This Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup is not only amazingly delicious, but it’s also packed with protein, fiber and essential vitamins and antioxidants.
Soup season is here again… and I’m in testing mode. Doing my thing to bring you the most yummy and amazing soups that will be perfect for the chilly months ahead.
And I’m starting soup season off with a bang!
Introducing – Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup.
I served Rick up a bowl of this for dinner yesterday and he said it’s one of the best soups that I’ve ever made… That’s saying a lot for a guy whose long-standing favorite soup of all time is this Potato Leek Soup.
I have to agree with him though. I’m pretty obsessed with this quinoa soup too.
This soup is made with lots of pantry staples, carrots, onions, celery, Italian seasoning, and a splash of cream.
Not only is it deliciously creamy and flavorful, but it’s a powerhouse of nutrients too. That’s because of the quinoa that makes up the base of this soup.
Is quinoa healthy?
You bet it is! Quinoa is amazing for so many reasons. Here’s a list of some of the health benefits of quinoa:
- Very high in antioxidants
- High in beneficial minerals like iron and magnesium
- Low glycemic index, which is good for controlling blood sugar
- Very high in protein and amino acids
- Gluten free
- Super high in fiber
- Loaded with vitamins
I’ve always got some quinoa on hand in the cupboard. Often I’ll swap it into recipes where rice is called for, like in these Southwestern Stuffed Peppers or these Taco Lettuce Wraps. Or, I’ll just whip up a big batch of quinoa in the Instant Pot to have on hand as a side dish or to stir into these Quinoa Breakfast Cookies.
The quinoa works so well in this soup. Not only does it give it a great texture, but it also makes it much more filling. I’ve been having a cup of this quinoa soup for lunch lately and I’ve noticed that it definitely keeps me full and energized until dinnertime.
Is quinoa low carb?
- Quinoa is not a low-carb food. But it is a great source of protein and fiber.
To even further pack this quinoa soup with beneficial nutrients, I’m using some of my homemade bone broth. It’s packed with collagen which is amazing for your joints, and can be made so easily. Take your pick of either my slow cooker bone broth or instant pot bone broth.
If you’d prefer a vegetarian soup, you can swap in vegetable stock for the chicken broth or bone broth. This soup is actually perfect for vegetarians because it’s a great meat-free meal that’s still packed with protein.
This quinoa soup is quite thick and hearty. If you’d prefer a more brothy soup, use 5 cups stock instead of 4 cups. You can also adjust the thickness at the end of the cooking process by adding in more half and half.
Want to add even more flavor? Try swapping out the raw garlic for this roasted garlic.
Does quinoa get soggy in soup?
- No. That’s the great thing about using quinoa in soup. Unlike with pasta or rice, it won’t get soggy. Making it great for leftovers.
How to store quinoa soup:
- You can store this soup in an airtight container (these are my favorite!) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it for up to a month.
I like to serve this quinoa soup dished up in bowls, topped with plenty of grated parmesan cheese and with an extra sprinkle of red pepper flakes on top.
If you loved this Quinoa Soup recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Wine pairings for creamy Italian soup:
- Medium-bodied, rustic wines like Chianti, Cotes du Rhone, and Sangiovese have earthy, spicy flavors that pair perfectly with this quinoa soup.
What to Serve with It
- Arugula Salad
- Fennel & Celery Salad
- Radicchio Salad with Olives & Parmesan
- MORE —> 30+ EASY sides for soup
More creamy soup recipes:
- Hungarian Mushroom Soup
- Instant Pot Potato Soup
- Tomato Bisque
- Potato Leek Soup
- Curried Butternut Squash Soup
- Avgolemono Soup (Lemon Chicken Soup with Dill)
- MORE —> 35+ creamy soup recipes
More quinoa recipes:
- Cauliflower Salad with Roasted Chickpeas & Quinoa
- Quinoa Taco Bowls
- Chicken Gyro Bowls with Quinoa
- Southwest Beef & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Taco Lettuce Wraps with Turkey & Quinoa
- Quinoa Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt
- More → 35+ BEST quinoa recipes
Be sure to check out these 85+ Italian recipes and 25+ Classic Italian Soups too!
Creamy quinoa soup recipe
Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium onion (diced)
- 3 medium carrots (peeled and diced)
- 2 stalks celery (diced)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 4 cups bone broth (chicken broth or vegetable stock (use more for a more brothy soup))
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas (drained & rinsed)
- 1 1/4 cup quinoa (uncooked, rinsed well in a fine mesh colander)
- 1 14.5- ounce can diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 8- ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 cups fresh spinach (coarsely chopped)
- 1 ½ cups half and half (or heavy cream)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Parmesan cheese (for topping)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add stock, chickpeas, quinoa, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning to the pot and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes.
- When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cream. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Divide into bowls and top with grated Parmesan.
