Quinoa Porridge is super creamy, tasty, nutritious, filling, and is ready in about 20 minutes. Switch up your morning breakfast routine and try this naturally gluten free, protein packed bowl instead of oatmeal.
While a warm bowl of oatmeal might seem like a no brainer when looking for the right way to kick start your day, quinoa porridge is an exceptional substitute!
Made in the stovetop, this quinoa porridge has an irresistibly rich creamy texture with nutty flavor. A must-try recipe if your family is burned out eating the usual suspects or if you are looking to bump up the nutrient intake in the morning.
The difference, however, between cooking quinoa and oatmeal is in the cook-time. Granted this porridge takes a few minutes longer when compared to air fryer oatmeal or carrot oatmeal but once you give this recipe a try, you will not mind the few extra minutes.
Quinoa is a complete plant based protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids – which our bodies need for basic functioning. You can find it in a variety of colors, like black, red, white, or a mix of all three. Light or white variety has the mildest flavor and is perfect if you’re trying it for the first time.
This nutritious grain is often restricted to savory dishes, but it is absolutely wonderful in sweet recipes like this creamy quinoa porridge (you might like this instant pot quinoa recipe tutorial or the Mexican Quinoa Salad made with leftover quinoa).
Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin, that can give the grain a bitter taste and make it difficult to digest. Rinsing the grain in cold running water for at least a minute before coking, gets rid of this coating. Sometimes you can find pre rinsed boxes in the super market, but it doesn’t hurt to give them an additional rinse at home.
Why you'll love this recipe?
- What I love about this quinoa porridge is that it’s really quick and easy to make, you can customize it with any flavoring or toppings, and it keeps you full until lunch time.
- You can make quinoa porridge ahead of time and reheat it for an easy breakfast idea during the week.
- This recipe is gluten-free. Plus, the quinoa porridge recipe comes together in 20 minutes! All you’ll have to do is add milk, and your favorite toppings and you’re good to go. Have you tried this easy almond butter overnight oats?
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Quinoa – I’ve used white quinoa here but you can use red, black or tricolored variety for added color and more complex flavor.
- Milk - It makes it creamy, thick and delicious. We used regular whole milk, but use almond, cashew or coconut milk if you'd like non-dairy alternative.
- Salt - A pinch of salt will transform a bland bowl of quinoa into a flavorful one. You don't want to skip it!
- Sweetener - Golden brown sugar is the perfect sweetener to use because of the caramel flavor that compliments any toppings. Maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar would be good substitutes if you want to make it healthier.
Substitutions & Variations
Once you’ve mastered the base recipe, you can get creative with variations! Here are few delicious ideas to get you started:
- Maple brown sugar – Stir in a combination of maple syrup and brown sugar.
- Banana nut – Top quinoa porridge with banana slices, chopped walnuts and ground cinnamon. You can also add chopped banana during the cooking process which will add tons of flavor and sweetness.
- Apple cinnamon - Add diced apples, chopped pecans, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Check out this tasty apple cinnamon oatmeal or this apple waffles recipe.
- Strawberries and cream - Add chopped strawberries, a dollop of greek yogurt and sliced almonds.
- Chocolate peanut butter - Stir in cocoa powder and a dollop of creamy peanut butter along with the sweetener.
- Pumpkin spice - Stir in pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and toasted pecans.
- Spices - Stir in ground cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, pumpkin spice or ginger.
- Savory - Cook the quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock instead of milk and water. Skip the sugar and stir in parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and a pinch of red pepper flakes. We like to top it with a fried egg, sautéed mushrooms, sautéed spinach or basil pesto.
How to make like a pro?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
- Rinse - Add quinoa into a fine-mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water until it runs clear. It helps to wash away the bitterness and let it drain thoroughly.
Tip: Check your package label to see if it says “pre washed.” If it does, then you can skip the rinsing process but I like to rinse once to wash away any dirt.
