Quick Quinoa Skillet Supper

A quick skillet supper of quinoa and a mix of edamame, asparagus, and carrots, topped with chili crisp and sriracha

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This is a Root Formula, a simplified recipe that shows which ingredients are core and which can be changed to create different flavor combinations or use what you have on hand.
See our Variations on this Formula below.

We use this Root Formula to make all different kinds of Quinoa Skillets depending on what we have. Our favorite flavor Variations are Cumin with Zucchini and Tomatoes, Curried with Butternut Squash, and Sesame with Edamame and Broccoli.

A quick skillet supper of quinoa and a mix of edamame, asparagus, and carrots, topped with chili crisp and sriracha

Quick Quinoa Skillet Supper (A Root Formula)

Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Yield: 4 people

Recipe Notes

You can also treat this skillet dinner like a legume and grain salad, using raw veggies instead of cooked. Good raw vegetable candidates: sliced radishes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, fennel and halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle these warm salads with Versatile Vinaigrette or Balsamic Vinaigrette or, if you’re in a rush, a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar.


  • 4 cups (1/2 recipe) cooked quinoa from A Pot of Quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into medium dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound Tender or Firm Vegetables (see below)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Spices and/or Dried Herbs, optional
  • 2 cups Legumes; Cooked Beans or Lentils; OR frozen, thawed lima beans; edamame; or green peas
  • Fresh Herbs and/or Flavorings, optional

Firm Vegetables

  • Brussel Sprouts: trim and halve
  • Winter squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, or rutabagas: peel and cut into medium dice
  • Broccoli or cauliflower: Trim and cut into small florets
  • Cabbage: halve, core, and coarsely shred
  • Asparagus: snap off tough ends and discard; remove tips and cut thin spears into 1-inch lengths; halve medium and large spears lengthwise and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • Carrots: peel and thinly slice
  • Snow peas or sugar snap peas: if not done already, remove strings; halve crosswise
  • Green beans: trim and cut into 1-inch lenghts

Tender Vegetables

  • Mushrooms: thinly slice
  • Peppers: cut into medium dice
  • Zucchini or yellow squash: trim ends and cut into medium dice
  • Cherry tomatoes: halve large ones; leave small ones whole
  • Eggplant: trim and cut into medium dice
  • Fennel: halve, core, and coarsely shred


  • If you don't already have cooked quinoa, make a pot (you will only need a half recipe for this dish) and prepare vegetables while quinoa cooks
  • If using Firm Vegetables, place oil, onions, garlic, vegetable(s) of choice, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper in a large (12-inch) skillet. If using Spices or Dried Herbs add them now. Turn burner on high, cover pan, and cook until water evaporates, and vegetables are tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook until water evaporates and the onions start to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  • If using Tender Vegetables, heat oil in a large (12-inch skillet), add onions, tender vegetables, and garlic; cook until softened, seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper, and any Spices and/or Dried Herbs you may choose, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in quinoa and legumes/ beans; cook to heat through, just a couple of minutes. If using Fresh Herbs and/or Flavorings, add them now. Serve.


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  • We are a heavy meat eating family but want to change. Looking for realistic and yummy alternatives. I like the concept of “easing” into something, it makes the possible change possible. Thank you
    • Hey Louise, I'm so glad you found our philosophy appealing. We are all about taking things at your own pace. Every time you make a swap away from meat or dairy, it's a win for the environment- no need to make a drastic change right away! One really fun way to ease into eating less meat is to become a Planetarian Life recipe tester. If you're interested, you can sign up on the site at the bottom of the community page. You'll be emailed every week with a new recipe to try and invited to give feedback. You aren't obligated to make any, but trying one seasonal plant-based recipe a week is an easy way to get started on a path towards eating less meat. Please always feel free to reach out to Maggy@planetarianlife.com if you have questions about incorporating our capsule kitchen recipes into your lifestyle or if you're facing challenges that you want to work through. We have been through it all- reluctant family members, picky children, lack of time, you name it- and we would love to support you. ~Laura, Team PL
  • I like the idea of using more veg in our meals and always add more when i can, my problem is when it comes to dairy products as milk yogurt and cheese plays a big part in our meals.
    • You are not the first person to say that dairy is your biggest hurdle. We get a lot of feedback that dairy is the hardest thing to let go. Reducing your meat consumption is a great way to be more planet-friendly. If that feels achievable, start there! If you are ready to start reducing dairy, you can start small. Try using half plant-based and half dairy on the same dish until you're used to the flavors. Some dairy substitutions are easier than others. For example, plain plant-based yogurt is a good substitution for sour cream, Violife makes a good plant-based cream cheese. Most importantly, remember that there is no wrong way to be a Planetarian. If you can't give up that cream in your coffee, don't! Small, sustainable changes are what get us to our goals.

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