12 Creative and Delicious Ways to Get Your Quinoa Fix

Quinoa Crunch Snack Bars
Photo via Sally's Baking Addiction

Ten years ago, quinoa was a relatively unknown ancient grain consumed mostly in South American countries. However thanks to several culinary trends, like the rise of superfoods and gluten-free diets, along with a general interest in grains, quinoa absolutely exploded. According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. imported 68.9 million pounds of quinoa in 2014. To put things in perspective, in 2007, just 7.6 million pounds were imported. It’s price has doubled and now it’s safe to say that the little Andean grain that could is a staple in most people’s pantries. However, when a once-exciting ingredient becomes every day, it’s easy to get in a rut and make the same boring dishes over and over again. To ensure that quinoa retains its luster, we’re introducing you to some new ways to consume the grain. Here are 13 innovative recipes that make use of the super grain.

Courtesy of Simply Quinoa

Vegan Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

One of the reasons quinoa is so popular is because it can be ground into a gluten-free flour. The flour can be used to make all sorts of things, which is why you can purchase quinoa pasta at Whole Foods. It can also be used to make gluten-free breakfast items like these vegan blueberry pancakes. They are a fluffy and delicious breakfast treat.

Get the recipe on Simply Quinoa.

Courtesy of the Minimalist Baker

Quinoa Taco Meat

Using quinoa as a substitute for ground beef in tacos is genius! This is definitely one of those recipes that had us wondering why we hadn’t thought of it before. Cooked quinoa is tossed with traditional taco spices like salsa, cumin, and chili powder, then baked until toasted and crisp. Pile into warm taco shells and top with all the usual fixings—shredded lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, and sour cream.

Get the recipe on Minimalist Baker.

Courtesy of Leite’s Culinaria

Brown Rice and Quinoa Porridge

Have you tried quinoa for breakfast yet? If you’re an oatmeal lover, we recommend you experiment with brown rice and quinoa porridge. The grains are simmered in milk (whatever kind you prefer) until they are broken down and soupy. Top with fresh fruit, roasted nuts, toasted coconut, or jam.

Get the recipe on Leite’s Culinaria.

Courtesy of Alpha Smoot for Food52

Grilled Avocados Stuffed With Quinoa

Because it is so small, quinoa makes an excellent ingredient for stuffing. You may have used it to stuff bell peppers, so why not take it to the next level and fill a grilled avocado with it?! It’s a satisfying and interesting vegan meal.

Get the recipe on Food52.

Courtesy of Simply Quinoa

Vegetable Quinoa Sushi

Another reason quinoa is so popular is because it’s a rice substitute that cooks in half the time. A pot of quinoa is done in 15 minutes, while a pot of white rice takes 30 minutes. Combined with ground cauliflower, quinoa makes a lovely replacement for sushi rice in healthy homemade vegetable rolls.

Get the recipe on Simply Quinoa.

Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

Quinoa Crunch Bars

Quinoa is a scrumptious addition to nut and oat bars. Simply toss it uncooked with oats, nuts, honey, nut butter, seeds, and dates in a bowl. Press into a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake until browned and firm. Let chill, then drizzle with melted chocolate and enjoy! Stack the finished bars in cellophane bags tied with a pretty ribbon, and you’ve got a wonderful edible hostess gift.

Get the recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Courtesy of Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Mixed Grain Risotto

Quinoa can be used to add heft to traditional rice dishes like risotto. It will also make the recipe lighter. Use less aborio rice and more quinoa, then mix in plenty of kale and a little bit of parmesan cheese.

Get the recipe on The New York Times.

Courtesy of Chris Court for Food & Wine

Toasted Quinoa Porridge with Mushrooms

Leave it to chef Thomas Keller to prove that savory quinoa porridge is a scrumptious dinner option. He cooks the quinoa in a mixture of chicken stock and milk then makes it creamy by adding butter and aged gouda cheese. It’s topped with sauteed mushrooms and a poached egg. Pair with an earthy Beaujolais for a truly gourmet meal.

Get the recipe on Food & Wine.

Courtesy of Con Poulos for Food & Wine

Escarole Salad With Red Quinoa

Normally when we make a quinoa salad, the grain is the base ingredient. However, this recipe illustrates that a green, like escarole, can be the star component and quinoa can be a flavor and texture enhancer. Serve as a side dish to roast chicken.

Get the recipe on Food & Wine.

Courtesy of Dolly and Oatmeal

Creamy Broccoli Rabe Soup With Crispy Quinoa

We love adding croutons to soup because they provide a satisfying crunch to a puree. If you’re not into carbs, the same effect can be achieved with quinoa. Toast in a skillet until it pops and becomes crispy then spoon onto a vegan vegetable puree. Delish!

Get the recipe on Dolly and Oatmeal.

Courtesy of the Minimalist Baker

Quinoa Spring Rolls

Quinoa can be used to add nutritional value to a dish like spring rolls. Cellophane noodles aren’t too healthy, but if you swap them for quinoa in veggie rolls you’ll have a more figure-friendly meal.

Get the recipe on the Minimalist Baker.

Courtesy of Taste

Black Quinoa and Cucumber Salad With Crispy Salmon

For a super quick weeknight dinner, put together this quinoa and cucumber salad served with flaky buttery salmon. The dish is seasoned with a flavorful Asian-inspired vinaigrette that’s made from mirin, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil.

Get the recipe on Taste.

What are your favorite quinoa recipes? Share below.