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Quinoa Pilaf with Kale, Sweet Potatoes and Bacon

December 10, 2009

After this ridiculous attempt, I am glad to write about something that turned out well. I have wanted a reason to cook quinoa for a while now, and when I saw this tasty-looking recipe on Serious Eats I knew it was time to try. This dish is really a fiber-fest, bringing together the wholesome quinoa, crispy and tender roasted kale and sweet potato, and the subtle smokiness of bacon. The latter is used primarily as the source for fat to cook the onions and garlic, and to provide a good base flavor for the quinoa to soak up. It was very tasty with a couple dashes of hot sauce, and was a nice, filling dinner that was pretty healthy and satisfying. Enjoy!

Quinoa Pilaf with Kale, Sweet Potatoes and Bacon (Serves 4):

  • 3 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, cut in half, sliced thinly and separated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa (we used red quinoa)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into a 1/4″ dice
  • 1 small bunch kale, chopped coarsely
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 scallions, green part only, sliced finely
  • kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook the bacon over medium heat in a medium saucepan with a lid until fat is all rendered out. Remove bacon bits and set aside.
  3. Add onion to pan and cook until soft, then add garlic and quinoa. Stir for a couple of minutes to coat quinoa and toast slightly.
  4. Add the water and a large pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and stir, then turn heat to medium-low and put lid on. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until water is all absorbed, then cut heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. While quinoa cooks, toss kale and sweet potatoes with the olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Add another few pinches of salt and roast in oven for about 15 minutes, until potato is tender and slightly browned.
  6. Stir roasted potato and kale into quinoa mixture to combine thoroughly and serve in bowls.
  7. Sprinkle bacon pieces and scallions over bowls and (optional) add hot sauce as desired.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Erin Millson permalink
    December 10, 2009 9:57 pm

    That looks amazing! I think that I might actually be able to get Jared to eat something like that…especially since it involves bacon and scallions.

  2. Marc permalink*
    December 10, 2009 10:07 pm

    If that is the case, I would say add more bacon and more scallions. They were definitely present in the flavor profile, but a little more would have really spiffed it up!

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