Quinoa is a such a healthy and versatile grain. Today I have 10 delicious quinoa recipes for you to try. I have everything from crunchy salads, warm side dishes and even sweet breakfast bakes. Learn more about quinoa and different ways to prepare it and use in your cooking.
You might also like these healthy cauliflower rice dishes!
If you have a bag of quinoa sitting in your pantry and don’t know what to make with it I have 10 healthy and delicious quinoa recipes for you. I have used it to make hot breakfast bakes, used it in cool summer salads and even made a mexican chicken casserole with it.
It’s a such a healthy and versatile food that you has a chewy and nutty flavor. You can make all kinds of delicious dishes with it much like you would with brown rice or couscous.
Before we get to those delicious quinoa recipes that first talk about exactly it is.
What is quinoa and what are the health benefits?
Quinoa is technically not a grain but thought of as a grain because you eat it in the same way as other grains. It is an ancient grain from South America but is becoming more known as a superfood because of all the healthy nutrients it contains.
One of the reasons it’s become so popular these days is because it is naturally gluten free so those with allergies to wheat can eat it. It’s also very nutritious being high in vitamins and minerals as well as protein!
For 1 cup of quinoa you get 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. It’s considered a complete protein because it contains 9 amino acids that your body cannot produce and that you must get from food. (learn more)
There are many varieties and of protein packed quinoa but red, black and especially white are the most popular. Red and black varieties are more nutritious but white quinoa is the easiest to find in stores.
How do you make quinoa?
I often cook quinoa according to the package directions and I make a big batch to save time because there is so many things you can make with it. It’s a great meal prep recipe because of this.
- First rinse the quinoa grains to remove the natural coating of saponin which can be bitter.
- Cook this grain similarly as you would rice. Add liquid (water, chicken broth, etc) in the ration of 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to 2 cups water (or other liquid) to a pan and heat to medium high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then, turn down the heat and cover with a lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes until all the water or liquid is gone.
- When done you can fluff the quinoa with a fork as it will be packed together just like when you make rice. Store leftover quinoa in an airtight container and use it for other recipes.
What are ways you can eat quinoa?
I love quinoa because you can eat it in hot in savory or sweet dishes as well as cold in both hot and savory dishes. I like to eat it as breakfast cereal or as a salad as you can mix it with what ever you want and it will take on that flavor.
The texture is chewy and nutty flavor and great alternative to rice. It has the benefit of having so much protein and being gluten free.
Try quinoa in dishes like:
- hot breakfast cereals – Mix with dried fruit, nuts, seeds, coconut, etc and prepare like you would oatmeal.
- baked or hot breakfasts – Just like baked oatmeal you can use the same ingredients to make baked quinoa for breakfast.
- cold salads – This is my favorite way to eat quinoa. Mix it with a variety of fresh veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc. along with a good salad dressing to make a delicious salad with quinoa. You can also add nuts, seeds, chicken, shrimp, fresh herbs, cheese etc. to make it more of a meal.
- hot casseroles – Just like you would make a chicken and rice type of casserole you can use cooked quinoa. Mix with with chicken and a creamy, cheesy buffalo sauce for example. (see below)
- easy side dish – I love roasted veggies mixed with quinoa for an easy but filling side dish. You can eat the roasted vegetable quinoa dish below as a side dish or eat it as a vegetarian meal. Additional protein like cooked chicken and shrimp are the perfect accompaniment to make theses side dishes into a healthy dinner!
- make cookies or veggie burgers – You can also make sweet quinoa cookies or savory patties like veggie burgers though I have not tried this yet.
So you can see there are many different ways to eat quinoa. Once you try a few recipes you can find some creatives to use it in your cooking. Some of these make for an easy weeknight dinner.