15 Easy Quinoa Recipes (2024)

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These quinoa recipes make it easy to incorporate this ancient grain into delicious meals! Try quinoa salad, chili, tacos and more.

15 Easy Quinoa Recipes (1)

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is one of the world’s most perfect foods (according tosome!), due to its high nutritional content. It’s actually a seed, not a grain, which makes it naturally gluten free. Quinoa is high in protein, calcium, Vitamin B, and iron. Fun fact: apparently the Incas thought it was sacred, because eating it regularly appeared to provide a long, healthy life.

How to incorporate this superfood in your everyday? Here are all the top easy quinoa recipes to do so, from quinoa salad to chili, tacos, grain bowls and more. All these quinoa meals and dishes have become family favorites and we hope they will in yours too!

And now…our top easy quinoa recipes!

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Perfectly Seasoned Quinoa

Whether you’re a lover or a hater, one thing is true. Quinoa right out of the pot is pretty bland. You’ve got to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make it taste amazing. Here’s our best quinoa recipe to make it into a perfectly seasoned side dish. Just a few simple ingredients transform it from bland to bursting with flavor! Even quinoa haters will will want to take another bite…promise.

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Go-To Quinoa Salad

Here’s a workhorse salad that’s fresh, delicious and ultra versatile: this deli-styleQuinoa Salad! There are loads of ways to make a salad with this fluffy grain and after experimenting for years, we’ve foundthe one. This quinoa recipe is delightfully refreshing, a jumble of crunchy, colorful veggies, fluffy quinoa grains, and a zingy Dijon mustard vinaigrette. It’s vegetable-packed, making it a great way to add veggies as a dinner side dish, lunch idea, or even picnics or potlucks.

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Quinoa Tabbouleh

Another fantastic quinoa salad...Quinoa Tabbouleh! There’s something about the combination of herbaceous parsley, bright lemon and crunchy tomatoes and cucumber that makes magic. Traditional Middle Eastern tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat, a quick cookingwhole grain. But seeing as quinoa is the grain of the moment…why not try it with quinoa? Turns out it works perfectly, making a delicious gluten free spin on this classic salad.

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Breakfast Quinoa Bowl

Want to liven up your breakfast game? TryBreakfast Quinoa! This alternative to oatmeal is just as satisfying. Critics of quinoa find it bitter or bland, but this way to prepare it is anything but! Cook it with milk, maple syrup and cinnamon, then load it up with toppings like fresh berries, coconut and nut butter. It’s ahealthy breakfast ideathat’s a fun way to start the day.

These loaded quinoa tacos are one of our very favorite inventive ways to eat quinoa!They’re delicious vegetarian taco recipe, featuring a taco spiced quinoa taco filling, bell pepper slaw, spicy sour cream (or vegan sour cream), and feta cheese! And they take only 30 minutes to make, putting them at the top of our list of easy quinoa recipes.

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Quinoa Chili

This protein-packed quinoa chili is a fan favorite!It’s beyond simple to make, and the flavor isoutstanding. (We hope you’ll agree.) It’s got a hint of smokiness to highlight the tangy tomatoes and savory black beans. Top it with your favorite toppings, and it’s so hearty and savory, you’ll forget it’s healthy, too.

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Easy Quinoa Bowl

Last up in our quinoa dishes: quinoa bowls! Bowl meals are so popular these days, and often they’re on our table because it’s one of the easiest ways to turn random ingredients into a healthy dinner! But here’s the thing: you can’t just throw anything into a bowl. A good grain bowl has to be well-seasoned, and play up contrasts in color, texture and flavor. This one is Greek-inspired and stars our easy canned chickpeas withseasoned quinoa, colorful veggies andtahini sauce.