2 & 3 - Toast - Melt butter in a saucepan and add rinsed quinoa, saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is fragrant.
Tip: Although toasting is optional, I would highly recommend spending that additional couple of minutes because it makes it taste toasty, nutty and make them taste exponentially better!
4. Gently pour your 1 and half cup milk.
5. Stir in one cup of water and a pinch of salt.
6. Cook, uncovered for 12 to 14 minutes, until thicker and most of the liquid is absorbed.
Pro tip: Don't cover! When the milk is heated, the trapped water vapor expands and pushes the top cream layer up and results in over flowing. So, simmering the quinoa porridge uncovered, ensures that it doesn't boil over, not make it overcooked or mushy, and also thickens the milk making it more creamy in consistency.
7 & 8. Stir in brown sugar, remove from heat, cover and let rest for about 5 minutes. It helps the grains pop open and get a fluffy texture.
How to serve?
I really love the taste of buttery quinoa porridge with just brown sugar along with some toasted nuts. But a few additional toppings will make it live up to it's most delicious potential. Add some fresh seasonal fruit, toasted nuts and seeds for extra protein, healthy fats and crunch.
- Fresh berries, sliced banana, chopped apples, mango or peaches.
- Toasted and chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or toasted coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds or flax seeds.
- A swirl of creamy peanut butter or almond butter and a few chocolate chips.
How to store?
- In the fridge - The best way to store quinoa porridge is in your fridge. You can double or triple the recipe, cool completely, portion it out into individual containers, store in the refrigerator and enjoy thought the week.
- In the freezer - If you want to store it longer, just place it in the freezer in quart size zipper bag or single serve freezer safe containers. It will stay good for two months.
- In the microwave - When you’re ready to eat, warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until it reaches your preferred temperature. You might need to add an extra splash of milk or water because the porridge has a tendency to thicken up when refrigerated.
- On the stovetop - You can also reheat on the stovetop over low heat along with a splash of milk or water, stirring often until it reaches your desired temperature.
- Pay attention to the quinoa to liquid ratio. If you use less liquid, it may not fully cook all the grain whereas more liquid, may end up looking too liquidy.
Pro tip: Several recipes use 2 cups of liquid to 1 cup of quinoa. However this recipe calls for an additional ½ cup liquid because it is cooked uncovered, and makes a more creamier, tastier and fluffier grain.
- Don’t forget the salt. A pinch of salt really enhances the flavor and brings out the sweetness and nuttiness of the grains.
Tip: Don't skip the resting time! It helps the grain bloom and get an exceptional fluffiness.
You can use your leftover cooked quinoa to make the porridge but it will not turn out as creamy as this recipe. To turn leftovers into a porridge, simply place it in small saucepan along with some milk and sweetener. Let it come to a gentle boil over medium heat, remove pan from heat, cover and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Absolutely! You can absolutely swap red, black or tri colored grains to make this recipe. While white offers a smooth, subtle flavor, darker variety offers a more strong, pronounced flavor and more chewier in texture.
Soaking them overnight removes the bitter tasting saponins, activates enzymes makes it more easily digested. However, giving it a good rinse removes the saponins in a pinch and slow cooking along with the resting time makes it soft and light to eat.
More healthy breakfast ideas:
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 tablespoon butter (or use coconut oil)
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or more to taste)
- Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under cold running water for about one minute. Drain well.
- Add butter into a medium saucepan and place over medium high heat. When melted, add rinsed and drained quinoa and cook, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Tip: Although toasting is optional, I would highly recommend spending that additional couple of minutes because it makes it taste toasty, nutty and make them taste exponentially better!
- Stir in milk, 1 cup water and salt, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes. Tip: Don't skip the resting time! It helps the grain bloom and get an exceptional fluffiness.
- Remove pan from heat, stir in brown sugar, cover and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls (add a splash of more milk or brown sugar to adjust consistency and taste), top with berries, sliced bananas or nuts and enjoy!
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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