Quinoa is very nutritious and considered a superfood by the health nuts. And that's for a good damn reason.
It is gluten free and high in protein.
In fact it’s one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.
But despite how remarkably healthy and nutritious quinoa is, it can be a tough sell for many people.
Not to mention it is nearly impossible to say the name. It's pronounced "keen-wah" by the way.
"Keen wah" for its nutrient density, is worth including in your diet.
It revs up your energy levels with iron and magnesium and keeps you full longer with filling fiber on top of many other health benefits this grain like food offers.
Although quinoa is not grain, it’s cooked and eaten like a grain. It can be made for breakfast, lunch and dinner and even incorporated into some healthy dessert.
If you’re curious about cooking with quinoa, try one of these 8 flavorful, and wholesome recipes.
Here are 7 delicious quinoa recipes that you’ll love and enjoy!
1. Chocolate Banana Breakfast Quinoa
Made to perfection, this chocolate banana breakfast is nothing but healthy, delicious, and satisfying. Thanks to quinoa, it's full of protein, antioxidants, and iron, an essential for those with iron deficiency anemia.
Note that all these nutrition come from something that tastes a lot like dessert than a typical quinoa dish. Now, that's the way to start the day.
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk, divided
- 1/2 cup water
- Sea salt
- 1 banana, 1/2 mashed, 1/2 cut into slices
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh mint
- Bring quinoa, 1 cup almond milk, water, and 1 dash salt to a boil in a small pot.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until all liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove quinoa from stove and transfer to a bowl.
- Mix in mashed banana, honey, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Stir until evenly combined. Pour remaining 1/4 cup of almond milk over quinoa, and garnish with banana slices and mint.
2. Quinoa Apple Berry Bake
Made with quinoa, this hearty, fruity breakfast bake is both mildly sweet and filling. With no flour in its ingredient list, it's a wonderful addition to your gluten-free breakfast.
Made as it, it's a little bit more like a rice pudding than a firm cake, per se, but make no mistake, it's wildly fruity and delicious and making getting out of bed a worthwhile.
It's also the perfect kind of bake that makes several servings at once, so you can grab a serving and go throughout the week.
It's easy, simple and delicious.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups frozen berries
- 1 apple or pear, peeled, cored, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together quinoa, cinnamon, and allspice to coat quinoa with spices. Pour quinoa over bottom of prepared pan.
- In the same bowl used for quinoa, beat eggs until fully mixed. Whisk in the maple syrup and skim milk, and beat to combine.
- Scatter berries, apple or pear, and nuts (optional) evenly on top of quinoa.
- Pour egg and milk mixture over top of fruit and quinoa. Lightly stir to partially submerge fruit. (Milk mixture will cook quinoa to create a very soft texture on the inside while creating a lightly crunchy crust on the outside.)
- Bake 1 hour or until it's mostly set with only a small amount of liquid left. Serve warm, and refrigerate leftovers.
3. Quinoa Salad with Smoke Tofu
Just like quinoa, tofu is too high in protein, and contains all the essential amino acids your body needs.
It also contains healthy fats, carbs and full of antioxidants, flavonoids, phytosterols. They have been shown link to lowering the risk of cancer, and promote better cardiovascular health.
Despite being one of the healthiest foods you can eat for good health, still only a few people enjoy eating tofu regularly.
So this healthy quinoa and tofu recipes will help you gain the benefits of both of these superfoods.
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt , divided
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 x 6 ounce package baked smoked tofu, diced
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
- Bring water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Spread the quinoa on a baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooled quinoa, tofu, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and mint; toss well to combine.
- Quinoa is a delicately flavored, protein-rich grain like. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective covering. You can find it in in most natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets.
4. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Bell peppers are low in calories and exceptionally rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
In this vegetarian dish, you'll get your filling fiber both from the quinoa and the bell peppers.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinse and drained
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Zucchini, diced
- 1 small eggplant, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 6 bell peppers, tops cut off and seeded
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or more to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a deep baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Mix quinoa and water together in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until fragrant and slightly translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add zucchini, eggplant, and tomato; cook until slightly tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir tomato sauce into vegetable mixture; cover and simmer until vegetables have softened, about 10 more minutes.
