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.
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.
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!
Quinoa Chicken Fried Rice (Quinoa Fried Rice Recipe)
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.
Mexican Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
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!
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.
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.
Looking for even more easy and healthy quinoa recipes? Check out the recipe finder for all kinds of nutritious meal ideas!