10 Wholesome Ways to Enjoy Quinoa for Breakfast
Quinoa is the nutritional powerhouse you need to get your day started on a healthy note. Not only is it a complete protein, but as Forbes reports, quinoa has two times as much fiber as other grains. It is also high in riboflavin, magnesium, manganese, and iron. Overall, the nutritional profile ensures that when you have a quinoa-filled breakfast, you’ll stay energized and full all morning long. But don’t just take our word for it — try out any of the 10 recipes below and see for yourself.
1. Chocolate Chip Quinoa Muffins
Yummy Healthy Easy has this quinoa muffin recipe that is, well, yummy, healthy, and easy. It also removes the “unhealthy” aspects that often malign muffins, which can sometimes be more like cupcakes than a breakfast food.
- 2 cups cooled, cooked quinoa
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, mini chocolate chips and quinoa.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined. Divide among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
2. Quinoa and Egg Scramble With Spinach
This recipe from Popsugar will have you rethinking how you do scrambled eggs. The 19.6 grams of protein will leave you feeling satisfied, and you even get to sneak some veggies into your breakfast thanks to the inclusion of spinach.
- ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon low-fat milk
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1 cup spinach
- ¼ cup cooked quinoa
- 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan (optional)
Directions: Heat half tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet on medium-low heat. Cook minced garlic in oil for about 1 minute. Meanwhile, whisk two eggs with low-fat milk, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Add spinach to skillet. Cook for about 30 seconds. Pour egg mixture into the skillet. Let it sit for about 10 seconds, then start beating the eggs quickly toward the center of the pan with a wooden spoon. When the eggs look nearly cooked, add cooked quinoa to skillet. Mix in well. Transfer to plate or bowl and garnish with sprinkle of Parmesan.
3. Quinoa Peanut Butter Banana Bars
Breakfast on the go is a cinch when you have these quinoa bars from She Knows on hand. The bars can also be a delightful mid-morning snack and are ideal for people who munch on food throughout the day.
- 2 cups prepared quinoa, room temperature
- 1 cup all-natural creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons quick oats
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 large, ripe banana
- Chia seeds for the top, if desired
Directions: Spray a 6-by-8-inch pan with sides very lightly with cooking spray (or line with parchment paper). Place all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together well.
Place mixture into the prepared pan, packing it down and smoothing it out on top with a spoon or silicon spatula. Sprinkle chia seeds on top and press into the top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Cut into bars and serve.
4. Chocolate Banana Quinoa
Not only can you eat chocolate for breakfast, but by using Greatist‘s quinoa recipe, it can even be good for you. The idea is too good not to share, and since the recipe yields 2 servings, you can enjoy the dish with your favorite chocoholic.
- ½ cup raw quinoa
- 1 cup plus ¼ cup almond milk
- ½ cup water
- Dash of sea salt
- 1 banana, ½ mashed, ½ cut into slices
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fresh mint for garnish
Directions: Bring ½ cup of quinoa, ½ cup water, 1 cup almond milk, and dash of sea salt to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove quinoa from stove and transfer to a bowl.
Mix in the mashed banana, cocoa powder, vanilla, and honey. Stir until evenly combined. Pour the remaining ¼ cup of almond milk over quinoa, garnish with banana slices and mint (if desired), and enjoy.
5. Slow-Cooker Quinoa
You’ll barely have to lift a finger to make breakfast thanks to My Whole Food Life. If this is your first time using your crockpot to make quinoa, you may want to monitor it closely, since cooking times can vary by crockpot. This recipe makes 5 servings.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3 cups milk
- 4 medjool dates, chopped
- ¼ cup pepitas
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions: Put all the ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 2 hours or until all the liquid is absorbed.
To cook overnight, set crockpot to low before going to bed and it should be ready in the morning when you wake up.
6. Apple-Pecan Quinoa Muffins
Another take on the quinoa muffin comes from Lemons and Anchovies. After testing out the apple and pecan variety, you can switch up the fruit and nut combination or use candied nuts for a little extra sweetness.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 cup chopped apples (about ½ large)
- ½ cup chopped pecans
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease, or line, a 12-muffin tin and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a large bowl, then stir in the cooked quinoa. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, milk, and egg then stir into the dry ingredients.
Fold in the apples and pecans, and spoon the batter into the muffin tin. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
7. Quinoa Carrot Loaf
But maybe you want to do your quinoa baking in a loaf pan. In that case, you need to try Bakeaholic‘s quinoa carrot loaf from Tasty Kitchen. The quickbread’s healthy theme doesn’t only come from quinoa, either: Your diet will be boosted by the whole-wheat flour and yogurt, as well.
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (from about ¼ cup dry quinoa)
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and shred carrots. Set aside. Boil and cook quinoa. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together eggs, carrots, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and cooked quinoa. Pour wet ingredients into the dry mixture and mix until just moistened.
Spoon into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Test by using a sharp knife into the center — it should come out clean. The loaf should be completely set and just bounce back slightly when touched.
8. Quinoa Egg Bake With Thyme and Garlic
When you need a healthy brunch dish, use Whole Foods’ recipe and make a quinoa egg bake. You don’t even need to cook the quinoa before baking it, since it forms the crust of the breakfast casserole.
- 1 teaspoon butter
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- 8 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 cup finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-by-8-inch baking dish; set aside. Put quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold running water until water runs clear; drain well.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and quinoa. Stir in spinach, then pour mixture into prepared dish. Cover tightly with foil, then jiggle dish gently from side to side so that quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer. Bake until just set, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle top evenly with cheese. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more. Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.
9. Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa
A little crunchy and slightly sweet, Silk’s basic quinoa recipe is one that you can change as much as you’d like. Not only are there various combinations of dried fruit and nuts to try, but you can experiment with different flavors of almond or soy milk, as well. It yields 4 servings.
- 2 cups soy or almond milk, any flavor
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons honey or brown sugar, if desired
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup dried fruit (raisins, cherries, apples, etc.)
- ¼ cup toasted pecans, if desired
Directions: Bring milk and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Add honey or sugar, cinnamon, and dried fruit. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until most of the soy/almond milk has been absorbed, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, spoon into bowls, and top with toasted pecans.
10. Lemon-Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes
Last but certainly not least are the crave-causing pancakes from Ambitious Kitchen. Zesty lemon and sweet blueberries are united to create a flavorful flapjack that will become a weekend breakfast staple.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour or white whole wheat
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg whites
- ⅓ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of milk of your choice (skim, soy, almond, coconut)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup fresh blueberries
Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, yogurt, milk, and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine. Add vanilla and lemon juice and whisk again. Next, gently fold in blueberries.
Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium. Drop batter by ¼ cup onto skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top, about 2 minutes. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more melted butter and remaining batter.