Photo: Getty Images
Quinoa is considered a superfood—and for good reason. It revs up your energy levels with iron and magnesium, and it’ll keep you full with filling fiber. Plus, this healthy whole grain (although technically a "pseudo-cereal," it's cooked and eaten like a grain) can be made for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and even incorporated into dessert. If you’re curious about how to cook with quinoa, try one of these 15 fun, flavorful, and wholesome recipes.
Photo: William Meppem
Quinoa Roasted Chicken with Olive Gremolata
This dinner packs 7 grams of fiber and 48 grams of belly-flattening protein into each serving to keep you feeling fuller longer.
Ingredients: White quinoa, low-sodium chicken broth, green beans, boneless chicken breasts, salt, black pepper, flat-leaf parsley leaves, mint leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice, black olives, olive oil
Try this recipe: Quinoa Roasted Chicken with Olive Gremolata
Photo: William Meppem
This zesty tabbouleh update mixes quinoa and fresh herbs together for a quick and healthy lunch option you can make ahead of time and eat throughout the week.
Ingredients: White quinoa, flat-leaf parsley leaves, mint leaves, snipped chives, cherry tomatoes, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, feta, pitas
Try this recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh
Photo: Plamen Petkov
Garlic, Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil add a kick to these mini patties. For a light lunch, these pancakes are great over a bed of spinach leaves. Add even more flavor by topping with this antioxidant-rich salsa, which has virtually zero calories. It’s a healthy, low-calorie way to add flavor without extra fat.
Ingredients: Quinoa, water, garlic cloves, salt, egg whites, Parmesan cheese, basil, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil, spinach leaves, salsa
Try this recipe: Quinoa Pancakes
Photo: Levi Brown
Feeling sluggish? Quinoa keeps you energized thanks to a hearty helping of iron, magnesium, and fiber. Plus, protein-packed black beans keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal. If you’re watching your salt intake, scan the shelves for a low-sodium can of beans.
Ingredients: Quinoa, black beans, tomato, scallion, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper
Watch the video: Energy-Revving Quinoa
Try this recipe: Energy-Revving Quinoa
Photo: William Meppem
Quinoa and Chickpea Burgers
Swap out your usual beef burgers with this quinoa and chickpea version for a meatless meal your whole family will enjoy.
Ingredients: White quinoa, vegetable broth, whole wheat bread, chickpeas, large egg, cilantro leaves, cumin, small red chile, salt, black pepper, vegetable oil, whole-wheat pitas, salad greens, sliced avocado, sliced tomato, mayonnaise
Try this recipe: Quinoa and Chickpea Burgers
Lemon-Blueberry Quinoa Porridge
Sick of oatmeal? Try quinoa porridge instead. Antioxidant-rich blueberries and crunchy, protein-packed almonds round out this dish for a filling morning meal.
Ingredients: Almond milk, quinoa, water, granulated sugar, cinnamon, almond extract, salt, blueberries, almonds, almond milk, light brown sugar, lemon zest
Try this recipe: Lemon-Blueberry Quinoa Porridge
Photo: Jim Franco
Quinoa Ginger-Pecan Muffins
The muffins you buy at fast-food chains, supermarkets, and bakeries are overstuffed and oversized, and usually loaded with fat and calories. To avoid a diet trap, try making these zesty, nutty muffins—they have just 118 calories each. This recipe makes 20, so you can freeze a big batch ahead of time for quick snacking and on-the-go options.
Ingredients: Bisquick, quinoa, water, pecans, sugar, ginger, salt, milk, molasses, egg, dried apricots, cooking spray
Try this recipe: Quinoa: Ginger-Pecan Muffins
Photo: Howard Lee Puckett
Toasted Quinoa with Chiles and Corn
If you like a side dish with some bite to it, this one has jalapeño peppers for a spicy kick. Each serving packs 9 grams of slimming protein and 4 grams of fiber, while reduced-salt chicken broth and no-salt-added canned corn keep sodium in check.
