Coconut Cashew Red Quinoa

Coconut Cashew Red Quinoa

Quinoa is classified with the rest of the grains but did you know it’s not actually a grain – it’s a seed. It’s been around for over 6,000 years, originating in the Andean region of South America. The Incas held the crop to be sacred and referred to it as chisaya mama, meaning mother of all grains.

Nutritionally speaking, this “grain” is the mother of all grains, in protein. It’s the highest grain-like crop in protein, ranging from 12% to 18%. Unlike wheat or rice, quinoa is a complete protein.

This Coconut Cashew Red Quinoa dish makes a wonderful main course or side dish, adding an exotic punch to an otherwise ordinary meal. If you prefer regular quinoa, feel free to substitute that for the red quinoa in the same amount. Enjoy!

Coconut-Cashew Red Quinoa
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-4 people
  • ½ cup coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ cups red quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh pineapple chunks, unsweetened and chopped
  • ¼ cup salted cashews, chopped
  1. Heat coconut milk in a large saucepan. Add shallots and red onion and cook over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add water; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and add quinoa, sugar, salt and pepper; cover and cook for 20 minutes. Add pineapple and cashews and cook for additional 3 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro. Serve hot.




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  • Juliana

    What a nice way to serve quinoa…the ingredients in it are awesome…thanks for the recipe as I want to add more grains in my diet :-)

  • Hester Chang

    Hi Trish! This dish looks super tasty and filled with good stuff for the body! I’ve not had many Thai dishes in it yet so, that’s a lovely touch that I can’t wait to try :-) Thanks for posting another delicious dish!

  • Kristen (swanky dietitian)

    Wow.this looks excellent. And so pretty too!
    This reminds me of a dish I made at a culinary workshop. It had quinoa as well as other rices and coconut milk. We added almonds, dried figs, and raisins. It was a sweeter dish and so delicious!!

  • Celia

    Protein-tastic! Great take on quinoa!

  • Beth C.

    I’ve been searching for a nice coconut rice recipe… quinoa is even better! I’ll def. try this out soon, looks yummy!

  • Sandra

    Oh wow..what a stunning photos and recipe is so amazing! Nicely done Trish!!!

  • michelle

    I’m always looking for new ways to cook quinoa and this looks delicious!

  • Stephanie

    Love the colors in this healthy dish! It sounds great and super nutritious. I haven’t noticed much of a flavor difference between different colors of quinoa either, but I often pick red for its color.

  • Alysa (Inspired RD)

    I have been looking for a red quinoa recipe. Thanks! This looks and sounds delish :)

  • Chef Dennis

    Hi Trish
    thats a really nice combination of flavors in your Quinoa, I do love cashews too, but I would never have thought of adding nuts to the Quinoa….what a great idea!
    I know my girls will love this!

  • Charlie

    I love quinoa and this flavor sure sounds delicious!

  • Cooking with Coley

    Not usually a huge fan of coconut, but this looks fantastic!

  • Tiffany

    Cashews and pineapple?!? This looks delicious!

  • Kate @

    I’d be so happy with that bowl. I love the combination of flavors… great job! Your photos are beautiful!

  • Katie Clark, MPH, RD, CDE

    I love red quinoa and this recipe looks outstanding! I first tried red quinoa at Texas de Brazil and got in touch with their corporate chef, who kindly shared the recipe. If you’re looking for another red quinoa dish, check out this post and the salad recipe:

    Thanks – great blog! -Katie

    • Trish

      Hi Katie. THanks for visiting. Sure, I will check out the post. Cheers!

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    What a flavorful and healthy dish! Red quinoa is so pretty. I want some…

  • something_good

    quinoa is quite in the spot light these days; I love its flavor and texture. Your dish looks so fresh & delicious!

  • penny aka jeroxie

    I love this!! So going to try out this dish.

  • Monet

    Quinoa, pineapple, coconut milk….ahh, yes…this sounds like a bowl of heaven! I love the flavors of Thai cuisine, but I don’t make it nearly as much as I should. We always go out (even though I prefer cooking at home). So now that I have this great recipe…I’m going to have to get into the kitchen this weekend. Thank you for bringing a little brightness in my day. I appreciate you!

  • Sara

    I love quinoa but I never know how to cook it. i keep buying it and using one of the recipe behind the box lol. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Now I have a really good one. And cashew in it? My dream!