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Kale Quinoa Salad

Here’s a quinoa recipe that’s beautifully fresh and saves well for meals throughout the week:kale quinoa salad! It’s full of healthy ingredients: quinoa, kale, peppers, carrots: and then covered in a delicious, ultra tangy dressing! It’ssoflavorful and keeps that flavor 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Lunches just got way more exciting! It also works as a side salad for healthy dinners.

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Quinoa Enchiladas

These delicious vegetarian enchiladas are stuffed with artichokes and quinoa! They’re a filling vegetarian recipe that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. When Alex first tried this quinoa recipe, he said the meatiness of the filling reminded him of chicken — which is big praise for a recipe that has no meat. Oh and they also look gorgeous! Topped with thinly sliced red onion rings, the lovely purple circles contrast against the bright Monterrey jack cheese, fresh cilantro, and crumbled queso fresco.

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Quinoa Fried Rice

Next up in our list of easy quinoa recipes, this quinoa fried rice! This unique take on fried rice is made with quinoa instead of rice, and packed with baby greens: spinach, chard and kale. Alex and I make quinoa fried rice without a recipe all the time as an easy weeknight meal. Once you make this recipe a few times, you can get the hang of it and customize to use up the veggies in your fridge. This is one of our top favorite quinoa meals: and especially for using up leftovers, since it’s made with cold quinoa!

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

This quinoa stuffed peppers recipe is a colorful and delicious healthy dinner, full of Mediterranean flavors like lemon, parsley and feta.Roasting peppers is quite easy: it takes just 30 minutes and you can do it while preparing the remainder of the recipe. To make the quinoa filling, saute shallot and garlic, then add the quinoa, chopped pistachios, parsley, paprika, oregano and lemon. Then stuff the filling into the peppers and sprinkle everything with a healthy dose of feta cheese (or omit for vegan).

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This Mediterranean quinoa salad features greens, feta cheese, kalamata olives and a quinoa tomato sofrito blend. It’s a copycat of a Panera quinoa salad we made as a reader request!Sofrito is a sauce used as a base in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Latin American cooking. In Spanish cuisine, it’s garlic, onion, paprika, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil.The quinoa tomato sofrito blend has an almost meaty texture, and makes this a hearty and filling main dish salad.

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Quinoa Burgers

This quinoa recipe takes a bit of time to put together, but it’s totally worth it! These flavorful quinoa burgers are easy to make and keep well in the fridge for several days. You can eat them with a bun, or place them on a bed of greens for a gluten free option. Top with hummus and avocado and dig in!

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Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Quinoa

This Moroccan stew recipe is ultra flavorful, with a blend of Moroccan spices that’s truly irresistible! And it’s full of nutrient rich vegetables: sweet potatoes,chickpeas, tomatoes and spinach. Serve it with quinoa for a delicious plant based dinner that’s also gluten free.

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Mediterranean Bowl

Looking for fresh quinoa dinner ideas? Try thisMediterranean Bowl, bursting with colorful veggies! It’s a simple “meal in a bowl” that stars spiced roasted vegetables, seasoned with an irresistible mix of cumin, coriander, garlic and a hint of cinnamon. Add to that quinoa, fresh cucumber and tomato, and top it all off with a creamy lemon tahini sauce.

How to cook quinoa

There are a few ways to cook quinoa. Over the years, Alex and I have messed up quinoa numerous times: cooking it too fast so it’s hard and crunchy, or overcooking it so it’s mushy. I will say, how to cook quinoa is not a simple matter! We have two methods we like to use to cook quinoa:

  1. Perfect Quinoa on the StovetopThis is our master recipe for cooking quinoa on the stovetop and the correct quinoa to water ratio. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes, and it requires a little baby sitting to make sure the liquid is cooking out evenly, but it’s mostly hands off.
  2. Instant Pot Quinoa (Pressure Cooker)If you have a pressure cooker, you can use it to make quinoa! It takes about 16 minutes and is almost totally hands off! This is the method we’ve started to use more often, since we have an Instant Pot. Get it: 6 Quart Instant Pot

Quinoa nutrition

Last up: is quinoa healthy? Yes, this superfood is loaded with nutritional benefits! Here’s a breakdown (data source:Quinoa Nutrition):

  • Quinoa is a plant-based protein powerhouse. 1 cup quinoa has 8 grams protein or about 16% of your daily value.
  • It’s loaded with fiber. 1 cup quinoa has 5 grams fiber, or about 20% your daily need.
  • Quinoais a good source of antioxidants and minerals. It provides more magnesium, iron, and zinc than many common grains.

