Serious Salads: Warm Quinoa Pilaf Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms, Carrots & Pecans

This earthy-tasting warm quinoa salad with shiitake mushrooms and crunchy pecans is hearty and wholesome. Serve it as a main course and no one will ever miss the meat.

Note: Shiitakes never come in contact with dirt, so the only washing usually necessary is a gentle wipe with a damp cloth or a paper towel. Use a knife to remove the stems where they meet the cap.

About the author: Jennifer Segal is the chef behind the popular food blog, Once Upon a Chef.

Serious Salads: Warm Quinoa Pilaf Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms, Carrots & Pecans

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed or pre-rinsed
  • 1 2/3 cups low sodium canned or home-made chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. 1

    Combine quinoa and chicken broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat down to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots and thyme and cook until the carrots are just tender, 5-7 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, along with mushrooms and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until mushrooms are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. 3

    Add cooked quinoa to vegetables and stir in pecans and chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot or warm.


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