In recent years, quinoa has exploded in popularity in the U.S. This Andean grain is prized for being rich with protein and other nutrients. Just as importantly, it’s delicious. Cooked quinoa is fluffy but substantial, with a mild, slightly nutty flavor that complements a variety of ingredients. Learn why quinoa has become so popular with the help of our favorite quinoa recipes.
Cooking quinoa is super easy—simply boil the grain until tender, drain, and let rest under a kitchen towel. Once you’ve got that down, you can start adding in other flavorings. You could keep it simple, mixing in sautéed shallots, lemon, and parsley. Or you could use the quinoa as a supporting player in a vegetable-heavy salad with sugar snap peas, radishes, mint, and scallions.
Quinoa bears obvious similarities to rice, and can be used to supplement or supplant that ingredient. Fort rice pilaf starts with basmati rice and gets earthiness from black quinoa and pine nuts, sweetness from dried fruit, and freshness from chopped bell pepper. Our Andean paella is a one-pot riff on the classic Spanish dish and pairs quinoa with chorizo, bacon, beans, and vegetables.
Quinoa’s earthy flavor and slightly crisp texture make it a good ingredient in some surprising places. Toasted quinoa fortifies a whole wheat bread, with sweet raisins and honey complementing the nutty grain. We also like mixing cooking quinoa into pancake batter. Serve the light, fluffy pancakes with granola to complete the hippy vibe.
Find these dishes and more in our collection of quinoa recipes.
Here’s how to cook quinoa perfectly every time. Because you drain the boiled quinoa and let it rest under a clean towel, the grains are fluffy – never soggy or burnt. Ganda Suthivarakom This light quinoa salad, filled with scallions, mint, snap peas, and crisp haricots verts tossed in a Dijon vinaigrette, makes a perfect summer side dish for picnics and barbecues. Matt Taylor-Gross Quinoa, which is botanically a seed and not a grain, is widely accepted as a Passover-friendly starch. In this recipe from cookbook author Leah Koenig, it gets dressed up for the seder table with a mix of sweet sautéed shallots, lemon, and parsley. Get the recipe for Herbed Lemon Quinoa » Cory Baldwin Flax seeds and red quinoa add texture and a nutty flavor, while honey and raisins add sweetness, to this hearty bread from master baker Eric Kayser. Ingalls Photography Swapping traditional rice for quinoa gives new life to an ultimate one-pot-wonder of comfort foods. Maxime Iattoni Filets of sole are set atop red quinoa, roasted tomatoes, and tender-crisp vegetables in this dish from a Marseille bistrot. Ingalls Photography Granola and quinoa lend a sneaky earthy-crunchy vibe to these substantial, fluffy pancakes from Dennis Bernard, chef de cuisine of Chicago’s Dove’s Luncheonette. Joseph De Leo Meaty butter-basted grouper fillets are topped with a butter-rich, citrusy crab sauce and served over wilted kale and quinoa in this recipe adapted from one by Florida-based chef Jeffrey Jew. Ingalls Photography This 19th-century American recipe for rice pilaf from the Denver, Colorado, restaurant The Fort draws sweetness from dried fruit, earthiness from black quinoa and pine nuts, and crunch and color from bell pepper. Ingalls Photography Our take on a classic meatless burger calls on a slew of vegetables for flavor, color, and texture: carrot, celery, arugula, beans, and quinoa, the high-protein South American grain that has a nutty flavor and toothsome bite. Helen Rosner