Asparagus & Quinoa with Balsamic Tomatoes

Q+5AsparagusRoastedTomatoes2It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe from my Quinoa +5 series, so I decided to share a new favorite with you today. It is easy to make but honestly surprised me at just how “gourmet” it tasted.  Everyone in our family loved it.  Even those weirdos who claim that they don’t like asparagus.

Oh, wait.  That’s me.

My husband loves asparagus but for some reason it has always been a vegetable that I’ve stayed away from.  I think that perhaps I’m still traumatized by some limp asparagus (from a can or jar?) that I had at a friends house when I was growing up.  Suffice it to say that my first asparagus experience left something to be desired.

I typically buy asparagus once a year and always with good intentions of preparing my husbands favorite vegetable in a way that will dazzle him.


But the story has been the same for, oh, about 13 years.

The asparagus rots in the back of the produce drawer where it stays until my husband isn’t looking and I throw it out.

I’m not one to waste food but there is something about asparagus that has always intimated me. I have no clue why, especially when it is quite possibly the easiest vegetable to cook and only takes a couple of minutes.

Well, enough about my weird culinary phobias.  I hope you enjoy this easy side dish as much as we did.

What about you – what intimidates you in the kitchen? Do you shy away from cooking foods that are easy to prepare just because you didn’t grow up eating them?

Asparagus & Quinoa with Balsamic Tomatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4

Calories per serving: 85

Fat per serving: 1.1g

Asparagus & Quinoa with Balsamic Tomatoes


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, heated
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Cook asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl. Toss with quinoa.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with olive oil spray and heat to medium high. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add vinegar and cook for 3 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and stir into quinoa mixture. Serve warm.


Calories 85, Fat 1.1g, Carbohydrates 15.5g, Protein 4.9g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 6mg, Fiber 4g, Sugars 3.7g

This post is featured in Wellness Weekend

  • Monique Presutti

    Try grilling asparagus, it is fabulous and never soggy. Also thinner stalks are better.

    • Wendy Polisi

      I am going to break out my griddler and try that!

    • jill e

      I stayed away from asparagus all my life until a few years ago. I was at a restaurant and it was the vegetable served with the dish. I love it and it is one of my favorites. I also put my on my grill. I use the olive oil, salt and pepper. I am addicted. Simple yet Oh So Delicious.

  • Deanna Walls

    Sounds yummy! Wonder if I could substitute grilled zucchini for the asparagus? I have an abundance of zucchini right now and looking for ways to use it up. Thanks for sharing!

    • Wendy Polisi

      If you are lucky enough to have garden fresh zucchini I would go for it! I think it would be fabulous and I love zucchini. In fact, I think I'll try that this weekend since we have cherry tomatoes in abundance right now.

  • diane

    this sounds good…i purchased asparagus and tomatos do saute and throw over pasta….now i think itwill be over quinoa for dinner…tossing some slivered almonds in for crunch

    • Wendy Polisi

      Hope you enjoy! Slivered almonds would be lovely!

  • Lynne Wallace

    I don't know if they are easy to prep or not – but I don't touch artichoke. I love it – but only if someone else has done the work and cooked for me. I've watched too many cooking competition shows where people have lost because they didn't prep artichoke right. If professional chefs can't do it, I don't think I want to try.

    We love asparagus in this household, though, so as soon as it gets cheap again I'm making this! Thanks for the easy recipe!

    • Wendy Polisi

      I tried artichoke once and I'm with you! I'm not sure if it was the artichokes or what but it didn't go well. (But again, had probably sat in the fridge too long while I was putting off working with them. I love them on pizza, salad and even sandwiches when I can get them frozen or in a non-BPA can.

      You are so welcome – I've got a couple more easy recipes on the horizon.

  • ron

    You can also lay the asparagus flat on a cookie sheet pan and drizzle olive oil over the top and add some salt and pepper – roll around to cover and then bake in a 400 degree oven for about fifteen minutes. It is amazing and quick.

    • Wendy Polisi

      Sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Pam Macready

    I am on the newsletter list already, can I receive the free cookbook as well.

    Thank you,

    Pam Macready

    • Wendy Polisi

      Hi Pam! I just emailed you the download links. Thanks for reading!

  • Beth

    Ok, love the recipes but having the "Sign up for my newsletter" thing pop up every 5 minutes is freaking annoying. Just so you know.

    • Wendy Polisi

      All you have to do is click “no thanks” once and it shouldn't show up again….

      Sent from my iPad

  • Beth

    I clicked send before I was done… and that makes it sound nasty….. I apologize. But to finish my post properly, I love asparagus and I HAVE to make this recipe. :)

    • Wendy Polisi

      No worries. Personally, I HATE the pop up and have been begging my tech people to come up with a better solution forever. Did you get it to stop? Hope you enjoy – this is a yummy simple recipe!

  • Maranda

    My husband grilled some asparagus with some butter and lemon. He put it in one of those “throw away” pans (tins?) that you get for a few bucks at the grocery store, just cover it in foil. Holy cow it was my absolute favorite asparagus EVER! It only took a few minutes.