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Spicy Peruvian-Style Pork and Quinoa Stew

4 to 6 Servings

1½ hours 40 minutes active

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Peruvian atamalado de quinua is a hearty stew of quinoa and meat or seafood. The quinoa is cooked to a creamy, rather saucy consistency, similar to risotto; it should not be dry and fluffy. For our version of atamalado, we use pork—specifically, flavorful, fat-rich pork shoulder—that has been cut into smallish pieces for quicker cooking. Onion, bell pepper and garlic, plus spicy, fruity habanero chili and earthy ground cumin, lend the stew delicious depth and complexity along with a wonderfully heady fragrance. As a garnish, salsa criolla, a mixture of red onion, fresh chili, cilantro and lime juice, adds sharp, snappy flavor and texture.

4 to 6



Don’t forget your fingers will be laced with capsaicin, the heat-containing compound in chilies, if you handle the habanero and Fresnos bare-handed, so don’t rub your eyes or face. If you have disposable food-safe gloves, it’s a good idea to put them on before prepping the chilies.

1½ hours

40 minutes active


  • pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch chunks

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Mary K.
May 29, 2022
Peruvian atamalado de quinua
I actually used boneless pork chops and it was very good.
Tricia S.
October 14, 2022
Not much flavor, after all
I'm not sure if it was the recipe or me, but the pork was dry, the quinoa disappeared and just added an odd texture, and the sauce was underwhelming. Once you trim the big gobs of fat from the shoulder and cut it up, it cooks very fast. I made it ahead and took it off the heat as soon as the pork was tender, but the pork was overcooked and flavorless when reheated. I have another one-pot recipe for pork shoulder using hominy, garlic, and tomatillos that I will stick with.