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Switch up your morning breakfast with this warm, healthy quinoa oatmeal! Hearty quinoa is simmered with nuts, fresh fruit and your milk of choice to create an oatmeal quinoa porridge that is creamy and satisfying. High in fiber, protein, naturally gluten-free and easily made vegan, it’s a great way to start the day!
Most of the time, we’re rushing out the door in the morning, which means we’re almost always eating something quick and healthy for breakfast before leaving the house for the day.
While our weekday morning breakfasts tend to be fast, this dish is one of our favorite breakfast recipes because it tastes like it took hours to prepare, but actually is ready in under 30 minutes!
You might be wondering, can you really use quinoa for breakfast instead of oatmeal and still get that creamy soothing texture of traditional oatmeal?
Yes you can!
This quinoa oatmeal recipe is super creamy, satisfying and totally delicious. This oat alternative for breakfast reminds me of a twist on oatmeal, but the quinoa gives it a nutritional boost with added fiber and protein.
Topped with fresh berries, bananas and nuts – it’s perfectly sweet and satisfying all at the same time!
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- A fun way to change up your regular oatmeal
- Super simple
- Great for meal prep
- Gluten free
- Easily made vegan
- Healthy and delicious
- Kid friendly
- Easy to customize
- Best breakfast quinoa recipe ever!
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This oatmeal quinoa recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients that you can easily find at your local grocery store!
- Milk + Water: To give this creamy quinoa porridge an oatmeal like consistency, we cooked the quinoa in a combination of milk + water. You could also just use two cups water to cook the quinoa, but it won’t have that same creamy feel. As for what type of milk – any type works! You can use coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, rice milk, or just regular milk to cook the quinoa in.
- Quinoa: You’ll need 1 cup quinoa for this recipe. You can use any type of quinoa you like! Red quinoa, white, black, or a mix of all 3 will work. I used white quinoa for this recipe. If you use only red or black quinoa though, you won’t get as creamy of a consistency because those tend to be firmer than white quinoa. I recommend rinsing the quinoa before using it to remove any bitterness or debris.
- Fresh Fruit: I used fresh berries and banana, but you can customize this recipe based on your preferences! Use your favorite fruit or a mix of fruits you have on hand. Coconut flakes would also taste great in this oatmeal quinoa porridge.
- Spices: I chose to use ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dash of salt. But you can try some vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom or ground ginger to add a slightly different flavor!
- Nuts: I used chopped walnuts and pecans, but you can use any nuts or seeds you like! Chia seeds, flaxseed meal, cashews, peanuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds or sliced almonds would all taste great. You could also mix in a nut butter — peanut butter or almond butter would both work well!
- Sweetener: You can use any sweetener you like! A little maple syrup, honey, brown sugar or coconut sugar would all work well.
You can take this base recipe for quinoa oats and mix it up in a variety of ways! Here are some of our favorite additions and flavor combinations:
- Apple Pie: Instead of berries and bananas, add in some diced apples or stewed apples. Use chopped pecans only, along with cinnamon, a dash of vanilla extract, and apple pie spice. For extra decadence, feel free to add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top!
- Pumpkin Spice: Instead of the fruit, add 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice instead of or along with the cinnamon.
- Quinoa Breakfast Bowl: Add all kinds of toppings to take this quinoa oatmeal breakfast recipe to the next level! Try different fresh fruits, dried fruits or freeze dried fruits, fruit purees, compotes like this pear compote, jams, all kinds of different nuts or seeds, nut butters, granola, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, or even chocolate sauce!
- Make It Vegan: To make this into a vegan quinoa oatmeal, use any non-dairy milk of choice, and maple syrup instead of honey.
- Quinoa And Oat Porridge: Instead of just using quinoa, use half rolled oats and half quinoa, and mix them together for a quinoa oats porridge.
- Peaches & Cream: Instead of the berries and banana, add diced peaches, a dash of vanilla extract, and a drizzle of heavy cream (or coconut cream for a vegan option) on top!
Making oatmeal with quinoa for breakfast is super easy! Here’s how you do it:
Cook Quinoa: Rinse your quinoa with cold water. Then, combine milk, water and rinsed quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Simmer: Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes.
Add Mix-Ins To Quinoa Hot Cereal: Stir in berries, bananas, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little honey or other sweetener if desired.
Serve: Transfer to bowls, top with nuts, additional milk if needed, and drizzle 1 teaspoon honey over each serving. Enjoy this quinoa breakfast recipe warm.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This quinoa oatmeal goes great with just about any breakfast side dish! Some of our favorites include:
- A creamy smoothie
- Vegan roasted potatoes or fried potatoes and onions
- Healthy pancakes!
