Arugula Quinoa Risotto with Ricotta and Walnuts


After putting the boys to bed a couple of nights ago,  I overheard a rather enthusiastic conversation.  Of course, I took the opportunity to eavesdrop and see what the debate was all about.

As it turns out I would have been much better off if I’d waddled gone back downstairs and turned on the TV.

The point in question was whether I looked more like Big Bro Bird or Orange Bird Blown Up.    Apparently, the 7th month of pregnancy is very amusing to little boys.

On the plus side, at least they’ve developed the sensitivity to wait until I’m not in the room to make unflattering comparisons about my new figure.  And, at least someone finds my current condition amusing.

Lucky for you guys all the Angry Bird talk has me at least trying to be on the straight and narrow with my diet.  Today’s Quinoa “Risotto” is the perfect blend of healthy with just a hint of decadence.  (Which is, by the way, demanded the 7th month and beyond.)



I used arugula here because I love the bite, but spinach would also work. For those who are vegan and don’t want to buy vegan ricotta, here is a great recipe for tofu ricotta.


Arugula Quinoa Risotto with Ricotta and Walnuts

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 280

Fat per serving: 14.5g

Arugula Quinoa Risotto with Ricotta and Walnuts


  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup white wine OR vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups chopped arugula
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan OR vegan Parmesan
  • ½ cup low fat OR tofu ricotta
  • 6 tablespoons walnuts, toasted and chopped


  1. Put vegetable broth in a medium pan and warm.
  2. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil to medium. Add onion and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender. Add quinoa, garlic, thyme, and salt and cook for 3 minutes, stirring well. Add wine or broth and cook until it is almost absorbed.
  3. Add the warm broth by the ½ cup full, cooking until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook over medium low until all the broth has been incorporated. Stir in the lemon juice, arugula and Parmesan and cook until the arugula is wilted.
  4. Divide into serving bowls and top with ricotta and walnuts.


Servings 6, Calories 280, Fat 14.5g, Carbohydrates 22.7g, Protein 12.2g, Cholesterol 12mg, Sodium 498mg, Fiber 2.9g, Sugars 2.5g, WW Pts 7

  • Cyndi

    Should the last sentence of step 2 be deleted? I really want to make this and just want to make sure I understand the instructions correctly… Thanks!!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Hi Cyndi – no, it is correct. It is listed separately (1/2 cup wine or vegetable broth) for those that want to use wine.

  • Lisa

    Looks delicious! I'm not a huge fan of arugula (because of the bitterness) but I can see how the ricotta balances out the flavour in this dish. Yum!
    My recent post Bye-Bye “Bottomless Pit!”

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks Lisa! If you don't like arugula and want to try this, spinach would be a great substitute.

  • Cathy

    Wendy, I just today picked up the hard copy of The Quintessential Quinoa Cookbook and it is beautiful! I love that you offer so many recipes online for free, but the photography in the book, and the book is my hand is just lovely! Bought a copy for myself, as well as for my sister who introduced me to quinoa a couple of years ago. Keep up the good work! And congrats on baby #3 coming in pink:) I have 2 boys, 19 months apart, and they were best friends growing up too! Best wishes!

    Cathy in Little Rock

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thank you so much Cathy! I am so glad you are enjoying it. I am really excited about a little girl, though I would have been completely happy with another boy too. When the boys were babies I questioned having them so close together but it is so worth it now. Nice to hear that it continues as they grow up.

  • Sharon

    I made this tonight with red quinoa and homemade ricotta cheese. It was truly amazing, delicious and very pretty.

    • Wendy Polisi

      So glad you enjoyed it Sharon!

    • Wendy Polisi

      I think goat cheese would be great here! I adore goat cheese in Risotto.