Breakfast Quinoa

Breakfast Quinoa

Cue the trumpets! I am pleased to present (doot dee doot) breakfast quinoa!

I came across Joy’s recipe for breakfast quinoa this week in perfect timing. Quinoa for breakfast sounded satisfying and delicious, and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand: mango, milk, apple sauce, almonds and coconut. The next morning, I woke up and cooked quinoa for breakfast.

Breakfast quinoa, it turns out, is just as filling as oatmeal and as easy to make, with endless variations. Quinoa has a nutty flavor that goes great with breakfast toppings, plus it’s a highly nutritious way to start the day. Quinoa is a complete protein that’s packed with vitamins and minerals.

Breakfast quinoa is a perfect way to use up leftover quinoa, and you can easily make it a vegan meal if you use almond, coconut or soy milk instead of regular milk. I’m hooked!

preparing quinoa

To cook quinoa, measure out one cup of grains, pour into a colandar, and rinse them under water for a few minutes. Rinsing removes the bitter saponins coating the outside of the quinoa. Then, pour the rinsed quinoa into a pot and add two cups water (you’re going for a 1:2 ratio of quinoa and water). Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit for a few minutes, and fluff with a fork.

Some of the other breakfast quinoa recipes I’ve come across recommend cooking the quinoa with milk instead of water, or a combination of milk and water (e.g. this recipe on 101 Cookbooks). Emma at The Kitchn recommends cooking the quinoa with water, as usual, and then adding a cup of milk at the end and letting is cook down a bit. Both methods sound delicious, but I like using leftover quinoa for other recipes, so I cooked my quinoa with all water. I just poured milk into my bowl when I was ready to eat quinoa for breakfast.

toasted almonds and unsweetened coconut

Per Joy’s recommendation, I toasted sliced almonds and unsweetened coconut in the oven. It’s an unnecessary step if you’re in a hurry. Almonds and coconut are good, toasted or not!

breakfast quinoa with fresh mango, apple sauce, coconut and almonds

On Tuesday, I followed Joy’s recipe. I added warm quinoa, apple sauce (no sugar added) and milk to a bowl, and topped it with fresh mango, coconut and almonds. YUM.

breakfast quinoa with blackberries, blueberries and balsamic vinegar

The next day, I reheated some quinoa, added it to a bowl with some milk, and topped it with thawed frozen blackberries, blueberries, coconut, almond and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Also yum.

apple breakfast quinoa

Today, I heated quinoa, mixed it with applesauce and added milk. I diced a granny smith apple and heated in the microwave with a sliver of butter and a dash of cinnamon until the apples were soft. Then I topped the quinoa with coconut, almonds and a dash of maple syrup.

Basic Breakfast Quinoa Recipe
5.0 from 2 reviews
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • ½ cup or more cooked quinoa, warmed
  • ½ to 1 cup milk of choice (almond milk, coconut milk, cows milk)
  • ⅓ cup or more fruit (berries, chopped apple or pear, tropical fruit)
  • Optional add-ons: toasted nuts, apple sauce, coconut flakes, balsamic vinegar, chopped dark chocolate, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Optional sweeteners: honey, real maple syrup, agave nectar, raw sugar, brown sugar
  1. In a bowl, combine warmed quinoa with milk. Top with fruit, add-ons and sweetener of choice. Good morning to you!

More flavor combinations to try:

  • Almond milk, fresh or dried cherries, chopped dark chocolate, maple syrup
  • Almond milk, fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries, toasted almonds
  • Coconut milk, pineapple chunks, chopped and toasted macadamia nuts, coconut flakes
  • Almond milk, chopped pear, toasted pecans (or walnuts), honey
  • Any milk, sliced banana, any toasted nuts
  • Almond or cows milk, chopped peaches or nectarine, dash of cinnamon

I’m officially a fan of quinoa at all times of the day. How about you?


  1. says

    Hee hee. When I read “Cue the trumpets”, I saw Cue the Crumpets!! Do you have things you call crumpets for breakfast over there? Must be all this food on the brain. I just made bircher muesli and have sat down to catch up on blogs whilst it’s setting into yumminess.

    • says

      I’m so glad an Aussie reads my blog. :) No, we don’t eat crumpets around here. I love that word, though. Maybe I’ll name my next dog Crumpet!

  2. says

    hahaha I love the trumpets reference! I also love the brightness of these photos since this dish is for breakfast. Hope you’re enjoying more free time at home. It looks like you are!

