Quinoa Recipes You Can Eat for Breakfast

Even if you make the most rockin’ grain bowl in the world, quinoa gets tiresome when you prepare it the same way every time. The easiest way to add new life to this grain (technically a seed) is by introducing it to your morning meal. Whether you’re looking for something quick, leisurely, savory, or sweet, one of these seven recipes will satisfy. You might wonder why you haven’t been cooking quinoa recipes for breakfast all along.

1. Quinoa Breakfast Skillet

these quinoa recipes will show you how to make things like breakfast skillets

Quinoa and egg skillet | iStock.com

If your go-to diner order is a plate of corned beef hash with eggs, consider this quinoa skillet from How Sweet It Is your healthier alternative. It’s filled with protein, fiber, and plenty of other nutrients to get your day started right. With just enough bacon to add a huge dose of flavor, this morning meal proves you can enjoy every bite of eating well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 eggs, cooked to your liking
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: Cook bacon in a large skillet set over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and fat has rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Reduce heat to medium low, add sweet potato, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic. Toss to combine, cover, and cook until soft, stirring a few times, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Add quinoa and continue to cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked. Meanwhile, prepare eggs. Serve quinoa mixture topped with eggs and bacon.

2. Carrot Quinoa Muffins

overhead shot of carrot muffins on a wooden counter

Carrot muffins | iStock.com

Muffins are often just mini cakes pretending to be healthy. When you go for these ones from Well Plated by Erin, they actually live up to the nutritious reputation. With cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, and grated veggies, they taste every bit as decadent as a slice of carrot cake. Feel free to add whatever mix-ins you like, but we’re especially fond of giving the muffins a tropical twist with shredded coconut and chopped pineapple.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups cooked, cooled quinoa
  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • ⅔ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil or melted, cooled coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly grated carrots, lightly pressed dry with paper towels
  • ½ cup of your choice of chopped toasted walnuts or pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped apricots, or other dried fruit

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine quinoa, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until combined. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla until well mixed. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Gently fold in carrots and desired mix-ins.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 28 minutes. Remove from muffin pan, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Serve.

3. Savory Breakfast Quinoa Burrito Bowl with Fried Egg, Black Beans, and Avocado

quinoa salad with corn, black beans, and tomatoes

Southwestern quinoa salad | iStock.com

Like a cross between huevos rancheros and your usual lunch bowl, this Mexican-inspired quinoa recipe from Hatchery gives your breakfast a serious dose of flavor. It’s also super speedy thanks to canned black beans and jarred salsa. And feel free to get as wild as you want with the toppings. Crumbled queso fresco, sliced scallions, a few crushed tortilla chips, and a drizzle of hot sauce would all be perfectly welcome.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 2 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ⅓ cup jarred salsa
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions: Divide quinoa between two bowls. Top each with black beans, red onion, radish, avocado, and jalapeño, if using. Set aside.

Grease a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add eggs and cook to your desired doneness. Add an egg to each bowl and season with salt. Top with salsa and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

4. Mini BLT Quinoa Cups

mini egg muffin cups served on a plate

Mini egg muffin cups | iStock.com

It’s tough to find enough time to sit down for breakfast during the week, so portable meals are a great option. Try these tiny quinoa cups from Iowa Girl Eats. They’re brimming with grains, veggies, and eggs, so they’ll give you enough protein and fiber to stay energized all morning. Just toss a few into a zip-top bag, and you’re ready to run out the door.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cool water. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan, add quinoa, cover, and cook until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. You’ll need 30 wells total. In a large bowl, combine eggs, egg whites, spinach, both cheeses, bacon, tomatoes, and green onion. Season with salt and pepper, then stir to combine. Add quinoa and stir to incorporate. Evenly divide among mini muffin cups, then smooth tops with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until tops are lightly golden. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove cups by running a sharp knife around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Keep store in the refrigerator or in the freezer.

5. Dark Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

chocolate quinoa porridge with pear, dried fruit, and pecans

Chocolate quinoa porridge with nuts and fruit | iStock.com

For chocolate lovers looking for an alternative to Nutella on toast, this decadent quinoa bowl from Minimalist Baker is the perfect choice. Because it’s both dairy- and gluten-free, this breakfast is perfect for nearly any dietary restriction. This dish is also a great way to tame a late-night sweet tooth, so save the leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, plus more
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 3 to 4 squares vegan dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Optional garnishes

  • Mixed berries
  • Sliced bananas
  • Coconut sugar
  • Hemp or chia seeds

Directions: Rinse quinoa under cool water for a few minutes, then pick through to remove any small pebbles. Add quinoa to a saucepan, set over medium heat, and stir until water evaporates and quinoa begins to toast.

Add almond milk, coconut milk,  and a pinch of salt. Stir and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla, if using. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve in bowls sprinkled with chopped chocolate and any other desired toppings.

6. Spinach and Feta Quiche with Quinoa Crust

overhead shot of a spinach quiche on a wooden table

Savory spinach quiche with a fluted edge | iStock.com

Give quiche a unique twist by make a crust out of quinoa with this recipe from Cooking Light. It’s a perfect way to entertain friends who may be steering clear of wheat. This fun change also gives the breakfast staple more staying power by boosting the protein and fiber. Since baking does take a bit of time, save this recipe for the weekend.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 2 cups cooked, cold quinoa
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Cooking spray

Filling

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • ½ cup 1% low-fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1½ ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, combine quinoa, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, and one egg. Stir well to combine, then press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate greased with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add spinach and continue to cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Combine milk, salt, pepper, red pepper, eggs, and egg whites in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

Arrange spinach mixture over baked crust, then add egg mixture. Sprinkle feta over top, transfer to oven, and bake for 35 minutes, or until set. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

7. Quinoa Pancakes

towering pile of blueberry pancakes

Stack of blueberry pancakes | iStock.com

For a different take on pancakes, try adding cooked quinoa to the batter. We particularly like this recipe from The New York Times because it’s satisfying without feeling too heavy. It also takes really well to fruit, so use any of your favorites.

The key to getting the right texture is using a bit of all-purpose flour. If you were to use just whole-wheat flour and quinoa, you’d end up with a dense pancake, so don’t skip this addition.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries or other fruit (optional)
  • Butter
  • Maple syrup

Directions: Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and oil. Whisk to combine. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and whisk just to combine. Fold in quinoa.

Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Grease with butter or oil. Cook batter in 3- to 4-tablespoon portions. Sprinkle six to eight berries or several slices of other fruit on top of each pancake. Cook until bubbles begin to appear on surface, flip, and cook until second side is nicely browned. Remove from heat and continue with remaining batter and fruit.

Serve pancakes with butter and maple syrup.

Follow Christine on Twitter @christineskopec

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