Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir-Fry is one of my childhood dishes, re-purposed for a healthier and more nutritious weeknight dish. Chop, slice, and stir-fry your way towards a yummy meal.

Ray always makes fun of my food choices as a kid. Besides the sugary cereals that I enjoyed every evening before bed, my days also included: boxed cupcakes for breakfast (no frosting, obviously. That would make it “dessert”), two of those packaged oatmeal cream pies after lunch, and croissant ice-cream sandwiches in the summer (because what better way to cool off than with mint chocolate chip Edy’s ice cream, in-between a toasted croissant from Price Club?).

I welcome all forms of judgment after you read the above paragraph Smile with tongue out. Yes, I ate my proteins and veggies. But your homegirl had – and still has – a humongous sweet tooth. That sweet-tooth extends towards one of my favorite dishes growing up: elbow macaroni sautéed in ketchup, mixed with ground pork and vegetables. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But the sweet ketchup does something magical when sautéed with the pasta, meat, and veggies.

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry | Hello to Fit

Last week’s Foodie Friday theme was “Back in My Day…” to showcase our favorite childhood meals. Side note: I totally planned to have this ready for you on Friday, but I was out of town and forgot the ingredient listing and directions at home in my planner…major fail. So, you’re getting it today, instead!

Anyway, since my childhood favorite involves a ton of added sugars from ketchup, not-so-lean meat from ground pork, and white pasta, I had to make some adjustments.

Am I saying you should never have ketchup, pork, or white pasta? No way! But swapping out for leaner and less-processed ingredients is a great way to incorporate a little bit more balance into our daily lives. AKA allow room for some rich and creamy ice cream for dessert Smile with tongue out.

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry | Hello to Fit

Stir-Fried Quinoa Pasta

Have you guys tried quinoa pasta yet? I bought it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and was surprised at how tasty it was. Quinoa pasta has more of a yellow color after cooking, but don’t let that scare you away! The resulting texture is similar to regular pasta, and it doesn’t taste much different either! For this entree, the key to al dente quinoa pasta is to barely undercook it in the pot of boiling water. It will finish cooking while you sauté it with the turkey and veggies.

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry | Hello to Fit

For a stir-fry that will please the crowds, heating the pan to medium-high heat is crucial. A hot surface allowed the onions, garlic, and sesame oil to have a wild dance party before the zucchini and tomatoes joined in. Go ahead: stop and smell the fragrant, Asian seasonings. It’s mouth-watering.

Once your veggies are softened, it’s time to add ground turkey. It won’t take long for that to cook through, and then you can toss in the almost-cooked pasta, soy sauce, and sambal oelek. Samball oelek is a chile sauce from Southeast Asia that combines red chile peppers, salt, vinegar, and sometimes even lime juice and sugar. Stop, collaborate and listen for that SIZZLE. A couple minutes of making sure the soy sauce marinates into the ingredients and then you’re ready to garnish with cilantro and freshly grated black pepper.

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry

Guys. To be honest, I’m love with this re-creation of my childhood favorite. While I feel like there’s always a time and a place for the unchanged CLASSICS (real ice cream, FRIED french fries, etc.), my body appreciates when I can make substitutions that don’t skimp on flavor and texture.  This Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry is just that: a healthier substitution for the original sugar-induced dish that holds of the original, glorious tastes.

Ground turkey is a simple swap from ground pork, and adding in fresh cherry tomatoes – as opposed to ketchup – cuts out the added sugar. Plus, fresh cherry tomatoes are the best. Since zucchini is in season for summer, why not dice ‘em up and throw ‘em in?

And don’t even get me started on the sambal oelek. It’s similar to Sriracha sauce – spicy, red, garlicky – but it also has a whoooole other flavor complex that can’t be beat. Sesame oil adds a nutty scent and flavor that tops the whole thing off, and there you have it. One of Jess’ favorite childhood meals, healthier and just as tasty.

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry | Hello to Fit

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry

Preparation 2017-05-23T00:00:00+00:00 Cook Time 2017-05-23T00:00:00+00:00
Serves 6-8 servings     adjust servings

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir-Fry is one of my childhood dishes, re-purposed for a healthier and more nutritious weeknight dish. Chop, slice, and stir-fry your way towards a yummy meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey, 90% lean
  • 1 8-ounce box quinoa pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Freshly grated black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa pasta according to directions on box, but remove from heat and drain while the pasta is just a bit under-cooked (it will finish cooking in the saute pan).
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add yellow onion and garlic, stirring frequently. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant and onions are softened.
  3. Add zucchini and tomatoes and cook for 5-8 minutes, until zucchini is slightly soft.
  4. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, move vegetables to the outer edges of the pan so that there is a round area of empty space in the middle. Add ground turkey to empty area and cook until well done, using a wooden spoon to break up large pieces.
  5. Add cooked quinoa pasta, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sambal oelek. Reduce heat to medium. Mix and combine well, so that pasta is completely covered in soy sauce, sesame oil, and sambal oelek, approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from heat and add in chopped cilantro. Combine well.
  7. Serve hot. Dish can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

by

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100g
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 293 Calories from fat 202
% Daily Value
Total Fat 22 34%
Saturated Fat 3 15%
Carbohydrate 18 6%
Protein 5
Sodium 1065 44%
Dietary Fiber 4 16%
Sugars 4
Cholesterol 8 3%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000 2500
Total Fat Less than 65g 80g
Sat Fat Less than 25g 80g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
Dietary Fiber 25g 30g

