Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes, Walnuts and Olives

Yesterday afternoon, I posted a little survey on Facebook to see if y’all wanted cupcakes or quinoa today.

Somehow quinoa won.

…….I don’t know how that happened. If you’re upset, I’ll let the management know. And by management, I mean my cat.

Anyway! It’s totally fine and be on the lookout for the cupcakes on Monday. They’re not going anywhere. Well, except my belly, that is.

Though it’s true I have a massive sweet tooth and love nothing more than baking delicious desserts, I can appreciate a healthy little vegan meal like this one. You see, I developed this recipe so I could have a yummy portable meal to take with me to the studio on long teacher training days. And by long, I mean nine hours! You need some serious quinoa for nine hours of yoga. Oh, and news flash! You’ll feel so much better practicing yoga after eating quinoa than you would if, say, you ate a burger. Not that I would know from experience or anything!

I like this dish because it’s fast, it’s tasty, it fills you up and it’s CHEAP! Who likes cheap meals? Hand raisingΒ  high!

And you know my favorite part? The roasted cherry tomatoes! Man, are they ever tasty! Roasting tomatoes caramelizes the sugar and makes them as sweet as candy. They’re perfect to brighten up the flavor in pasta dishes, salads and quinoa dishes like this one.

The rest of the ingredients are simple….because most of the time, simple is best. (except when you are making Italian buttercream…then, complex is best)

This is a great recovery meal. Perfect for those times after you let yourself into your boyfriend’s house, pour yourself what you “think” is a cheap glass of red wine and then later, realize you opened up his super duper expensive and most special bottle. The only thing left to do is to celebrate life and drink the whole darn thing.

Not that I would know from experience or anything!

Serve this dish as a side alongside some grilled chicken or fish. I ate some with a big scoop of hummus the other day and it was awesome! I felt so healthy I couldn’t stand it.

Then, I baked the cupcakes…the cupcakes that you will see Monday.

Until then… your keeeeeeeeen-wah!

Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes, Walnuts and Olives

serves 4 (or 6 as a side-dish)

Print this recipe!


1 cup quinoa, rinsed

3 cups water or vegetable broth

16 oz cherry tomatoes (mix of orange and red if you like!)

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt (or, to taste)

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 400.

Spread the walnuts out on a foil-lined sheet try and toast for 3-5 minutes, until golden. Remove and place toasted walnuts in a mixing bowl.

Spray foil with cooking spray and place cherry tomatoes on top. Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes. They will start to burst and char—you want this! After 30 minutes, remove tomatoes from the oven and place in the same bowl with the walnuts.

Combine the quinoa, bay leaves, water (or broth) and spices in a saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.

Add the quinoa to the walnuts and tomatoes and stir in the olives. Season with salt to taste.

Serve chilled.


50 minutes


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  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 3:04 am

    I love roasted cherry tomatoes in anything so this looks like the perfect salad for me!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 3:04 am

    I love roasted cherry tomatoes in anything so this looks like the perfect salad for me!

  • Reply
    Em (Wine and Butter)
    March 2, 2012 at 3:09 am

    Food always tastes SO good after exercise.
    Your black bean, grapefruit, quinoa recipe has totally been my go to so far… but Im VERY up for giving this a try. Roasted tomatoes are definitely the best!

  • Reply
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau
    March 2, 2012 at 3:21 am

    I would like to just say hello to my lunch for today. I’ll be having it with leftover kale salad from last night for extra points.

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ biking before bed
    March 2, 2012 at 3:28 am

    This looks like the perfect meal before a cupcake!

  • Reply
    Molly @ RDexposed
    March 2, 2012 at 4:25 am

    I’ve been loving those cherry tomatoes and have been thinking about roasting them.
    PS now I am picturing Dexter in bifocals and suspenders during his management hours.

  • Reply
    amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    March 2, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Jenna! I’m a super sweet tooth myself, but I do love my quinoa! I’ve been on the hunt for a new quinoa recipe – one that sounds as easy to make as it sounds delicious. This one delivers that and so much more! I can’t wait to try it out.

  • Reply
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    March 2, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Swooooooon! I’ve been on a huge quinoa kick lately – mostly cold salads, but this sounds like a great change. Happy weekend Jenna!

  • Reply
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    March 2, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Tell the management (cat) that while quinoa is lovely and this looks delicious, Fridays should be mandatory cupcake day. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 5:12 am

    So I gotta ask…how MAD was he?? lol Is that why you made the cupcakes? lol Ah- us girls!!! (I so have done this!!)

    • Reply
      March 2, 2012 at 10:35 am

      lol he wasn’t mad! He was shocked for a second but then we had a good laugh about it (wine is meant to be drank anyway, right?!) and drank it with our pizza πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Trey @ Dudes Cook Too
    March 2, 2012 at 5:53 am

    This is so similar to a Spicy Quinoa I made! I love it! …and so nutritious!

  • Reply
    Amanda at the red table
    March 2, 2012 at 5:58 am

    I love quinoa, and I’m always looking for new ways to mix it up. This looks great, except for the olives which I have a severe aversion to. Good hting they are easy to omit! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    March 2, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I love anything with quinoa–great recipe πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Charlotte Marie
    March 2, 2012 at 6:32 am

    this looks SO good. thank you!