How does quinoa stack up against rice? See Quinoa vs Rice: Which is Better?


15 Easy Quinoa Recipes (17)

15 Easy Quinoa Recipes

★★★★★4.3 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
Print Recipe


Here’s a basic quinoa recipe that’s seasoned so it tastes irresistible! This recipe will convince even quinoa haters take another bite.



  • 1 cup dry quinoa (or 3 cups cooked and skip Step 1 and 2)*
  • 1 tablespoon butter (olive oil or coconut oil for vegan)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoonkosher salt
  • Optional: ¼ cup finely chopped fresh herbs, like chives, basil, dill, oregano, thyme, cilantro, or Italian parsley, ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles


  1. Rinse the quinoa using a fine mesh strainer, then drain completely. Place quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 17 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.
  2. Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  3. Stir in the butter, dried oregano, garlic powder, andkosher salt. If using fresh herbs, stir in the herbs (and feta cheese, if using). Taste and add additional salt if necessary.


*Other seasoning options:Mix the quinoa with ¼ cupbasil pesto, or stir in 2 teaspoonsItalian seasoning,herbes de Provence, orGreek seasoning.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Quinoa recipes, Quinoa, Easy quinoa recipes

Looking for more easy quinoa recipes?

Outside of these featured quinoa meals, here are a few more quinoa dishes that we love:

  • Mexican Quinoa Recipe
  • Stress Relieving Quinoa Avocado Salad
  • Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables
  • Summer Quinoa Salad with Corn
  • Quinoa Bean Salad with Lemon
  • Crispy Quinoa Granola
  • Vegan Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas
  • Pesto Quinoa Recipe
  • Quinoa Stuffed Grilled Zucchini
  • Grilled Eggplant with Herbed Quinoa
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Herbs

Last updated: September 2020

vegan vegetarian

Published on / Last updated on

Categorized In:

  • Recipe Collections

Tagged with:

  • Quinoa
  • Roundup
  • Vegan Recipes
  • Vegetarian Recipes

About the authors

15 Easy Quinoa Recipes (18)

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

About Us

15 Easy Quinoa Recipes (2024)


What can I add to quinoa to make it taste good? ›

Strong flavors like onions or spices work too. In a soup, you can add spices and other flavors like celery, carrot, etc. We make an amazing fried quinoa recipe that includes lots of green and white onions, which covers up the flavor of the quinoa. It tastes much better than if we'd cooked it in plain water.

How much quinoa does 1 cup make? ›

For 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, you'll want to use 2 cups of water—this will yield 3 cups of cooked quinoa. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the temperature to medium-low and pop the lid on securely.

How much quinoa do I need for 10 people? ›

If you're serving quinoa as a side dish, plan for ¾ to 1 cup per person. How much dry quinoa do I need for 2 cups cooked? Since quinoa increases 3 times when cooked, divide the cooked volume by three. 2/3 cup dry quinoa = 2 cups cooked quinoa.

What is the best way to eat quinoa? ›

Once you've made a batch of quinoa, you have endless options for using it. Make it the base of your next grain bowl, toss it into a salad, or stuff it into squash or sweet potatoes. It's also at home in soups & wraps, and it pairs nicely with sweet flavors as well as savory.

Why do I feel better after eating quinoa? ›

Quinoa is a nutritious choice for people looking for plant-based protein sources—it's a complete protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids. Plus, its dietary fiber may help improve your digestion. Likewise, its fiber and protein content can help make you feel more satiated than other grains.

