Side Dish Saturday: Curried Quinoa with Fennel, Cranberry and Granny Smith Apple

I am always trying to find healthier alternatives to starch based side dishes. This recipe is full of flavor and lots of healthy stuff. Best of all, it only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish!

This dish is gluten free and can easily be made vegan by substituting oil for butter and vegetable broth (or water) for chicken stock.

Curried Quinoa with Fennel, Cranberry and Granny Smith Apple


7 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tbsp Yellow Curry Powder

2 cups Quinoa

3 1/2 cups chicken stock

2 teaspoons salt

1 fennel bulb, small dice

1 cup dried cranberries

1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces

Freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 F

In a large skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and curry powder, then add the quinoa and stir to coat. Add the stock and the salt and bring to a boil. Transfer the quinoa and liquid to a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the stock is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

In a large skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the fennel and cook over moderately high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook until they start to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the apple and cook, stirring, just until warmed, about 1 minute. Stir the mixture into the quinoa, season with pepper and serve hot.