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Quinoa with Fried Onions and Chestnuts


I love quinoa, on Passover and year-round. A staple in South America, it’s a nutritional powerhouse, and delicious too, and so versatile! Quinoa comes in white, red and black, as I did here, so mix and match and get fun results each time.

Please do not skip the step where you are told to rinse the quinoa in cold water: It rids it of the saponin that has been sprayed on it to keep the insects away away: What do you know, they love quinoa, as do we!

I find that quinoa works best when the cooking water we start with is cold.

  • ServingsServings


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 2 cup quinoa, white, red or black, or a combination, thoroughly rinse in a large fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear
  • 4 cup cold water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-3 ounce bags vacuum-packed roasted peeled chestnuts, broken into smaller pieces


Heat the oil in a large skillet. In a food processor, coarsely grind the onions, and add to the pot. Cook on a medium flame, stirring occasionally, until dark. Transfer the onions to a bowl. Add the quinoa, water, salt, pepper and turmeric, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook, covered, about 15 minutes: the grain will start opening and showing tiny white points. Stir in the reserved onions and the chestnuts. Serve hot.