Gluten-Free Wednesdays: Quinoa Cranberry Pilaf


Last week we look at the basics on quinoa and how to soak and cook it. Today, let’s look at some family favorite ways of fixing it.

When I went gluten-free, I had just discovered couscous and was enjoying it.  Since couscous is a wheat-based pasta, it was totally out after going GF and at the time I couldn’t find a replacement for it. Later, I discovered that quinoa was the perfect GF substitute for any recipe calling for couscous.

Quinoa’s slightly bitter, slightly earthy taste pairs exceptionally well with chocolate or fruits.  Ground into flour and put in chocolate cookies will work well. Or cooked whole, chilled until cold and tossed with fruit.  I sometimes add dried fruit to hot quinoa pilafs, such as dried apricots, as they pair well together.

My Quinoa Cranberry Pilaf is a good example of how to pair sweet and bitter. It’s an excellent sweet and savory dressing replacement and we enjoy it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, however I use it year-round as a side dish.

Last year, as I tested multiple recipes for the Christmas mailer, I quickly fell in love with this sweet and savory dish. We ate it for that meal, but the next day I reheated it for lunch and it took on a crispy crust that was awesome. So if you like a crisp, browned crust and a tender inside, spread this in a baking dish and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees until the top looks rightly browned to you.  I promise it won’t disappoint!


This post is part of Soaking Grains Gallery.

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I'm KerryAnn Foster. I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with my husband, Jeff, and our two kids, a teen and a tween. I blog here at Intentionally Domestic (formerly Cooking Traditional Foods). I blog about Paleo, beauty, health, family, homeschool and lifestyle for women in their 30s and beyond. I have over sixteen years of real food and natural lifestyle and health experience.

I am also an It Works! Global Triple Diamond Independent Distributor. I love that crazy wrap thing! I have been extremely happy with how the It Works Products have tightened up my loose skin and healed my stretch marks after losing 179 pounds and having a 10-pound baby.

Read about my journey to health through celiac disease, PCOS, food allergies, obesity, adrenal fatigue and heavy metals.


  1. I am wondering what you use to drain your quinoa after soaking. I have been using a yogurt strainer that I had for YEARS, but it is developing holes in it and I can’t find it on the internet anymore. The holes in my other strainers are just way too big.

    Thanks in advance!
    Adrienne @ Whole New Mom recently posted..Dairy-Free Berry Mousse

    • KerryAnn says:

      I use the fine mesh plastic sieve that I use for my water kefir grains. Cultures for Health used to sell a similar one. It’s the finest mesh I could find.

  2. monicajane says:

    I’ve really enjoyed making quinoa with pesto…it helps it feel like the pasta I can no longer eat.

    your recipe looks great and is a nice new variation…hope I have the opportunity to make it…(can’t do grains at all right now)

    thanks for sharing…looks so yum.
    monicajane recently posted..OMG Good, “spaghetti” and spaghetti sauce for the nightshade (tomato) free and grain-free eater

    • cloudbird says:

      ditto on the Quinoa with Pesto dish…since I don’t eat pasta anymore…try adding: kalamate olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fine chopped red onion & minced parsley….YUMMY & SATISFYING!

  3. I love adding cranberries to quinoa. Great recipe, I will be trying it soon!
    Good Food Good Friends recently posted..Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce


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