Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

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Although I use rice or bread in most of my bentos, I do like to mix it up with various other grains on occasion. Quinoa is probably my favorite alternate grain; it has a fun pop-y texture and nutty flavor, especially if you sauté it a bit in oil before steaming, and is so high in protein that it can considered to be a serious alternative protein source. This is really a carb and protein dish all in one.

While most quinoa recipes seem to be vegetarian, this one is not, though you can easily turn it into a vegetarian or vegan dish. I’ve added just a little bit of dried sausage or saucisson sec though - its meaty, assertive flavor really goes well with the quinoa and the fresh peas. (In France, peas are often cooked with bacon.) Saucisson sec just means dried sausage, so you can use salami, chorizo, pepperoni, or any similar hard sausage that you can eat sliced without cooking. Whole brown mustard seeds add a little bite. This dish can be made in advance, eaten for dinner one day and bento a day or two later.

I’ve used fresh peas here, which are in season where I live, but frozen peas will work just as well.

Recipe: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

Makes about 4 cups cooked, for 4 to 8 bento sized servings. About 1000 calories total for the whole amount.

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 oz / 60g dried sausage such as salami, chorizo, or saucisson sec
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup (240ml) dry quinoa, rinsed and well drained
  • 2 cups (480ml) water
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbs. Herbes de Provence mix, or a mixture of dried thyme, rosemary and oregano
  • 1 cup shelled green peas
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ground black pepper

Sauté the onion, garlic and sausage in the olive oil over medium-high heat, until onions are limp and the sausage has rendered its fat and is turning a bit crispy. Add the quinoa and sauté briefly until it is lightly browned. Add the mustard seeds and sauté for a minute or two, to bring out the flavor.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the salt, pepper, herbs and green peas, and put on a lid. Let it cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed and the quinoa is no longer hard. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve warm or cold. This will keep in the refrigerator, well covered, for 2 to 3 days. You’ll want to pack a spoon with your bento to eat this.

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15 comments

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Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

That looks so good!

Trying to get my kiddos on board with quinoa and failing miserably thus far. They do love sausage and peas, maybe I'll just tell them it's pasta. ;o)

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

I love mixed dishes. And peas go really well with all kinds of bacon. I think I should try quinoa. Never eaten it before.

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

I don't comment here much, so hi :)

This looks delicious! In fact, this and the last 5 entries exemplify exactly what I love in your site. I love the wide range of recipes -- from glazed carrots to more complex dishes to made-from-scratch condiments and pickles.

We here in the Southern US also often cook veggies with a bit of bacon or ham hock to add some flavor.

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

How perfect! I just bought quinoa and am looking for ways to use it. Thanks for reading my mind!

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

I like quinoa a lot!
I once found a recipe for a bit similar one but it had sweet potato cut in tiny squares and a bit of bacon instead of sausage. Worth trying also, it was quite yummy.

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

Is this any good without the mustard seeds? I'm kinda allergic to them.
Great recipe by the way, looking forward to making it and eating it in the park on a sunny day :)

Love your site!

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

Yes it's fine without the mustard seeds. You may want to add a bit more black pepper if you want an extra kick, or use a spicy sausage.

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

Some months ago, I bought a pack of quinoa in a local organic grocery store, but I couldn't get myself to do something with it because my quinoa dishes always turned out to be quite bitterly tasting.
But yesterday I tried your recipe and it turned out to be absolutely delicious! (I don't like sausage very much, so I used minced beef instead. The result was a bit too saltless for my taste, so I added a bit of a bouillon cube.) There are not many dishes that taste cold as good as hot, but this one definitely is perfect for a bento. I put it into my boyfriend's lunch today and I hope he'll like it too :)

Thanx for the recipe!

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

To everybody: Quinoa has a natural outer coating that is very bitter. It keeps bugs from eating it. To prepare, please put your quinoa in a fine mesh strainer (the quinoa is tiny) and, while running water over it, scrub the quinoa against the strainer to remove the coating. Now your quinoa will not be bitter when cooked!.

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

This reminds me of a recipe I have for a Quinoa dish. I like to take it to pot-luck meals as it's always a hit and not something that's usually duplicated at the event.

I love the high protein content of quinoa, makes it attractive, along with the ease of making it!

I'm definitely going to have to try this one out as it sounds very yummy.

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

I was just wondering if this would still taste good the next day, because I don't think me and my girlfriend will be able to eat all this in one night. So I was just wondering, because I love quinoa and sausage so this sounded like a perfect recipe.

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

Yes it's fine the next day. I suggest in the recipe that you make it for dinner, and set aside some for the next day's bento.

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

Just made this (without meat) and let my six year old try it...he approves and requested it in his lunch tomorrow. Thanks for a great recipe.

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

Another instant favourite. I've tried it with bulgar wheat,normal rice and with minced meat and it's worked great with all the substitutions I've tried. ps Looking forward to your book!

Re: Quinoa with Green Peas and Dried Sausage

Yum! Made this for dinner tonight. It was very tasty and filling!

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