12 Easy Quinoa Recipes You’ll Love

What is quinoa | how to pronounce quinoa | easy quinoa recipes

This recipe round-up includes 12 easy quinoa recipes you will love (including many of my favorite go-to quinoa recipes, too). But first…

What is Quinoa?

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.

Quinoa Nutrition (for 1/2 cup):

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

What Does Quinoa Taste Like?

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).

Is Quinoa Gluten-Free?

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!

How to Pronounce Quinoa

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. 🙄😂

Here are 12 easy quinoa recipes that you will love!


Pepperoni Pizza Quinoa Bake

Pepperoni Pizza Quinoa Recipe

This is one of my FAVORITE, easy quinoa recipes because it takes minimal time and tastes great – it’s even husband approved!

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Mediterranean Fried Quinoa

Mediterranean quinoa recipe | what is quinoa

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.

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Mexican Quinoa Casserole

Mexican Quinoa Casserole Recipe

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.

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Honey Garlic Salmon Quinoa Bowl

Honey garlic salmon quinoa bowl

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!

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Buffalo Quinoa Chicken Salad

Buffalo Quinoa Chicken Salad

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. 🙌🏼

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Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls

Greek Chicken Meal Prep Quinoa Bowl

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.

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quinoa meal prep guide


Kale Salad (with Apples & Quinoa)

Gluten free quinoa salad

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.

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Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad

Thai Quinoa Salad | How to pronounce quinoa

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.

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Summer Quinoa Salad Jars With Lemon Dill Dressing

Mason Jar Quinoa Salad

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!

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Instant Pot Quinoa Fried Rice

Instant Pot Quinoa Recipe | Easy Quinoa Recipe

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!

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Easy Spinach and Parmesan Quinoa Muffins

Easy spinach quinoa muffin recipe

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.

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Berry Breakfast Quinoa

Berry breakfast quinoa recipe

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.

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Quinoa is a GREAT food to meal prep ahead of time! Download my free guide below to learn how to save time but still cook great, healthy meals.

quinoa meal prep guide