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White curvy bowl almost overflowing with vegetable lemon quinoa

Smoky Lemon Vegetable Quinoa Recipe

A vegan, gluten-free side dish or main course that's absolutely exploding with flavors that will keep you coming back for more!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword vegetables with quinoa, unique vegan sides, vegan side dishes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 as a sdie
Calories 195 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


  • 3 cups water
  • cup quinoa (I used a mix of colors - black, red, & white)
  • olive oil for the pan
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled, cut into small dice
  • 2 cups zucchini, washed, dried & cut into small dice
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, washed, dried & cut into small dice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • cup fresh basil, washed, dried and finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pour the water into a medium-sized pot, place it over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, coat the bottom of a very large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in the paprika, oregano and thyme and mix. Once it’s very aromatic, add the carrots and cook for a few minutes. Then add the zucchini and pepper and cook, stirring often until all of the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
  4. Either in a large mixing bowl, or directly in the sauté pan if it’s big enough — fold the cooked quinoa into the vegetables.
  5. Add the lemon juice and basil and then season generously to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)

  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.