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Favorite Quinoa Recipes

Chris and I recently got back from Peru, where we stayed with a village leader at amantani island, which is on lake titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world.

We got their rediculously delicious recipe for vegetable quinoa soup, and as soon as I am done translating it i'll post it here. We also have a ton of quinoa to go through, so I thought I'd offer up the question for your personal favorites.

Oh, and a little trivia - quinoa is not a true grain, it is actually botanically related to swiss chard and beets.

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  1. i cook it in a saute pan with some vegetable stock, and then stir in some of the seapoint farms "eat your greens" veggie mix with some minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Easily one of my favorite fast, easy things to eat

    1. It's actually a seed - who knew? We are big quinoa eaters here. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

      quinoa with chicken & peas:

      Citrusy Chicken Quinoa Salad:

      Quinoa with toasted pistachios and dried pinapple:

      And this one - a pilaf with garlic & kale, I'm going to try this week:



      1. Maybe this is a cop out, far too easy, but my favorite quinoa dish is simply quinoa and a lot of sauteed onions. there is something about the contrast of texture and taste of the two ingredients that I love.

        1. Im looking forward to your recipe - just bought a big 5 lb bag of quinoa

          there are some great Ottolenghi salad recipes using quinoa along with other grains - search the two terms on google and you will find.

          1. I'm so happy you put up this thread, saralynn. I like quinoa a lot, and I like that it delivers my family a good quality protein, but I could use some variety in its preparation.

            Thus far I mostly serve it with a mix of roasted chopped vegetables, which vary according to the rest of the meal. I don't know why I never thought of it in soups! Thanks for that idea.

            A question for anyone who knows--I find quinoa to be extremely expensive in our local supermarkets; much more expensive than wild rice, for instance. Is that typical for quinoa?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Normandie

              I buy it in bulk at the health food store and it's pretty cheap. As for ideas, black beans and corn with the other southwestern flavours go well with it.

            2. I most often just eat it with soy sauce like I would rice. Yum! I could eat that every day.

              This curried quinoa and mango salad is also excellent:

              Sometimes I put some quinoa in a bowl, sprinkle lightly with rice vinegar and soy sauce, and toss in chopped up cucumber, crab, avocado, and nori for a California-roll-in-a-bowl thing. Fast and delicious.

              I find quinoa to be horribly expensive at my regular supermarkets, and quite reasonable at Trader Joe's (which has nice pre-rinsed quinoa, too). I have noticed that the price at TJ's has nearly doubled in the last year or so, but at $3.50 or so per box, it's still less than half the price they charge at my local Safeway.

              5 Replies
              1. re: modthyrth

                TY for posting re the price, modthyrth. I wish I could find it even for the price you find at Safeway. It ranges from about ten to 12 dollars around here. I'm hoping the price will come down as it gains in usage, but it will probably won't gain in popularity until the price comes down. That mango salad sounds delicious, btw.

                1. re: Normandie

                  Try looking at Amazon.com. You can regularly find it for about $2.50/lb.

                  1. re: modthyrth

                    Just bought a 5 pound bag of organic quinoa at Costco for $9.99.

                2. re: modthyrth

                  I just made this recipe last night, cooked in mango juice because I had some around: loved the dressing but used black quinoa for the first time, and wasn't thrilled with that. Have to try again with regular quinoa or even another grain.

                  1. re: modthyrth

                    this is an old post, but I just wanted to comment on the curried quinoa and mango salad recipe - we've tried it and loved it, but it's even better with fresh persimmons if you can get them!

                    1. mmmm, love quinoa too - I've been mostly making cold salads with quinoa. I like to add crunch, nuts, something sweet and the vinagerette is citrus sweet.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lexpatti

                        I make my quinoa with water or chicken stock for additional flavor. Once cooked, dump it into another large mixing bowl and continue to fluff it up for a while to release much of the trapped condensation underneath. This will remove the gummy characteristic that can develop. I then toss it with a bunch of arugula and maybe some sliced scallions. Dress it with a olive oil and lemon juice "vinaigrette" and sure winner.

                        Purchase it at Whole Foods or elsewhere in the bulk foods section - little over $3/lb.

                      2. Chop finely about half a large onion. Set aside. Toast about a cup of quinoa in a dry skillet until it is fragrant and the color deepens. The time will vary according to how much volume of quinoa you have to the size of the pan -- 2 to 4 minutes, about. Some of the seeds may even jump around. Scrape them out of the pan onto a plate, but be careful, they are HOT. Into the same pan, put a knob of butter and let it melt. Then add the
                        minced onions and cook several minutes until they have softened. Add the quinoa and toss around until all the seeds are coated with the butter. Add about 2 cups of stock (preferred), or water, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. cook for about 20 minutes, then let stand with a towel or paper towel under the lid for about 5 or 10 minutes. Then sprinkle the top with a goodly amount of toasted pine nuts and fold in. Serve. This can be made in the morning or a day ahead and reheated in the micro. I figure 2 tablespoons of raw quinoa per serving.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: jmnewel

                          This is interesting as I have always contemplated toasting them in a pan before boiling. Only problem I had with this preparation was that one should always rinse the quinoa to prior to beginning to cook so I thought it could be tough to rinse and then drop into dry skillet. Otherwise, I like the idea.

