I was first introduced to quinoa when I was on my lifestyle change (aka. diet) a few years back. Most people think it's a grain but it's actually a seed. Quinoa is high in protein and healthy carbohydrates. Designated the “Gold of the Incas”, they understood it's nutritional value.
I love quinoa because it is so versatile. It can be used as a warm breakfast option for those who prefer to go gluten-free, a hearty main dish that has enough protein to replace your lunchtime meat or be an addition to the meat, or a great side dish with dinner. I am sure there are even dessert recipes using it.
So here are some quinoa recipes, broken down by categories they belong in, for you to enjoy.
Breakfast Quinoa Recipes
1. Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Breakfast
This was my beginning with quinoa. The taste was similar to oatmeal and would be a great option for those who are going gluten-free. Though, just a head's up that this is not as quick as making oatmeal. It will take you about half an hour: so get up, get your coffee, get it started, make your face look beautiful and then finish up.
Alyssa over at Simply Quinoa has more great recipes for you over on her site.
2. Cinnamon Maple Breakfast Quinoa
Yeah!!! This one only takes four minutes. I know that makes you feel better. Heck, it makes me feel better. I could start the quinoa in the microwave, get my coffee going and by the time the coffee is done, the quinoa is done and I'm finished checking what has happened with my friends since six hours before I last checked Facebook (which, at my age, typically is not much).
I got a little carried away reading Lauren's Latest before I finally got back to writing this post. She lives in New York City with three kids and a hubby. Pretty interesting stuff! If nothing else, check her quinoa recipe out.
3. Chunky Monkey Quinoa Cookies
This recipe almost looks as if it should be a dessert and what a great way to wake up! I would make these the night before and then pop them in the microwave for a few seconds.
Naturally, being a chunky monkey this recipe has bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate chips; however, it is important to note that even though it has quinoa in it, Alyssa's recipe is not gluten-free.
4. Puffed Quinoa Oat Bars
These breakfast bars, made over at Vegan Family Recipes, look delicious. Especially if you head to their site and see the last picture before the recipe. It's neat- it changes really quickly and has some that are dipped in vegan chocolate chips. Super cool feature!
The recipe has all those yummy sweet things we love- including America's favorite fruit the banana, oats, cinnamon, and maple syrup. For a quick go to- this would be a great choice for snack or breakfast.
5. Quinoa Breakfast Hash Browns
I suck at making store-bought hashbrowns but for some reason, I can make them from scratch and I rock it every single time. Yet, they have only recently become one of my favorite things to eat at breakfast. I am learning to love my savory side.
Keeping that in mind, substituting part of it for quinoa would be a great idea because we don't need too much potatoes in our diet. Variety is the key to life.
This delicious recipe that provides lots of variety can be found in A Beautiful Mess.
6. Drink Your Breakfast
Adding quinoa to your favorite shake and you are adding protein in a more natural way than you would if you added whey protein to the shake.
This also has the advantage to people like me who get stomach aches from whey. I have found a way to have my protein and drink it too, thanks to Ciara at My Fussy Eater.
Lunch/Main Dish Quinoa Recipes
7. Grilled Chicken and Quinoa Bowl
I do not like salads. Period.
Or at least not boring salads. If it has flavor then I am down. This grilled chicken and quinoa bowl is considered a power bowl and mixes together which I consider to be a salad.
A good salad.
Even more proof that this is a good recipe- I'm not a huge fan of corn but I will eat it in this recipe. If you like a good Mexican dish that is not going to burn your mouth- you can thank me for sending you to Jaclyn's website- Cooking Classy. You're welcome.
8. Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa
This one is absolutely delicious for those of you who love a light summer on the beach kind of meal. With fresh lemons, shrimp and garlic you are sure to be taken back to a place of palm trees and seashores.
The meal was brought to you by Erin at Well Plated.
9. Quinoa Pizza Crust
So this is one I think my family would eat. We tried the cauliflower crusted pizza a few years ago and I make it quite often for us. Here's what my husband told me when I had the surprise that they would actually eat it, “Does it have marinara sauce? Does it have cheese? Any other toppings?”
Him: “Well, then it's pizza”.
Simple enough. So if you love pizza but don't want the traditional crust, this recipe by Amanda at The Wholesome Dish might just be for you.
10. One Pan Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa Bake
This was Jaclyn's way of changing up a recipe given to her by a friend and fellow blogger who made the recipe using rice instead of quinoa.
We did something similar a few weeks ago in nutrition, making a healthy broccoli casserole with quinoa. I will tell you this five teenagers who are about as picky as most teenagers are, loved it. They made this culinary art teacher's day!
