Healthy holiday recipes: Quinoa with Pomegranate Arils and Goat Cheese

quinoa with pomegramates arils & goat cheese

Adding pomegranates to your holiday recipes is a delicious way to  to stay healthy during the holiday season since pomegranates are high in antioxidants. Pomegranate juice, like the kind made by POM Wonderful, is also wonderful alternative to high calorie/no nutritional value cocktails. Just add a little seltzer and maybe a squeeze of lime or some mint leaves and you have a lovely mock tail that’s yummy and good for you!

Cooking with pomegranates

I’ve been a fan of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice for years and have used it to create recipes like Stephanie Izard’s Pomegranate Pancake Syrup

Even so, I’ve never cooked with pomegranate arils, the little “beads” that are inside pomegranate fruit. However, thanks to POM and celebrity chef Zoe Nathan, I’m inspired!

Zoe Nathan is the head baker and pastry chef at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen in Santa Monica, California. She and her husband/business partner, Josh Loeb, also run Huckleberry Café and Bakery. She created this quinoa and arils dish, which would be a perfect entree for any vegetarians at your holiday dinner table. (If there are vegans present – or guest avoiding milk products – substitute a vegan soy, rice or almond milk cheese for the goat cheese.) It’s also gluten free and would make a lovely side holiday dish with its green and red colors. (Just remember to halve the portion!)

quinoa with pomegramates arils & goat cheese

Quinoa with Pomegranate Arils and Goat Cheese


  • 1 cup arils from 1–2 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Score 1–2 fresh pomegranates and place in a bowl of water. Break open the pomegranates under water to free the arils (seed sacs). The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top. Sieve and put the arils in a separate bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the arils from fruit and set aside. (Refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use.)
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion; sauté until lightly browned.
  3. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with water. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  5. Remove quinoa from saucepan and spread out over sheet tray and let it cool (it stops the cooking process).
  6. Mix in the mint, pomegranate arils and goat cheese.
  7. Season with salt, pepper and some olive oil to taste. Serve.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: Makes 4 to 6 servings
  • Calories: 400
  • Calories from Fat: 140
  • Total Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Unsaturated fat: 8g
  • Sodium: 1330mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 53g
  • Sugar: 23g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg

Recipe and picture courtesy of POM Wonderful.

6 thoughts on “Healthy holiday recipes: Quinoa with Pomegranate Arils and Goat Cheese

  1. mimi bess

    wow what a yummy gluten free recipe. i already have most
    of the ingredients & like knowing the calorie count. the
    latest news about salt consumption should only be 2/3 tea-
    spoon a day brings up a question about kosher salt. are all
    salts the same? also try lemon juice, vinegar or oregano
    Have A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!


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