20 Healthy Quinoa Recipes to Use the Amazingly Versatile Grain
Healthy Quinoa Recipes
You know quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse. The ancient grain is packed with protein and fiber, plus iron and magnesium. There are eight grams of protein, three grams of fat, and five grams of fiber per cup of cooked quinoa. Making it a perfect plant-based protein for vegetarians and vegans and a great low-fat protein even for meat-eaters. The versatile grain can be used in oatmeals, soups, casseroles, and more healthy quinoa recipes. (Related: These Benefits of Fiber Make It the Most Important Nutrient In Your Diet)
Here, 20 incredible ways to use quinoa in high-protein recipes.
Quinoa Red Bean Chili
This meat-free chili comes together in about an hour thanks to the Instant Pot. Throw dry quinoa, kidney beans, broth, tomato sauce, vegetables, and spices into the pressure cooker. Use the leftovers as topping for baked potatoes. (Related: Your Complete Guide to the Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker)
Get the recipe: Quinoa Red Bean Chili)
Maple Lime Triple Berry Quinoa Salad
This super simple fruit salad gets an upgrade with the addition of quinoa. Add strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries to the cooked grain and top with a sauce made of lime, maple syrup, ground ginger.
Get the recipe: Maple Lime Triple Berry Quinoa Salad
Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa
After leaving work on Monday, the only thing you want to do is order takeout and watch reruns of Friends on the couch. Resist, and make this healthy quinoa recipe instead. It comes together in 25 minutes. Cook the shrimp and onion with olive oil and chili powder in a skillet. Add garlic, quinoa, and chicken broth and cook for 12 minutes. Voilà dinner is served.
Get the recipe: Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa
Italian Quinoa Protein Patties
The healthier sister of falafel, each quinoa patty is only 80 calories with seven grams of protein. Whisk eggs, Italian seasonings, quinoa, bread crumbs, spinach, parmesan cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes together to form patties, then cook in olive oil. These little bites are a perfect mid-afternoon snack or part of a bento box lunch.
Get the recipe: Italian Quinoa Protein Patties
Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Sick of oatmeal? This quinoa breakfast bowl is going to become your new go-to. Cook the quinoa on Sunday, then, come Monday, just top with bananas, almonds, shredded coconut, and maple syrup for a meal that comes together in two minutes. You can also try one these satisfying breakfast recipes you can make in five easy minutes.
Get the recipe: Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Quinoa Oat Blender Pancakes
Skip the chalky protein powder, quinoa is a great substitute when making high protein pancakes. Mix with oats, eggs, milk, and vanilla in a blender, then cook normally. Top with berries and maple syrup for a healthier version of the breakfast classic. See also: The Best Protein Pancakes You'll Ever Make
Get the recipe: Quinoa Oat Blender Pancakes
Banana Quinoa Breakfast Bars
These bars are an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast (and have it be a healthy choice!). Bonus: There's no added refined sugar; they get their sweetness from bananas, peanut butter, and maple syrup.
Get the recipe: Banana Quinoa Breakfast Bars
Mini Pizza Quinoa Bites
When you're craving pizza, but not the greasy overly full feeling, whip up a batch of these quinoa bites. Quinoa, eggs, pizza toppings, and cheese are combined and poured into muffin tins, before being baked for 20 minutes. Dip in tomato sauce and enjoy your pizza hack. (P.S. Good news: Pizza is actually healthier than you think.)
Get the recipe: Mini Pizza Quinoa Bites
Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad
Due to its nutty flavor, quinoa plays nicely with the Thai flavors in this salad recipe. The key to any good Thai recipe is the dressing. This one has peanut butter, ginger, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. (Related: 20 Thai-Inspired Recipes That Will Make You Forget About Takeout)
Get the recipe: Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad
Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Soup
A comforting classic, broccoli cheese soup, gets an update with the addition of quinoa. It's a little thicker and heartier than the traditional version but just as cheesy and satisfying.
Get the recipe: Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Soup
Powerhouse Quinoa Salad
Oatmeal Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
Not even dessert can escape the powers of quinoa. A soft, chocolatey cookie but with quinoa, oats, whole wheat flour, and ground flaxseed to make it a healthier choice.
Get the recipe: Oatmeal Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Bump up the protein in these stuffed peppers with quinoa and ground turkey. The combo delivers 24 grams of protein per serving with about 300 calories.
Get the recipe: Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Carrot Cake Quinoa Muffins with Frosting
Healthy Quinoa Crust
Move over cauliflower, there's a different alternative crust in town. This healthy quinoa recipe makes the perfect gluten-free option for making homemade pizza, flatbreads, and garlic bread. (Related: 25 Can't-Believe-It's-Cauliflower Recipes for Comfort Food Favorites.)
Get the recipe: Quinoa Crust
Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
You can call this the use-up-the-meal-prep-leftovers bowl. Cook two eggs and layer in a bowl with beans, quinoa, and roasted vegetables, then top with avocado.
Get the recipe: Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Vegetable Lentil Quinoa Meatballs
Roasted Vegetable & Feta Cheese Quinoa Bake
Besides ordering takeout, a quick casserole is one of the easiest weeknight dinners. Throw bell peppers and onion in a dish to roast while you cook the quinoa. Then toss both together with white beans, olives, lemon, fresh basil, and feta and return to the oven. Dinner on the table in less than an hour with only 10 minutes of prep.
Get the recipe: Roasted Vegetable & Feta Cheese Quinoa Bake
Quinoa Mac 'n' Cheese
Quinoa replaces noodles in this creamy mac n cheese recipe. It's vegetarian and could be made vegan by swapping in nut milk and vegan cheese.
Get the recipe: Quinoa Mac n Cheese
Quinoa Taco Skillet
Skillet recipes are a great choice when you're short on time and patience for doing lots of dishes. First, cook the quinoa in vegetable broth, then stir in corn, black beans, and cheese. Finish with salsa and your desired taco toppings. (Related: Easy One-Skillet Recipes to Make for Dinner Tonight.)
Get the recipe: Quinoa Taco Skillet