  • Reply
    Cait's Plate
    March 2, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I mean – when quinoa looks like this…I can ALMOST see why it beat out cupcakes! This looks awesome Jenna.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Yum! I am on a quinoa obsession these days, oatmeal, sides for dinner, what have you. I’m glad to add a new one. I’ve had quinoa with pine nuts, I bet theses walnuts were great too.

  • Reply
    Leslie Means @ Her View From Home
    March 2, 2012 at 6:54 am

    yum – roasted veggies!! Makes me wish it was summer!!!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Since my roommates and I have a surplus of quinoa (like 6 boxes between us!) I think I’ll be putting this recipe to good use soon..and maybe invite friends over to help get some of it out of our pantry! Thanks for a great recipe-the tomatoes look gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    March 2, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Roasted cherry tomatoes are the jam! Rachael Ray taught me that. I cringe just saying that but it’s true. Love the simplicity of this πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 7:24 am

    We love quinoa! Caleb even loves it-he laughs every time we say the word! Love this recipe!

  • Reply
    Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles
    March 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I have been craving something like this Big Time. My cat is The Management also.

  • Reply
    Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy
    March 2, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I have been on a real quinoa kick lately. I have been experimenting with it for breakfast mixing it with oats and such! I am really liking the endless possibilities! This salad looks delicious! And I cannot wait for the cupcake recipe on Monday!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Mmmmmm making this tomorrow! Delicious. I have been on a quinoa kick as well ^^ πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    March 2, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Those roasted cherry tomatoes on the baking sheet look soooo good! Makes me want to roast some up, right now. For breakfast. Ok not quite but they look awesome πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I love simple dishes like this that are healthy, but flavorful. Makes eating a cupcake afterwards that much better. πŸ˜‰

    Adding quinoa to my grocery list so I can make this for lunches next week…

  • Reply
    mary @ what's cookin with mary
    March 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Just used some roasted (almost past their prime) sugar plum tomatoes in a version of my meatloaf muffins. SO good. I love how roasty toasty they get.

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    March 2, 2012 at 8:29 am

    The tomatoes look so pretty – along with the rest of the recipe. I have to say – I just can’t get down with black olives though- I’d have to use green.

    • Reply
      March 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Green olives would be fine!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 8:39 am

    this looks great, I like how you tossed in some walnuts. Good call!

    how did cupcakes lose though?! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Urban Wife
    March 2, 2012 at 8:42 am

    You are hilarious. The whole cat manager thing really got this cat lady. Thanks for some laughs and a gloriously healthy recipe!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 8:43 am

    I love your posts on savory dishes! I need some fresh tomatoes in my life. C’monnnn summer!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Mmmmm… yummy! Quinoa over cupcakes any day!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 8:58 am

    This looks great. I am on a serious quinoa and yoga kick lately too! Can’t wait to try give this a try!

  • Reply
    Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction
    March 2, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I Love quinoa but for some reason when I make it, it turns out bland! This looks flavorful, I’ll have to try! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Carissa @ ChoiceSustenance
    March 2, 2012 at 9:04 am

    This looks amazing. Perfect for bringing to work for lunches. I love the flavor of roasted tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Megan @ Megan's Miles
    March 2, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Yum! I’ve been eating a lot of quinoa salads for lunch and this sounds like a great way to spice it up!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

    This looks delicious, can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    March 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I actually voted for the quinoa. Me, the sugar-holic. Yet I’ve been CRAVING quinoa. What’s wrong with me?!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Can you get a similar roasted tomato effect by sautΓ©ing on thd stove?

    • Reply
      March 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

      No it will be different because roasting actually caramelizes the sugar in the tomato, while sauteing will just sear them. You could totally saute instead, but they won’t have that really sweet taste and chewy texture of a roasted tomato.

      • Reply
        March 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        Thanks. You do know your stuff!

  • Reply
    Deanna B.
    March 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Olives and tomatoes are so perfect together. I can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen
    March 2, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Whoa. This looks delicious. I love roasting tomatoes. Also, I think you should get your cat a t-shirt with the word “management” on it.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I’m always looking for more simple things to do with quinoa. Thanks!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 11:51 am

    My kind of dinner. I LOVE quinoa and roasted tomatoes!

  • Reply
    elizabeth @ chronic venture
    March 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    this quinoa looks so pretty. love the roasted tomatoes!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    The quality of your posts this week was seriously a cut above the rest! Your recipes are awesome and there’s so much life in your posts! Whatever your doing-keep doing it! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    March 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I have definitely found quinoa + yoga to be a super effective combo. And toasting the walnuts/roasting the tomatoes is genius. But quinoa over cupcakes?! Looking forward to Monday fa sho!

    Per usual, beautiful photos, Jenna!

  • Reply
    Am @ The Cook's Sister
    March 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I’ve been looking for more ways to enjoy quinoa. Also, the roasted cherry tomatoes look so fantastic! I am saving this salad recipe and will try it out soon!