  • Elle

    This has to be delicious because I love everything in it! It sure is tropical feeling, but in this cold weather, sometimes that’s just what you need for a pick me up. Lovely!

  • Jean

    You and me both! I’d love to be on a tropical island right now, too. I love all your healthy dishes, Trish. You put together flavor combinations that I wouldn’t think and the dishes are nutritionally balanced to boot! Thanks for the all inspiration lately!

    • Trish

      Aww, thanks for saying that Jean. Appreciate it. I’m ready to jet-set to the islands when you are :-)

  • Lisa

    Sounds very healthy almost like a dessert. I’d for sure lose weight if I was eating the dishes you make ~sigh~

    • Trish

      I know. It’s almost a dessert. If it were a grain like rice it might be but the heartiness of quinoa doesn’t allow it to be quite a dessert. Thanks for reading, Lisa :-)

  • briarrose

    Wonderful mix of ingredients. I love the coconut mixed with pineapple and cashew.

  • Healthy Mamma

    Oh so perfect! Can’t wait to make this.

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  • Jenny @ meltingbutter

    beautiful photography and thank you for the recipe – it looks great! :)

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  • Lauren Slayton

    Interesting is right. I use coconut in grains (black rice is my fave) with cardamom and honey but I like this savory twist. I too am craving exotic/interesting flavors. I watched “Best Thing I Ever Ate” last night and they were talking spicy foods, I wanted to eat everything they mentioned.

    • Trish

      Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been meaning to get some black rice. Honey and cardamom sound perfect.

  • Ruby

    Looks amazing! Am forwarding this to a friend who just started the Paleo diet (no grains) as I don’t know if she’s aware she can have quinoa!

  • Peggy

    I love this version of quinoa! I think I may have to get some at Whole Food, myself, because I suddenly have the craving for this!

    • Trish

      Go for it. I think you’ll really like it. You can definitely find red quinoa at Whole Foods but if you could also use regular quinoa if you wanted. Hope you like it!

  • lisa McDonnell

    Beautiful and healthy! Congratulations on the top nine!

    • Trish

      Thanks so much! And thanks for visiting my blog :-)

  • Jenn from Much to My Delight

    I think our taste buds are sisters. Everything you post is right up my alley!!

  • Chelsea @ Sprinkles of Parsley

    Looks amazing!! I’ve been craving thai food myself! Am planning on making pad thai tomorrow- this is right up my alley! Love the use of such an interesting seed with it too. Congrats on top9!!

  • Tammi Kibler

    I love what you are doing with quinoa here. I have not tried it with Thai seasonings yet, but now I can’t wait to pick up some coconut milk and give this a shot. The red quinoa looks lovely with the cashews and pineapples.

    • Trish

      Thanks so much. Glad you like it. Let me know how it comes out if you try it. Cheers!

  • jaclyn@todayslady

    This recipe looks amazing!!!! I love quinoa. I don’t really find any difference with red quinoa either. I must must must make this!!

  • A Little Yumminess

    This looks so good and so satisfying! I had some quinoa lying around and this is a good use.

  • Cakewhiz

    Congrats onthe top 9. Lovely pictures 😀

  • eatingRD

    looks gorgeous and yummy! I do have some coconut milk in the pantry to use. Maybe I’ll add some spice too :) Just found your site and love it!

  • Kocinera

    I’m a huge fan of quinoa, but I’ve never tried red quinoa before. It looks delicious! All the colors in the dish are so gorgeous, plus it’s got that great bit of Thai flavor, too. Beautiful!

  • Stephanie

    This was delicious!! Even my children declared it a “keeper”! I used Thai coconut curry broth (2 cups) + 1 cup water & it really intensified the Thai flavors. Paired it with Thai red curry mahi-mahi – made for an excellent & relatively quick weeknight meal, especially since it’s snowing. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • Trish

      Thanks so much for your feedback. It’s comments like yours that make it so worthwhile to blog. Glad you liked it!

  • Kim – Liv Life

    I’m on a bit of a quinoa kick right now and this just fits the bill. Love the Thai flavors… I’m SO ready for spring and a dose of Vitamin D from the sun.
    Excellent dish!
    I was just at Costco and picked up a book called Quinoa 365, have you seen it? I read it cover to cover! So many good recipe!

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  • Bill

    I don’t blame you I also fantasize about sun tanning to.  

  • Bill

    I don’t blame you I also fantasize about sun tanning to.