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Creamy Quinoa with Mascarpone Cheese, Peas and Prosciutto Recipe



Creamy Mascarpone Quinoa

© Image 2014 Jennifer Meier
A rich and creamy side dish made healthier by quinoa. Serve next to chicken or pork.

Mascarpone (pronounced mahs-car-POH-nay)is an Italian "cheese" that's a little bit similar to creme fraiche or cream cheese. Smooth and creamy, it can be used to make desserts like tiramisu or folded in savory dishes (like pasta or grains) to make them rich and creamy.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 4 slices prosciutto, shredded or sliced into small pieces or 1 cup of finely diced ham
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste


Rinse the quinoa.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with the quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the water is completely absorbed.

Turn off the heat and stir in the peas. Put the cover back on for 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the mascarpone, prosciutto, salt and pepper. If needed, heat the dish up on low before serving.

© recipe 2012 Jennifer Meier licensed to About.com, Inc.

More Quinoa Recipes

Quick Facts About Quinoa

  • It is pronounced "KEEN-wah"
  • It is a dried seed that has been grown for thousands of years in South America
  • It has the highest protein content of all grains and is considered a " complete protein"
  • The flavor is mild and slightly nutty and the texture is soft and just a little bit chewy
  • It is gluten-free

More About Mascarpone

Mascarpone should have a very smooth texture with no lumps or graininess. The flavor should be milky and lightly sweet. It tends to go bad quickly, so use an open container of mascarpone within a few days.

The closest cousins to mascarpone are probably English clotted cream and French creme fraiche. However, high-quality creamy ricotta or cream cheese can also be a substitute for mascarpone.

In both sweet and savory dishes, mascarpone can add a creamy, rich element.

Cooking with Mascarpone

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