  • Reply
    Brittany @ Brittany Cooks
    March 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I’ve never had quinoa, but it is showing up everywhere! This looks like a great recipe! I’ll have try it soon!

  • Reply
    Laura @ She Eats Well
    March 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I love all the texture in this recipe …. not to mention the flavors. I love the idea of adding the walnuts in for some crunch!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2012 at 2:07 am

    yummmmm!! where do you suggest getting the cheapest quinoa?

  • Reply
    Lisa [With Style and Grace]
    March 3, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I’m [mildly] obsessed with quinoa and will absolutely be making this pronto!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2012 at 7:45 am

    yum! thanks for posting a gluten-free recipe Jenna. Just found out I’m gluten intolerant and its been a rough few weeks of learning how to get around the bready stuff. this is will hit the spot!

  • Reply
    Erika - The Teenage Taste
    March 3, 2012 at 9:12 am

    How is it that I did not know you had a Facebook page?! I must like it immediately.

    Anyways, this quinoa looks fabulous! I have a huge sack (probably 5 lbs) of quinoa in my pantry just waiting to be used up. Bookmarking! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Aylin @ Glow Kitchen
    March 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I love my quinoa with a little crunch — walnuts will do the trick. Thanks for this recipe

  • Reply
    Raewyn (My Spare Oom)
    March 3, 2012 at 11:04 am

    This looks faaaabulous…and I just replenished my quinoa stash! I didn’t know you had a FB page either, Jenna. Off to like it!

    Sounds like your yoga training is intense! But I’m sure you’re loving it. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I just made this to have on hand for lunches for the week. It is so tasty. I did add some lemon juice because I felt it needed some acid. The olives totally make this and I love the crunch from the walnuts. I also made your caramelized brussel sprouts — I was all about ELR in the kitchen today. Thanks for the great recipes!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    WOOOO! I’ve been searching long and hard for a great quinoa recipe and I think I just found it! πŸ™‚ can’t wait to try this it looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Full-Flavored Life
    March 4, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Yum!! I love cherry tomatoes!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    My quinoa supply is lacking at the moment, but would love to try this mixture over pasta with a little added goat cheese. And will definitely try it over quinoa next time I have a chance to grab some from the store!

  • Reply
    Kristin @ FoodFash
    March 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    What an excellent combo! I’ve def been on the lookout for meals that hold up well for long days at the office (unfortunately).

  • Reply
    March 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Delicious! Roasted cherry tomatoes are little pieces of heaven on earth…so yummy!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Made this tonight, delicious!

  • Reply
    Jessica @ MyKindnessCounts
    March 4, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Loved this post, Jenna! I could always use a few recipes on different ways to eat quinoa. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 1:08 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! I have followed your blog for a few years now and I’m not gonna lie, I miss all the healthy recipes (I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I just can’t get that excited about cupcakes and cookies like everyone else – I know, what the heck is wrong with me?!) Thank you so much for posting this quinoa recipe.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Hi there! I made this recipe today because it looked so delicious AND healthy! Thanks for sharing… this was my first experience with quinoa and I’m glad I tried it!

  • Reply
    Wine & Butter › Weekly Round-Up
    March 5, 2012 at 5:10 am

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  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Oohhhhh man, I am the one who buys all the wine in our house. If my husband is going to open a bottle (especially to just have a couple glasses by himself), he ALWAYS has to ask me which ones he can or can’t open. I would be so disappointed to miss out on a special bottle I was saving. I hope Adam came home to enjoy it with you and make a night of it! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I just wanted to clarfiy with you that 3 cups of liquid is correct. I’ve always used a 1:2 water ratio. I am making this currently as described above and there seems to be a lot of unabsorbed water. Thanks for your help..

    • Reply
      March 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      Yep! 3 cups is correct. Hope you like it! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Loved this! It was super simple too because I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. Thanks for dinner, Jenna πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Best quinoa recipe I have ever made, so flavourful! I am not a huge fan of olives so I replaced them with some goat’s milk feta. I also added in some green onions. I did find that there was quite a bit of liquid for the quinoa I use so next time I would decrease the amount of liquid. Thank you for this wonderful recipe, it will be my go-to quinoa recipe from now on!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Dinner last night – served w/ a big salad. Perfect. My only complaint, please note at the BEGINNING of a recipe that it is to be “served chilled” – for those of us who don’t always read through to the end, before starting to cook ….. But, it tasted yummy warm anyway πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    April 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I made a double batch of this to serve at a family gathering and everyone loved it. I didnt see where it sait to serve it cold, but it tasted fantastic warm. I have already sent the link to one sister! Please keep the healthy dishes coming, but stick a few sweet ones in there too!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    September 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I just picked a bunch of cherry tomatoes from my garden and had no idea what to do with them, until I remembered these roasted tomatoes. So simple but soooooooooo good-I just ate about 20 straight from the pan. Love your site! Congrats on the book release-can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  • Reply
    October 31, 2012 at 8:15 pm


    Just made this for dinner and unfortunately, the water quinoa ratio is too high. It was really mushy. The taste was fine, but ratio should be 1 quinoa/ 2 water.

  • Reply
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