer using light refined olive oil. It has a neutral taste and a greater smoke point, making it ideal for cooking over high heat.
- Staples: My ever-reliable quartet of stir-fry base – garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper.
- Vegetable broth: You can use a low sodium vegetable broth or just plain water, however, this will reduce the flavor of the dish.
- Garnishes: Add some toasted cashew nuts, sesame seeds, chopped parsley or coriander, mint, and pomegranate seeds for the finishing touch.
- Sides: Serve with a dollop of vegan raita or drizzle with lime juice.
Substitutions and Add-ons
- Other grains: Couscous, millet, or bulgur can be substituted for the quinoa in this recipe. They are not only high in essential amino acids and fiber but are also fantastic sources of carbohydrates and protein. They may have different cooking methods, so make sure to read the packaging instructions carefully.
- Spices: Moroccan cuisine makes use of a great mix of spices for rich, fragrant, and delicious flavors. Other spices like curry powder or harissa can be used as an alternative for ras el hanout. Harissa has this sweet and smoky flavor but may have a little back-of-the-throat kick. You may also add tomato paste or ajvar which are primarily made from veggies like tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplants.
- Vegetables: You can also use mushrooms, kale, scallions, olives, cucumbers, broccoli, leafy greens, and bean sprouts – Here you can get creative!
- Fruits: Oriental cuisine often uses fruits, especially dried fruits such as raisins, dates, plums, apricots or cherries, so these ingredients are also a great addition to the veggie stir-fry.
- Crunchy nuts: Feel free to use almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans instead of cashew nuts for that extra crunch.
How to make Quinoa Veggie Stir-fry
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction first. Then you can find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook quinoa and stir-fry veggies
First, put the quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve and rinse thoroughly under running water. This step is necessary to remove traces of the bitter substance saponin, which provides a bitter and soapy taste. Then put the quinoa in a pot with the double amount of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes with a lid on.
Step 2: Stir-fry veggies
Meanwhile, in a pan, dutch oven or wok, sauté onions, carrots and peppers for about 3 minutes. Next, add the zucchini and sauté for another 5 minutes until lightly browned and tender. Then add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute.
Step 3: Add spices and the rest
Now add the spices and sauté briefly. Then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, peas and quinoa. Pour in a little water (to ensure it doesn’t burn) and let it simmer covered for around 5 minutes over low heat until warmed through.
Step 4: Toast Cashews and garnish!
Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a pan without adding additional oil. Finally, garnish your quinoa veggie stir-fry with chopped parsley, mint, pomegranate seeds, toasted cashews and sesame seeds. Serve with a dollop of vegan raita if desired and drizzle with a squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!
Is it gluten-free?
Yes, all the ingredients used in making this dish are naturally gluten-free. However, some of these ingredients go through production and might contain gluten through manufacturing, especially the spices. Always make sure to check on the product information first to be on the safe side.
How long do leftovers keep?
Leftovers or meal preps that are kept in airtight bags or containers can last in the refrigerator for up to five days. If you want to store them longer, you may put them in the freezer instead.
This Oriental Moroccan Quinoa Stir-fry is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Naturally vegan
- Highly Customizable
- Super flavorful!
- Incredibly delicious
- Perfect as a side dish or main course for lunch or dinner!
More quick and easy vegan skillet dishes to try
- Mexican One-Pot Pasta
- Vegan Paella
- Gnocchi Vegetable Stir-fry
- Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
- Kimchi Fried Rice
- Gnocchi with Garlic Mushrooms
- Mushroom Pasta
- Asian Noodle Stir-fry
- Creamed Spinach Pasta
If you try this Quinoa Veggie Stir-fry with Chickpeas, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your Oriental dish and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Have fun trying! 🙂
Veggie Stir-fry with Chickpeas and QuinoaAuthor:
- 5.3 oz (150 g) quinoa
- 1 ½ cups (360 ml) vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut, canola or sesame oil
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 (80 g) small stick leek cut into rings, or 1 white onion
- 1 large carrot diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 medium zucchini diced
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 1 small piece of chili chopped
- 7 oz (200 g) cherry tomatoes halved, or chopped regular tomatoes or canned
- 7 oz (200 g) chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 cup (100 g) peas thawed
- 2 tsp Ras El Hanout or more to taste
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
*Note: Check out the step-by-step photos above!
- Put the quinoa in a fine-meshed sieve and rinse thoroughly under running water. Then place in a saucepan with the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions, carrots and peppers and sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Then add the zucchini and sauté for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are lightly browned and tender.
- Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute. Then stir in the chili, Ras El Hanout, paprika powder and cumin and sauté briefly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Finally, add the tomatoes, chickpeas, peas and quinoa. Pour a little water into the pan (to ensure nothing burns) and let it steep, covered, for around 5 minutes over low heat, until warmed through.
- Meanwhile, toast the cashews in a pan without adding additional oil.
- Garnish your quinoa veggie stir-fry with chopped parsley, mint, pomegranate seeds, toasted cashews and sesame seeds. Serve with a dollop of vegan raita if desired and drizzle with a squeeze of lime juice.
- Enjoy your meal!
- Quinoa: you could also use couscous, millet or bulgur instead. However, be sure to follow the package instructions.
- Vegetables: you can mix and match the ingredients as you like. Some suggestions are mentioned in the blog post above.
- Spices: Instead of Ras El Hanout, you could use other spices like curry powder or harissa or make your own mix. You can also add tomato paste or ajvar if you like.
- More information including tips on storage, recipe variations and serving suggestions are in the blog post above!
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