Oh my goodness you guys. I am so excited to share this Quinotto recipe with you today. I just can’t handle it!! If you aren’t familiar with it, you might be wondering what Quinotto is exactly. Quinotto basically is a quinoa based risotto. It is popular in Peru and Latin America. After making this recipe, it has become very popular in our family too.
This recipe calls for Aji Amarillo, a popular condiment in Peru. The paste is made from the aji amarillo chile and has the spice level of cayenne pepper. When you open up the jar, it will have a spicy aroma. Since we are only using a little bit of the paste, the quinotto isn’t spicy; the chile paste adds depth of flavor to the dish. Check your local Latin grocery store for the Aji Amarillo paste. I have had difficulty finding it in the past; however, now it seems to becoming more popular. You can always order some online if you can’t find it locally.
Traditionally heavy cream is used in Quinotto, which helps to create that rich and creamy risotto like texture. To keep this Quinotto vegan + dairy free, I used a cashew cream instead of heavy cream. Cashews are soaked in water for a few hours; then they are drained and blended with water and salt. The cream is added to the Quinotto at the very end. I went ahead and added the full amount of cashew cream, which created this lush and decedent risotto. I recommend starting with half of the cream and adding as much as you would like in the quinoa risotto.
If you are stuck in a quinoa rut and find yourself making the same type of quinoa recipes like me, try this fun take on traditional risotto!
This Quinotto is:
rich, creamy, decadent
perfect of special occasions;
perfect for entertaining
completely vegan + gluten-free
- 1 Cup Cashews
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 4 Cups Vegetable broth
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
- 1-10 Ounce Package Cremini Mushrooms
- 1 Small Yellow Onion, finely chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 2 Cups Quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 2 Tsp Aji Amarillo Paste
- 1/2 Tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 Lime, juiced
- Finely Chopped Cilantro, for garnish
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 2 hours. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add the 1 cup water and 1/2 tsp salt to the cashews. Blend until smooth. Set aside until needed.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium to medium low heat.
- Meanwhile, wipe the mushroom clean with a cloth. Then thinly slice the mushrooms. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and reserve until later.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the quinoa and toast 2-3 minutes, occasionally stirring. Toasting really helps develop the nutty flavor of the quinoa.
- Pour in the white wine, deglazing the pan. Lower the heat if it gets too hot. Once absorbed, add in the thyme, aji amarillo, salt and pepper; simmer 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in a ladle of the warmed vegetable broth; occasionally stirring. When the liquid has been absorbed, add in another ladle of broth. Continue until the quinoa is cooked, about 20 minutes. I like to cover the pan in between stirrings.
- Stir in the reserved cashew cream. Start with about 1/2 of it and add as much as needed. I add the full amount for a rich and decedent quinotto. Stir in the reserved mushrooms.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add more salt if needed.
- Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
- The quinotto will thicken up as it sits. If this happens simply add in a splash or two of broth.
Recipe is adapted from Terry Hope Romero’s Quinoa Oyster Mushroom Risotto in Viva Vegan.