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MORE —> 35+ EASY soup recipes.
119 thoughts on “Quinoa Soup // Creamy + Delicious”
This looks so creamy and flavorful. The perfect meal for a cool night in. It also looks like one of those soups that is even better the next day!
Great soup! Made with a couple substitutions.
Was so creamy and filling.
I’m so happy you liked it!
Has anyone made this in the Instant Pot? I was thinking about making it tonight. I usually cook quinoa in there for 3-5 min so I’m thinking about doing the same for this soup.
Can you replace the half and half w evaporated milk or non-fat greek yougurt?
Did it work!?
Did you ever make it in the Insta pot? How long did you cook it for?
Hi Cierra – I haven’t yet tried this soup in the instant pot, but I would probably saute the veggies in the pot first, then add in the quinoa, etc. and cook for 1 minute on high pressure with a natural pressure release. Hope that helps!
My family loves this soup! It’s our new favorite comfort food. We used a homemade vegetable stock and heavy cream.
Did you get a response to this? I’ve been wondering the same!
Making this tonight, swapping cashew cream instead of dairy. Can’t wait !
I hope you love it Christina!
I left out the celery because I don’t like it and added some shredded chicken for extra filling. I also used a combo of red and white quinoa. Very good! Definitely will be made again!
I’m so happy you liked it Ellie!
Made my some cashew cream to sun for the heavy cream. We also used great northern beans instead of chickpeas and added chicken. The best soup! The kids love it too!
I am a lover of ‘almost all’ (therein lies the rub) veggies/legumes. For whatever reason while I don’t like the texture of whole garbanzo beans (smooshed up for tahini is fine, just not whole).
Question: If I ground up the garbanzo beans into a paste before adding them to the soup, besides appearances I’m assuming it would thicken the consistency of the soup. Do you think it would alter the flavor of the souo dramatically?
Garbanzos in tahini? I think you mean hummus 😉! Tahini is made with sesame seeds.
Would navy beans be a good substitute for the chickpeas? Or should I just leave them out of the recipe? (My boyfriend is deathly allergic to peanuts and chickpeas are apparently a cousin?)
This looks delicious and I want to try it!!
Hi Sam – You could definitely substitute any other beans! Cannelini beans or navy beans would be great!
I made this today and it is so good; my kids loved it (and they are picky lol). Thank you for the recipe!
I’m so happy you all liked it Chris!
Delicious and healthy soup. I subbed 1 cup of half and half. Next time, I will use a little more vegetable stock. Will definitely make again!
I’m glad you liked it Jessie!
Just made this soup tonight and it is amazing! The flavors work really well together and it sure fills you up… Definitely making it again! Thank you so much for sharing ♥️
I’m so happy to hear that you liked it Brenda!
I love quinoa, this recipe is amazing, I will try out Thisbe recipe soon and will let you know, thank you so much for sharing..
You are welcome – Enjoy!
I converted this to a slow cooker recipe. Well, I tried to convert this to a slow cooker recipe. I didn’t saute the vegetables first and I just threw all of the ingredients (minus the cream & spinach) into my Instant Pot on the High setting of the slow cooker. After 4 hours, the quinoa was done but the carrots and onions definitely weren’t. I switched to pressure cook for 3 minutes to finish up the carrots and onions and managed to turn my quinoa to mush in the meantime. BUT, somehow, once I added the cream & spinach and topped my bowl with Parmesan, the soup was SO GOOD! My boyfriend even went back for seconds. So seriously this recipe is a keeper because I attempted to mess it up multiple times and it still turned out great. Next time I promise to fully follow the instructions!
I’m so glad it all worked out for you Sydney!!! I love the story behind your cooking adventure!
This soup is simply amazing. Making it a second time in one week as requested by my husband!💙
I’m so glad that you guys love it Ligi!
Forgot the stars😂
I loved this! I follow WW so cut the olive oil to 1 tablespoon and used 1 cup of light cream to make it 8 SPs per serving. I can only imagine how wonderful this would be with 1.5 cups of heavy cream. Posted on Facebook and tagged my vegetarian friends.
I just made this recipe. I really enjoyed it and so did my husband. Will definitely make this one again!
I’m so glad – Thanks for the feedback Ann!
Do you cook the quinoa before putting it into the soup?
Hi Rachel – The quinoa goes into the soup uncooked.
Has anyone used a substitution for the cream such as evaporated milk or regular milk?
As I have extremely high cholesterol, I used 1 cup 2% Organic Milk and 1/2 a cup of Fage Non-Fat Greek Yogurt. We topped with Sundried Tomato Pesto and fresh Parmesean cheese, yummy.
I loved this soup! I left out the cream completely and used a little extra broth and it’s delicious.
Loved this! I had a bunch of quinoa that needed to be used and this was a perfect solution. My husband is not supposed to have spinach so I left that out. Still good! Next time I’ll make 2 batches; one for him and one with spinach for me!
