Brown rice and quinoa is a healthy, delicious, and versatile side dish! It's easy to make with a fluffy texture and nutty flavor. Quinoa is a rich source of plant-based protein and fiber.
This brown rice and quinoa recipe is super simple and satisfying. As much as I love Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice Mix, the price adds up quick!
Why you'll love it
We're nutty about quinoa in our house. I buy big bags of it at Costco so we never run out. We love tri-color quinoa, popped quinoa, and quinoa salads! It has a fluffy texture, slightly nutty taste, and it's super versatile.
You can throw it into salads, rice bowls, casseroles, and more! Plus it's a complete protein, which means it has all nine essential amino acids our bodies need but can't make on their own.
This brown rice and quinoa mix is budget-friendly too! I make it at the beginning of the week and use it as a base for roasted veggies and grilled chicken.
Brown rice - Buy long grain brown rice and be sure to rinse it with the quinoa. Rinsing the rice removes the excess starch, which is what makes rice gluey and sticky.
White quinoa - The combination of white quinoa and brown rice is spot on. White quinoa is fluffier than tri-color quinoa, which pairs well with the slight chew from the brown rice.
Vegetable broth - For added flavor! Technically, you can use water, but I highly recommend vegetable or chicken broth for extra oomph.
Onion & garlic - For a nutty sweetness. I used two cloves of garlic, but you can use a jar of minced garlic too. Swap the two cloves with one teaspoon of minced.
Olive oil - To sauté the aromatics.
How to make brown rice and quinoa
Rinse: Place the quinoa and brown rice in a fine mesh sieve. Rinse the mixture under cool running water for at least 30 seconds, moving the rice around with your hands.
Sauté: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the pan's hot, add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 more seconds.
Boil: Add the rinsed quinoa/brown rice to the saucepan and cook for 30 more seconds, stirring occasionally. Pour in the vegetable stock and water then increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
Simmer: Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and let it simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed, about 25 to 28 minutes.
To check if the liquid's been absorbed, stick a spatula or spoon into the bottom of the pot and see if any liquid remains.
Steam: Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Don't skip this step! This allows the brown rice to finish cooking without overcooking the quinoa.
Fluff: Remove the lid from the pot and fluff the brown rice and quinoa with a fork. Serve with a sprinkle of kosher salt.
- I haven't tested this recipe yet with tri-color quinoa. Tri-color quinoa isn't as light or fluffy as white quinoa, so it may be too chewy.
- Rinse the brown rice! It's a crucial step for a perfect texture. When you rinse the rice, you remove the excess surface starch. Too much starch produces a sticky mushy mess.
- You have to let it sit. Do not skip letting it sit, covered, for 10 minutes. This essentially steams the brown rice and quinoa. The brown rice finishes cooking without making the quinoa mushy!
- The quinoa should cook at a gentle simmer. If it's rapidly boiling, reduce the heat from medium-low to low.
Storage & Freezing
To store: Transfer the brown rice and quinoa to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave until hot.
To freeze: Transfer the quinoa with rice to a zip top bag and squeeze out all the excess air. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in the microwave.
Yes! Both brown rice and quinoa are a good source of fiber and minerals, plus quinoa is a complete protein. This means quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids the body needs but can't make on it's own!
Yes! Brown rice takes slightly longer to cook than quinoa. This is why you let the mixture sit, covered, for ten minutes at the end. Doing so allows the brown rice to finish cooking without making the quinoa mushy.
Brown Rice & Quinoa Recipe
- saucepan with a lid
- fine mesh sieve
- ¾ brown rice
- ¾ cup white quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup small diced onion
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine the brown rice and quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cool running water for at least 30 seconds.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it's translucent, then add the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
- Add the rinsed quinoa and brown rice to the saucepan and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the vegetable stock, water and salt, then increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, about 25 to 28 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 more minutes.
- Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa and brown rice with a fork. Serve with a sprinkle of kosher salt.