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry

From at

Yield: 6-8 servings

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir-Fry is one of my childhood dishes, re-purposed for a healthier and more nutritious weeknight dish. Chop, slice, and stir-fry your way towards a yummy meal.

You'll Need...

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey, 90% lean
  • 1 8-ounce box quinoa pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Freshly grated black pepper

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa pasta according to directions on box, but remove from heat and drain while the pasta is just a bit under-cooked (it will finish cooking in the saute pan).
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add yellow onion and garlic, stirring frequently. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant and onions are softened.
  3. Add zucchini and tomatoes and cook for 5-8 minutes, until zucchini is slightly soft.
  4. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, move vegetables to the outer edges of the pan so that there is a round area of empty space in the middle. Add ground turkey to empty area and cook until well done, using a wooden spoon to break up large pieces.
  5. Add cooked quinoa pasta, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sambal oelek. Reduce heat to medium. Mix and combine well, so that pasta is completely covered in soy sauce, sesame oil, and sambal oelek, approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from heat and add in chopped cilantro. Combine well.
  7. Serve hot. Dish can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry - Hello to Fit


Let’s chat!

  • What is your favorite childhood meal?
  • Quinoa pasta: have you tried it?
  • What summer veggies are you loving right now?

By Jess

Jess is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and yoga teacher. She enjoys sharing her passion and enthusiasm for health and fitness with friends, family, clients, and readers.

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir Fry

Preparation 2017-05-23T00:00:00+00:00 Cook Time 2017-05-23T00:00:00+00:00
Serves 6-8 servings     adjust servings

Asian-Style Quinoa Pasta Stir-Fry is one of my childhood dishes, re-purposed for a healthier and more nutritious weeknight dish. Chop, slice, and stir-fry your way towards a yummy meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey, 90% lean
  • 1 8-ounce box quinoa pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Freshly grated black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa pasta according to directions on box, but remove from heat and drain while the pasta is just a bit under-cooked (it will finish cooking in the saute pan).
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add yellow onion and garlic, stirring frequently. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until fragrant and onions are softened.
  3. Add zucchini and tomatoes and cook for 5-8 minutes, until zucchini is slightly soft.
  4. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, move vegetables to the outer edges of the pan so that there is a round area of empty space in the middle. Add ground turkey to empty area and cook until well done, using a wooden spoon to break up large pieces.
  5. Add cooked quinoa pasta, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sambal oelek. Reduce heat to medium. Mix and combine well, so that pasta is completely covered in soy sauce, sesame oil, and sambal oelek, approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from heat and add in chopped cilantro. Combine well.
  7. Serve hot. Dish can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

by

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 100g
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 293 Calories from fat 202
% Daily Value
Total Fat 22 34%
Saturated Fat 3 15%
Carbohydrate 18 6%
Protein 5
Sodium 1065 44%
Dietary Fiber 4 16%
Sugars 4
Cholesterol 8 3%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000 2500
Total Fat Less than 65g 80g
Sat Fat Less than 25g 80g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
Dietary Fiber 25g 30g

Previous Post

Next Post

36 comments

  • Sara @ Oats & Rows

    August 15, 2016 at 6:15 am

    This looks delicious! My favorite meal growing up was any type of pasta dish. Still is to this day!
    Sara @ Oats & Rows recently posted…Body Shaming and 3 Tips to Not Let It Bring You DownMy Profile

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Hehe same here, Sara! It’s the ultimate comforting dish.

  • Susie @ Suzlyfe

    August 15, 2016 at 6:35 am

    I love Sambal! SO delicious, and so few people know about it!

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Right?! A secret and powerful ingredient…

  • Annmarie

    August 15, 2016 at 7:04 am

    I LOVE Asian cuisine! This looks so good!!!

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Yaaaaay glad you’re on board 🙂

  • Rachel @ RachelMcMichael.com

    August 15, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Yum! This looks like something the whole family would love! Thanks for sharing!
    Rachel @ RachelMcMichael.com recently posted…Which Social Media Platform is Best for Business? {Hint: Popularity ≠ Profitability}My Profile

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:36 am

      Yes, I think it’s super family friendly! And the spice level can be modified 🙂 thanks, Rachel!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    August 15, 2016 at 7:53 am

    My childhood was ketchup to the max 😉 And tons of pasta… The ketchup is still true, but pasta is taking some more time for it to grow on me which is actually has over the summer! So yay to this delicious dish!

