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Quinoa Paella

quinoa paella

Paella is traditionally made with rice and seafood and meat, but for Passover I made it with quinoa, sausage and chicken and it was healthy and delicious. It is often made with chorizo, but you can use any sausage you can find.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8 ServingsServings


  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 oz. regular or spicy sausage (chorizo flavored is ideal), sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, diced or 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1/2 head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons parsley


  1. Put saffron in ¼ cup hot water, let sit 15 min.  Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh colander under cold running water until water runs clear, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cold water and soak 15 minutes; drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a deep wide pan over medium-high heat.  Add the quinoa and toast, stirring, until beginning to golden, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and paprika.  Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and then add the chicken.  Brown on both sides and remove to a plate.  Add sausage, brown and remove to a plate.   Add the other 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and then add garlic, peppers, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in reserved quinoa, reserved saffron in water, tomatoes, and stock. Place chicken and sausage on top.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 15 -20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and toss with a little bit of oil.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt to taste.
  5. Remove the paella from heat, top with cauliflower and mix in a bit and cover with a clean kitchen towel; let sit for 10 minutes. Uncover, season with salt and pepper and top with parsley and serve in the pan.

Note: This dish reheats well.  Some consider saffron to be kitniyot, it adds a nice complexity to this dish, but it can be left out on Passover.