Grilled Vegetables with Pesto Quinoa and Beans

Grilled vegetables with quinoa is one of my favourite summer vegetarian dishes. It’s hearty enough to be served as the main event but also makes a lovely side dish or potluck item as it can be made ahead.  The original came from my friend, Katie Miller, but I never wrote it down and I think it has evolved over the years.

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s very versatile. You can use a combination of different grains, beans and vegetables. It’s also great with roasted vegetables if you want to make this in the winter. Here are some options you can use:

  • quinoa, millet or whole-wheat couscous as your grain. I think even pasta would work.
  • navy (cannellini) beans, chickpeas or white kidney beans work well.
  • any vegetables you like to grill. I’ve used combinations of asparagus, sweet peppers, onion, zucchini, eggplant, portabella mushrooms, summer squash, brussel sprouts.
  • more pesto or more balsamic depending on your taste buds.
  • a bit of crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese make a wonderful zesty topping to this dish.



  • 4 cups vegetables chopped coursely
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, millet or whole-wheat couscous (prepare per package directions)
  • 2 cups cooked beans (1 can or about a 1 cup dry)
  • 2-3 Tbsp prepared pesto (or make your own)
  • 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Crumbled feta cheese (optional)



  • Preheat your barbeque to medium heat. Place grill basket on the bbq for a few minutes to pre-heat.
  • Place vegetables in a bowl, add olive oil, a dash of salt, lots of fresh ground pepper and mix to coat. Then pour into heated grill basket. If you don’t have a grill basket you can slice the vegetables in large pieces and place directly on the grill.
  • Grill vegetables for about 10 minutes depending on how hot your grill gets. Mix often. Vegetables should be softened but still “al dente”. And you don’t want them to char too much.
  • Add cooked vegetables, grains and beans to a large bowl and mix together.
  • Mix pesto and vinegar in a small dish and stir into the mixture above.

TIP: this can be served at room temperature, which is what makes it a great leftover or potluck dish – no reheating necessary!



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