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Quinoa, Zucchini, and Tomato Bowls

Quinoa, Zucchini, and Tomato Bowls with Spinach-Pecan Pesto

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Recipe Details


Chef Shanna skips the pasta in tonight’s Italian-inspired grain bowls, using fluffy quinoa instead. It’s tossed with a homemade pesto that swaps traditional pine nuts for pecans, and goes even greener with baby spinach. Zucchini, tomatoes, and torn fresh mozzarella are folded in just before serving.


  • Vegetarian
  • Stovetop Only
  • Quick Cook

Quick facts

Serving size
Prep & cook time
Cooking Skill
By Chef Shanna

By Chef Shanna

Nutritional info

  • Calories 700
  • Protein 21g
  • Total Carb 45g
  • Total Fat 51g

Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

Ingredients & Equipment

What we send

  • quinoa
    1/2 cup
  • baby spinach
    3 ounces
    baby spinach
  • zucchini
    9 ounces
  • grape tomatoes
    1/4 pint
    grape tomatoes
  • lemon
  • garlic
    1 clove
  • fresh mozzarella
    4 ounces
    fresh mozzarella
  • basil
    1/4 ounce
  • chopped pecans
    2 tablespoons
    chopped pecans
  • grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 ounce
    grated Parmesan cheese

What You’ll Need

  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 6" small pot with lid
  • blender or food processor (optional)
  • 12" large pan

Cooking Steps

  1. Cook quinoa

    Cook quinoa

    In a small pot, combine quinoa, 1 cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium low, cover pot, and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.

  2. Prepare ingredients

    Prepare ingredients

    While quinoa cooks, rinse all produce. Pat spinach dry with paper towel. Halve zucchini lengthwise, then cut crosswise on a diagonal into ½-inch slices, discarding ends (this creates a cheffy presentation). Halve grape tomatoes. Halve lemon. Mince garlic. Tear mozzarella into bite-sized pieces.

  3. Make spinach-pecan pesto

    Make spinach-pecan pesto

    In a blender or food processor, combine whole basil sprigs, half of pecans, half of spinach, half of garlic, and 3 tablespoons olive oil; pulse until smooth. Stir in half of Parmesan, 1 squeeze lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Set spinach-pecan pesto aside until Step 5. Use remaining lemon to brighten a glass of water.

  4. Sauté zucchini

    Sauté zucchini

    Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add zucchini and remaining garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

  5. Finish quinoa

    Finish quinoa

    Once cooked, transfer quinoa to a large bowl. Add sautéed zucchini, grape tomatoes, half of mozzarella, half of spinach-pecan pesto, and remaining spinach; gently toss to combine and wilt spinach slightly.

  6. Plate quinoa bowls

    Plate quinoa bowls

    Divide zucchini and tomato quinoa between serving bowls. Top with remaining mozzarella, remaining spinach-pecan pesto, remaining pecans, and remaining Parmesan. Enjoy!

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