5 Vegetarian Quinoa Recipes

Karen Frazier
Quinoa Confetti Salad

Quinoa is a nutritious and versatile grain. It is easy to work with and makes wonderful vegetarian main courses, salads, and side dishes.

Quinoa Recipes

You can cook quinoa in many different ways. Use it in soups, salads, and even as a breakfast cereal. Since dried quinoa can be coated with a bitter residue, it's best to rinse it before cooking.

Quinoa Hot Cereal

Quinoa Hot Cereal

This warm and nourishing breakfast cereal is higher in protein than oatmeal or grits. Serve it topped with your favorite berries.

Makes two servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of plain almond or coconut milk
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Place on medium high heat and cover.
  3. Cook until milk has been absorbed, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Quinoa Confetti Salad

This makes a good lunch, snack, or side dish. You can vary the recipe by adding your own seasonal vegetables.

Quinoa salad

Makes four servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 4 radishes, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

Method

  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Once water boils, reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cool quinoa to room temperature.
  4. When quinoa is cool, combine it in a medium-sized bowl with radishes, peppers, carrot, zucchini and scallions.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and zest, garlic, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour vinaigrette over quinoa and veggies. Add parsley. Toss to combine.
  7. Serve immediately.

Black Bean Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Potato

Try these tasty cakes as a main dish, served over a bed of greens.

Quinoa cakes with greens

Makes four servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, baked
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. When water boils, reduce heat to medium low and cover.
  4. Cook quinoa until liquid absorbs, about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, scoop potato flesh from skin. Place flesh in a medium bowl.
  6. Add milk, cheese, and garlic to potatoes and mash.
  7. Stir in cooked quinoa, black beans, bread crumbs, pine nuts, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  8. Form mixture into 2-1/2 inch balls. Flatten into cakes.
  9. Place cakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, until cakes are golden on both sides.

Greek Quinoa Balls

These quinoa balls are seasoned with Greek herbs and spices. They are delicious with tzatziki wrapped in a pita, or can be placed on a bed of arugula, tomatoes, and cucumber with a tzatziki dressing for a main dish salad.

Makes four servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

  1. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover, cooking until quinoa absorbs water, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small saute pan.
  4. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add baby spinach and cook until it wilts, just a minute or two.
  6. Add garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Remove spinach mixture from heat and put in a large bowl.
  8. Add quinoa, marjoram, rosemary, salt, pepper, feta, lemon zest, and bread crumbs.
  9. Stir until ingredients are just combined.
  10. For mixture into one inch balls.
  11. Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  12. Add balls to oil. Cook, turning balls occasionally, until they are golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Quinoa Pudding

Similar to a rice pudding, this quinoa pudding is a healthy way to end your meal.

Makes four servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond milk
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Fresh grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Place almond milk in a medium saucepan.
  2. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans into the almond milk.
  3. Stir in syrup and salt.
  4. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  5. Add quinoa.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until quinoa softens and mixture thickens, about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and refrigerate.
  8. Serve topped with fresh grated nutmeg.

A Versatile Ingredient

Quinoa is a versatile ingredient that you can use in both sweet and savory dishes. With so many uses for quinoa, this healthy grain will surely become a mainstay of your vegetarian cooking.

5 Vegetarian Quinoa Recipes