                          1. re: poulet_roti

                            I haven't been rinsing my quinoa lately and I have not had a problem. I usually use Rancho Gordo quinoa, or buy it in the bulk section at Whole Foods. Maybe it's pre-rinsed?
                            Anyway, I love the toasting method described above, it gives it a nice nutty quality.

                            1. re: poulet_roti

                              I've been cooking with the organic Truroot quinoa from Costco. I rinse twice until the water runs clear, using a sieve that fits in a small sauce pan. Then I drain it a little and toast it in a non-stick pan with a little bit of oil until it starts to pop. This toasting step makes a huge difference in the texture, much flufflier and separate grain. I then use the rice cooker with a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio. The package says 3:1 but that was much too wet. As soon as the light switches to "warm" from cook mode, I pull it out and spread it out in a larger bowl and fluff it with a fork to release the steam. I make about a cup to 1 1/2 c of dry quinoa at a time. Also, I always cook in homemade veggie broth (all the produce scraps) and find that this penetrates flavor more and lessens the natural slight bitterness.

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                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                This is interesting. I purchase mine from the bulk section at Whole Foods. While I do rinse, the water always seems run clear. So you put the rinsed and slightly wet quinoa into a non-stick pan to toast - even while it is wet? Am going to try this weekend.

                          2. Last night we had quinoa, veggies, and hummus.

                            1. My SO make tabouleh with quinoa. He follows a recipe for the bulgar kind, but first toasts and cook quinoa. Really good. The two of us will eat a double batch in 3 or 4 days.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: corneygirl

                                Yes a quinoa "tabouleh" is great - make it like a traditional bulgar recipe but sub cilantro for parsley and lime juice for lemon - trying to take it back towards South America I guess!

                              2. Here one that's SO easy and SO delicious:

                                One cup dried quinoa - cooked via package directions with broth (not water)

                                Heat one can of drained, rinsed black beans with two cups store-bought or homemade salsa. Add a tsp or two of cumin, hot paprika, or chili powder (or all of the above... totally to taste). Add heated salsa mixture to cooked quinoa and stir in 3-4 chopped green onions and 2-3 cups fresh spinich until wilted.

                                I love meat but this is my go-to vegetarian dish when I feel like a need a break from rich foods.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: scotcheroo

                                  That looks so great - I'd imagine it'd be great leftover . . . I'm making this tonight!


                                2. my favorite way is mixed into a saute of shrimp, chopped spinach, minced onion. a little evoo & a squirt of fresh lemon, served just barely warm. heavenly.

                                  1. Saute some thinly sliced onions, bell peppers and garlic. Add quinoa cooked with stock (chk, veg, whatever you like) and toss in some fresh torn basil. Yum...

                                    1. my favorite way is Quinoa Salad With Lime Ginger Dressing and Shrimp

                                      really good with sriracha and super easy if you use trader joes frozen cooked shrimp.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: umisquirrel

                                        ooh that sounds scrumptious. i was considering making home-made sriracha this weekend too. hmmmm

                                        1. saute up garlic, mushrooms, onions - add the quinoa, toast it a little, add chicken stock, cook -

                                          1. I just made this recipe the other night and I really enjoyed it. Before this, I hadn't considered using quinoa in soup, but I must say, I am looking forward to the OP's veggie soup.

                                            Andean Bean Stew With Winter Squash and Quinoa

                                            As an aside, I tried a red quinoa recently and really loved the texture. I found the grains to be more sturdy and separate than the grains in the "regular" off-white quinoa I had been buying.

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: DMW

                                              I love red quinoa too - I agree it's firmer and it's so pretty to boot.


                                              1. re: gansu girl

                                                I have a box and hope I'll like it too, the black was like eating poppy seeds even after overcooking. Love the white though.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  Does anyone have a recipe for a non-savory quinoa dish? I'd love to have it for breakfast--would it be ok to cook it in milk?

                                                  1. re: Lotus7

                                                    I'm guessing but why not during the last couple minutes add raisins, then top it with lil brown sugar or maple syrup. Might work, let us know!

                                                    1. re: lexpatti

                                                      I will! I'll let you know how it goes...

                                                    2. re: Lotus7

                                                      This one has been in my back pocket for a while - haven't made it but it looks delish - she cooks the quinoa in milk, and just think of how many ways you could change up the basic recipe!



                                                      1. re: Lotus7

                                                        Add some cinnamon, a little blackstrap molasses, or maple syrup, dried fruit or nuts of choice, add almond mylk after cooking.

                                                        1. re: Lotus7

                                                          I usually make it with water but then add hot mlk, dried, fruit, and maple syrup over the top. MMMMMmmm! I particularly likei t with dried tart cherries.

