Quinoa & Spaghetti

QuinoaSpaghettiSomething happens to me at the beginning of November.   I stop dreaming of salads and kale chips and start thinking about casseroles, pasta and bread.

One thing I’ve learned is that just because I may be eating a little less healthy, doesn’t mean I have to give up on nutrition all together. This Quinoa Spaghetti is a perfect example of how comfort food and health food can go hand it hand.

It perfectly satisfies my need for a warm, hearty meal and isn’t so shabby in the nutrition department.

Oh, and did I mention its delicious?

If the idea of quinoa in spaghetti sounds a little weird to you, you aren’t alone.  The hubby wasn’t so sure about when he saw it but he ended up loving it.  He even got creative with the leftovers, creating a baked spaghetti with the addition of ricotta and mozzarella cheese.

What about you? What do you crave this time of year?


Recipe Inspired by Cooking Light

Quinoa & Spaghetti

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 28 minutes

Total Time: 43 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 372

Fat per serving: 5.2g

Quinoa & Spaghetti


  • 8 ounces quinoa spaghetti (or spaghetti of choice)
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup red or rainbow quinoa, rinsed
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups marinara
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup black or pimento stuffed olives
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon capers


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with olive oil if desired.
  2. Meanwhile, spray a large saucepan with olive oil spray. Add onion and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Add quinoa, garlic, oregano, red pepper, black pepper and sea salt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add marinara, vegetable broth, olive, sherry and capers. Bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce to low. Cook covered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for another 5 minutes.
  3. Divide pasta among four plates. Top with sauce and garnish with parsley and additional olives.


Servings 4, Calories 372, Fat 5.2g, Carbohydrates 67.1g, Protein 11g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 598mg, Fiber 6.2g, Sugars 6.3g


  • Manitou Sue

    This looks delicious, and I'll definitely give it a try. As to what I crave as the days grow colder, it's Juk; juk is a rice porridge that comes in many varieties of flavors, depending on what it's cooked with — chicken, seafood, oyster and mushroom porridge, shrimp porridge, corn porridge — the combination possibilities are endless. Would love to have a quinoa version of juk to turn my vegetarian friends on to!

    • Wendy Polisi

      I have never heard of juk! Where is it from? I'll have to look it up.

  • Mercy

    i have never heard about quinoa spaghetti. Is it available wherever quinoa is? Thank you for the reply.

    • Wendy Polisi

      You can get it in the gluten free sections of most grocery stores. If you can't find it you can order it from Amazon or just use whatever spaghetti you have on hand!

  • Judith

    Hmm. This morning I woke up after dreaming about eating some sort of delicious sweet potato casserole. I guess that's what I'm craving! But I'm going to hit the market tomorrow and try this recipe! Looks yummy. Thanks, Wendy, for all your inspiration. I've been trying to move away from a carb-obsessed diet.

  • Barbara

    is the quinoa supposed to be cooked before adding it to the pan with the onions, etc.?

    • Wendy Polisi

      No, it will cook in the sauce!

  • Barbara

    If the quinoa is not supposed to be cooked before adding to the onion mixture, should we first rinse it in several changes of water (like regular quinoa).

    • Wendy Polisi

      Yes, you should always rinse quinoa prior to cooking.

  • Barbara

    Wendy…this is FABULOUS! It turned out like a nice, full-bodied meat sauce. It was delicious. (And, this…coming from an Italian!) I ate the leftovers cold, right out of the fridge. Yes. It was THAT good. And healthy. Win-win!!!

    • Wendy Polisi

      So glad you enjoyed it Barbara! This one surprised my (Italian) husband too! I do appreciate all of your feedback on the pasta recipes – I'm in the process of planning next year out and one thing I wasn't sure of is if I should continue to include pasta recipes on the website. I love them, but I wasn't sure everyone else did!

      • Barbara

        By all means include the pasta recipes! Especially now that all of us (your fans!) have been introduced to quinoa pasta. I can't thank you enough for your wonderful, healthy recipes.

  • Charles

    I thought marinara sauce was made with onions, lots of garlic and herbs. But this recipe calls for these ingredients. Is the marinara sauce you mention a simple mix of stewed tomatoes?
    The recipe sounds great, I just wouldn't want to overkill on the garlic and onions… I'm make the marinara sauce myself.

    • Wendy Polisi

      Charles – Some is I suppose! I use a very basic marinara that I make that has some garlic and herbs in it. If I use bought marinara I almost always add onion and additional herbs because typically it is rather bland. That being said, I LOVE garlic and onion so if you don't cutting back on this recipe may be a good idea!

  • Wendy Polisi

    Thanks so much! I WILL keep the pasta recipes coming.