You can throw together a delicious quinoa breakfast bowl in minutes and ensure you're starting your day on a nutritious note. And just because quinoa is considered a healthy carb, doesn't mean you won't get a good dose of protein, too.
In fact, quinoa is one of the only plant foods that's considered a complete protein (meaning, it has all of the essential amino acids your body needs), according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Video of the Day
Start with a simple quinoa breakfast bowl (instructions below), then check out even more quinoa breakfast recipes and ideas that are both satisfying and full of nutrients.
For a savory quinoa breakfast, cook your quinoa in water or use a seasoned vegetable broth for extra flavor.
If you're making a sweet quinoa breakfast, try cooking it in almond milk or another plant-based milk alternative. Cooking breakfast quinoa in milk will give it a creamy texture, almost like a porridge.
How to Make a Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Using 1 cup of quinoa as the base for your breakfast bowl will give you 28 grams of energizing carbohydrates, 4 grams of satiating fiber and 6 grams of muscle-supporting protein, per the USDA.
Then, you can add other nutritious ingredients to your quinoa breakfast bowl based on whether you're in the mood for sweet and savory. With this recipe, you can create your own combination of flavors and textures you love.
- Fresh fruit, such as whole berries or sliced bananas, strawberries, or mango
- Dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cherries or dried cranberries
- Shredded coconut
- Spiced apples
- Nuts and seeds, like almonds, pecans or walnuts
- Cocoa powder
- Semi-sweet or unsweetened chocolate chips
- Protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
- Nut butter, such as almond, peanut or cashew
- Vanilla extract
- Spices, such as cinnamon
- Maple syrup or honey, for additional sweetening
- Eggs, cooked any style
- Uncured breakfast sausage or bacon (choose turkey for a leaner option)
- Smoked salmon
- Shredded cheese (choose mozzarella for more protein and calcium)
- Chopped leafy greens, such as spinach or kale
- Sliced avocado
- Sautéed onions
- Potato (or sweet potato) hash, pre-cut and seasoned
- Seasoned squash, such as zucchini or butternut
- Diced tomatoes or sliced baby tomatoes
- Lemon or lime juice
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
To make your own customizable quinoa breakfast bowl, pick any of the ingredients from the lists above and follow these basic instructions:
- Cook your quinoa in your desired liquid (milk, water or broth) per the package instructions. Typically, you'll combine 1 cup of quinoa and 1-1/2 cups of liquid in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare any other cooked ingredients you're using, such as sauteed veggies or simmered spiced apples. Slice or chop any fresh toppings, too. Set aside.
- Spoon one cup of cooked quinoa into a bowl and add your toppings. Enjoy while it's still hot, and save the rest of your quinoa for breakfast all week long!
Stored in an air-tight container, cooked quinoa will last in the fridge for at least three to four days, according to the USDA.
Some food bloggers and chefs say that if it's stored properly, cooked quinoa may keep for up to 6 or 7 days in the fridge. Check for signs of spoilage, like a foul smell or hard texture, to be sure.
If you're not going to use all your cooked quinoa within a week, store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More Quinoa Breakfast Recipes to Try
1. Quinoa Porridge
This breakfast quinoa bowl is sugar and spice and everything nice: All-natural sugars from fresh apples and raisins mix with fragrant cinnamon and cardamom for a lovely flavor profile that's warm and comforting yet provides just enough spice.
Plus, all the fruit-based fiber in this recipe can help lower cholesterol and your risk of heart disease, according to the USDA.
2. Quinoa and Amaranth Supercharged Breakfast
For those of you who can't live without oatmeal, this quinoa breakfast bowl — which features a combo of oats and quinoa — is the best of both worlds.
"And with ground flax seeds, which are easier to digest than whole ones, you'll get a hearty dose of belly-filling fiber and heart-healthy omega-3s," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of Better Than Dieting.
3. Chia, Blueberry and Quinoa Breakfast Parfait
Taub-Dix loves this dairy-free parfait: "Unsweetened almond milk has no added sugar, and it's a great option for vegetarians," or for those just aiming to add more plant-based foods to their diet. "Plus, the 17 grams of fiber is more than most people eat in an entire day," Taub-Dix says.
Between the crunchy chia seeds and quinoa, you're also getting 14 grams of filling protein that'll keep your belly rumbles at bay until lunchtime.
Get the Chia and Quinoa Blueberry Breakfast Parfait recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Chia, Almond and Quinoa Breakfast Yogurt
This simple recipe is easy as one, two, three, which is also the number of ingredients it requires. You can whip this breakfast bowl with just almond yogurt, quinoa and chia seeds.
The healthy triplet is a winning combination for fiber and protein (14 grams each), says Taub-Dix, adding that this dairy-free recipe is also a great plant-based alternative for vegans.
5. Cranberry-Orange Quinoa Breakfast
Sweet and tart, this pairing of fresh, juicy orange and tangy, dried cranberries is guaranteed to awaken your senses first thing in the morning.
Not only do dried cranberries offer an extra zing and some chewy texture to this breakfast bowl, they also add a nice amount of fiber and iron to the mix, Taub-Dix says.
6. Creamy Berry Quinoa Parfait
Boasting an impressive 25 grams of protein, this satisfying layered parfait owes its protein power to low-fat Greek yogurt.
Sweet blueberries and crunchy walnuts provide a balance of carbs and healthy fats for a well-rounded mix of macros.
Get the Creamy Berry Quinoa Parfait recipe and nutrition info here.
7. Peaches and Creamy Coconut Quinoa Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl
Coconut lovers, this one's for you. Thanks to coconut sugar, oil, milk and chips, you can enjoy quadruple the coconut flavor in this decadent quinoa breakfast bowl, which can easily substitute as a dessert.
But with 11 grams of saturated fat, this a.m. recipe should be relished as an occasional treat rather than an everyday staple, because the jury is still out on whether plant-based saturated fats pose the same ill effects on heart health as animal-based ones.
Get the Peaches and Creamy Coconut Quinoa Oatmeal Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.