                                                          1. re: Lotus7

                                                            We make Ellie Krieger's breakfast quinoa all the time-just google it (have a hard time linking on the iPad). It has dried cherries and honey and toasted walnuts and is fabulous. Its the only hot cereal I will eat-I hate the soggy gummy texture of other cooked cereals. Sub whatever fruit you want-dried apricots, a chopped pear instead of an apple. The toasted walnuts, though, make the dish, I think.

                                                    3. one of my favorite comfort food is used with brown rice, I've been wanting to do it with quinoa. Saute a mix of mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage in lil oil and Braggs Liq. Amino - pile this on a mound of brown rice or quinoa, sprinkle with a shredded cheese (mont jack, parm is great, etc). It is sooooo yummy! and healthy too

                                                      1. I substitute quinoa for rice. Last week I made dirty quinoa rather than dirty rice. Since the substitution works so well, today I substituted quinoa for the noodles in an Asian noodle salad. Instead of sriracha (or whatever hotness is used), I added wasabi. The recipe is ever-changing but I can post today's if anyone wants.

                                                        1. Quinoa, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and cashews!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: lgss

                                                            I'm going to make that tomorrow, sounds great!

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              We had some broccoli with ours.

                                                              1. re: lgss

                                                                I have so many leftovers from the holiday, all sort of heavy Italian stuff, but a nice dish of something clean and healthy will be like heaven right now. Well that and some split pea soup from the ham bone......just can't stop myself!

                                                          2. Saralynn77,
                                                            Great thread how is the traslation comiming along on the soup recipe?


                                                            1. cook it like you would normally, adding a little bit of lemon juice when almost finished. in a separate pan, saute red, orange and/or yellow peppers (green tastes funny in this recipe), garlic, and a little bit of fresh bok choy if you have it. mix the contents of the pan into the quinoa, adding some black olives if you like them (i don't.) Once in your serving bowls, crumble some feta over top. Yum.

                                                              1. My favorite quinoa recipe to date is a dish I like for breakfast..
                                                                Cook it with a can of coconut milk and dried cranberries. When finished add orange marmalade and almond extract. Sometimes walnuts sometimes not. Makes 2-3 servings.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: youviame

                                                                  This sounds weirdly wonderful youviame! I made a quinoa salad from Ottolenghi's Plenty last night and it was great. He also has a more elaborate quinoa salad in his first book...also delicious.

                                                                2. drizzle of soy sauce, chopped scallions and a small pat of butter or teaspoon of sesame oil...yum!

                                                                  1. Fixed it like risotto last night, adding some crumbled feta and grated Pecorino Romano at the end. Texture wise it was nothing like risotto. Next time I'll add the broth at once. But it was really good.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      glad to see you're still on the quinoa train, c!

                                                                      NB, it will *never* achieve a texture even close to risotto, because it lacks the starch that's essential for binding the "grains" together into a creamy mass. call it pilaf instead ;)

                                                                      have you tried it with dried fruit, nuts or seeds & milk for breakfast yet?

                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                        I made it for breakfast using milk and topped it with a Chinese sausage. I'm having a really hard time getting it done so I was pretty frustrated by that. Like the sausage tho' :) We live at 6300' elevation so I frequently add salt to get the boiling temp up. Haven't done that yet with quinoa. Last night was easier cause I just had everything in a holding pattern til it was ready.

                                                                        Re the risotto, it was a recipe I found online. I did like sauteeing the onion in oil and butter, then adding some garlic, then wine, cooking down. Next time I'll just add all the broth at once. Having with leftover chicken tonight.

                                                                    2. I have so many favorite quinoa recipes, it's hard to pick one! But for this time of year, I do love this simple quinoa and cauliflower curry that I made up on the fly. Here's a photo, too: http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010...

                                                                      Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower

                                                                      2 T. oil (canola, high-oleic safflower, or olive oil
                                                                      )1 medium onion, chopped
                                                                      3 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                      1 T. minced fresh ginger
                                                                      1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch half-moons
                                                                      1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets
                                                                      1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
                                                                      5 t. curry powder
                                                                      1/4 t. cayenne pepper
                                                                      1 cup water
                                                                      1 cup frozen peas

                                                                      1 cup quinoa (recommend Ancient Harvest’s no-rinse variety)

                                                                      Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and carrot, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, spices and salt, and cook for another minute. Add 1 cup water, then cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add the peas during the last minute of cooking.

                                                                      Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to the package directions. Mix the curried vegetables into the quinoa and serve. Top with nonfat yogurt, soy yogurt or raita, and toasted slivered almonds.

                                                                      1. I recently made cathyeats's quinoa with roasted corn and poblano peppers http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010... . A great summer dish! Sweet roasted corn, carmelized green onions, smoky peppers.Even my husband (one who often eschews things like this), enjoyed this two nights in a row. Her simple quinoa and cauliflower curry (referenced below) is a keeper too. Thanks @cathyeats!