overhead view into pink bowl filled with quinoa

meyer lemon quinoa

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


It only takes about 12 minutes to get this lemon quinoa on to simmer, and it tastes incredible! The flavor of the Meyer lemon goes so well with thyme and coconut and the tiny bit of honey balances the tartness of the lemon. Gluten-free and dairy-free.



  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 ¼ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted


  1. Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add shallot and thyme, and cook until the shallot is softened and just starting to brown.
  2. Add water, quinoa and salt, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, medium low to low. Cook until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is starting to burst, 19 to 23 minutes.
  3. Stir lemon zest, lemon juice and honey in a small dish. Stir honey lemon mixture and almonds into the quinoa and serve.


Rinsing Quinoa

Quinoa is a seed and it has a natural coating on it called saponin, which protects it from pests, but it tastes soapy and bitter.

Before cooking, rinse it off by putting the uncooked quinoa into a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cool running water until the bubbles rinse away. Sometimes you can buy pre-rinsed quinoa, and that is really convenient because you can skip that step.

Meyer Lemon

If you cannot find Meyer lemon, use regular lemon. This recipe is also wonderful with orange zest added. If you use orange instead of lemon, add a splash of red wine vinegar, as the juice of orange is not as acidic as the lemon.


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup each
  • Calories: 135
  • Sugar: 3.6 g
  • Sodium: 470 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 4 g