Quinoa and Pan Cooked Shrimp/Quinoa e Gamberetti in Padella

Quinoa (Keen-wah) is an old grain originating in South America and is virtually unknown in Italy. It looks like tiny saucers and comes in red and white varieties. It is light and fluffy with a nutty taste and has no gluten. I include it here because eventually all things come full circle and it won’t be long before Italians catch on to this delicious grain. So I am going cross cultural and marrying quinoa with classic gamberetti in padella (pan cooked shrimp).



  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 leek finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • Salt to taste
  • Grinding black pepper
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • Juice of two limes, plus the zest
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined and dried
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • Ingredients


  1. Heat half the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and cook until they soften, then stir in quinoa and cook stirring until it smells toasty and begins to brown. Stir in the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the peas off the heat and transfer the mixture to a platter; cover and keep warm.
  2. In the same pan add 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and place over medium high heat. Add half the shrimp and cook until they begin to turn opaque and pink in color. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl. Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the remaining shrimp. Stir in the remaining butter and when melted, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until the garlic softens. Pour in the wine and stir to blend all the ingredients. Return the shrimp and any juices to the pan, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour over the warmed quinoa and serve.
  5. Miniature shrimp can run as many as 100 per pound.
  6. Small shrimp will be about 35-45 count per pound.
  7. Medium shrimp will be about 31-35 count per pound.
  8. Large shrimp will be about 21-30 count per pound.
  9. Extra-large shrimp will be about 16-20 count per pound.
  10. Jumbo shrimp will be about 10-15 count per pound.
  11. Colossal shrimp will be about 4-9 count per pound.

This recipe was featured on Season 21 - Episode 2113.

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Maggie Houtz

Bravo! I love this recipe. I wasn’t sure when to add the lime juice (it is mentioned in the ingredients but not the recipe) so I chose to add it with the white wine, and the next time I make it I will use less lime juice than what was called for, as it was slightly too acidic and liquid-y for my tastes.

I also think I will try substituting cilantro for parsley to see how the taste changes. All in all, it’s a hit either way! Thanks!

l griffes

When is the lime to be added? To the quinoa at before putting it to warm, or when cooking the shrimp? Will it make a difference?

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