- A healthy tofu scramble
Absolutely! Here are some of the reasons why this easy oatmeal recipe is good for you:
High in Fiber: Quinoa is naturally high in fiber, and the berries add extra fiber to this dish. One serving of this quinoa oatmeal has almost 5 grams of fiber. Fiber is essential for healthy digestion, helps regulate blood sugar, and lowers cholesterol.
Complete Protein Source: Quinoa is the only grain that’s also a complete protein, meaning that it contains all 9 essential amino acids all on its own! Normally, you have to pair a vegetarian protein (like beans) with a grain (like rice) in order for it to be a complete protein, but quinoa is like a 2 in 1 deal. Each serving of this breakfast quinoa oatmeal has 7 grams of protein.
Low in Sugar: Unlike store bought flavored oatmeal, granola or cereal; this warm berry quinoa oatmeal is relatively low in sugar. You can further reduce the sugar by reducing the amount of honey.
Quinoa is not an oat. Quinoa is a grain crop, but the part of the crop that is eaten are the seeds. However, while quinoa is not an actual oat or grain, as the edible part of the plant that we eat is the seed, it is prepared similarly to other grains.
Texturally, it’s probably most similar to steel cut oats as it’s slightly chewy but still a bit soft. It’s naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent substitute other grains.
Oats and quinoa are both healthy. I wouldn’t say one is healthier than the other. They’re both great for you in different ways.
Here are some of the similarities and differences when looking at oatmeal vs quinoa:
1) Protein: Oats and quinoa have nearly the same amount of protein per serving, however quinoa is a complete plant protein containing all of the necessary amino acids in one source.
2) Fiber: Both oats and quinoa are high in fiber, oats have slightly more fiber.
3) Vitamins and Minerals: Oats are high in vitamins and nutrients such as manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, and some B vitamins. Quinoa is also high in these same vitamins and nutrients but to a slightly lesser percentage.
If you don’t wash quinoa, it will have a bitter taste or aftertaste once you cook it and try to eat it! Quinoa has a natural bitter tasting coating that helps protect it from bacteria when it’s growing. But if you don’t rinse it, the coating will remain when you cook it, and your quinoa will taste more bitter.
To Store: Let the quinoa oatmeal porridge cool, then transfer to an airtight container. This recipe will keep for 1-2 days in the fridge. It will taste even better the next day because all of the flavors will have more time to blend together! If you’re adding fruit, I recommend storing that separately as the fruit will get mushy when stored with the cooked quinoa. I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
To Reheat: Either warm this hot quinoa cereal in the microwave in 30 second bursts until desired temperature is achieved or heat in a pot over low heat with an additional ¼ cup milk, stirring continuously until desired temperature.
💭 Expert Tips
- Any type of quinoa will work: Quinoa comes in many varieties, I used a multi-colored quinoa, but you could use white, red, or black on its own.
- Be sure to cook the quinoa covered. It will not steam and cook properly unless covered. Allow additional time to steam so that the liquid fully evaporates before serving.
- Don’t forget to rinse your quinoa! Because of quinoa’s natural bitter coating, if you don’t rinse it before eating it, you won’t get rid of that coating, and the flavor of your quinoa oats will be more on the bitter side.
- Don’t forget the salt! A pinch of salt is all you need, but it really helps to balance the flavors in this recipe and brings out the sweetness of the quinoa oatmeal more.
- Cut fruit into smaller pieces: If using larger fruit or berries such as strawberries or blackberries slice them in half or even in quarters to make it easier to eat.
🥣 More Healthy Breakfast Recipes!
- Spicy Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
- Bananas And Cream Oatmeal
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
- Masala Oats
- French Toast Bread Pudding
- Cinnamon and Spice Oatmeal with Berries
- 21 Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes
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🎥 Watch How to Make It
- 2 cups low fat milk 1% or 2% will work, or your favorite plant based milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 2 cups fresh berries of choice including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or a combination
- 1 medium banana sliced
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 dash salt
- ¼ cup chopped pecans toasted
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts toasted
- 8 tsp honey
- Rinse your quinoa with cold water. Combine 1 cup milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Turn off the heat and let the cooked quinoa stand, covered for 5 minutes.
- Stir in 1 cup of sliced berries, ½ of the banana slices, ½ of the toasted nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, pinch of salt and 4 tsp honey.
- Transfer to serving bowls and top with a drizzle of honey, milk, berries, banana slices and nuts.
- Enjoy immediately.
- To make this dish vegan use non-dairy milk of choice, and maple syrup instead of honey.
