Quinoa: Creamy Quinoa Porridge & Other Recipes

quinoaQuinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a member of the goosefoot family and is grown in the altiplano of the Andes in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, and some in Chile and Argentina. It has historically been the staple food of the Andes. Quinoa is a cute, light, curly grain that cooks up in approximately 20-25 minutes. It is rather nutty in flavor but is delicious in place of rice in many dishes. Quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains due to its high lysine and protein content. It is gluten-free, providing another grain choice for the gluten intolerant. It can effectively boost milk supply for nursing mothers as well. It is one of the most expensive grains, but due to its valuable nutrition we make an effort to include it in our diet.

According to Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions, “Quinoa contains 16-20 perfect protein and is high in cystine, lysine and methionine – amino acids that tend to be low in other grains. It contains iron, calcium and phosphorus, B vitamins and vitamin E, and is relatively high in fat. Like all grains, quinoa contains antinutrients and therefore requires a long soaking as part of the preparation process.” (To learn more about the benefits of soaking, visit here.)

Also, a substance on the surface of quinoa called saponins has a bitter taste and must be rinsed away. Rinse thoroughly for one minute in a strainer, soak overnight in water, drain and rinse again for another minute before use.


Creamy Quinoa is our favorite means of eating quinoa. It is a hearty breakfast porridge to boost your energy for the day!

1 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cup water (for cooking)
Additional water (for soaking)
1 Tbsp of an acid medium (for soaking) -kefir, whey, yogurt, lemon juice, etc.

Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a strainer and then cover entirely with water inside a bowl. Mix in your acid medium. Soak overnight. I usually place the strainer of rinsed quinoa into a larger bowl filled with enough water to cover (as pictured). This allows me to easily rinse the grain again in the morning.


Here is my method of soaking quinoa.

In the morning, drain and rinse thoroughly again. Blend 1/3 cup of the quinoa with 1/3 cup water in a blender for 1 minute, until smooth. Remove from blender and combine with remaining quinoa with the remaining 1 cup of water. (If you prefer a completely creamy texture, as we do, blend all the quinoa and water together. Leaving some grains in their whole form will give you more of a crunchy texture.) Add toppings as desired. We love raisins and chopped apples to ours. Bring to a boil and turn on low and simmer for 20 minutes. Top with a little honey and milk and enjoy!

Another favorite combo is blueberries and peanut butter added to the quinoa after it has completed cooking.

Here are a few other ideas for using quinoa:

Quinoa & Black Beans - a hearty side dish!

Quinoa is a wonderful grain to use in making whole grain waffles/pancakes or crepes. I love using it in combination with oats or rice.

For any casserole or dish, quinoa is an easy substitute for rice or a lovely addition to increase this nutritious grain in your diet.

What are your favorite ways to use quinoa?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

41 Responses to Quinoa: Creamy Quinoa Porridge & Other Recipes

  1. Nikki September 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    I just purchased some quinoa and had some soaking questions. I immediately came here because I just knew you’d have information to share and I was right. Thank you!

  2. Sandi April 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

    How many servings does this recipe make?

  3. Ashley-Nicole March 26, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    I am not sure what I am doing wrong…I have tried this twice, and each time (I blend the 1 cup of quinoa with the whole 1 1/3 cup water for a more creamy texture), but when I bring it to a boil, it just forms a porridge immediately and burns to the bottom of the pan. Any ideas? Cooking and soaking grains is completely new to me and I feel quite lost…

    • Lindsay March 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

      I am not sure what the problem is here. Did you soak it then? I haven’t made this recipe is awhile so I cannot recall the process, so you may just try the original instructions rather than blending it all. You can always blend it after it is cooked.

  4. Liev Wheeler July 24, 2009 at 8:43 am #

    This is a family favorite (my kids love it!) and is especially good as a summer cookout salad.

    Quinoa Salad…
    1 cup quinoa
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 english hothouse cucumber
    1 package grape tomatoes
    3 green onions
    Cilantro to taste
    1 8oz package feta cheese, crumbled
    juice of 3 lemons
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1/4 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds

    Rinse quinoa grain in cold water and add to boiling 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until the germ begins to uncoil and the water has cooked out. Place the cooked grain into the refrigerator until cool. Dice cucumber and tomato and finely chop green onions and cilantro. Add olive oil and lemon juice to cooled quinoa and stir to coat. Add veggies, sunflower seeds and the crumbled feta and stir well. Salt and pepper to taste. The ratio for cooking quinoa is 1 part grain to 1.5 parts water.

