Check out our favorite delicious and easy quinoa recipes, from enchiladas to quinoa salad recipes to vegan chili. You’re sure to find a favorite!
In just a few years, quinoa has become a majorly popular food. When Alex and I first started A Couple Cooks eight years ago, quinoa was relatively new. This supergrain is now a staple in our weekly meals, and it’s super delicious too. Over the years we’ve created all sorts of quinoa recipes. So we thought we’d share our top 10 easy quinoa recipes with you! All these quinoa recipes have become family favorites in our house, and we hope they will in yours too!
Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is one of the world’s most perfect foods (according to some) due to its high nutritional content. It’s actually a seed, not a grain, which makes it naturally gluten free. Compared to other vegetables, quinoa is high in protein, calcium, Vitamin B, and iron. Fun fact: apparently the Incas thought it was sacred, because eating it regularly appeared to provide a long, healthy life. Because of all these benefits, we love making quinoa recipes!
How to cook quinoa
There are a few ways to cook quinoa. Over the years, Alex and I have messed up quinoa numerous times: cooking it too fast so it’s hard and crunchy, or overcooking it so it’s mushy. I will say, how to cook quinoa is not a simple matter! We have two methods we like to use to cook quinoa:
- Perfect Quinoa on the Stovetop This is our master recipe for cooking quinoa on the stovetop. It takes about 25 to 30 minutes, and it requires a little baby sitting to make sure the liquid is cooking out evenly, but it’s mostly hands off.
- Instant Pot Quinoa (Pressure Cooker) Instant PotIf you have a pressure cooker, you can use it to make quinoa! It takes about 16 minutes and is almost totally hands off! This is the method we’ve started to use more often, since we have an Instant Pot.
And now…our top 10 easy quinoa recipes!
First up in our list of easy quinoa recipes, this quinoa fried rice! This unique take on fried rice is made with quinoa instead of rice, and packed with baby greens: spinach, chard and kale. Alex and I make quinoa fried rice without a recipe all the time as an easy weeknight meal. Once you make this recipe a few times, you can get the hang of it and customize to use up the veggies in your fridge. This is one of our top favorite quinoa recipes: and especially for using up leftovers, since it’s made with cold quinoa!
Next in our list is one of our favorite vegan quinoa recipes: these tropical mango bowls! They take just 30 minutes to make and are full of zesty flavor. The quinoa bowls include fresh mango, red pepper, red cabbage, avocado, fresh greens, cilantro and cashews. It’s topped off with a vegan cashew citrus drizzle, a combination of cashews, orange and lime juice, and fresh ginger. It’s so, so good and tastes like it took hours to put together! It’s a quinoa salad recipe that doubles as a main dish.
This quinoa stuffed peppers recipe is a colorful and delicious healthy dinner, full of Mediterranean flavors like lemon, parsley and feta. Roasting peppers is quite easy: it takes just 30 minutes and you can do it while preparing the remainder of the recipe. To make the quinoa filling, saute shallot and garlic, then add the quinoa, chopped pistachios, parsley, paprika, oregano and lemon. Then stuff the filling into the peppers and sprinkle everything with a healthy dose of feta cheese.
Tip: To make this a vegan quinoa recipe, omit the feta.
Another one of our vegan quinoa recipes, this quinoa black bean vegan chili is a fan favorite! This savory, hearty quinoa vegan chili is packed with protein. It’s simple and flavorful, light on the chili powder so the other flavors can shine. The secret ingredients are a bit of adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chili peppers in adobo (available at most groceries in the ethnic foods aisle), and a bit of white wine vinegar stirred in at the end for some brightness. It’s gotten rave reviews for years!
These delicious vegetarian enchiladas are stuffed with artichokes and quinoa! They’re a filling vegetarian recipe that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. When Alex first tried this quinoa recipe, he said the meatiness of the filling reminded him of chicken — which is big praise for a recipe that has no meat. Oh and they also look gorgeous! Topped with thinly sliced red onion rings, the lovely purple circles contrast against the bright Monterrey jack cheese, fresh cilantro, and crumbled queso fresco.
Tip: To make this an easy quinoa recipe, use storebought salsa verde instead of making your own.
Another favorite quinoa recipe, our Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Bowl features greens, feta cheese, kalamata olives and a quinoa tomato sofrito blend. It’s a copycat of a delicious Panera quinoa salad we made for a reader request! Sofrito is a sauce used as a base in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Latin American cooking. Typically in Spanish cuisine, it’s garlic, onion, paprika, and tomatoes cooked in olive oil. The sofrito is mixed with cooked quinoa to become the quinoa tomato sofrito blend, which adds an almost meaty texture. It’s another quinoa salad recipe that doubles as main dish.
Tip: To make this a vegan quinoa recipe, omit the feta cheese.
This easy quinoa recipe uses quinoa instead of rice in the traditional bibimbap dish! Bibimbap is a Korean rice bowl full of pickled vegetables, savory sauce, and a runny egg, all stirred together into delicious savory goodness. This quinoa bowl is an interpretation of the original flavors, using green beans, quick pickled carrots and radishes, and topping it all off with a sauce made with gochujang, Korean chili paste! It’s so, so flavorful.
This easy quinoa recipe takes a bit of time to put together, but it’s totally worth it! These flavorful quinoa burgers are easy to make and keep well in the fridge for several days. You can eat them with a bun, or place them on a bed of greens for a gluten free option. Top with hummus and avocado and dig in!
Another in our list of vegan quinoa recipes, this avocado quinoa salad is a delicious and hearty bowl full of stress relieving foods! It’s drizzled with a zesty cocoa vinaigrette. Each one of the foods in this avocado quinoa salad helps to replenish nutrients in times of stress! This nutritious bowl includes avocado, raw cacao, almonds, citrus, cauliflower, and greens. And not only is it nutritious: it’s delicious too!
Our final in the list of easy quinoa recipes, these Go Green bowls are surprisingly filling and satisfying! The bowl is filled with quinoa, brocolli, kale, and fresh greens. If you can find it, brocolini is a fun addition with its elegant, long stems. And just about anything tastes good when smothered in this lemon yogurt sauce! We wanted to create a savory, creamy delicious yogurt sauce that would work on just about anything: roasted vegetables, salads, and grain bowls. Alex had the idea of broiling lemon peel and garlic before blending them into the yogurt sauce. It makes the flavor pop in a way that’s indescribable!
Tip: To make this a vegan quinoa recipe, use our Best Lemon Tahini Sauce.