Recipe: Tortilla de Quinoa

Tortilla de Quinoa

Tortilla de Quinoa


The other day I had some leftover quinoa pilaf that I made without the pomegranate, now that it’s out of season. What to do with the leftovers? Well, it’s good with easy over eggs, or a stir-fry –but I didn’t think of that. The food image that was making the neurons in my brain dance with lightning connections was a Spanish tortilla.

A Spanish tortilla is like a frittata, but it’s cooked on both sides. Halfway through the cooking process, you cover the frying pan with a plate and then flip the pan so the tortilla lands on the plate, and then you slid the omelet back into the pan to finish cooking it on the other side. The traditional Spanish tortilla is made with potato, onions, eggs, and salt, and oftentimes, bell pepper. It tastes great, especially my mother-in-laws; but, tortilla de patata, as it’s called in Spanish, can feel heavy in the stomach due to the potato and the oil the potato absorbs. I’ve been a bit irreverent to tradition. I’ve made tortilla with spinach, zucchini, asparagus, rice, and now, tortilla de quinoa.

One other change I’ve made is to cut down on the egg yolk, which is high in cholesterol and yolks may also cause inflammation due to the arachidonic acid in them. Don’t let this dish intimidate you. It may be a little scary the first time you flip a tortilla, but like anything worthwhile, the more you practice the better you get.

Servings: 4 to 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes



1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (leftovers)

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

½ medium onion, finely chopped

½ green or red bell pepper, roughly chopped

1 ½ tablespoons cilantro, chopped

3 egg whites

2 whole eggs

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon hot sauce

1 ½ to 2 tablespoons whole cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons cucumber chopped

5 or 6 strips of roasted red bell pepper



1)  Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10-inch non-stick pan. Begin to sauté the pepper in the oil. After two minutes add the chopped onion.

2)  In a medium size bowl whisk together the egg whites and the whole eggs, and then add  the quinoa, salt, and hot sauce. Stir well and set the bowl aside.

3)  When the onions are transparent remove the pan from the cook top and add them to the egg mixture.

4)  Wipe the pan with a paper towel and then put it back on the stove over medium-high heat. Add 1 ½ tablespoons of oil to the pan and spread it around so it covers the bottom of the pan.

5)  When the oil is hot add the egg mixture to the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. After about 10 minutes you should see the tortilla starting to set up. If you stick a spatula under the tortilla and it holds together pretty well then it’s ready to be flipped.

Flip the tortilla

Flip the Tortilla

6)  Place a plate over the frying pan. If you are right-handed, hold the frying pan by the handle and keep your left hand on top of the plate. Quickly flip over 180 degrees, so now your left hand will be holding the plate from underneath. (Reverse the process if you are left-handed. Your left hand will hold the pan handle and the right hand should be placed on top of the plate, and then you will flip the pan over.)

7)  If the pan is dry pour a little more oil in it and spread it around. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and allow it to cook. Use a spatula and push down the sides so the edges become more rounded. If the top of the omelet is uneven pat it with the spatula so it looks even, not lumpy. Cook the tortilla until the egg has set up, approximately another 8 minutes.

Flipped Tortilla

Flipped Tortilla

Slide the omelet onto a serving plate and garnish the top with the cucumber, cilantro and red pepper.

¡Buen provecho!


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This recipe is posted at Simple Lives Thursday.

Tortilla Eggs on Foodista