Ingredients: Quinoa, cumin, salt, unsweetened cocoa, chicken broth, whole-kernel corn, jalapeno peppers, scallions, lime juice
Try this recipe: Toasted Quinoa With Chiles and Corn
Photo: Jonny Valiant
Tomatoes with Sausage and Green Goddess Dressing
This isn’t your usual salad. Our version has 24 grams of belly-flattening protein in it thanks to quinoa and chicken sausage, turning a bed of leafy greens into a full-fledged meal. It makes for a great lunch that fills you up without weighing you down.
Ingredients: Quinoa, chicken sausage, mixed salad greens, tomatoes, red onion, mayonnaise, sour cream, white wine or tarragon vinegar, anchovy fillets, tarragon leaves, chives, parsley, black pepper
Try this recipe: Tomatoes With Sausage and Green Goddess Dressing
Photo: Iain Bagwell
Shiitake-Stuffed Butternut with Quinoa Streusel
For a hearty meatless meal, this mixed medley contains 10 grams each of protein and fiber. You’ll also get vitamins A and C from broccolini, whole grains from the quinoa coating, and potassium and folate from squash to round it out.
Ingredients: Butternut squash, water, canola oil, shiitake mushroom caps, ginger, garlic, salt, black pepper, baby spinach, butter, quinoa flakes, panko, broccolini, lime
Try this recipe: Shittake-Stuffed Butternut with Quinoa Streusel
Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Chimichangas
Try this recipe for a lighter take on Mexican. Reduced-fat sour cream and cheese limit this dish to 10 grams of fat while still adding a boost of calcium. Instead of topping with a fattening sauce, opt for tomatoes and homemade avocado cream. You’ll get a creamy spread without added sodium and fat.
Ingredients: Unsalted chicken stock, chicken breast, salsa verde, cream cheese, cumin, cilantro, olive oil, onion, garlic, cremini mushrooms, kale, black pepper, flour tortillas, 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, cooking spray, avocado, milk, lime juice, grape tomatoes
Try this recipe: Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Chimichangas
Quinoa and Onion Risotto with Creme Fraiche and Hazelnuts
This rich risotto is the perfect complement to pork or ham. Onions and hazelnuts add a chewy and crunchy texture to the quinoa, while cr`me fraiche adds a creamy topping to the side dish.
Ingredients: Quinoa, water, salt, thyme, bay leaf, butter, sweet onion, white wine vinegar, crème fraiche, hazelnuts
Try this recipe: Quinoa and Onion Risotto with Creme Fraiche and Hazelnuts
Photo: Oxmoor House
Yes, you can eat quinoa for dessert—in fact, it's common in Peru to use it in sweet puddings and custards. This gluten-free recipe, which is similar in texture to rice pudding, is flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, orange, anise, and coconut. With almost 10 grams of protein per serving, you’ll feel full and satisfied.
Ingredients: Quinoa, vanilla bean, water, orange rind, salt, cinnamon stick, star anise, milk, dark brown sugar, finely shredded unsweetened dehydrated coconut, raisins, egg
Try this recipe: Quinoa Pudding
Photo: Randy Mayor
Quinoa-Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies
Here's another way to get a dose of whole grains with your dessert. These cookies feature quinoa flour, which you can buy at well-stocked supermarkets, natural-food stores, or online. Mini chocolate chips add tons of chocolate flavor to every 133-calorie cookie.
Ingredients: All-purpose flour, quinoa flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, canola oil, butter, vanilla extract, egg, Nutty Whole-Grain Granola, semisweet chocolate minichips
Try this recipe: Quinoa-Granola Chocolate Chip Cookies
Quinoa-Stuffed Kale Rolls
These rolls combine two superfoods—kale and quinoa—into one satisfying meatless meal option. Wrapping everything together is easy thanks to kale’s long, pliable, flat leaves. Crumble goat cheese over the rolls—its rich flavor means you don't need to use much, and it also adds a dose of bone-building calcium.
Ingredients: Extra-virgin olive oil, plum tomatoes, garlic cloves, thyme, salt, kale leaves, quinoa, onion, vegetable broth, walnuts, cooking spray, goat cheese
Try this recipe: Quinoa-Stuffed Kale Rolls