Cooking with Quinoa: 25 Recipes

High in protein and fiber, quinoa [KEEN-wah] is not only versatile, it also tastes wonderful and has a nice crunch. Find 24 delicious recipes for cooking with this ancient whole grain.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Delicious Quinoa Recipes

A good gluten-free source of protein, iron, and fiber, quinoa is a quick and flavorful way to get in a serving of whole grains. About the size of pellets of couscous, quinoa cooks in about 20 minutes. The only special handling required with quinoa is to give it a good rinse before cooking; otherwise, the grains can be bitter.

First up, Quinoa Tabbouleh. Traditionally made with bulgar, our version of the Middle Eastern salad features quinoa along with other traditional ingredients: fresh herbs, tomato, and cucumber.

View Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh

Watch: How to Make Quinoa

Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad Recipe

Photo: Anna Williams

Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

Blood orange and kumquats work in perfect harmony with quinoa. Beets, avocado, and fresh cilantro add an extra dosage of flavors and textures to this citrusy salad.

View Recipe: Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili Recipe

Photo: Johnny Autry

Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili

Roasted bell pepper gives this dish a delightful boost. You'll love how the Spanish smoked paprika adds to the dimension of flavor.

View Recipe: Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili

Chickpea Bajane Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Chickpea Bajane

Bajane is a Provençal term for the midday meal. Chickpeas are a staple in Provence, where they are often stewed and served with pasta and vegetables. In this version, chickpeas, leeks, carrots, fennel, and spinach are served atop quinoa.

View Recipe: Chickpea Bajane

Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley Recipe

Photo: Nina Choi

Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley

Grain salads make great side dishes. This quinoa salad with artichoke hearts, fresh thyme and parsley, and lemon zest is elegant enough for company, yet quick enough for weeknight dinners.

View Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley

Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios Recipe

Photo: José Picayo

Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

You can serve this herby, fruity side at room temperature or chilled.

View Recipe: Quinoa with Dried Cherries and Pistachios

Quinoa and Parsley Salad

Photo: Andrea Dorsey

Quinoa and Parsley Salad

After a recent trip to Israel, reader Pam Riesenberg was inspired to include more quinoa and fresh salads in her family's meals. "It's a very healthy cuisine, and quinoa figures into the Israeli diet a lot." Now she's spreading the word through cooking classes and sharing her recipe with us.

View Recipe: Quinoa and Parsley Salad

Curried Quinoa Salad with Cucumber-Mint Raita Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Curried Quinoa Salad with Cucumber-Mint Raita

Cook quinoa with curry powder and crushed garlic for Indian-inspired flavor. We like the heat that Madras curry powder brings, but use regular curry powder if you prefer.

View Recipe: Curried Quinoa Salad with Cucumber-Mint Raita

Quinoa with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms Recipe

Quinoa with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

Sauté leeks, mushrooms, and chopped red bell pepper in dry white wine to top quinoa for a hearty meatless entrée. Sprinkle crushed walnuts on top for the dish just before serving for an extra dose of crunch.

View Recipe: Quinoa with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

Black Bean-Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing Recipe

Photo: Jan Smith

Black Bean-Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing

Cooked in broth, quinoa has even more flavor. Lima beans, black beans, and tofu add extra protein and fiber to this satisfying vegetarian salad, which contains about 10 grams of protein per serving.

View Recipe: Black Bean-Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing

Quinoa-Stuffed Squash Recipe

Photo: Ditte Isager

Quinoa-Stuffed Squash

You can cook the squash, prepare the filling, and refrigerate up to two days ahead. Then assemble and bake just before serving.

View Recipe: Quinoa-Stuffed Squash

Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

Photo: Howard Puckett

Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

Featuring peak summer produce and protein-rich quinoa, this colorful recipe was a finalist from our Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest. Save leftovers to serve for lunch throughout the week.

