All About Quinoa + 20 Easy Quinoa Recipes

Whether you’re new to quinoa or a seasoned pro when it comes to superfood, here’s all you need to know! Plus, 20 Easy Quinoa Recipes for everything from salads and buddha bowls to quinoa burgers. These recipes are packed with delicious ingredients and heaps of health benefits thanks to this tasty and nutritious seed.

Looking for more healthy recipe ideas? Check out our round-up of the best breakfast ideas to start your day.

A bowl of quinoa fried rice
A bowl of quinoa fried rice from Jessica in the Kitchen

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is a seed hailing from South America. The quinoa plant is part of the goosefoot family (along with spinach!) and is a staple food with a deep history rooted in the mountain regions of Chile and Peru.

Known as a bit of a pseudo-cereal grain, quinoa seeds have similar nutritional values and uses as other grains. It’s a versatile plant, designated a “super crop” by the United Nations as it can grow freely in dry soils without fertilizing or intervention. It was a staple food for the Incas and remains a hearty food source even now, 5000 years later! 

Is Quinoa Healthy?

Quinoa is definitely a “superfood” in the ultimate sense! The seeds are high in phytonutrients, with traces of fatty acids, making quinoa both anti-inflammatory and good for the heart. Among the highlights of its health benefits, quinoa is:

  • High in protein. Quinoa is one of the only plant-based complete proteins. At 8 grams of protein per cup, it also contains all 9 essential amino acids!
  • A source of fiber. Quinoa is higher in fiber than rice, and is beneficial to controlling blood sugar and cholesterol. 
  • High in minerals. Quinoa is loaded with healthy minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.
  • Naturally gluten-free. Making it ideal for gluten-free diets and recipes.

Is It Gluten Free?

Yes, quinoa is gluten-free! You can learn more about incorporating quinoa into a gluten-free diet by checking out Brianne’s guide to Gluten-Free Grain Alternatives.

The Water Ratio for Cooking Quinoa

When it comes to cooking quinoa, the water to seeds ratio is always 2:1.

So, one cup of quinoa calls for two cups of liquid, such as water or broth, no matter how much quinoa you’re making. Jessica in the Kitchen offers a handy guide on How to Cook Quinoa, where she shares useful tips for achieving fluffy and tasty quinoa every time!

Easy Quinoa Recipes to Try!

Are you ready to try some of the best quinoa recipes out there? Here are 20 ideas to get you started.

A close-up shot of a buffalo chicken quinoa bowl topped with chopped cilantro and ranch dressing

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowls

For a hit of hot saucy heat, look no further than this easy quinoa bowl topped with spicy shredded Buffalo chicken and a drizzle of cool ranch dressing! Avocado, ripe tomatoes, and crisp lettuce complete this all-in-one meal.

Cuban Quinoa Bowls with Pineapple Salsa

Easy to make and inspired by Cuban recipes, these Cuban Quinoa Bowls are made with black beans, plantains, and a spicy pineapple salsa. A true taste of the south!

Teriyaki Chicken Quinoa Power Bowl

Teriyaki Chicken Quinoa Bowl

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All your favorite healthy ingredients in one bowl! Drizzled with sweet teriyaki sauce, this easy and flavorful quinoa bowl is packed with the good stuff to power your day.

overhead photo of easy sweet potato black bean quinoa bowls with crema in a bowl

Easy Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Bowl with Crema

The flavors of the southwest come together in this sweet potato and black bean quinoa bowl recipe. A quick and easy vegetarian meal idea filled with veggies and nutrients, topped with a delicious cilantro lime crema!

Two golden brown veggie burgers with avocado, red onion, and lettuce on fluffy vegan buns

Quinoa Burgers (30 Minutes & Vegan)

Protein-packed quinoa burgers that are ready in less than 30 minutes! Full of bold flavor, chopped sundried tomatoes and loads of vegan mozzarella, these are far from your average vegan burgers.

Garlic butter shrimp is a quick and easy weeknight dinner idea! Serve on top of quinoa and you've got yourself a complete and healthy meal!

Garlic Butter Shrimp and Quinoa

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Crunchy, pan fried garlic shrimp is served over a bed of perfectly seasoned quinoa in this easy weeknight meal idea! Flavored with smoky paprika, you’ll love this easy seafood and quinoa recipe.

