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Thai Fried Quinoa is a healthier riff on fried rice, and is full of aromatic Thai flavors, including coconut, ginger, cilantro and lime. 

On the last episode of Ben’s Not Home For Dinner, I got up-close and personal with a creamy, comforting Tuna Noodle Casserole. A dish that I happen to adore, but my man won’t touch with a 10 foot pole.

On tonight’s episode we feature an entree that is not only meatless, but also contains a slightly sweet element, otherwise known as meh and nuh-uh in my husband’s world.

See, Ben’s been in Vegas since Friday night for a bachelor party (that sorry dog!) and while I can’t wait to see his sweet, smiling face when he gets home tonight, I’ve been loving the recipes chock-full of Kristin-friendly ingredients I’ve made in his absence, like tonight’s dinner of Thai Fried Quinoa.

Coconut milk-infused quinoa is stir fried with ginger, garlic, pineapple and peas, then drizzled with a lime-soy sauce, and topped with chopped peanuts. AKA, my dream meal, but something Ben would just rather…not.

Ok, to be fair, peas are his fourth favorite food after potatoes, turkey and ketchup, and I did overhear him telling my Dad how awesome! quinoa is last week (so adorable) But you know what I mean!

Thai Fried Quinoa is absolutely sensational. Start by rinsing 1 cup quinoa under water in a fine mesh strainer, then add it to a saucepan. Pour in 1 cup each chicken broth and lite coconut milk.

Unlike coconut butter, coconut milk DOES taste coconutty – although not in an in-your-face pina colada kind of way. Rather, in a subtle, super-tasty, tropical kind of way. Tip: shake your can of coconut milk before you open it. The fat in the milk rises to the top and sticks to the lid otherwise!

Bring the liquid to a boil, then place a lid on top, lower the heat to medium low (about a 3.5 out of 10) and let the quinoa simmer in the delicious broth for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s tender and cooked through.

While the quinoa is cooking, get out a large wok or skillet. This here wok is the consolation prize I received after losing the bump and grind stir fry competition with Curtis Stone. I’m not just saying this because of how I acquired it, but this wok is LEGIT. It’s officially my favorite pan that I own. Nothing sticks to it!

I also received the actual Bump & Grind, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to open the box yet…

Anyway! Heat the wok over medium-high heat, then give it a good coating with non-stick spray. Add 2 chopped green onions, 1 Tablespoon grated ginger, and 2 teaspoons minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly as to not burn the garlic.

BTW, I made the rookie mistake of going grocery shopping during the mad Saturday afternoon rush this weekend, and by the time I got to the fresh ginger, it was all gone. I paid through the nose for this tube of pre-grated ginger, but I’m actually kind of loving the convenience factor!

Next add 1 cup frozen peas, 1-8oz can pineapple tidbits (drained), and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro to the hot wok.

Cook for an additional minute or two, giving the peas time to heat through.

Lookin’ good already!

Next push the ingredients up the side of the wok to create a clear space in the center.

Add 2 whisked eggs, and scramble ’em up using a spatula. When they’re cooked, toss everything together to combine.

Another reason why I love this wok is because the sides are very conducive to ingredient flinging. As in, I can play fancy chef and toss my ingredients up the side of the wok, scoot it back underneath, and catch them as they come back down. WHEE.

Finally, add in the cooked quinoa,

2 Tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce) and the juice of 1/2 a lime.

Toss it all together then burn your fingers eating it out of the wok because it’s so good you can’t wait for a fork spoon into bowls.

Top with chopped peanuts, and enjoy!

Thai Fried Quinoa


Thai Fried Quinoa is a healthier riff on fried rice, and is full of aromatic Thai flavors, including coconut, ginger, cilantro and lime. 


Serves 4

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon microplaned or minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1-8oz can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce)
  • juice of half a lime
  • chopped peanuts (optional)


  1. Place rinsed quinoa in a saucepan over high heat. Add coconut milk and chicken broth, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, place a lid on top, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly as to not burn the garlic.
  3. Add peas, pineapple tidbits, and cilantro and cook for 1 additional minute.
  4. Push the ingredients to the sides of the wok to create a clear space in the center. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl, then pour into the wok. Stir with a spatula until the eggs are scrambled, then stir to combine with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Add cooked quinoa, soy sauce and lime juice to the wok, and stir to combine. Cook for an additional minute or two, or until the quinoa begins to crisp up. Serve with optional chopped peanuts on top.


Slightly adapted from Peas and Thank You

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Stop what you are doing this very minute, go to the grocery store, buy the ingredients for this dish, and make a double batch. That is a direct order.

Cough, sorry – that is to say, this was incredible!! A light tropical scent hits your nose before you take a bite, then blammo – flavor explosion. Spicy ginger, savory garlic, sweet pineapple, and fragrant coconut. I adore this recipe!

It might be my new favorite quinoa dish too. Sorry, Mini Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups. Your reign is officially over.

I can’t wait to enjoy the leftovers for lunch all week. This is definitely the type of dish that just gets better and better as it sits. Yummy!


Will you pay more for convenience? Or will you put in the work to pay less?

For me it depends on the product. I buy pre-cut broccoli because I loathe cutting broccoli heads – little green thingies get everywhere! – but for things like chopped garlic, I buy the bulbs and cut ’em myself!