    • says

      I love my newfound free time! My two weeks of funemployment end this weekend, so I’ll have to get more focused starting next week!

  3. says

    Wow, I love, love, LOVE quinoa, but I would have never thought to use it as breakfast! I’ve always been very savory-ish with it..almost like a rice substitute. I think I’ll try the apple one first. :-D

  4. says

    I can’t believe I still haven’t even TRIED quinoa! I live in a really small town and I’d have to drive over an hour to get to a place that might sell it, because my small town grocery store doesn’t have it :( These all look sooo yummy! I’m favoriting this post to come back to once I get some!

  5. says

    i love this post! stumbled upon it when i was looking for ideas to use up my bag of quinoa in my pantry! i know what ill be having for brekkie tmr morning~!

  6. says

    had this for brekkie this morning :D its nice but i think im still trying to get used to the texture/flavour of quinoa…its def diff from my usual breakfast oatmeal! think im gonna try out your choc chip banana cookie this weekend! :) thanks for all the lovely recipes!

    • says

      What kind of quinoa have you tried? I just assumed all colors of quinoa taste the same, but I recently tried the white kind and wasn’t impressed. It seems like the red kind (pictured) has a more nutty flavor, which lends itself well to breakfast foods.

      I really like throwing some warm quinoa on salad, too. Have you tried that?

  7. says

    haha guess what – i was just telling my mum that this morning too. yesterday we tried the white kind (which ive always used for breakfast) and this morning the black and we noticed such a difference…def more palatable hahaha. love it! know that ill be buying black/red from now on! :) will have to give the salad idea a go next time too.

  8. RHG says

    Thanks for the ideas. I always cook a big batch of quinoa, and then vacuum seal it 2 cups at a time. I liked everything I read except for the microwave part, there is some research on it’s effects on nutrients. Stove works just as well, and better texture.

  9. Selena says

    This sounds delish!

    Oh, regarding crumpets: in Seattle we do! We have a shop in Pike Place Market that sells tea and crumpets. SO TASTY. We have a few stores that market Australians and New Zealanders. :)

  10. says

    This sounds SUPER yummy! I’m always making things like this and experimenting with what will taste scrumptious with my beloved quinoa and steel cut oatmeal. Thanks for sharing :).

  11. Chris Ortiz says

    Love this! have been experimenting w/quinoa, & so far have only had it as a side w/dinners – goes great w/grilled chicken & steak! ; ) your breakfast options sound divine — would it be possible to get nutrition info? tracking protein, fiber as well as sugar & fat, total calories. thanks!

    • says

      Sorry Chris, I don’t do nutritional breakdowns at this time. This is such a basic recipe that the nutrition content would vary depending on the toppings and milk chosen, too.

  12. Kurt Jacobs says

    I just stumbled across your site thanks to pintrest.

    So many great recipes here!

    Can you suggest any breakfast’s for Type 1 Diabetics? And Quinoa/Coconut/Almond or Soy milk?

    ps im another Aussie!

    • says

      Hi Kurt, I’m glad you’re enjoying my recipes. I don’t feel qualified to suggest recipes for diabetes because I am not a registered dietitian, I’m sorry! I’d hate to tell you the wrong thing.

  13. kristin says

    Hi Kate, just wondering if you’ve ever used quinoa flakes instead??? I’ve made quinoa porridge before an loved it but I usually use rolled oats as they’re so much quicker in the morning. So I thoguht maybe I could use quinoa flakes….

    • says

      Hi Kristin, great question! I have never tried quinoa flakes, no. I just googled them and learned that they may be a quick alternative for porridge. Please let us know if you give the flakes a try!

  14. Eve says

    Hi Kate! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! I made it this morning with banana, vanilla coconut milk, chia seeds, and pumpkin spice. It was amazing!

    Seriously though, your recommendation to rinse the quinoa changed my life. Previously, my quinoa always turned out dry, and generally unappetizing. Now, however, it is fluffy and delicious as can be! Thanks! Definitely adding this to my breakfast list from now on.

  15. Kristin Murray says

    I had leftover quinoa cooked with shredded carrots (1-1/2 c quinoa + 2 c shredded carrots) and I wanted to use it up. Your breakfast solution caught my eye. I made it with almond milk, toasted almonds/coconut, pumpkin seeds, and maple syrup and LOVED it! Thanks for the new breakfast idea! I can’t wait for tomorrow morning to do it again. :)

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