How to flavor cooked quinoa? ›

I find that some of the best seasonings for quinoa are cumin, dried bay leaf, turmeric, and salt, and black pepper. I also love to flavor it with fresh garlic and herbs such as parsley, dill, and cilantro. You can add the seasonings of your choice into the pot at the same time with the liquid and cook it as directed.

Do you need to wash quinoa? ›

Some people are particularly sensitive to saponins, which is why unrinsed cooked quinoa has a reputation for tasting bitter. However, most quinoa that is sold in packages has been "pre-rinsed," which means the saponins have been removed and rinsing isn't necessary.

Do you stir quinoa while cooking? ›

Stay vigilant: Stir the grains constantly to avoid burning, watching for that perfect golden moment, around 6 to 8 minutes. Water is this grain's go-to companion, but other liquids–think low-sodium chicken, mushroom or vegetable broth–add flavor. Just keep the ratio 2 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa.

How much quinoa do I need for 15 people? ›

The recommended portion per person is ¼ cup of uncooked quinoa or ¾ cup of cooked quinoa if served as a side dish. If you need to make 2 cups of cooked quinoa for a recipe, cook ⅔ cup of dry quinoa with 1 cup of water.

Why does my quinoa come out mushy? ›

One Part Quinoa to Two Parts Water

It all comes down to texture. Add too little water and your grains may burn on the bottom of the pot before they cook through. Add too much water and you'll end up with soggy, overcooked, and mushy grains.

Is 2 cups of quinoa too much? ›

You can eat one-two cups of cooked quinoa in a day. You should avoid eating it if you experience stomachache, itchiness or vomiting after consuming it. A study by Harvard Public School of Health has reported that eating a bowl of quinoa daily is healthy and without any side effects.

Is it OK to eat quinoa everyday? ›

A study by the Harvard Public School of Health stated that eating a bowl of quinoa daily may reduce the chances of early death risk from cancer, heart disease, respiratory ailments, diabetes, and other chronic diseases by 17%.

Why should you soak quinoa before cooking? ›

Do you need to soak quinoa before cooking it? In short, no, you don't need to soak quinoa. However, doing so is said to remove phytic acid, which may make it easier for people to digest quinoa. If you just want to remove the bitter flavor from quinoa, rinse it under cold water for about a minute.

Is quinoa healthier than rice? ›

Quinoa is rich in both fiber and protein, contains a much higher amount of other nutrients, and has a similar fluffy texture to the rice. A cup of quinoa contains twice more protein and about 5 g more fiber than white rice. Quinoa contains fewer calories and carbohydrates than white rice.

How do you make quinoa not taste bad? ›

Rinse the Quinoa:Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer. This helps remove the natural bitter coating called saponin. Combine Quinoa and Liquid:In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and water or vegetable broth. If you like, add a pinch of salt for seasoning.

How do you make quinoa not gross? ›

Rinse it before you cook it.

After it's nice and toasty, it's time to rinse it. Quinoa has a natural coating of saponins that leaves a bitter, soapy taste in your mouth if it's not washed away, which is a huge reason a lot of people think they don't like quinoa.

How to cook quinoa like a chef? ›

How to cook quinoa to perfection, according to professional chefs
  1. Use the large-sized pot with a well-fitting lid. ...
  2. Rinse, measure, and toast your quinoa. ...
  3. Boil before adding the quinoa. ...
  4. Season and cover your quinoa, then stir in some fat. ...
  5. Fluff, then zhuzh. ...
  6. Try something new.
Sep 23, 2021

What liquid to cook quinoa in? ›

The basic ratio is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid. You can use water (season it with a bit of kosher salt), or you can use any kind of broth (we like to use low-sodium broths and add any extra salt to the finished dish as needed). You can also add a bit of dry white wine to the liquid for another layer of flavor.

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