Quinoa With Roasted Pumpkin, Zucchini and Basil Pesto

Graded Quinoa + Pumkin-

I love making this recipe.  It’s a favourite in my home and any leftovers are quickly devoured the next day for lunch or another dinner.  I love the fact that I can easily adapt the vegetables I use based around the season. Combinations such as roasted pumpkin and zucchini, asparagus and garden fresh peas, roasted eggplant, spanish onion and tomato work perfectly. The finishing touch is a generous scoop of pesto and a scattering of freshly chopped garden herbs, lemon zest and Persian Feta.

What’s good about it:
Quinoa is gluten free and has a low GI of 53 +  it’s  a complete protein which means that it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs for repair.  It’s also a good source of lysine, an amino acid important for tissue growth and repair, which makes it a perfect meal after a hard workout. Your body needs protein for repair and quality carbs to replenish glycogen and quinoa is a good source of both. Pumpkin is a great source of carotenoid antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory to the body and help to support a healthy immune system. Pumpkin is low GI, a good source of fibre that will fill you up without blowing you out. The potassium content of pumpkin ROCKS ! so it makes a perfect pre and post workout recovery fuel for the body.  Potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes and supports heart and muscle function.

Greens such as fresh parsley and basil are full of superfood goodness that is anti-inflammatory to the body. Parsley is rich in chemoprotective oils that can help neutralise carcinogens as well as chlorophyll that is the single most critical substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert that light into usable energy. Chlorophyll helps to nourish the digestive system, support detoxification and elimination and helps to alkalinise the body. Garlic and black pepper are anti-inflammatory and can stimulate digestion. Using omega 3 rich oils such as walnut or flaxseed oil give an omega 3 boost.

600 g / 21 oz pumpkin  cut into large chunks
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 red onion, cut into wedges
6 baby zucchini, sliced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 lemon
small bunch parsley chopped
1 – 2 tablespoons pesto depending on your taste

Preheat oven to 200 C.
Combine pumpkin and red onion with a little olive oil.
Season with ground pepper and a little cinnamon.
Roast for 30 – 40 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
Saute the zucchini lightly in a pan over the stove.  You don’t really want to roast this as they only take 2 – 3 minutes to quickly cook in a pan. Season lightly and set aside.
Remove vegetables from the oven.
Add the quinoa,  zucchini, parsely and pesto. Taste and add adjust accordingly.
Serve as is or garnish with garden herbs, Persian feta.
Spoon into serving bowls and enjoy.

Additions: Top with crumbled feta, chickpeas or ricotta or top with steamed white fish for a protein boost.
Add extra vegetables such as baby spinach or sauteed kale.
Sprinkle with chopped pistachio nut just before serving.

Serves 4


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23 Responses to “Quinoa With Roasted Pumpkin, Zucchini and Basil Pesto”
  1. Jen says:

    When you quote oven temperatures are you using a FF (fan forced) oven or conventional – it makes a difference to the times??


  2. Tim says:

    I am a big fan of Quinoa and roasted vegies. I can see this now being one of my regular goto recipes as well. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jordan says:

    I just cooked this for dinner tonight and it’s absolutely gorgeous!! Dad and I loved it, you’re so inspirational!
    Next time however I might add the onions to the pumpkin a little while after I pop the pumpkin in the oven because they cooked quite fast and started to burn a little.
    I also added some parmesan and pumpkin seeds to my pesto and feta to the salad and it was amazing.
    Thank you so much for all the amazing reicpes.
    Love J.

  4. Sally L says:

    Thanks so much for the recipe :-) This was sensational ! My husband and I loved it … I forgot to add the persian feta but it was delicious anyway.

  5. Emma G says:

    Does this recipe freeze well?

  6. Gary says:

    a first rate dish!!…….so pleased I found your website …..full of great recipes,help & advice,thanks!! :)

  7. Lisa says:

    Teresa, I adore this dish! For the pesto I did as you suggested and used an avo instead of oil, so impressed, and I topped the dish with goat curd. Thank you for the wonderful recipes.

  8. Gayle says:

    This was great. Added some roasted mushrooms, capsicum and tossed baby spinach through with some feta. Made enough for lunch the next day. Yummo!

  9. Rebecca says:

    Hello Teresa, I have been trying out lots of your cakes recently and this is my first savoury dish. Just had it for lunch and me and husband absolutely love it. thank-you so much for all your wonderful recipes :)

  10. Lauren says:

    Just had this for dinner tonight served with fish cakes. It was such a delicious meal. Thank you Teresa. Loved it & love your healthy living & cooking style.

  11. Vanessa says:

    This is absolutely AMAZING. I made mine with sundried tomato pesto and it was just divine. Definitely a go-to from now on… so easy, filling and delicious.

  12. Rachel Forster-Jones says:

    What i did was caramelize the pumkin in balsamic vinegar in a pan (i added butternut as well) before i put them in the oven. And i used a mixed rice (brown rice, red rice, wild rice, basmati rice with quinoa and black sesame) instead of just quinoa. It was amazing and I’m making it again tonight!!! Can’t wait :D

  13. Suzanne says:

    I couldn’t get pumpkin so used butternut squash, it was delicious. A lemon was mentioned in the ingredients but not in the cooking method? I just squeezed the juice over the cooked quinoa, was that correct? This dish also tasted great cold the next day. Thanks Teresa. Love Suzanne in London, UK

  14. Barb says:

    Just made this for dinner, so yummy. Leftovers for lunch. Will make again.

  15. Phillipa says:

    Do you serve this recipe hot or cold?

  16. Tam says:

    I made this last night but did a little shortcut and roasted pumpkin, then 10 minutes before that was due to come out added zucchini and red capsicum to the roasting tray (saves a pan) removed and then added to the quinoa, raw spinach and snow peas. Heaps more greens and tasted great! I didn’t have time to make my own pesto and I don’t use pre made ones, so I use a mix of lemon juice, hommus and fetta.

  17. Louise says:

    This recipe looks amazing! I love how you have included the health benefits of some of the key ingredients. Thank you for creating it. I’ve shared this with my fan base as they are always looking for healthy recipes like this :)

  18. Gemma says:

    I have made this several times and we love it! Tonight I added some tiny sweet peppers which I roasted with the pumpkin and onions, stirred through some baby spinach leaves at the end, and served it with a dollop of goat curd and pesto. It’s absolutely delicious and a regular favourite in our house. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  19. Kat says:

    Whole family loved this – delish!

  20. Heath says:

    This was absolutely divine! I grilled chicken breasts in the oven at the same time as the pumpkin, chopped them up and added them in at the end with the pesto, it was a complete meal – your recipes are great!

  21. Elaine says:

    Hi Teresa
    Where does the lemon come into this recipe please?

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