I’m so glad you liked it Melissa!
Excellent meal. This day marks a special day that I (the husband) served soup as a meal. Added 2 large shredded chicken breasts, exchanged beans for cannellini beans and instead of heavy cream used 1 cup Greek Yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup milk. Don’t know what that changed tastewise but will make it again.
I really really like that bowl in the picture. Where can I get one?
Hi! I love that bowl too, but unfortunately I don’t have an answer. I totally lucked out and found it at our local Goodwill.
Can’t wait to try this tomorrow! I’m plant-based, so I will substitute the heavy cream with a can of cannellini beans blended with some cashews, or just a regular cashew cream.
I love that idea Beth! I hope you enjoy!
Made it today on a cold rainy day. Made the day so much better – yummy!
I’m so glad you liked it!
I doubled the recipe to take to an Italian themed potluck. To make this vegan I added Silk’s new Heavy Whipping Cream. I used only one can of chickpeas for the double batch. It was SO good! I might also try orzo next time. Thanks for the recipe!
I’m so happy to hear that you liked it Veronica!
Where do I find cashew cream or how do I make it?
Made this tonight and it was a hit! I swapped in coconut milk instead of the cream and it was delicious 🙂
I’m so glad you liked it Lisa!
I’ve been making this recipe with little variations (unsweetened coconut milk for non dairy, no carrots bc my partner is allergic, and I’m trying kale in place of spinach!) for close to 2 years now. I’ve brought it with me now to 3 apartments in 3 different cities, and it always brings my partner and I comfort during uncertain times, which is why I’ll be making it tomorrow as a quarantine meal! So thank you for creating this hearty, healing recipe!
Of course Sarah! I’m so happy to hear that you love it so much! 🙂
I bookmarked this recipe long ago but finally got around to making it thanks to doing a lot of cooking at home right now in light of the shelter-at-home order and that happened to have all the ingredients. This was a love soup. The addition of half and half really rounds out the texture. I love quinoa and chickpeas so I expected to love it. In all, it was a very vegetable-based soup that could easily be vegetarian (I used chicken broth). Will definitely make again!
I’m so happy you liked it Rachel!
This was absolutely delicious and filling plus so simple to make!
I’m so glad you liked it!
Can I make this in the instant pot? How? I just got one and am obsessed. Assume I’ve soaked the chickpeas. Thanks!
Great recipe! I used farro instead of quinoa, white beans instead of chickpeas and cashew cream. Huge hit. Pairs nicely with some homemade French bread. Will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
You’re welcome!!! Thanks for stopping by!
Was looking for a way to use the ~2 cups of cooked quinoa in my refrigerator…so just changed the amount of broth to accommodate the pre-cooked quinoa and subbed white potatoes & green beans for the celery, carrot & spinach. I also did not add the cream and it was delicious and satisfying without it! Thank you so much for posting this recipe!
How much is one serving? Is it 1 cup of the soup?
Hi Marianna – Yes, the serving size is around 1 cup.
I hate it when people rate the soup before trying! But it looks so good. Planning on using cashew cream instead of cream and adding Italian turkey sausage! 🙂
Hi! I’m just about to make this soup for the THIRD time, I love it so much!! It is so delicious, and healthy, too! I’ve shared it with my mom, and a good friend( they love it too!)…and will keep on sharing 🙂 I don’t add celery as I never have it, though I would if I did. Don’t add the cream either, it doesn’t need it imo, though I’m sure it’s equally yummy with it. Everything else is the sam.Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!
Yay! Thanks Gina. I’m so happy you’re enjoying the recipe!
When you say freeze for a month is that with our without the cream and spinach? I’m planning ahead. 😊
Hi Kristin – I freeze everything, with the spinach and cream. Hope that helps!
This recipe is fantastic! I have to admit I was intrigued about how it would turn out, wow…I was pleasantly surprised 😁
I used 15 oz of tomato sauce, white beans and heavy cream…cooked it a bit longer until more of the sauce was absorbed. Truly a new favorite, adding it to our Mediterranean diet…thank you!
You’re welcome Tina!
I discovered this recipe about a month ago and I’ve already made it 3 or 4 times for my husband and I!! We love it!!! A new staple in our meal rotation! Thank you for this!
You’re welcome Molly!
This is so good and healthy. I added mushrooms and chicken. I replaced the heavy cream with homemade cashew milk. I will make again!
Any way to make this non-dairy by substituting the cream for coconut milk/cream, non-dairy milk, etc.? Would love to make this, but the bf has a dairy alelrgy.
Hi Jasmine – You could try coconut cream (though it will add some coconut flavor). Cashew cream would also be great if you have it available. Or certain brands, like Silk, make dairy-free heavy cream alternatives. Hope that helps!
