Six healthy & delicious quinoa recipes to put on your must-try list

8 healthy & delicious quinoa recipes to put on your must-try list

June 14th, 2013

(Photo of quinoa-stuffed bell peppers courtesy of Damn Delicious)


(Photo of quinoa mac and cheese courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats)


(Photo of quinoa granola courtesy of Chobani)


(Photo courtesy of Quinoa, Kale & Exhale)


(Photo courtesy of the Sunny Vegan)


(Photo courtesy of

By Brittany Anas

Has your kitchen met quinoa yet? Let us introduce you and share some delish recipes that will make you fall in love. Here’s how you say her name: Keen-Wa. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and a great source for fiber. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 to be the “International Year of Quinoa.” Oh, and it might very well be a staple of NASA astronaut’s in-flight diet. NASA is considering it as a crop for its space station gardens.

We’ve rounded up some of the yummiest quinoa recipes that you’ll definitely want to try out this summer — whether you’re a quinoa queen looking for a new dish or a newbie who is just learning to cook with quinoa.

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers: Chung-Ah, the chef behind the Damn Delicious cooking blog, is all about turning simple and fresh ingredients into elegant meals. Your dinner table will be bursting with summer-time colors with her southwest-inspired quinoa stuffed bell peppers. She loaded them up with corn, beans, tomatoes and some pepper jack and feta cheese. Green chilis turn up the heat on the vegetarian recipe. Here’s the full recipe to her bell peppers and check out Damn Delicious for more recipes that are full of flavor and healthy goodness.


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Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfait: Breakfast, we’ve heard is the most important meal of the day. Why not make it the most delicious, too? Nicole, a registered dietitian runs, where her motto is “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Her parfait recipe used sweet simmered apples and cinnamon as well as some Greek yogurt. Here’s the full Cinnamon Apple Quinoa recipe.


Quinoa Mac and Cheese: Thank you, thank you, Kristin over at Iowa Girl Eats. She’s graced the Internet with a mac and cheese quinoa recipe that will appease our kiddo-s and satiate our own cravings for the cheesy comfort food. She sauteed tomatoes and shallots and added garlic for the delish dish. Kristin made the quinoa mac and cheese in a 9 X 13 pan, and it yielded eight servings. Each serving was 285 calories — way healthier than traditional mac and cheese. Here’s the full recipe for her quinoa mac and cheese. 


Quinoa Granola: Don’t mind if we do. The crew over at Chobani greek yogurt has put together a granola recipe that is complete with honey, raisins, dried cherries, pistachios and other wholesome and yummy goodness. And it sounds like the Chobani office is full of granola connoisseurs: “Ask anyone to open up their desk drawers and you’ll generally find two to three half-eaten bags of granola in there. Be sure to look, not touch, as you’ll likely get a friendly swat of the hand if you even attempt to snag a bite.” Make a batch their quinoa granola for yourself — and another one for your office mates. Oh, and, of course pair it with some Chobani yogurt for a scrumptious parfait. Here’s the full recipe for quinoa granola.


Honey mustard veggie kabobs with garlic quinoa: Oh, quinoa, you’re so versatile. In this recipe displayed over at, garlic and quinoa combine to complemented veggie kabobs (you can add chicken, too) that were marinated in a spicy brown mustard. Here’s the full recipe for the Honey Mustard Veggie Kabobs with Garlic Quinoa.


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Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies: Got a sweet tooth? Inspired by a segment she saw on the Today Show, Lisa from Quinoa, Kale & Exhale bakes up a batch of healthy chocolate chip cookies with quinoa that pack a healthy punch, too. Her recipe includes bananas, coconut and peanut butter — and we trust a blogger who, in the same sentence, professes her love for veggies and chocolate. Here’s the full recipe for quinoa chocolate chip cookies.


Quinoa Greek Salad: If you’re like us, summertime is the perfect time for light salads that burst with the best produce of the season. And, you’re probably looking for some good salad recipes. Put this one in your rotation. Amanda at the Sunny Vegan (see her blog name is even summery) has a Greek salad recipe that subs more-filling quinoa for lettuce leaves, making it a healthy sidedish or a main meal candidate. Grape tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives add flavor and color and you’ll definitely be proud when you set it down on the picnic table at the next barbecue you’re asked to “bring a dish to.” Here’s the full recipe for the Picnic Perfect Quinoa Greek Salad.


Quinoa, black bean and corn tacos: Quinoa as a taco filling? Genius. Jaclyn at has a delicious taco night recipe that replaces ground beef with healthier quinoa. For the filling, she uses lots of spices that you probably already have hanging out on your spice rack, like coriander, cumin and cayenne pepper. She also suggests serving the tacos with corn or wheat tortillas, diced avocados, hot sauce and other yummy toppings. Thank you, Jaclyn, for saving taco night with this healthy recipe renovation. Here’s the full recipe for the Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn tacos. 

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Brittany Anas is a newspaper reporter, which she says is basically like going on a professional scavenger hunt every day. She became hooked on fashion in the early 1990s when her mom sewed her a pair of MC Hammer pants and matching headband. Brittany lives in Denver, Colorado and loves spending time with her southern gentleman of a boyfriend and their pot-belly pig-gremlin mix that the rescue organization described as a “Boston Terrier.” She fancies polka dots, Detroit Pistons basketball and brunch. Brittany blogs at and Twitters from @BrittanyAnas. Find her on Pinterest or ping her on Google+.

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