This brown rice and quinoa porridge makes breakfast the most insanely comforting part of your day. We’re talking seriously soothing stuff here. And it’s so ridiculously simple. Just simmer brown rice and quinoa until soft and creamy and comforting and oatmeal-like. And then—this is where the best part of the day comes into play—swirl in your fave jam or fruit or nuts or whatever stir-ins or sprinkle-ons you take with your usual oatmeal. But the best thing? This recipe makes a big batch you can toss it together on a lazy Sunday and just like that breakfast is made for the entire week. Talk about a comforting thought.Angie Zoobkoff

Two white bowls filled with porridge; one topped with blueberries and the other with figs and almonds.

Brown Rice and Quinoa Porridge

5 / 2 votes
Brown rice and quinoa porridge. It may sound rather frighteningly hippie. We understand. Rest assured, it’s actually a lovely oatmeal alternative that works magnificently with your most tried-and-true hot cereal stir-ins and sprinkle-ons.
David Leite
Servings4 to 5 servings
Calories288 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1/2 cup uncooked long- or short-grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a strainer
  • 3 cups milk (whether from a cow or an almond or a soybean or a coconut or whatever), plus more for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons granulated or turbinado sugar, honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, or any other sweetener (optional)
  • Any fruit jam, such as this one (optional)
  • Fresh seasonal fruit, such as figs, berries, or sliced stone fruits (optional)
  • Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans, toasted


  • Dump the rice, quinoa, milk, salt, water, and sugar in a large saucepan set over medium heat and stir to combine. (If using non-dairy milk that’s sweetened, you’ll probably want to reduce or omit the sugar. You can always stir some sugar in at the end if it’s not sweet enough.) Let the ingredients warm until the liquid starts to bubble around the edges of the pan. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a very gentle simmer and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan frequently so the grains don’t stick, until the rice is broken down and the porridge has a soupy consistency, 60 to 75 minutes. You want to be careful to not let the porridge boil.
  • Spoon the porridge into bowls and, if desired, stir in some sugar or top with jam, fruit, nuts, and/or a splash more milk. (You can cover and refrigerate any leftover porridge for up to several days and serve cold or warm gently in a small saucepan, covered, over low heat. You may need to add a splash of water or milk as the porridge thickens when cold. You can also freeze individual portions of porridge in resealable sandwich bags or resealable containers for up to several months. To thaw, leave overnight in the refrigerator and then warm gently in a small saucepan, covered, over low heat.)


Porridge Variation

For Brown Rice Porridge: Substitute brown rice for the quinoa. Cook as directed.
For Quinoa Porridge: Substitute quinoa for the brown rice. Cook as directed.
For PB&J Porridge: Cook as directed using any unsweetened milk except coconut milk. When ready to serve, stir 1/2 cup peanut butter (or the nut butter of your choice) into the finished porridge. Top with a handful of chopped, roasted peanuts (or nuts) and a spoonful of fruit jam.
For Instant Pot Porridge: Decrease the amount of milk to 1 cup and cook for 20 minutes.
Bowls of Plenty Cookbook

Adapted From

Bowls of Plenty

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 288 kcalCarbohydrates: 44 gProtein: 11 gFat: 8 gSaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gCholesterol: 18 mgSodium: 235 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 12 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Carolynn Carreño. Photo © 2017 Beatriz da Costa. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This brown rice and quinoa porridge is delicious. I was skeptical if all of the time would be worth it but I was rewarded in the end for time well spent. I think this recipe would be on another level if it could be adapted for the slow cooker! My children especially loved this recipe. My son and I enjoyed adding apple butter while my daughter stuck with strawberry all-fruit spread. I also enjoyed it cold on a warm day with a pinch of cardamom and a couple drops vanilla extract. I think it would be fantastic with fig jam. I did not embellish it with any fruit or nuts because I really enjoyed the smooth, comforting texture. I really had to babysit the cooking process to prevent the porridge from sticking to the bottom of the pan. I used half jasmine brown rice (which smelled divine) and half quinoa. I also used 2 cups whole milk and 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I used granulated sugar although I think honey would have been nice. As the author suggests preparing on Sunday and serving for breakfast throughout the week, I could have easily doubled or tripled the recipe to happily feed my family breakfast for a few mornings.

