This recipe’s photo shoot was going swimmingly until the very end. Ingredients, sunlight, dog not on table—check, check, check. Then I told myself to quit being lazy and pull out the tripod to be sure I got some crystal-clear photos of the final dish.
I tripped over Cookie, the tripod arm bumped the foam board reflector, the reflector knocked over the mini milk pitcher and then both bowls. It was like watching a stack of dominoes fall.
It was Cookie’s lucky day. She helped clean up the spilled milk and I gladly called it a day. I’m excited to share this recipe today. I mean, if that recipe title didn’t do it for you, I don’t know what will. Cinnamon toast! This breakfast quinoa really tastes like cinnamon toast.
I haven’t even been terribly excited about quinoa for breakfast, but this recipe is a definite game changer. Cooking it with freshly toasted pecans (you’ll toast them in the saucepan before adding the rest), coconut oil, cinnamon, and a few dashes of salt makes it legitimately crave-worthy. Do try it and let me know if you agree.
I found the recipe concept in an Amazon impulse purchase, a vegan and gluten-free cookbook called Yum Universe by Heather Crosby, who also runs a blog by the same name. I tweaked the method and ingredients, like I do.
This recipe is the perfect use for leftover quinoa, although I like it so much that I’ve started cooking up quinoa just for breakfast. Here’s how to cook perfect quinoa, which never fails me.
Watch How to Make Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa
Cinnamon Toast Breakfast Quinoa
- Prep Time: 3 mins
- Cook Time: 7 mins
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 serving
- Category: Breakfast
Epic breakfast quinoa recipe featuring toasted pecans, coconut oil, cinnamon and dried cherries or cranberries. It tastes like cinnamon toast! Recipe as written yields 1 serving; you can multiply it as necessary, as long as you use a suitably sized pot.
- Heaping 2 tablespoons chopped raw pecans
- 1 ½ teaspoons coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
- Tiny pinch of salt
- 1 cup pre-cooked quinoa* (either chilled or warm from cooking—both will work)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, more if desired
Toppings and optional accompaniments
- 1 tablespoon chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries
- Hemp seeds, chia seeds or flax seeds (optional), for serving
- Milk or yogurt of choice (totally optional), for serving
- First, toast the pecans before we add the remaining ingredients. To do so, warm the pecans in a small saucepan (use a larger saucepan if you are making multiple servings) over medium heat, shimmying the pan often, until the pecans smell fragrant and toasty, about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add the coconut oil, cinnamon and salt to the pot. While stirring constantly, cook until the cinnamon is fragrant, about 15 seconds.
- Add the quinoa to the pot and stir to combine. Cook, while stirring constantly, just until the quinoa is warmed through, about a minute or so. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the maple syrup.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and top with dried fruit and a hefty sprinkle of hemp seeds, if using. Top with a light sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve promptly, with additional maple syrup and milk or yogurt on the side, if you’d like.
Recipe adapted from Yum Universe by Heather Crosby.
Change it up: Try honey instead of maple syrup, use your favorite nuts or seeds, toast unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut with the nuts, top with fresh fruit or instead of dried, add a big dollop of applesauce, etc.
Make it nut free: Omit the nuts or replace them with pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds).
*How to cook quinoa: Check out my preferred cooking method here. You’ll need to cook about ⅓ cup dry quinoa with ⅔ cup water to yield 1 cup quinoa, but I recommend making more than that so you have leftovers for tomorrow’s breakfast.
▸ Nutrition Information