12 Hearty Quinoa Recipes

Go Beyond the Grain Bowl

Zucchini Patties With Quinoa

 The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo

Quinoa is a popular alternative to pasta and rice for a reason—it's protein-rich, naturally gluten-free, and extremely versatile. It has a nutty taste and a pleasant, chewy texture. Technically a seed, quinoa makes an excellent base for salads and bowls, a delicious addition to veggie burgers and breads, and a breakfast porridge. It can also be used in your dinner dishes.

  • 01 of 12

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

    The Spruce 

    Cookies may sound like a funny breakfast choice, but this vegan recipe is a great way to start your day. Cocoa powder and peanut butter add decadent flavor, maple syrup lends a bit of sweetness, and quinoa and rolled oats provide texture. Use gluten-free oats to make the cookies gluten-free.

  • 02 of 12

    Quinoa, Tuna, and Chickpea Salad

    Quinoa, Tuna, and Chickpea Salad

    Bill Boch / Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images 

    For a one-dish meal that's easy to pack up for lunch, combine quinoa, tuna, chickpeas, spinach, tomato, and herbs. This salad will give you energy to make it through the day. A light dressing of garlic, lemon, and olive oil replaces the standard mayo-based tuna salad dressing.

  • 03 of 12

    Savory Quinoa Egg Muffins With Spinach

    Savory Quinoa Egg Muffins With Spinach

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

    Leftover cooked quinoa makes these egg muffins a breeze to throw together in the morning. Leave out the cheese if you're vegan and freeze a few for a busy morning. Simply defrost overnight in the fridge, then pop in the microwave when ready to eat.

  • 04 of 12

    Quinoa with Pasta Sauce and Cheese

    Quinoa with Pasta Sauce and Cheese

    The Spruce / Jennifer Meier

    Swap noodles with quinoa in pasta sauce for a gluten-free alternative. Tossed with tomato sauce and cheese, it'll satisfy your pasta cravings without weighing you down. Add cooked and drained Italian sausage, ground beef or turkey, or sautéed vegetables for a hearty main dish.

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  • 05 of 12

    Crockpot Chicken and Quinoa Burrito Bowl

    Crockpot Chicken and Quinoa Burrito Bowl

     The Spruce / Jennifer Meier

    This one-bowl meal cooks effortlessly in the slow cooker. Serve the burrito bowls topped with your favorite garnishes, like shredded cheese, sour cream, green onion, cilantro, and avocado.

  • 06 of 12

    Zucchini Patties With Quinoa

    Zucchini Patties With Quinoa

     The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo

    Reminiscent of latkes, these zucchini patties have a crisp crust and a tender interior. Quinoa adds nuttiness and the sour cream dipping sauce makes the patties a tasty side dish or a vegetarian appetizer. Remember to give your shredded zucchini a good squeeze before adding it to the mix.

  • 07 of 12

    Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

    Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

     The Spruce / Emily Hawkes

    Featuring all of the flavors of traditional oatmeal, this maple cinnamon breakfast quinoa can be made using freshly cooked or leftover grains. The recipe is vegan and gluten-free as written, but regular milk can be used instead. Top with dried fruit of your choice and slices of banana or apple.

  • 08 of 12

    Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad

    Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad

    The Spruce 

    Quinoa combined with lots of fresh veggies makes this ultimate salad. The dish will keep for up to three days in the fridge, so make a batch and pack it as a guilt-free lunch. Swap out the veggies to suit your taste.

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  • 09 of 12

    Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffing

    Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffing

    The Spruce 

    Add quinoa to your vegetarian stuffing. This recipe is vegan and can be made gluten-free by using toasted gluten-free bread. Don't skip the fresh herbs.

  • 10 of 12

    Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers

    Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers

     Brent Hofacker / Getty Images

    Quinoa and black bean burgers are a tasty stand-in for meat. Serve these like a traditional burger with the usual condiments, or make them Southwestern by topping with guacamole, tomato, and red onion.

  • 11 of 12

    Blueberry Vanilla Quinoa Bowl

    Blueberry Vanilla Quinoa Bowl

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    A simple porridge of quinoa, milk (dairy or nondairy), vanilla, and fresh blueberries is a quick and easy breakfast. You can serve it hot or cold, making it a good all-year dish. Sweeten with a little sugar, honey, or maple syrup.

  • 12 of 12

    Vegan Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

    Vegan stuffed acorn squash recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Sweet, buttery acorn squash is stuffed with quinoa, parsley, raisins, and pecans for a wintertime feast. Serve as a main dish to vegetarian guests or as a substantial side dish to meat-eaters. Swap the raisins for dried cranberries or the pecans for another nut for your own take on quinoa-stuffed acorn squash.