22 Plant-Based Recipes That Will Make You Love Quinoa

By Lisa Esile, MS,

Last Updated:

There’s something for everyone in this top-shelf collection of vegan quinoa recipes! Nutritious, quick-cooking, and gluten-free, with a mild, nutty flavor and fluffy texture, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years. From soups to smoothie bowls, salads, stews, sushi, casseroles, cookies, burgers, and more, these delish vegan quinoa recipes showcase the versatility of this mighty grain.

For more on how to prep and cook quinoa and other grains, check out our Whole Grains Guide.

Chopped Salad with Air-Fried BBQ Chickpeas on a white plate against a herringbone pattern tablecloth

Chopped Salad with Air-Fried BBQ Chickpeas

Tricolor quinoa works great in this chopped salad, joining forces with crispy BBQ-spice flavored chickpeas, lettuce, tomato, bell pepper, and cucumber. Drizzle with a light avocado dressing and pat yourself on the back for a satisfying salad you’ll want to instantly devour.

Stone Fruit & Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

If you’ve never baked with quinoa, you’re in for a treat. The airy, tender grains of cooked quinoa add bulk and a pleasing moist texture, while allowing the flavors of stone fruit, orange, and fresh ginger to take center stage. Note: If you don’t have fresh fruit, frozen works too.
Thai Grain Bowls with black chopsticks on a blue wood table

Thai Grain Bowls

Get delicious Thai flavor in less time than it takes to order takeout with this nourishing grain bowl. Tricolor quinoa offers an earthy base, raw cabbage lends crunch, and tender veggies offer fresh, savory flavor. The spicy, lime-infused sauce really cranks things up a notch. Top with peanuts, cilantro, and sriracha. Get the table set now; you’ll be chowing down in 25 minutes or less. Writes a reviewer, “Super tasty and very presentable.”
New American Veggie Cheeseburgers topped with a cheesy sauce, jalapenos, and pickled onions on a white plate

New American Veggie Cheeseburgers

Cooked quinoa and whole grain bread crumbs keep these veggie patties moist and bound together, because no one wants a crumbly, dry veggie burger! For the full vegan cheeseburger experience, drizzle with potato-based cheese sauce, and for extra pep, add tangy grilled red onions and red peppers. Note: These take a little time to put together but are well worth the effort. Notes one happy reviewer: “Delicious. Every bit.”

Quick Hummus and Quinoa Wraps

Need a fortifying meal in a hurry? With cooked quinoa and hummus on hand, these tasty wraps come together in just 15 minutes. Just add tomato and spinach (or the veggies of your choosing). And that’s a wrap!
rhubarb red quinoa soup

Rhubarb and Red Quinoa Soup

Up your soup game with this zingy rhubarb soup. Rhubarb gives an unexpected pleasant tang, red quinoa adds heft, and a savory veggie broth ensures smooth flavors all round. You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb—just be sure to cut it into thin slices. Before serving, stir in spinach; then top with pistachios and chives. As one reviewer puts it: “Restaurant-quality soup.”
Peanut Butter-Quinoa Flake Cookies on a wire cooling rack

Peanut Butter–Quinoa Flake Cookies

In these energizing cookies, quinoa flakes offer a nice change from the usual rolled oats. Naturally sweetened with dates and banana, and with almond flour and peanut butter lending richness, these kid-friendly cookies are ready in just 30 minutes. “Love this recipe! Easy, flexible and forgiving,” writes a commenter.
roasted cauliflower and quinoa casserole app

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Casserole

The subtle flavors of cauliflower and quinoa complement each other perfectly in this toothsome casserole. Frozen peas add sweetness, while marinara sauce ties it all together with rich tomato flavor. One commenter shared:  “Very delicious and simple! Filling without making me feel heavy.”
quinoa sushi rolls on a white plate, drizzled with thai peanut sauce, two chopsticks set on the plate

Quinoa Sushi with Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce

In this quinoa-centric sushi, brown rice vinegar and maple syrup give red quinoa a delectable sweet-sour flavor, while arrowroot powder adds stickiness to the grains. Serve with a simple low-fat Thai peanut dipping sauce, which incorporates chickpeas for added creaminess.
Kale Apple and Quinoa Salad

