Breakfast Quinoa

This breakfast quinoa, made with quinoa, milk, raisins, cinnamon, orange zest, maple syrup, and pumpkin seeds, is a healthy way to start your day and an excellent alternative to oatmeal.

A white bowl half filled with breakfast quinoa, topped with chopped pistachios with a spoon resting in the bowl.

There are no rules when it comes to this change-of-pace breakfast quinoa. So go ahead, bring some whimsy to your breakfast. That includes relying on your old reliable oatmeal toppers, whatever they may be. We’re partial to a drizzle of honey and some dates and walnuts. Or dried cherries and pumpkin seeds. Golden raisins and almonds are nice, too. As are bananas and cashews. But that’s just us. Certainly you can fill in a few more companionable stir-ins. Care to share?–Renee Schettler

Breakfast Quinoa

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 10 M
  • 40 M
  • Serves 1
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Place the quinoa, milk, and water in a tall-sided but small saucepan. (If using soy milk, don’t add it right away; instead, add it to the quinoa and water during the final 10 minutes of cooking.) Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Drop the heat to medium-low, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Add the dried fruit, spices, vanilla extract, and orange zest, recover, and continue to cook just until the quinoa is soft and the little curlicue on each seed becomes pronounced in appearance, about 15 minutes more. If the pan looks dry at any point, add a splash of warm water.

Before you pull the pan from the heat, adjust the consistency of the quinoa to your liking. If it’s too soupy, evaporate any excess liquid over high heat. If the quinoa is too dry, add a splash of warm water or some more milk.

Remove the pan from the heat and sweeten the quinoa to taste with maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Originally published January 3, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the Eat Right for Your Body Type cookbook

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    *How To Make This Breakfast Quinoa With Soy Milk

    • This quinoa recipe works really well with soy milk, but the quinoa should be cooked in water for the first 20 minutes and then add the soy milk only during the last 10 minutes.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    What a delightful change for breakfast cereal. Lovely bursts of cinnamon and orange zest throughout, and studded with sweet, chewy jewels of dried fruit.

    I made a minor change when making this by adding all almond milk instead of using water, as this is how I make my regular oatmeal. I am glad I did, as this might have been more watery tasting without that change. The quinoa has a nice, slightly chewy and creamy texture, and I was pleased that I didn’t have to boil away any extra liquid.

    A definite make-again for the extra protein for breakfast.

    If this tells you anything, I have already committed this recipe to memory. At first, I was a little irked with this recipe because it doesn’t tell you what heat to use, but I got over it once I realized how delicious and how filling this oatmeal — er, quinoa — is.

    To get the perfect, creamy oatmeal/quinoa, I started it over medium-high heat, then I dropped the heat to medium-low and let it go, stirring occasionally, until the oatmeal/quinoa was creamy and thick. If the heat is too high, the liquid will evaporate too quickly and the result won’t be as creamy, but it will still be delicious.

    We’re a two-milk family, so I gave this recipe a whirl with both cow’s milk (his) and vanilla-flavored almond milk (mine). Both were delicious. I thought I could omit the vanilla for the version with the vanilla-flavored almond milk, but it turns out that a drop or two helped. And please add the star anise, but remember to remove before you start to eat. It looks startlingly like a raisin. Speaking of raisins, 2 teaspoons just aren’t enough; 2 tablespoons ensures you get a raisin in every bite.


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    1. I find that Quinoa is the perfect addition to rolled oats for a fast and delicious breakfast with high nutrition. For me, it’s a half-cup of rolled oats, 2 Tbsp of Quinoa and 12 oz. of water. Bring quickly to the boil then simmer until desired consistency is attained. Top with 1/2 Tbsp of maple sugar. Easy, filling, and good for you.

        1. Sorry to be so inept, but I do not see any buttons on the left, other than facebook, tweet, etc. Are you referring to the orange links that say “Recipes”, “Slideshows”, “Writings”, etc? I’ve always appreciated the ability to print recipes without the ads. Hope I can still do so. Thanks! CEB

          1. If you look at the the row of buttons on the left, there is a small printer symbol above the facebook and twitter buttons. Sorry for any confusion!


            1. Thanks so much to you and David for taking the time to help me with this! I finally found it after going back and forth between computer and iPad and changing some settings. Technology is not my strong point. Thanks again!!!

    2. Love how easy quinoa is to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The fruits and spices in this breakfast quinoa sound so good – will have to give it a whirl!

    3. I was thrilled when I got this recipe from David on StumbleUpon. After the last month of rich foods it seemed a perfect way to begin the new year and a new day! I made it today using dried cherries for the raisins, adding crystallized ginger and following the rest of the recipe. It is such a warming, filling dish without being heavy and with quinoa being a complete protein I think it’s perfect to start a cold weather day. Thanks for featuring such a great recipe.

      1. Our pleasure, Toni. Thanks for chiming in. We, too, love that you can just sort of play loose and easy with the toppings depending on your mood. Let us know of other tweaks you make to the stir-ins as the days and weeks go by. Also, we looooooooove your blog!

    4. Mmmm so delicious – that list of ingredients she adds to the quinoa. I grew up loving a huge bowl of hot oatmeal – never thought of quinoa this way but now I must try!

      1. I love steel-cut oatmeal, too. It takes being open to a new kind of cereal and taste, but I have grown to like my quinoa concoction a lot. Definitely tinker with the amount of honey and add-ins!

        1. It’s ridiculously versatile, quinoa, isn’t it? While it doesn’t have quite the heartiness of steel-cut oatmeal, I find it to be sustaining in an altogether different, nutty-tasting, lovely way…

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