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:36 am

      Haha ketchup is just THE BEST

  • Ivanna

    August 15, 2016 at 11:23 am

    This looks good Jess. My favorite childhood meal would have to be a good pot of seafood gumbo or red beans and rice.

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:36 am

      Thanks, Ivanna! mmmm I love gumbo!! A new southern restaurant just opened here and I hear their gumbo is supposed to be good!

  • Jenn – a traveling Wife

    August 15, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    You are speaking to my 10 year-old self at the beginning! 🙂 However, the adult me prefers today’s recipe. Sounds amazing!
    Jenn – a traveling Wife recently posted…What I Eat In A Day [While Living In A Hotel]My Profile

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Hahah I bet we would’ve had play dates together as 10-year-olds 😛

  • Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job

    August 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I’m so hungry right now. I just ate about half a bag of animal crackers and need to have a real lunch!

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Hahha I love animal crackers 🙂 and used to eat the ones with the pink frosting and sprinkles. Gah.

  • Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.

    August 15, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I’ve never heard of sambal oelek before. Would I be able to buy it at a regular grocery story?
    Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. recently posted…Weekend Snapshots: 8/15/16My Profile

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Hi, Divya! YES! I got mine in the Asian section of Kroger 🙂

  • sarah@creatingbettertomorrow

    August 15, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve tried lots of GF pasta but never quinoa pasta! I might need to buy it in my next vitacost/iherb order….and combine it with stir fry flavors and ingredients, yum yum!
    sarah@creatingbettertomorrow recently posted…Do You Foam Roll?My Profile

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Oh it’s delish, Sarah! I like it better than GF pasta 🙂

  • Kristy from Southern In Law

    August 15, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    This looks amazing! I love taking traditional flavours and using them in totally unique ways so this is perfect!

    My favourite childhood meal was probably spaghetti!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes (Vegan & Gluten Free!)My Profile

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:34 am

      I knew you’d be on board with this, Kristy 😉 thanks! And Spaghetti is a GREAT choice for a childhood meal.

  • Crystal Renaud

    August 16, 2016 at 7:53 am

    This sounds so good and I will definitely be trying this! Ground Turkey is a big hit in my house and almost always a substitute for pork or beef!
    Crystal Renaud recently posted…When Fear Gets In The WayMy Profile

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:33 am

      YES, I agree with you, Crystal! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 hope you enjoy!

  • Rachel Agranove

    August 16, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Yummy! I’ll have to try out quinoa pasta…my boyfriend and I had real pasta two nights in a row over the weekend because we were on this crazy Italian kick…need a healthier option lol!

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Haha niceee. I love me some real pasta, but you’re right: gotta have some healthier options in there too 🙂

  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    August 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Loving that you did a stir fry with noodles. I have never thought to do that. And the asian seasonings with zucchini and tomatoes – heaven!! I’m totally going to try that, I just need to restock some of my seasnonings after the move!! My childhood favorite is meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I need to make a vegan meatloaf. Maybe that will be my task for the week!

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Thanks, Sam!! It was so delish. Mmmmm I love meatloaf and potatoes!! YES I’d love to see you do a take on meatloaf, vegan style 🙂 I think Smitten Kitchen has a loaf that is vegan…

  • Emily

    August 16, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    No judgment at all for your childhood meals, cause I think that it’s really fun to try so many different things including cream pies and such… 🙂 It’s all about the balance, and then you go have some of this delicious looking asian style pasta stir fry. 🙂

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Hehe thanks for not judging 🙂 <3 balance is life!!

  • Farrah

    August 17, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Yay! This looks super good! I love a good stir fry! :]

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Oh it’s delish 🙂 the sambaal really adds an awesome element.

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    August 17, 2016 at 8:46 am

    I used to have all those snacks too– those oatmeal cream pies were legit breakfast. OATMEAL– ya know?
    I could never eat like that now! Great simple recipe!

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Hahaha right! Oatmeal!! Nah me neither, I’d feel sick to my stomach!

  • Cayanne Marcus @healthyezsweet

    August 17, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Quinoa pasta is the best! It’s the only gluten free pasta I’ll use because the rice one just doesn’t taste the same to me. I think the combo of the pork and sweet ketchup and veg sounds so mouthwatering..I’d love the make that version along with the healthified version
    Cayanne Marcus @healthyezsweet recently posted…Dear Gluten, We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back TogetherMy Profile

    1. Jess

      August 30, 2016 at 8:30 am

      YES I’ve tried GF pasta and haven’t been too impressed by them 🙂 thanks, Cayanne!

Comments are closed.