- Quinoa comes in many varieties, you can use white, black, red, or multi colored quinoa.
- Use whatever nuts you have on hand. I used walnuts and pecans, but you could also use cashews, peanuts, or sliced almonds.
- Be sure to cook the quinoa covered. It will not steam and cook properly unless covered. Allow additional time to steam and absorb liquid off of the heat.
- If you don’t have blueberries and bananas, just throw in your favorite fruit – it will taste great!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To reheat leftovers either heat in the microwave in 30 second bursts until desired temperature is achieved or heat in a pot over low heat with an additional ¼ cup milk, stirring continuously until desired temperature.
- Quinoa oatmeal is not suitable for freezing.
- If using larger berries such as strawberries or blackberries slice them in half or even in quarters to make it easier to eat.
- Note: Each serving has only about 7 grams of added sugar, the rest of the sugar is from the milk (if you’re using regular cow’s milk) and the fruit. If you use unsweetened almond milk, this recipe will have about 250 calories and 15 grams of total sugar (7 grams added sugar) per serving.
I love all the different variations of this recipe. I think I could fit one of them to each of my family members! Personally, I’m all about the peaches and cream!
Thanks Stephanie! Enjoy! 🙂
This quinoa oatmeal looks and sounds like a delicious breakfast!
You will love this recipe Kathleen!
I love quinoa but had never thought to use it for breakfast until I found this recipe. It’s so hearty and filling, a great way to start the day.
Yes! It really is so delicious and a fun way to mix things up!
So yummy! I love the flavors of honey and cinnamon. Great way to start the day.
Yay! Thanks Gina!
We eat oatmeal almost every morning – it’s so nice to find a way to spruce up our routine.
What a fabulous idea! I love Oatmeal for breakfast but haven’t tried it with Quinoa. Making it soon.
Quinoa is a fun way to change things up and make regular oatmeal more interesting! 🙂
What a great way to use quinoa. I am going to give this a try this week.
Thanks so much! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out for you!
Such a healthy and filling breakfast! Keeps you full until lunchtime.
Thanks Beth! So glad you liked it!
This is such a great way to use quinoa. A protein packed breakfast.
This quinoa oatmeal is one of my go to breakfast recipes!
Hooray! That’s awesome – thanks for letting me know Emily!
I’ve been looking for something new to eat in the mornings, and don’t care much for traditional oatmeal. This is great!
Yesss!! This is a great twist on traditional oatmeal – I can’t wait to hear how you like this recipe!
I love this recipe! So healthy and filling, it’s my go-to breakfast dish. Definitely a keeper!
Yay! I’m so happy to hear that Angela!
Love the idea of making “oatmeal” with quinoa instead! It is so good for you and having it for breakfast is a great option. Love the flavors in here as well, and the crunch!
Aw thank you so much Emmeline! 🙂
I’ve never eaten quinoa before. I’m curious to find out what it taste like. I’m going to have to try this. LOVE your blog!!!
Oh wow! I can’t wait for you to try quinoa Ursula — it’s really a delicious grain! Let me know how you like it after you try it — and I’m so glad you like my blog! 🙂
Hey, i just discovered your blog and i really love it!
I’ve been looking for a sweet quinoa recipe for a long time and now i finally found one, thank you! 🙂
But I’m a bit confused… if I use your measurements then it’s a breakfast for six persons?
I would be very thankful if you answered me:)
Thank you so much!! So yes, if you make the recipe with these measurements, you will end up with 6 servings (each serving being about 255 calories). Depending on your (and your guests’) appetite — that could end up being enough for 6 people or less, because you could always take two portions and then it would be enough for 3 people. If you want a smaller total amount, just cut each measurement in half and you will end up with 3 servings! Hope that helps!
Great recipe. I just started cooking with quinoa and now I must try it for breakfast.
That’s awesome! You’ll find that quinoa is super versatile – you can pretty much use it in almost anything you’d use rice, oats, or any grain in. Hope you like this recipe!
What a delicious and original dish! I am always looking for new and healthy foods to try and this one is really good, so I thank you so much for sharing.
No problem! Hope you enjoy it!
Seriously, I haven’t tasted Quinoa in my entire life and I don’t think I can’t find it here in our local market, though I wanted to try this dish sometime next week to see what it really tastes like.
You can actually find quinoa at any major grocery store – even Safeway has it (just ask and I’m sure someone can help you find it there!) Hope you enjoy the recipe!
I love this recipe! I am always looking for new things to do with quinoa because of its nutritional benefits. It never occurred to me to eat it for breakfast. This looks AMAZING!!
What a fabulous idea! I love the color too!!