View Recipe: Colorful Quick Quinoa Grecian Salad

Quick-Cured Sake Salmon with Quinoa Recipe

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Quick-Cured Sake Salmon with Quinoa

Sake's nutty flavor complements the quinoa and helps tenderize the salmon. This method is a quick way to cure the fish.

View Recipe: Quick-Cured Sake Salmon with Quinoa

Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach Recipe

Photo: John Autry

Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach

After a year of marriage, reader Mary Ellen Smith tired of preparing the same basic dishes every night. Five years later, after poring through recipes, Smith discovered quinoa. "It was new to me, so I chose ingredients from one of my favorite cuisines, Italian." With endless options, Smith turned to the mellow nuttiness of roasted garlic to balance the tart flavor of tomato in this side dish recipe.

View Recipe: Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach

Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pistachios Recipe

Photo: Randy Mayor

Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pistachios

We call for dried apricots, however if apricots are in season where you live, by all means substitute fresh—about 6, coarsely chopped—in place of the dried.

View Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Pistachios

Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes

Photo: Johnny Autry

Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes

These cakes are served with a simple tartar sauce to cool down the Cajun-style spice rub.

View Recipe: Cajun Crab and Quinoa Cakes

Tomato, Squash, and Red Pepper Gratin

Photo: Johnny Autry

Tomato, Squash, and Red Pepper Gratin

Sometimes the best "steak" comes in the form of ripe, juicy beefsteak tomato slices, as in this easy gratin. Serve with a salad of fresh summer greens.

View Recipe: Tomato, Squash, and Red Pepper Gratin

Red Quinoa Salad

Photo: Oxmoor House

Red Quinoa Salad

The health benefits of this gluten-free ancient grain are spectacular. Red quinoa makes a beautiful main-dish salad, but you can use whichever color you’d like.

View Recipe: Red Quinoa Salad

Quinoa with Toasted Pine Nuts

Photo: Johnny Autry

Quinoa with Toasted Pine Nuts

The perfect side-dish companion to a variety of meat-based main dishes, including fish, chicken, and steak, this quinoa recipe is simple and delicious.

View Recipe: Quinoa with Toasted Pine Nuts

Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn, and Green Chiles

Photo: Romulo Yanes

Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn, and Green Chiles

These tomatoes are stuffed full with super-healthy quinoa, sweet fresh corn, poblano chiles, and lots of shredded cheese. Fresh lime juice adds a burst of citrus freshness. It's a delicious side or meatless main.

View Recipe: Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn, and Green Chiles

Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Quinoa Salad

Photo: Randy Mayor

Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, shrimp, and chickpeas pack a triple punch of protein into this tasty dish.

View Recipe: Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Quinoa Salad

Breakfast Quinoa

Photo: John Autry

Breakfast Quinoa

Like most whole grains, quinoa is surprisingly filling, but if you need more for breakfast, serve with an egg on the side.

View Recipe: Breakfast Quinoa

Quick Quinoa Meatballs

Photo: Randy Mayor

Quick Quinoa Meatballs

This recipe comes from Jessica Goldman Foung, whose low-sodium diet requires the use of a creative variety of spices to boost flavor. If your diet allows, seasoning the recipe with 1/2 teaspoon salt adds just 40mg sodium per meatball.

View Recipe: Quick Quinoa Meatballs

Nutty Almond-Sesame Red Quinoa

Photo: Jason Wallis

Nutty Almond-Sesame Red Quinoa

Sliced, toasted almonds balance the thinly sliced green onions in this beautiful red quinoa dish. If you can’t find red quinoa, regular works just as well.

View Recipe: Nutty Almond-Sesame Red Quinoa

Spicy Bean and Quinoa Salad with "Mole" Vinaigrette

Photo: Iain Bagwell

Spicy Bean and Quinoa Salad with "Mole" Vinaigrette

To make ahead, leave out the greens and keep the quinoa mixture covered in the refrigerator up to two days. Add spinach just before serving. To tame the heat, seed the chile or substitute chopped red bell pepper.

View Recipe: Spicy Bean and Quinoa Salad with "Mole" Vinaigrette

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