Photos by Marjorie Gabriel

Try This Tonight: Quinoa and Chickpea Pilaf With Lemon Tahini Dressing
Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 20 Minutes
Rachel Begun
By Rachel Begun

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All whole grains contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. What makes quinoa stand out is its protein content*, including offering all nine essential amino acids. Pair Brandless Organic Quinoa with Brandless Organic Garbanzo Beans (aka chickpeas) and Brandless Pistachios and you’ve got a meatless meal that is highly nutritious and will help you feel full for hours.

But let’s talk taste for a minute.  This recipe is rich in Middle Eastern flavors, a cuisine that pairs amazing ingredients and flavor combinations.  Some of the notable regional ingredients include lemon, mint, parsley, pistachios and, of course, the tahini and sumac in the dressing. You’ll love the dressing so much that we guarantee you’ll use it to flavor a variety of dishes beyond this recipe!

*Nutritional Facts Panel linked here

Quinoa and Chickpea Pilaf With Lemon Tahini Dressing
(recipe name)
4 Servings
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes


2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons shallot, minced

1 ½ teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

½ teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons salt-free or low sodium vegetable stock

1 (15.5-oz) can chickpeas, drained well

Zest and juice of ½ lemon (reserve other half for dressing)

3 cups baby arugula

1 small bell pepper, seeded and diced

¼ cup fresh mint or parsley (or a combination), roughly chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup shelled roasted pistachios, chopped


3 tablespoons tahini paste

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Zest of ½ lemon

1 small clove garlic, minced or grated

2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons. fresh mint, finely chopped

1 teaspoon tamari

1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey

½ teaspoon ground sumac

Generous pinch cayenne pepper

Freshly ground black pepper

Water, as needed

  1. In a medium saucepan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot, thyme, garlic, and salt, and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add quinoa, stir to coat with oil and seasonings, and toast for 2 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable stock, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 12 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, re-cover pot, and simmer for 3 more minutes or until quinoa is cooked.
  3. Remove pan from heat, run a fork through the pot a few times to separate the grains, and add lemon zest. Squeeze in about 1 teaspoon lemon juice and mix to combine. Fold in arugula, bell pepper and chopped herbs, taste, and add freshly ground pepper and more salt and lemon juice as desired.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together all dressing ingredients through cayenne. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. If dressing is very thick, whisk in water one teaspoon at a time to reach desired consistency.
  5. Drizzle about two thirds of the dressing over the pilaf, sprinkle on the pistachios, and fold to combine. Taste and add remaining dressing if desired.
😋 From the Tasty Kitchen of Rachel Begun | @brandlesslife | #brandlesslife
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