- Stir quinoa into vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Fill bell peppers with quinoa-vegetable mixture. Place peppers in prepared baking dish. Cover dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven until bell peppers are slightly tender, about 18 minutes. Remove aluminum foil cover; sprinkle peppers with mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbling and melted, about 5 more minutes.
5. Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
Tabbouleh is an Arab Middle Eastern vegetarian dish made with—hand chopped fresh parsley, fresh mint, tomato, green onion (scallions), lemon juice, bulgur, and seasoned with olive oil and salt. Sort of like a salad.
Some variations add garlic or lettuce, or use couscous instead of bulgur. Tabbouleh has recently become popular ethnic food in Western cultures.
This recipe is going to thoroughly rock your taste buds with new the substitute quinoa for the bulgur.
This bring a whole new flavors to the dish. Enjoy!
- 1 c. quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/4 c. water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2″ dice
- 1/2 – 1 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (to taste)
- 1/2 c. chopped fresh mint
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 c. chopped (pitted) kalamata olives
- 1/2 c. chopped toasted pistachios (or pine nuts)
- 1/2 tsp. each cumin & coriander seeds
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- grated zest of one lemon
- 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Add quinoa, salt, and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer quinoa for 10 minutes. Keep covered, remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl to cool, fluffing with a fork a few times as it comes to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, over a gas flame or under a broiler, scorch the bell pepper until blackened on all sides. Place in a small paper bag for 20 minutes. When cool, slide charred skin off, remove and discard seeds and stem, and cut flesh into 1/4″ dice.
- While the quinoa and bell pepper cool, toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant (watch carefully so they don’t burn). Grind in a coffee grinder or mortar & pestle and add to a small bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, sesame oil, garlic, and salt. Set aside.
- After the quinoa cool down, add the bell pepper, zucchini, parsley, mint, scallions, olives, and pistachios. Whisk dressing and pour over salad, tossing well to combine. Season with freshly ground black pepper (and a bit more salt, if needed). Serve with Greek yogurt. Can be made one day ahead; however, reserve pistachios until just before serving to preserve crunch.
6. Quinoa Burgers With Mango Curry Relish
Tangy, savory, and protein rich, these veggie burgers are one superb alternative to a meaty patty. With quinoa, it's equally filling and satisfying too.
This is also one recipe that's sure to impress foodies of all kinds with the aroma of curry, sweetness of mango, and tart of lime perfectly balanced and blended.
But that's not all, it is as easy as any other burgers, taking less than 30 mins. For gluten-free, use cornbread or gluten-free crashed pretzels for breadcrumbs.
For mango relish:
- 1 1/2 cups diced mango
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- Pinch salt
- For burgers:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- In a bowl, combine all mango relish ingredients. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine quinoa, breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic, salt, and pepper. Using 1/2 cup at a time, form mixture into patties.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook quinoa burgers for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes until golden.
- Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce greens and top with mango relish.
7. Zesty Shrimp and Quinoa
This quick, delicious, and satisfying meal is the perfect example of healthy weeknight dinners. Besides its 15 minute cooking time, it's packed with high-quality protein, potassium, and fiber that boost digestion, heart and brain functions.
For a kick, add drops of hot sauce to bring up the heat.
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2-4 dashes hot sauce or 1 teaspoon of Sriracha (optional)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup raw shrimp (fresh or frozen and defrosted)
- In a medium sized bowl, combine soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, pepper, garlic, and hot sauce (if using). Stir until well blended and set aside.
- Combine quinoa and 1 3/4 cups water in a pot. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
- While quinoa is cooking, begin cooking shrimp: Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and shrimp. When shrimp begin to turn pink, add sauce and continue to cook, stirring frequently.
- When shrimp is cooked through, add quinoa, and stir until well combined. Drizzle with soy sauce or fresh lime juice.
There you have it! 7 easy and delicious quinoa recipes that'll make you want to cook quinoa all the time. Enjoy.
Leave me a comment below to let me know which one of these recipes is your favorite.