Davina’s Veggie Quinoa Risotto

Serves 4

Quinoa makes excellent risotto, but it doesn’t release lots of starch like rice does and you don’t need to stand and stir it constantly while it cooks. Does make life easier. A good, simple veggie supper.


  • 200g quinoa
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • large sprig of thyme, left whole 150g butternut squash, finely chopped
  • 250g mushrooms, finely sliced 2 garlic cloves
  • 12 tsp ground allspice
  • 15g Parmesan cheese, grated 10g butter
  • salt

For the topping

  • grating of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley 10g Parmesan cheese, grated or cut into shavings


  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, then drain it well. Put the quinoa in a saucepan and toast it over a medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Pour the stock into the pan, season with salt and bring it to the boil. Cover the pan, turn down the heat and simmer the quinoa for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the quinoa to stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large shallow pan. Add the onion and thyme, and cook it over a gentle heat for 5 minutes, then add the squash and the mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes, then add the garlic and allspice. Add 150ml of water, then put a lid on the pan and leave for 5 minutes until the squash is tender.
  3. Gently fold the cooked quinoa into the vegetables, then beat in the Parmesan and butter. Serve with a grating of nutmeg and sprinkle the parsley and extra Parmesan on top.

Copyright © Davina McCall, 2016. Extracted from Davina’s SmartCarbs by Davina McCall. Published by Orion. Photographer: Andrew Hayes-Watkins