This recipe round-up includes 12 easy quinoa recipes you will love (including many of my favorite go-to quinoa recipes, too). But first…
Although usually mistaken for a grain, quinoa is actually a seed. It’s often referred to as an “ancient grain” because it dates back to over 7,000 years ago. There are over 3,000 types of quinoa! However, the most common ones in the store are white, black, or red in color. You can also buy a variety that has all three colors mixed together (tricolor).
I usually buy my quinoa in bulk from Sprouts, because it is generally cheaper this way.
Nutritionally, quinoa has a lot of benefits. It’s considered a “complete protein” which means that it provides all 9 of the essential amino acids (proteins that your body cannot make on its own). This is uncommon for plant-based foods because usually animal products are the only complete proteins.
Calories: 111 calories
Carbs: 19 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Fat: 2 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Phosphorus: 20% of your daily needs
Magnesium: 18% of your daily needs
Folate: 10% of your daily needs
Quinoa has a somewhat nutty flavor. It’s fluffier than rice but is a bit crunchier than oatmeal. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook on the stovetop, and only about 10 minutes in the Instant Pot (considering warm-up time, cook time, and natural release time).
Quinoa is indeed a gluten-free grain/seed. This, paired with the fact that it is a complete protein, makes it a great choice for anyone following a gluten-free diet, especially if they are also vegetarian or vegan.
But even if you don’t need a gluten-free diet, quinoa offers a great source of nutrition and is super versatile. Plus, it tastes great!
Quinoa is pronounced like KEEN-WAH. Yeah, I know, super weird.
I’ll never forget that Bud Light commercial where the dude is grilling a veggie quinoa burger out of superstition (last time his wife made him, and his team won).
And he goes “what the heck is…KWEE-NO?”
So, now my husband calls it KWEENO every time I cook it.
Every. Time. ??
This is one of my FAVORITE, easy quinoa recipes because it takes minimal time and tastes great – it’s even husband approved!
I’m loving this fresh and easy quinoa recipe featuring lots of non-starchy vegetables, juice of a lemon, and chickpeas! You could easily whip this up for a quick plant-based dinner on a weeknight.
I love this easy vegetarian quinoa recipe because it uses cost-friendly panty items like canned tomatoes and beans! This would be a great “last-minute dinner” because we usually have all of these food staples already in the house.
You knew I was going to throw a salmon recipe in here, didn’t you? ? I am a HUGE fan of salmon and highly recommend trying to incorporate it at least once per week (read my blog about the 5 healthiest fish here). This easy quinoa salmon bowl is a great way to meet those needs, plus provide a delicious meal in the process!
This buffalo quinoa chicken salad recipe is SO EASY! Seriously, meal prepping the chicken ahead of time would make this a 10-minute dinner. Plus, Franks Red Hot is lyfeee. ??
I’m all for meal prepping ahead of time, if possible. This would be a great lunch idea to take to work! This easy quinoa recipe uses quinoa, herbed chicken, riced broccoli (or cauliflower) and an easy homemade tzatziki sauce.
You may be thinking: kale AND quinoa? Get real, Maria. ? BUT WAIT! This is one of my favorite easy quinoa recipes. It is seriously so. freaking. good, and we regularly have it for dinner. The sweetness of the apples and cranberries paired with the crunch of the kale and walnuts make this easy quinoa salad a win in my book.
This Thai quinoa salad is a great lunch option to meal prep ahead of time as well! It is loaded with veggies like cabbage, bell peppers, and carrots. Plus the ginger peanut dressing is an awesome addition.
Mason jar salads are so convenient to take to work. All you have to do is give it a little shake and it’s ready to eat. The way you stack the ingredients prevents it from getting soggy (especially if you meal prep ahead of time). But, this easy quinoa recipe offers an easy alternative to mason jar salads because it has no lettuce! No wilt, no worries!
You didn’t think I’d do a recipe roundup without including one using an Instant Pot, did you?! This quinoa fried rice is so dang clever! I love me some fried rice, and this would work as a great healthy alternative to an Asian side dish, or even a full-on entree!
Who says you can’t eat quinoa for breakfast? I’m a huge fan of meal prepping egg muffins such as these for a quick, on-the-go breakfast! The added quinoa provides an additional source of filling fiber and protein.
Speaking of breakfast, this berry quinoa recipe is a great option for those of you who aren’t huge fans of eggs! I know some people also don’t like the consistency of oatmeal, so replacing it for a quinoa substitute is a great alternative.