Caramelized Onion Quinoa Bowl

Caramelized Onion Quinoa Bowl

Six ingredients is all you need to prepare this show-stopping caramelized onion quinoa bowl. This unique side dish would be the perfect addition to any meal, and one that those with dietary restrictions can enjoy since it’s vegan, dairy, soy, and gluten-free.

This recipe has been a long-time favourite in my house. It was originally intended to be a quick, clean eating side dish, but has since become one my staple main meals. It’s the perfect pack n’ go lunch-for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, since it doubles as a complementary side dish to any protein.

Caramelized Onion Quinoa Bowl

Although I am slightly obsessed with caramelized onions. Every single time I prepare them, I wonder why I don’t make them more often. The best part about them is that they don’t require much effort to prepare-you sort of just throw them into the pan and let them simmer until soft and tender. If you have never prepared caramelized onions before, you are in for a pleasant surprise. The aroma that permeates throughout your kitchen from slowly coaxing all the sugars out of the onions is so enticing. Trust me, your mouth will be watering before you dig into this quinoa bowl.

Quinoa, the other star ingredient in this recipe, is my all-time favourite grain. It’s also pretty simple to make-just toss it in boiling water, stir until al dente, and voila. You can also get simple cooking instructions HERE. Quinoa is a gluten-intolerant foodie’s dream-it’s light-tasting, packed with protein (8 grams per cup, to be exact), and is filling without being too heavy like pastas and rice. It is a great base for soaking up all the sweet and tangy juices from the onions, yet still maintains its al dente texture and characteristic nutty flavour.

Caramelized Onion Quinoa Bowl

This dish is perfect as is (in my opinion) but it lends well to a variety of interpretations. I’ve incorporated lentils and chickpeas in the past for added protein but chicken would be a perfect add-on as well. Also, the addition of a briny, salty cheese, such as feta or goat cheese adds a punch of flavour.

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Caramelized Onion Quinoa Bowl

: Serves 2
: 10 min
: 30 min

Six ingredients is all you need to prepare this show-stopping caramelized onion quinoa bowl. This unique side dish would be the perfect addition to any meal, and one that those with dietary restrictions can enjoy since it’s vegan, dairy, soy, and gluten-free. This recipe has been a long-time favourite in my house. It was originally intended […]


Caramelized Onion Quinoa Bowl
    2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raw honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (soaked in 1 cup water and 1 tbs. cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (optional)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Combine the raisins and cinnamon in a small bowl of lukewarm water and let it steep for about 10 minutes until the raisins have softened. Drain and squeeze out any excess water from the raisins.

Cook the quinoa (seasoned with the cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt) in a medium pot according to package instructions or follow my instructions HERE. Stir occasionally.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the onions. Peel and slice the onions thinly. Heat the olive oil on medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes then add the onions, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Cook on medium-low to low heat (covered) for about 30 minutes or until soft and translucent.

In large bowl, toss the quinoa with the caramelized onions, raisins, freshly chopped parsley for garnish, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

30 thoughts on “Caramelized Onion Quinoa Bowl”

  • Quinoa and I haven’t bonded. I want to like it, but I just don’t. I spent a king’s ransom on a bag of it here in Denmark and it’s been languishing in the back of my cupboard since an ill-fated attempt at making stuffed peppers with it. But this recipe looks like something I could get onboard with. Thank you 🙂

  • This looks really great. I’ve never had quinoa before, but I’ve heard really good things about it. I’m glad I finally found a recipe that looks appealing. Def gonna try this over the weekend

  • This looks delicious! I love that you added golden raisins. They are such a great way to add a little sweetness without adding too much sugar!

  • cvantassel 8 years ago

    Quinoa is such a protein packed food! This recipe sounds absolutely amazing and perfect for my household!

  • Miles Basilio 8 years ago

    I have a friend who loves quinoa since it’s gluten free. He explained to me how healthy this food is. Now that I actually found a recipe for this, I should give this a try. Your photos look so delicious.

    • That’s what first got me hooked! i’m not a pasta lover and I can only eat so much rice so quinoa is the perfect grain to add to my repertoire.

  • Mandi 8 years ago

    This looks SO yummy, light and refreshing for summer. and the greens with the addition to the golden raisins make it look super flavorful. Excited to try this. I may try it with a rice, as i don’t tolerate quinoa well, but I’m sure the flavor combo would still be delicious <3

    • I’ve never tried this combo of flavours with rice but I’m sure it’d be equally delicious…I would make it with brown rice as opposed to white since the flavours are very subtle and brown rice has more flavour than white!

  • Alison Freisz-Steward 8 years ago

    I love caramelized onion anything! This looks amazing and I’ve been trying to incorporate Quinoa into our diet more. This looks easy enough, yet flavorful enough that it just might pass the family test!

  • Oh wow!!! Now this looks so darn yummy! And I love caramelized onions. I swear, I could eat them with anything and everything! It’s bad! I am gonna have to try and make this soon. It looks really good and I think it’s something my son would enjoy.

  • Kristy 8 years ago

    I’ll join you in your obsession for carmelized onions. The flavor just cannot be beaten. What a wonderful idea to add them into this quinoa bowl for a quick and flavor packed lunch. What an interesting combination with the golden raisins and cumin.

  • Amanda 8 years ago

    My boys are absolutely OBSESSED with quinoa so I know that they would absolutely love this dish. I think it is really important to introduce kids to different flavors right from the start, and I think the carmelized onion is a really great flavor component. Yum!

  • Censie ‘Mumby’ Sawyer 8 years ago

    Wow! This looks amazing. I am always looking for new side dishes and meals to try and adding quinoa is something I have wanted to try. This flavor combo sounds great!

  • OMG! This looks so good. I love to eat Quinoa but I have never cooked it myself. I fear that I won’t make it right, but your recipe looks simple enough so I am going to give it a try. Plus, the caramelized Onion will give it that buttery/sweet taste.

  • I LOVE quinoa and I am always looking for new ways to make it. I will admit, I’d skip the onions (we just aren’t big onion fans around here) and perhaps use some small dried apricots to go with the golden raisins. HAHA you made me get up to take it out of the cabinet for tonight (no joke)!

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