  5. Rose July 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    I’m a regular reader of your neat blog, and I was glad to find a post on a native grain from my homeland. I love quinoa, and I’ll ask one of my grandmas for our traditional quinoa soup recipe, so I can share it with you.
    Have a nice break with your beautiful family!

  6. shannon July 13, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    this recipe sounds delicious, i’ll have to give it a try! my favorite way to eat quinoa, is a recent vegetarian times recipe for quinoa stuffed peppers, there was a tomato sauce on top, and i think the quinoa was mixed with onions, black olives, and some veggies before placing in the peppers and baking…. yum!

  7. Gillian July 13, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    Here is one of my favorites! It’s from my friend Julie Alverez
    1.5 cups dried Quinoa
    1 can black beans
    1 can whole corn
    1 can black olives
    ½ Red pepper
    ½ Orange pepper
    1 bunch green onions or 1 bunch chives
    1 bunch cilantro
    ¼ cup lime juice (juice of 2 limes)
    1 large avocado
    1 clove garlic pressed or chopped
    ½ tsp salt
    ¼ tsp ground cumin


    Prepare quinoa according to package instructions
    Rinse beans and corn
    Finely chop olives, peppers, onions (or chives) and cilantro
    Coarsely chop avocado and soak in lime juice to prevent oxidation
    Mix above ingredients together in large mixing bowl
    Add garlic, salt and cumin to taste
    Refrigerate and serve cold

  8. Debbie July 11, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    I’m very interested in adding Quinoa to my family’s diet but haven’t really had any recipes that sounded appeal to us – these suggestions here are great – and I appreciate your tips on all aspects of preparing it. I’m bookmarking this so I can refer to it when I find quinoa in my grocery store!

  9. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship July 8, 2009 at 8:20 pm #

    Blending would alleviate my husband’s texture issues with quinoa…maybe I’ll get up the guts to buy a box again!

  10. ~M July 8, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    Would Apple Cider Vinegar work as the acidic medium for soaking? I don’t want something with dairy and don’t always have fresh lemon juice on hand.

    • Lindsay July 9, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

      Yes, all those acid mediums work for whatever you are trying to soak…I just don’t necessary want to write them out all the time. ;) I actually use concentrated lemon juice for soaking as well because I don’t keep fresh lemons around.

      • ~M July 27, 2009 at 11:44 pm #

        Thanks for answering, Lindsay! One more question – does the metal of the strainer not interfere with the soaking process or the acid?

        • Lindsay July 28, 2009 at 11:28 am #

          No, I do not believe so.

  11. Renee July 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    I have been visiting your site often and was excited to see the information about quinoa. I made it for the first time last week and look forward to using some of your ideas. Thanks for your great posts!

  12. M.I.A in Minnesota July 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Thank you for these recipes. I have quinoa sitting in my pantry but I’ve been at a loss to know what to do with it!

  13. Kika July 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    All the ideas sound terrific. I’ve added quinoa to my shopping list:) One day, recently, I bought a yogurt/mint/quinoa salad at a cafe (it also had berries in it). I think I’ll try and recreate this at home.

  14. Meg July 7, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    We did the same type of porridge with millet when I was nursing – a lovely Mexican lady at our church told us that the grain would help with the milk production. I’ll have to try this in a few months when we’re nursing again.

  15. Kara July 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    I love to use quinoa to stretch my ground beef. The red variety is especially nice as it almost hides in a tomato sauce.

    • ~M July 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

      Yup, I do this too – I add quinoa to meatballs!

  16. Michele @ Frugal Granola July 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    We make a similar quinoa breakfast porridge, too. Yum! We like to add lots of cinnamon. :)

    I also use it in those ubiquitous summer “pasta” salads (instead of the pasta), and toss it with lots of veggies and homemade italian dressing.


  17. [email protected] July 7, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    We recently discovered quinoa at our house and love it as a savory side dish with dinner, especially quinoa pilaf. One of the things I learned is that is not really a grain even though we put it in that category. It’s actually a seed! That explains the high nutritional value, too.

    • M.I.A in Minnesota July 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

      I like your user name Jen!

