This comfort food dish will give you all the warmth you need during this crisp fall season. It is packed with healthy ingredients to balance out the smoked sausage and heavy cream. Creamy, dreamy, smoky, spicy, cajun spinach quinoa has it all.
Cajun Spinach Quinoa
- 7 oz smoked sausage, half of a 14 oz package
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 canned chipotle pepper
- 2 Tbsp adobo sauce, from chipotle can, add less for people who don’t like spice
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream
- 5 oz frozen, chopped spinach (half of a 10 oz bag)
Slice sausage into ¼ inch thick circles. Dice onion and bell peppers. Dice chipotle pepper. Measure 1 teaspoon salt and seasonings into a bowl.
Place large pot or pan over medium high heat. Add oil to pan and let oil heat until it crackles when water is added.
Add sausage to pot and sear 1-2 minutes until browned. Remove sausage to a plate with a spoon.
Add bell peppers, onions, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt to pot. Sauté 2-3 minutes until cooked but still crisp. Remove vegetables to plate.
Add quinoa, water, spices, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce to pot. Stir to combine. Make sure all quinoa is submerged under the water. Quinoa left on sides of pot will not cook.
Cover quinoa. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Simmer quinoa for 12-15 minutes until all water is absorbed.
Remove lid and add cream to the quinoa. Raise heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all cream is absorbed 5-10 minutes.
Stir in the peppers, onion, sausage, and spinach. Stir about 1 minute until spinach is warmed.
Season to taste with salt and chipotle sauce. Serve hot with your favorite vegetable.
Yum, yum, yum! Cajun spinach quinoa! Say it with me! Cajun spinach quinoa is definitely one of my new favorite meals. The spinach, the cream, the spice, the sausage! It’s all so delicious. I did not put spinach in this on my first attempt and I was shocked at how much better it is with spinach. Seriously, when is spinach the hero of a dish? It’s your day to shine spinach!
Searing meat is one of the things that elevates food to the next level. There’s something about sausage that makes this statement especially true. If you want a restaurant-quality dish you should almost always sear your meat! Sear your meat! Sorry for being so demanding.
Also, let’s talk about seasoning to taste. I’m going to channel Chef John for a moment. He teaches how to achieve restaurant-style cooking at home and he loves to emphasize this. If something is under-salted it is your responsibility to fix it! Taste it! Get out the salt shaker! Salt it! Wow, I’m feeling really demanding today. This goes for spice too. If you’re not sure about the spice level start off with no adobo sauce and then add it to taste at the end. I think the heat really adds to this dish. My girls did not agree. To each their own.
This dish makes me think southern comfort food. It would not be out of place at some of the local barbecue places around here. Don’t miss out on this super delicious meal!