This soup was absolutely lovely! And so filling too 😊❤️
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Katherine!
Can I take out the chick peas?
Hi Christina – You can definitely leave them out!
Amazing! I followed it exactly as written and added some fennel seeds. All three kids gobbled it up. Thank you.
Love that addition of fennel seeds Chris!
Loved it! I har swiss chard, so let that cook a little longer. Added a tbsp of vinegar to give it some brightness. It did need a little more liquid. More like a stew
I love your idea to add chard in there Sandy!
The first time I made this soup I was intrigued by the recipe but a little bit nervous about how it would turn out and whether or not my family would actually like it. We liked it so much that this soup has become a staple in our house. Most of the time I make it exactly as written, using veggie broth. One time I accidently left out the can of tomato sauce and it was still great.
Delicious! I made it vegan by using veggie broth and vegan half and half. I used 5 cups of water and it was super thick, but I liked it! For me, it was more of a creamy quinoa than a soup, but delicious nonetheless.
I don’t cook with quinoa a lot. Is it supposed to be cooked before you add it to the soup?
Hi Erin – It goes in uncooked. I just updated the recipe card to be more clear. Thanks for catching that!
This recipe is similar to my awesome minestrone, so I decided to add chopped zucchini (sautéed) along with parsley, basil, oregano, and thyme. I used cannellini beans instead of the chickpeas. In addition to the celery, I added celery seed. Instead of half-n-half, I added a splash of milk and a spoonful of sour cream along with the Parmesan cheese to each bowl. I omitted the spinach. The end result was delicious! Thanks so much Erin!
You’re welcome Jan!
Can you make this with lowfat milk instead of heavy cream? I know it won’t be as good but we are watching our saturated fat intake. Thanks!
That should work Cindy. Or you can try adding in some fat free sour cream or greek yogurt.
We enjoyed this. Didn’t take too long to get onto the stove and it’s the first time my husband has found a soup “filling” and not raided the fridge later. Will make again. A good serve of veg.
Would you add anything if skipping the tomatoes? My partner is allergic. I’m also planning to swap the tomato sauce with pureed red bell pepper as I usually do. I’ll also have to skip the celery because I’m allergic to that one. Hoping the adjustments won’t change the soup too much because it looks amazing!
Hi Kathryn – It should be fine without the tomatoes!
I loved the soup, it’s extremely delicious! Just one question though about the nutritional data, is that being calculated for 100g.? I am counting my calories and only ate a small bowl which I measured at 250g. If it’s 387 calories/100 grams that would mean my small bowl was over 900 calories which I find hard to believe. So what quantity is the serving size based off of? Thanks so much!
Made this soup on a cold January eve. Turned out amaaaazing! Very hearty and filling – but also healthy.
I substituted heavy cream for a cashew cream I made before hand.
I would highly recommend this recipe!
I thought I would love this based on the reviews. Not a big fan. I did substitute non-fat Greek yogurt for the cream to make it healthier. Would have probably been better if I hadn’t made the substitution. Veggies should have been sauteed longer too. Needed more broth. Pretty bland. Won’t make again.
Love this soup recipe! So yummy. We use coconut cream instead of dairy and it’s delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
You’re welcome Sherry!
DAAAAANG!!!! This recipe blew me away and exceeded all expectations for a vegetarian meal! I made this for a friends meal train then promptly made it again for my family the next night. Flavors in this are incredible!
Thanks so much Sarah!
My changes were
1 can of coconut milk instead of half and half and vegetable broth instead if chicken
I used packet of powdered Italian dressing mix
Added 1/2 yellow pepper diced.
Other than that used the remainder of ingredients and the soup was amazing. So filing, creamy and delicious. It will be in our rotation for many, many years to come. Thank you so much for the recipe.
You’re welcome Monique! Thanks for your substitution ideas!
Wow! This was amazing! A good Parmesan on top just adds to the wow factor. I’ll be bringing this for lunch all fall and winter.
Thank you Erin! I’m definitely ready to be making this again for soup season!
I put this together, except for the cream & the spinach, intending to refrigerate overnight & finish the next night for dinner. I feel the amount of quinoa makes this very thick & not “soupy”. Maybe that will change when I reheat it & add the cream & spinach. If not, I will reduce the quinoa the next time I make it.
It was a big clump of quinoa when it was done simmering. Is there supposed to be any liquid in it? I do not think adding the cream will be enough liquid to get it to look like it does in the picture.
Hi Diane – It is definitely a thick soup (almost stew!). You could add in some chicken or vegetable stock to thin it out.
Thank you so much for your reply! That’s what we planned to do, but just wondered if it was normal not to have ANY liquid or if we did something wrong.
I’m not a fan of chick peas, but they were really good in this. So glad I tried this. The family loved it!
I didn’t add the tomatoes and used vodka sauce instead of tomato sauce