    • Kate July 11, 2009 at 4:39 am #

      Yep, we made quinoa pilaf last night. LOVED it! I used chicken stock in place of water (to add flavor) one Vidalia onion and toasted pine nuts.

  18. Carrie July 7, 2009 at 9:42 am #

    Your blog is well designed and quick to navigate, and just what I have been looking for(Christian perspective on frugal and natural living, motherhood,homemaking,etc)! I have been thinking about incorporating more of a variety of whole grains in our diet, so this post was just what I needed today. Thank you!

  19. Stephanie July 7, 2009 at 9:36 am #

    It is delicious SPROUTED and seasoned with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.

  20. Rebecca July 7, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    My family loves quinoa! My mom knew about because her and my father were missionaries to Bolivia when they were first married. Another great grain is couscous. I like the texture even better than quinoa as couscous when cooked whith the right amount of water and time gets nice and sticky which is how I like it. I thinks it’s good to have a variety of different grains with meals rather than just rice all the time which can get boring.

    • Holly January 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

      Couscous isn’t a grain, it’s pieces of tiny pasta!

  21. Meggan July 7, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    So you don’t need the acid when soaking quinoa? No phytates?

    • Lindsay July 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

      Sorry, I forgot that part. I updated it above.

  22. Colleen July 7, 2009 at 7:50 am #

    I love serving quinoa as a side dish with onions, carrots, apples, and dried cranberries. I use broth and apple juice or white wine to cook it in, and I like to sautee the grains in olive oil first. Delicious! I also love your quinoa and beans recipe, and so does my hubby!

  23. Katie July 7, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    Our favorite use for quinoa is to:
    -Bring 1 1/2 cup water to a boil
    -Add 1 cup quoinoa and put on simmer
    -It cooks in about 5-10 minutes
    -Slice bell peppers and saute in coconut oil
    -Add the quinoa and bell peppers together
    (We also add feta and almond slivers at times)

    This serves as a substitute for rice and cooks in half the time!

    • Kate July 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

      toast the almond slivers…. AWESOME taste!

  24. Jessica b July 7, 2009 at 5:50 am #

    I’m not a huge fan of the flavor of quinoa but since I know it’s good for me…. I like to mix it with brown rice. I’ll do half cup brown rice and half cup quinoa in 2 cups of water- I like it because it mellows out the flavor of the quinoa.

  25. Shannon Hazleton July 7, 2009 at 5:37 am #

    I’m interested in using this grain. Lindsay, I don’t know if making the porridge is similar to oatmeal, but I ALWAYS have issues with my oats boiling over before I can catch them. What size pot do you use to cook your quinoa? Also, do you add any honey or sweetener when you make the quinoa for b-fast?

    • Lindsay July 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

      With my soaked oatmeal recipe, I don’t even have an issue with this because you add the oats after it has been brought to a boil and then immediately turn it down to a simmer. You may want to try it. Quinoa is a smaller grain so it has not been a problem for me either. I just use a standard medium size saucepan for our family. I use honey to sweeten! Yum!

  26. Jill July 7, 2009 at 5:17 am #

    Thanks for these great recipes! I bought some quinoa and I didn’t know what to make with it.

    When you say “soak” the grains overnight, do you soak it with an acid medium (like yogurt)?

    • Lindsay July 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

      Yes, I just overlooked that. I updated it above. Thanks!

  27. PanJiaLe July 7, 2009 at 5:14 am #

    Besides the Quinoa and Black Bean recipe, we really enjoyed Quinoa Tabbouleh as a light and refreshing meal:


    Hope you enjoy!

  28. Jessica July 7, 2009 at 3:39 am #

    Aww… I need to take a break from everything online. I live overseas and this week for some reason, I’ve been hit with tons of reminders of all the things I would LOVE to eat right now!!!!

  29. Valerie July 7, 2009 at 3:14 am #

    That is very intersting. I have never rinsed or soaked them like that. I’ll have to try it. I usually just put it in the pot with the water and bring it to a boil then put a lid on and lower the heat for about 20 minutes. When it’s done I add butter and garlic or I add butter, maple syrup and cinnamon if it’s for breakfast. I’ll have to try this way! (I have to buy a strainer small enough to keep the little buggers in first!)

    Thanks for sharing! Have a blessed day!