11. Autumn Kale, Apple, and Quinoa Salad
I know this says Autumn Salad but I think it could totally pass for a December salad as well. After all, it has cranberries, walnuts, apples, kale, and quinoa in it.
Yes, definitely a winter salad as well. Might be a salad I add to my list of things to try next week once I create my grocery list!
As always, I end up back at Jaclyn's Cooking Classy website which is full of great recipes. Check this one and others out as soon as you possibly can.
12. Salmon Quinoa Patties
I love the fact that Bobbi over at Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen found a way to make one of her favorite recipes more healthier and the fact that she's not afraid to experiment in the kitchen. I mean, that's what it's all about, right? Having fun and learning what works and what doesn't.
If you want proof that this recipe is good, just read her post about how her friends fell in love with her healthier style salmon patties.
13. One Pot Lentil and Quinoa with Spinach
I gave you a recipe to remind you of summer and warm sunny beaches, so it is only fair to bring you to the mountains with snow and fireplaces.
That is where this recipe from Alyssa comes in. Warm and inviting, the quinoa recipe has lentils, carrots, mushrooms, and shallots to name a few.
Don't be grossed out by ingredients you don't use often- the lentils and quinoa are both very delicious and highly recommended!
Dinner/Sides Quinoa Recipes
14. Garlic Mushroom Quinoa
There are mushrooms and quinoa in my kitchen. I might just be having this for lunch today. Yet, it is still a side dish but a very good looking one plus it sounds good!
Also, I might cook these the next time my mom is in town. I love that she and I have similar taste pallets. To see this recipe in full detail, check out Chungah's website- Damn Delicious.
15. Cheesy Vegetable Quinoa Bites
Here's a great one for those of you who either have kids who don't like vegetables or have little ones who need finger foods.
You could cut the vegetables down as small as needed or keep them larger if the size is not a problem.
I think this recipe, by Jenny over at the Melrose Family, is also good for lunches at school as well. So many versatile things you can do with this finger food.
16. Herbed Quinoa with Lemon and Pepper
Having the juice and zest of one lemon, you know this side dish is going to bring a kick with it. Yet the addition of fresh thyme makes it sound flavorful and inviting.
As far as looks go, I would say this would also be a pretty dish to plate and then add a little to the top. Great for serving guests!
This shouldn't be a surprise though since it was made over at Food and Wine.
17. Quinoa Fried “Rice”
Chinese food is one thing that I make well and my family asks for fairly often, especially my little ones.
I do sometimes stress about how healthy pan-fried and then slow cooked orange chicken, wontons, and rice really is. Although typically we add broccoli to all of this making it a bit healthier.
Another way to make it healthy is to swap out the rice for quinoa. I love it when I can substitute something healthier for something less than ideal.
To see the full recipe head over to Ali's website Gimme Some Oven.
18. Easy Tomato and Basil Quinoa Risotto
The first time I ever had risotto I was at a restaurant that was nicer than anyone I had ever been to. It was super fun to have to Google the name of the recipes to figure out what “risotto balls” and “wild mushroom ragout” was.
This recipe does the traditional substitution but what I love is the fresh vegetables. I cannot get enough of fresh tomatoes and zucchinis!
Check on Beauty Bite's website.
19. Asian Quinoa Salad
Maria and Josh over at Two Peas and Their Pods came up with this delicious recipe. If you've never had red cabbage over green cabbage, it is sweeter and makes a delicious coleslaw.
Also included in this salad is edamame. Given all these great ingredients, it would go great with orange chicken.
20. Orange Cranberry Quinoa
With oranges and cranberries, this recipe is sure to delight on a cold winter day. Add in the fact that the vinaigrette has Dijon mustard and you are looking at a tasty treat that would be great to share with a crowd.
Head over to Miss Allie's Kitchen to see the full recipe.
21. Spinach and Quinoa Salad
Kristine's Spinach and Quinoa Salad is another treat that I would consider eating as a whole meal. I would substitute the red apples for green apples though. I like the crunch of the green better. Add in the pecan crunch and it's almost a recipe made in a Fall lover's heaven.
But, again, it's all a matter of taste. I think the cranberries add sweetness enough and the goat cheese gives it that zing. Yes, consider my anti-salad-loving-self sold!
22. Brussel Sprouts, Cranberry, and Quinoa Salad
Ali over at Gimme Some Oven created this recipe that is similar but different from the previous recipe. I absolutely adore Brussels sprouts and would rather have that in a salad than apples anyways. This, more so than the other, would be a great recipe for me to eat. It has the flavors I like in the salad itself, though I would add the Dijon vinaigrette from the Asian recipe instead of the dressing she provides.
I hope this gave you some great ideas on how to use quinoa in recipes. They are such a great and versatile ingredient to have in your cupboards. Let me know what you think of the recipes that you try!