Quinoa Fried Rice is a healthy version of the take-out favorite and an easy one pan dish that’s perfect for those busy weeknights. This Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe is chocked full of veggies and chicken; making it a wholesome, filling meal the whole family will love!

Quinoa Chicken Fried Rice (Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe)

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A healthier spin on classic Chinese takeout, this quinoa fried rice is a one-pan meal that’s bursting with all the familiar flavors of the original! Made with veggies and chicken for a delicious and nutritious weeknight dinner.

This stovetop turkey quinoa chili is a great spin on the classic chili dish! Full of hearty and delicious ingredients, you will love this chili for any night of the week or a perfect dish to serve for game day festivities!

Stovetop Turkey Quinoa Chili

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A hearty and wholesome turkey chili made with nutrient-rich quinoa that’s certain to warm the soul. Make this easy quinoa chili recipe for cozy dinners or game days!

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Quinoa Casserole Recipe - Give rotisserie chicken new life with this super simple and delicious casserole. Packed with quinoa, chicken, veggies, and salsa, this is about to become your new go-to hearty meal! All you need to do is arrange the ingredients in the crock pot and walk away.

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Quinoa Casserole Recipe

It doesn’t get any more convenient than this crockpot chicken quinoa casserole prepared with rotisserie chicken! A hearty and hands free meal filled with veggies and flavored with zesty salsa.

Crunchy Kale Quinoa Salad in a white bowl with a wooden spoon inside the bowl.

Crunchy Kale Quinoa Salad

Kale is high in nutritional value and the ideal match for quinoa! This is a delicious recipe for quinoa salad made with crisp apples, peppers, grapes, and crunchy sunflower seeds in a homemade dressing.

A brown wooden bowl of quinoa salad with Greek vinaigrette

Greek Quinoa Salad

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A (literal) fresh take on your classic Greek salad! A combination of fresh veggies, beans, and feta cheese are tossed with quinoa and dressed in a homemade Greek vinaigrette.

Close-up of a serving of fiesta quinoa topped with avocado pieces

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

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Zesty and filled with veggies, this easy black bean and quinoa salad is the ultimate healthy dish for easy dinners and meal prep. Serve this Mexican-style salad with cilantro lime dressing either warm or chilled from the fridge!

blue bowl filled with quinoa salad

Quinoa Salad

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The perfect quinoa side dish, this fresh quinoa salad recipe is loaded with tasty ingredients like chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, blackbeans, avocado, and more! Tossed in a honey vinaigrette, this salad is simple and delicious to serve with tons of meals.

Thai Quinoa Crunch Salad is a protein packed quinoa salad recipe

Thai Quinoa Crunch Salad

A flavor-packed and healthy lunch, dinner, or side dish! This Thai-inspired quinoa crunch salad with edamame and crunchy cashews is sure to become one of your new favorites.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with chopped romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and a creamy herbed tahini dressing!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Herbed Tahini Dressing

A healthy and simple Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is the best light dinner, made with a medley of flavors you wont be able to stop eating.

bowl of roasted butternut squash quinoa with pomegranate seeds mixed in

Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash

Fluffy quinoa tossed in a balsamic dressing with roasted butternut squash and bursts of zesty pomegranate. Colorful and flavorful, this quinoa salad is a beautiful and healthy side dish or meal.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad! Such a perfect lunch or light dinner option...packed with protein!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

This is an easy vegan quinoa salad infused with Southwestern flair! Made with black beans, corn, and juicy tomatoes in a creamy vegan dressing.

Roasted Curry Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

Roasted Curry Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

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Bright flavors and fresh ingredients make this stuffed zucchini recipe ultra delicious! Zucchini boats filled with warm and comforting curry quinoa, fragrant with spices and perfect to serve as a side.

Cheesy Quinoa Spinach Artichoke Bites Recipe Featured Image

3-Cheese Quinoa Spinach Artichoke Bites

These cheesy quinoa bites are the perfect healthy snack or appetizer, filled with protein! Spinach and artichokes bring all the veggie goodness to this tasty bite-sized recipe.

Vegan meatballs being stirred in a pan.

Buffalo Quinoa Cauliflower Vegan Meatballs

Homemade vegan meatballs that even the non-vegans will love! Easy quinoa cauliflower meatballs are coated in a spicy and tangy buffalo sauce, perfect for party appetizers or meal prep.

Looking for even more easy and healthy quinoa recipes? Check out the recipe finder for all kinds of nutritious meal ideas!

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