Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (2024)

(updated May 6, 2022) // by Phoebe Lapine // 12 comments

5 from 2 votes

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If my body hadn’t forced me into early semi-retirement from the service industry, my first memoir might have been called The Wellness Project: Anatomy of a Jewish Caterer.

Despite swearing to myself after the wedding catering fiasco earlier this summer that I wouldn’t put myself through the meat grinder again, I agreed last week to cook for a 25 person sit down meal with the fabulous women’s group Doyenne Dinners. The fiascos continued when I was on my way from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side on Wednesday, only to get a text from the host that the dinner was, in fact, tomorrow.


What I take away from these events, in addition to the knowledge that fiascos will always happen, is something more concrete than experience.

It’s leftovers.

Regardless of how many people are in attendance, I always return home with only one fewer bags than I arrived with, despite attempts to push guests to eat seconds and thirds. By the time co*cktail hour ended this go around, there were two cheese plates that had barely been touched.

25 women in one room, and cheese still on the table? Forsake thy gluten, but resist not thy cheese!

So how do you get people to eat an entire plate of cheese after the salad course has already begun? Why, you cut it into tiny squares and force them to pass the platter around the table.

There’s pushiness in my cultural heritage, of course. Coupled with a deep seeded need to feed people built-into my vocation. But what I really want is to not go home with leftovers. Which is in direct conflict with my original goal to not run out of food.

While mission Inhale-the-Cheese-Board was successfully accomplished, it may have contributed to the 4-quart cambro container of quinoa pilaf that I lugged home at the end of the night. Charlie was out of town all last week (which you may know from my Insta confessionals). So that was a lot of quinoa for one girl. A girl who has been trying not to eat a ton of grains since pasta-fest.

By yesterday, I was dying for a way to reinvent the grains into something new and exciting. And the result was this Moroccan quinoa bowl recipe, which came together entirely from catering leftovers.

The last of the carrots from my crudité platter got thinly sliced, quickly pan-fried, and tossed with a mixture of honey, harissa and lemon juice. Leftover radicchio from my white bean salad appetizer became the paleo yin to my grain bowl’s carby yang. And the whole thing was topped with a quick mint sauce (with leftover herbs from this Wellness Project recipe) inspired by the Moroccan marinade Chermoula.

Getting in the habit of batch cooking is essentially getting in the habit of creating intentional leftovers, then using them to cobble together a beautiful bowl. For this quinoa bowl recipe, you can easily make each element individually at the beginning of the week and assemble your brown bag lunch as you go. But don’t be intimidated by the number of elements. They more or less use the same ingredients, and take less than 30 minutes total to come together.

I’m actually looking forward to the one last bowl of quinoa I’ve saved for my lunch. And then I look forward to putting my Jewish catering hat back on, and force feeding Charlie whatever remains in the fridge when he gets back tonight.

Have an amazing week friends! Chicago peeps – I’m coming for you tomorrow and Wednesday night. Reserve your spot here. I’d love to meet you!

From one healthy, brown-bagging hedonist, to another,


Moroccan Quinoa Bowls with Harissa-Honey Carrots and Chermoula Sauce

Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (8)

5 from 2 votes

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This quinoa bowl recipe may look like a lot of elements and ingredients, but I promise you it couldn’t be easier to throw together. The quinoa can be made a day or two in advance if that makes your life less complicated. But you’ll notice that each element uses similar ingredients and cooks quickly.

Prep Time 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes minutes

Total Time 30 minutes minutes

Servings 4

Author Phoebe Lapine


For the quinoa:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

For the chermoula sauce:

For the bowls:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound assorted carrots about 12 small
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons harissa
  • 1 head radicchio thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pistachios roughly chopped


  • Make the quinoa: in a medium lidded saucepan or pot, heat the oil. Add the garlic, cumin, ginger, cinnamon stick and salt. Sauté over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the quinoa and continue to cook until the grains are lightly toasted. Cover with 2 cups of water (careful the pan will steam aggressively) and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and cook for 17 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is pearled and fluffy. Remove the cinnamon stick, stir in the raisins, and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, make the chermoula sauce: in a blender or food processor, puree the mint, garlic, salt, harissa, oil and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  • Make the carrots and assemble the bowls: in a large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the carrots over high heat until lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Off the heat, add the honey, lemon juice, harissa and stir until combined. Season with salt.

  • Divide the quinoa, radicchio, avocado and carrots between 4 bowls. Drizzle with the chermoula sauce and top with the pistachios.

Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (9)If you make this, tag @phoebelapine and #feedmephoebe - I'd love to see it!

Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (10)

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  1. Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (11)Alex says

    These carrots sound incredible. I think I’ll try to recreate them with Thai red curry paste, though (it’s the closest thing I have on hand).

    BTW, my birthday is coming up (OK, it’s in December…). But! If you want to have a plaque engraved with “Forsake thy gluten, but resist not thy cheese!”, I will proudly display it on my wall bc it is brilliant 😉


    • Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (12)Phoebe Lapine says

      yes – you can totally make it with red curry. Or simply just add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne to replace 1 tbsp of harissa. you’ll get the kick and the red pepper flavor. Going to add a note to the recipe – thank you!

      and yes, I think some paraphernalia definitely needs to be made! What I didn’t mention is that cheese is a huge issue for Charlie, so I didn’t want to bring any home to tempt him. Perhaps I’ll embroider it on a pillow…something for him to cry into.



  2. Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (13)Nicole says

    This sounds great! I just made the North African Sundried Tomato Soup from Sarah Britton’s Naturally Nourished and it was AMAZING, and definitely pushes some similar buttons with sweet-leaning veg, warm spices, and a grain (or in your recipe’s case, pseudo-grain) component with an olive, lemon, and herb couscous topper.


    • Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (14)Phoebe Lapine says

      holy moley…I need to try that soup! sounds SO interesting. Never would have thought to put sundried tomatoes in a pot, but I love them in a pesto, so think I know what I’m making this weekend…


  3. Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (15)Isadora Guidoni says

    Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (16)
    These quinoa bowls are to die for. I tried them yesterday and even my picky eater boyfriend loved it! Thank you for the recipe!


    • Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (17)Phoebe Lapine says

      ahhh you are SO QUICK. i’m so glad even the BF liked them!


  4. Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (18)Little Cooking Tips says

    Now how the heck were trays of cheeses left untouched?!!! What kind of party was this!! LOL:)
    A truly amazing way to have quinoa. Spectacular, ultra filling & delicious bowls dear Phoebe! Would love to try this one now that we’re miserably failing to lose some weight (life gets so unfair when you hit the big 4-0)!


    • Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (19)Phoebe Lapine says

      haha exactly what I thought!! I helped out a little bit too 🙂

      i hear that is the case, and I’m just a few years behind you!


  5. Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (20)kaelyn says

    Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (21)
    i’m going to make this for the third time tomorrow night. it is SO GOOD and such a crowd pleaser (even for meat eaters)! thank you for the great recipe and if anyone reading this is thinking of trying it, it’s totally worth it!


  6. Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (22)Amy says

    Planning to use the quinoa recipe sometime soon, does it freeze well?


Moroccan Quinoa Bowl Recipe with Honey-Harissa Carrots (2024)
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