I am a porridge junkie and this brown rice and quinoa porridge is a great new twist. The recipe says to use whatever milk you want, but I would exercise caution there—I only had sweetened rice milk and with the sugar in the recipe it pushed this towards being too sweet. Stick to unsweetened milk and then add sweet toppings if you want at the end. After an hour of cooking, the liquid had been absorbed but I thought it needed a bit longer, so I added 1/3 cup of water and another 10 minutes. I have been enjoying it for breakfast all week! I topped my first bowl with cherry jam, walnuts, and chia seeds, but the jam made it too sweet for me, so in subsequent bowls I kept the nuts and seeds and added a spoonful of plain yogurt and whatever fruit I had to hand. The porridge reheated nicely with just a splash of water.

A wholesome, hearty, warming and delicious breakfast (lunch, snack, dinner…I’m not judging). This recipe delivers a comforting, nutritious meal for the family. It’s a blank canvas and the possibilities for fruit and nut combinations are endless! I topped mine with homemade peach jam, bananas, and crunchy toasted walnuts. I will definitely be making this again. I used skim milk and granulated sugar. The long cooking time and watchful eye necessary to cook this porridge relegates it to weekend cooking. It would be great if this were adapted to be a pressure cooker or slow cooker recipe.

We made this on a lazy Sunday and I’m glad we did as this made a fine breakfast on a rainy cool Monday morning. One of us topped her porridge with butter and salt and the other with cinnamon, maple syrup, and Concord grapes. It’s hearty and satisfying and we certainly will make this again, likely leaving out the sugar, so each person can sweeten to taste.

If you have the time to invest upfront, this would be a good make-ahead breakfast for the cooler months of the year. I made it for breakfast on a day when I woke up particularly early. It’s a hearty but not particularly heavy warming bowl of grains. The porridge required quite a bit of monitoring and stirring on my part to make sure it didn’t go into a full-on boil yet was still simmering enough to cook. I used almond milk, seedless red raspberry preserves, blueberries, toasted sliced almonds, and turbinado sugar. I used the full amount of sugar and my only real complaint about this porridge is that it was way too sweet, particularly when you account for adding fruit and jam to the finished product. I would use only 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar next time and possibly also eliminate the jam. However, we’re not a household that uses much in the way of sugar for anything, including cereals. There was no way I was going to eat all this porridge within a few days so I froze a good amount in sturdy plastic containers to be reheated in coming weeks. The experiment worked pretty well and I can see making this with plans to freeze it. One minute on high in my microwave was enough to reconstitute it.

This brown rice and quinoa porridge is a really hearty breakfast with a nutty flavor. It took less than 2 minutes to rinse the quinoa and rice and dump all the ingredients in a pot. Hands-on time is very low with maybe adding a few more minutes to toast the nuts/add toppings. I used almond milk for my liquid but I believe coconut milk would taste just as good. I believe the heat could have been a little higher than “a gentle simmer” because although my grains were cooked, my liquid didn’t really cook down much. I was left with more of a soupy—yet delicious—porridge. I definitely didn’t need to add more liquid. I think the 6 cups liquid to 1 cup grains was a little large of a ratio. Next time I’ll add about 4 cups liquid and add more if my grains are becoming too dry and sticky. This would be good served hot with peanut butter or almond butter mixed in. It would also be just as delicious served cold like an overnight oats variation. I topped my porridge with almond butter, blueberries, walnuts, cacao nibs, and chia seeds. The sweetness of the cane sugar complemented the natural nutty flavor of quinoa. These two flavor profiles meld even more perfectly together with the addition of almond butter.

First of all, I decided to use my instant pot. It has a setting for porridge and that is what I used. Usually the timing is 20 minutes. I used light long grain brown rice, organic traditional quinoa, unsweetened almond milk from Trader Joe’s an light brown sugar. I had already done porridge in an instant pot and decided to cut the water to only 1 cup as 2 would have been too much. After 20-minutes I checked it and it was perfect. For toppings I decided for whole dried mixed berries and apricots, flax seeds, and chopped pecans. The outcome was a nice creamy and amazingly tasty porridge that was not too sweet not too thick, though the amount was perfect for only 3 of us UNLESS we simply eat too much!!! I will be having fun with different toppings and perhaps even add a cinnamon stick while it cooks.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    My hubby had surgery last month. While visiting him I went to the cafeteria for some breakfast. They had a brown rice – quinoa porridge. OMG, it was delicious & I’ve been looking for a recipe. This is It! Yummy, yummy!

    1. Wonderful, Phyliss! And just as wonderful is the fact that the hospital was serving something healthful, which so often isn’t the case. Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know and wishing your husband godspeed as he recovers.