Caramelized Onion and Corn Quinoa: simple, healthy dinner

I think I am finally getting better at this ‘maintaining a healthy lifestyle’ thing. I no longer drive past Sonic drooling over coconut cream pie slushes, I no longer crave the double decker taco at Taco Bell, and I can finally have chocolate chips in the pantry without eating them all in one sitting (no really, a whole bag, it’s happened). If you are new to my blog you may be wondering what I am talking about. Thus far this year I have lost a little over 60 pounds and my goal is to lose another 20 before the year is up.

I have always struggled with my weight, since before I can remember (and this 80 pounds I am trying to lose I already lost once in 2005 and gained it back over the past few years.) I think there are two kinds of people. The people who can eat their food and walk away when full and the people who find comfort in food and eat mindlessly (like me).

But I’m learning. I’m learning that when I am sad a run around the lake with my dog makes me much happier than a king size candy bar. I am learning that eating a healthy vegetarian dinner makes me feel better than eating Taco Bell for dinner (can you tell that’s my weakness?) and a few years ago I learned that getting revenge on those that made fun of you in high school for being fat, is the best thing EVER.

So in High School there was this boy who made fun of me every which way he could. I hated him and I hated high school too. I didn’t go to prom, homecoming, football games, shoot I even ate lunch in a classroom with my two best friends rather than the cafeteria.

This boy joined the military after high school and the next year (when I had lost the 80 pounds the first time) we ran into each other and he asked me on a date. I still hated him and the fact that he asked me on a date just a year after being so cruel made me hate him more. But I said yes.

Since he was home only for a week he didn’t have his car, so I drove. I picked him up and we went to dinner (yes, I ordered the most expensive thing and hardly touched it) and later on we went to someones apartment for a party. As the night continued, he got in an argument with someone and was kicked out of the apartment. I was going to leave with him as I didn’t know anyone there, but the girl who’s apartment it was said to me ‘You can stay if you want’ and though I had nothing planned yet, it was the perfect opportunity to get my revenge.

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I walked outside with him and before getting into the car, I called him every name in the book, told him to get his own ride home, and I went back inside! The girl ended up becoming my friend for years and the best part was watching him outside calling people over and over, looking stressed and eventually getting a cab home.

So how does this story relate to the caramelized onion and corn quinoa? It doesn’t. But they both put a big smile on my face.

This is a very simple vegetarian dinner, especially if you keep cooked quinoa on hand like I do. This could also be served as a side dish. The caramelized onions are sweet while the corn is nice and crunchy, which goes perfectly on the nutty quinoa. This was the original meal but it needed something else, I added the light sour cream and red pepper flakes and it was perfect.

Caramelized Onion and Corn Quinoa

To make this delicious, healthy recipe, you should first prepare the caramelized onions. To achieve the perfect flavor, cut the onions into thin slices and place them on the skillet. Reduce the heat and do not let them brown. When the onions are cooked, add mushrooms and prosciutto, or cook diced sweet potatoes. You can also use vegan butter instead of dairy-based cheese. Then, enjoy your dish!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 4 serves
Calories 214 kcal


  • Add oil to a pan and turn on medium heat. Add the onions and saute at least 15 minutes, until aromatic and caramelized. Add the corn and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Warm up your cooked quinoa and stir with salt, pepper and cumin. Place in a bowl and top with the onions, corn and green onions.
  • Garnish with light sour cream and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!


Keyword corn quinoa, onion

Other Caramelized Onion and Corn Quinoa recipes

Corn salad with caramelized onions, bacon & cilantro - Viktoria's Table


A tasty, healthy dinner can be as simple as a bowl of Caramelized Onion and Corn Qunoa. Using leftover quinoa is a great way to use up the last of the summer produce. Once cooked, simply store in a sealed container in the fridge or transfer to a freezer-safe bag and keep frozen for up to 2 months. This recipe was last updated in September 2021.

First, cook the quinoa in a large pot over medium heat until tender and absorbed most of its liquid. Meanwhile, add the corn kernels and green onions to a large saute pan. Add salt and pepper to taste, and continue to sauté for two or three minutes. At the end of the cooking process, add the quinoa and drizzle with honey. Then, serve!

Storage of caramelized onions

Caramelized Onion Quinoa Bowl - Bites for Foodies

If you haven’t used up all the caramelized onions, you can still store them in the fridge. Just make sure to let them cool completely before storing them. You can also freeze them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. This way, you can reheat them for use whenever you wish. However, if you’re not sure what to do with them once you have them, here’s how:

To begin with, you’ll need to cook the onions until they’re very soft and similar in size. This method requires more oil and lower heat, so be sure to watch the onions carefully to avoid them browning too quickly. Once they’re soft and caramelized, you can use them for burgers, sandwiches, or dips. Typically, risotto calls for translucent onions. But you can also add caramelized onions to the finished dish and still reap the benefits of caramelized onions.

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Toasted quinoa pilaf

This toasted quinoa pilaf with caramelized onions and corn is a wonderful addition to any meal! This grain-based side dish can be prepared with fresh vegetables and a variety of meats. You can serve the pilaf warm or cold. You can even serve it cold with a side salad! To prepare the pilaf, cook quinoa according to the package directions. Cook it until it absorbs all of the water and is firm.

While the quinoa is cooking, you can start caramelizing the onions. Place the quinoa in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cook on medium heat until tender. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onions to the pan, stirring frequently. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach and toasted corn to the skillet, stir until combined, and serve immediately.

Toasted quinoa salad

Caramelized Onion Quinoa - The Almond Eater

A light and fluffy quinoa salad is a perfect side dish for summer. This recipe pairs well with roasted vegetables like corn and red bell peppers. It is also delicious when served cold or at room temperature. For a more elegant salad, try topping it with chopped cilantro and roasted chile. If you don’t have roasted corn, you can add it raw to the salad.

To make the dressing, combine lime juice, chipotle chile, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil. Add sea salt and black pepper, if desired. Mix well, and then add to quinoa. Toss with the salad and serve. It’s perfect for any summer party. Toss it with the dressing before serving. It only takes 20 minutes to prepare a large bowl.