Break out of your oatmeal rut and consider something new in that hot cereal bowl: breakfast quinoa. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge oatmeal fan. My people are from Ireland, for goodness sake. But changing things up is a smart idea, since every grain offers different nutrients.

Quinoa has much to offer on the nutrition front. It has a well balanced amino acid profile (protein building blocks) and is especially rich in magnesium and iron. Oh, and it’s gluten free. Go quinoa!

Breakfast is actually my favorite meal for this teensy, protein-packed grain. Sometimes I’ll make a fresh pot in the morning; more often, I’ll warm up leftovers from dinner the night before.

Unlike oats, which seem to pair just right with fruits, both cooked and dried, quinoa lends itself to toppings crisp and crunchy. Diced raw apples and toasted  nuts are our standard fixings around here, or we’ll sometimes go tropical with mango and crispy coconut chips. Each bowl is finished with a drizzle of maple syrup and cold milk.

What ideas do you have for quinoa at breakfast (or other grains for that matter)? I’d love to hear.

Breakfast Quinoa

Servings 3 to 4 servings
Author katiemorford


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup diced apples/pears, berries, banana, or mango
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts or whole seeds
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Milk
  • Maple syrup or honey for sweetness, if desired
  • Cinnamon, if desired


  1. If the quinoa isn't labeled "pre-rinsed", pour it into a fine mesh sieve or colander and rinse thoroughly under warm water.
  2. Transfer the quinoa to a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover the quinoa by at least 1 ½ inches. Set the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. When the water boils, drop the heat until it simmers vigorously. Simmer until it is tender, about 15 minutes. Pour into a colander and leave to drain in the sink for a few minutes.

  3. To serve, divide warm quinoa among 4 bowls. Top with fruit and nuts/seeds. Drizzle with milk and add maple syrup and cinnamon, if desired.