Creamy Curried Quinoa
4.10 from 10 votes

This vegan creamy curried quinoa is a simple, flavorful that comes together in less than 30 minutes. It’s a perfect choice for busy weeknights or plant-based meal prep!

A closeup photograph of a bowl of creamy curried quinoa, which has been topped with crisp, green scallions.

Back to basics is the blog theme of the month, and it doesn’t get any more basic than this creamy curried quinoa recipe. I stole a cue from my quinoa breakfast pudding, and cooked the quinoa in a combination of light coconut milk and water to create a subtly creamy texture. The grain gets mixed together with sautéed vegetables, a few flavorful spices, and a touch of fresh ginger and garlic for heat. It’s the kind of dish that can be whipped up easily on a busy weeknight, and if it makes your life easier, then you can use a frozen and thawed vegetable mix. The final dish is flavorful and tasty–nothing fancy, nothing life-changing, but a quick, nutritious meal that relies on simple ingredients.

(Plus, the recipe gets some bonus points for lots and lots of color!)

What I like about this recipe is that it’s some sort of hybrid between a more traditional curry–which would have some simmering liquid and a very creamy texture–and, say, a curried quinoa salad, which would be more dry. Cooking the quinoa in light coconut milk gives it a creamy texture that is definitely a change from regular quinoa, but it doesn’t feel like a soup or stew, either.

An angled photograph of a light-colored ceramic bowl, which rests on a white surface.

This is an easy recipe to whip up and then use in various ways as your week progresses. Eat it as is with a veggie side dish, toss a cup of leftovers into a big lunch salad, or even heat it up for breakfast (and add some chickpeas or tofu for protein, if you’re so inclined). The leftovers are versatile enough to keep on giving. As I gear up for returning to school, I’m on the lookout for recipes like this one, that can shape shift a little throughout the week, finding themselves in multiple meals. I’m guessing the quinoa would be great stuffed into a wrap with some coconut bacon, some roasted chickpeas, or some tempeh bacon.

An overhead, birds eye image of a bowl of quinoa and vegetables, which have been topped with green onions. The bowl rests on a white surface.
A closeup photograph of a bowl of creamy curried quinoa, which has been topped with crisp, green scallions.
4.10 from 10 votes

Creamy Curried Quinoa

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 1/4 cups dry, white quinoa (225g)
  • 1 3/4 cups light coconut milk (1 15-ounce/415ml can)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Dash black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (40g)
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (150g)
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets (150g)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 1 cup lightly packed, shredded carrot (100g)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas (65g)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • crispy roasted chickpeas (optional, for serving)
  • additional chopped green onions (optional, for serving)
  • roasted, chopped cashews (optional, for serving)


  • Rinse the quinoa through a fine sieve for about a minute. Transfer the grain to a medium sized pot. Add the coconut milk, water, salt, curry powder, ground turmeric, and pepper. Bring the ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the grain is tender and fluffy. Turn off the heat and allow the quinoa to rest for 5 minutes.
  • While the quinoa cooks, heat the oil in a medium sized skillet or sauté pan. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Sautee for about a minute, or until the garlic is very fragrant. Add the vegetables, tamari, and rice vinegar. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the vegetables to steam cook for about 5-10 minutes, uncovering and stirring every couple minutes to make sure that they don’t burn. If any of the garlic starts to burn, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan.
  • When the vegetables are cooked, but still tender, transfer them to the pot with the quinoa. Mix everything together. Serve, topped with additional, chopped green onion, crispy roasted chickpeas, or roasted, chopped cashews.


Leftover curried quinoa will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days, and can be frozen for one month.
In place of the vegetables listed, you can use 4-5 cups of your favorite frozen and thawed vegetable mix.

I made this dish on Monday night, per my menu plan for the week, and I was so happy with how easily it came together. We enjoyed it with a big salad and a few slices of leftover baked tofu–a really nice, balanced dinner overall.

A round, white bowl holds a golden mixture of quinoa and vegetables, which has been topped with green onions and pieces of chopped cashew nuts.

I added a tiny sprinkle of chopped cashews to the dish for crunch. Slivered almonds or roasted chickpeas would be great, too.

Creamy Curried Quinoa: a fast, easy #glutenfree #vegan dinner! | The Full Helping

If you’re not a quinoa fan (or don’t have any around), then I imagine that millet or amaranth would be great in the dish, too (or a combination of both of them). I haven’t tried it with rice yet, and you may need to add slightly more water if you make that switch, but I’m guessing that jasmine rice would be a perfect (and flavorful) substitute, too.

Hope you enjoy this no-fuss, easy vegan dinner, friends. I look forward to checking in this weekend with some recipe links and reads for weekend reading. Happy end of the week!


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Categories: Recipes, Main Dishes
Method: One Pot, Stovetop
Ingredients: Quinoa
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: 30 Minute or Less, Meal Prep, Quick & Easy

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Recipe Rating

  1. How much dry quinoa should be used? Is is 1.25 cups? It’s written as 1 1/14 cups, but one fourteenth of a cup seems hard to measure… Thanks!

  2. 3 stars
    Easy to make recipe, but a bit more bland than most curries I get at restaurants. Any thoughts on adding some extra taste?

    • Try a spicier curry blend, a tsp of ground cumin, or add a diced fresh chili pepper.

  3. 4 stars
    This is wonderful! I’m always a bit “afraid” of quinoa because if not properly cooked can become mushy and unflavoured. But this recipe is so yummy, easy and conforting. I’ve made it several times changing the vegetables according to what I have at home and it has turned out great everytime! Thank you for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    Simple and straightforward recipe, really tasty…the family loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love this idea of a creamy quinoa Gena! And those colors, who could pass up a lunch so vibrant?! I can almost taste it just by looking at the photos. I’m always so inspired by your simple yet drool worthy lunch combinations you post on Instagram – this one is another to add to my list! xo

  6. Made this last night with Buckwheat and it was so good and filling. I am looking forward to leftovers for lunch today! Thanks for another awesome as usual recipe.

    • Katie, so glad you enjoyed the dish! I love the idea of using buckwheat — I’ll have to try it out myself 🙂

  7. Yummy! This looks really good, Gena. You always make such beautiful and tasty meals. I made a similar dish the other night with rice instead of quinoa and I loved it so I am sure I’ll love this recipe too!

  8. I love, love, LOVE curries. Especially those with coconut milk and yellow curry powder. They’re so comforting and wholesome. This recipe is so colorful and vibrant. It’s simply gorgeous.

  9. This looks like a recipe my (very) basic cooking skills could handle! If I wanted to make it more stew-y, I could just add more coconut milk, right?
    Happy New Year Gena!