Kale, Apple, and Quinoa Salad

In this autumn-inspired quinoa salad extravaganza, the sweet golden flesh of roasted butternut squash contrasts deliciously with crisp apple, earthy green kale, sharp green onion, and cinnamon-roasted pumpkin seeds. Top with a sweet, lemon-infused mustard dressing, and dig in! One fan writes: “Absolutely delicious!!! The dressing is the key ingredient in this salad. I’ve had so many people ask for this recipe. Everyone loves it.”
Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup in three bowls on a gray counter

Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup

The nutty aroma and crunchy texture of roasted quinoa sprinkled over this warm and savory soup taste incredible next to the soft, sweet veggies and umami-rich broth below. To roast quinoa, just spread the dry grains in a roasting pan in a 400°F oven for a few minutes until golden-brown. One reviewer notes, “My go-to for comfort food and a great fall/winter dinner.”
chocolate lover's quinoa breakfast bowl wordpress

Chocolate Lover’s Quinoa Breakfast Bowls with Pears

Sick of the same old oatmeal? You’ll savor every mouthful of this decadent-tasting chocolate quinoa, which also happens to be supremely simple to make: Just add cocoa powder for chocolate flavor, plant milk for creaminess, and maple syrup to sweeten it up. Serve with sliced pears or other fruit, and enjoy any time of the day. One reader notes: “A great way to cure the sweet chocolate craving in a healthy way!”
Delicata Stuffed Squash with Creole Quinoa Stuffing for wordpress

Delicata Squash with Creole Quinoa Stuffing

The sweet flesh and tender, edible skin of delicata squash make them a first-rate veggie to stuff. Here, they’re filled with a Creole-spiced mixture of quinoa, blended veggies, and white beans and topped with a drizzle of smoky tomato sauce. Each bite is heavenly.
Quinoa Curry Bowl

Vegan Quinoa Curry Bowl

Ready in just 15 minutes, this nourishing grain dish combines two time-saving heroes—quinoa and frozen veggies—with delectable results. Curry powder and granulated onion is added to the quinoa cooking water to boost the flavor early; then it’s just a matter of adding veggies, garlic, fresh ginger, more curry powder, and a little tahini.

Quinoa Primavera

This tasty quinoa dish from vegan ultramarathoner Matt Frazier and health coach Stepfanie Romine positively bursts with flavor. Made with just one pot, quinoa is cooked with frozen artichoke hearts, garlic, dried herbs, and veggies. To serve, add lemon zest, sunflower seeds, and orange-infused quick-pickled shallots.
Instant Pot Spanish Quinoa

Instant Pot Spanish Quinoa

You’ll be amazed at the depth of flavor achieved in record time in this Spanish-style pilaf, which features quinoa instead of rice. Mixed veggies and canned diced green chiles infuse the dish with spicy, savory oomph. Using a multicooker (such as an Instant Pot) ensures that the quinoa comes out light and fluffy—no hovering over the stove required. Serve this succulent side dish with your favorite Spanish or Mexican food.

Red Beans & Quinoa

Next time you’ve got a hankering for rice and beans, mix things up and try this quinoa version instead. Hearty kidney beans contrast deliciously with the fine, fluffy white quinoa grains, while dried thyme and garlic add a grassy depth of flavor. Like it spicy? Add some red pepper flakes after serving. (Pro tip: Red pepper flakes are a great condiment to keep on the table to accommodate hotness preferences.)

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

A punchy dressing—featuring lime zest and juice, tamari, chili powder, and cumin—ensures this corn, black bean, and quinoa salad is a party for your taste buds! Added bonus: It’s ready in just 20 minutes. Notes a fan, “Very tasty, fast, and easy to make.”
quinoa salad with creamy salsa dressing

Quinoa Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing

In this cafe-quality salad, the lightness of quinoa pairs well with fresh and crunchy veggies, such as cucumber, bell pepper, scallions, and cilantro. But it’s the creamy roasted tomato dressing—featuring charred tomatoes, serrano chile, onion, garlic, tahini, and lime juice—that takes this one over the top. Yum!
breakfast bowl

Manna Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

With cooked quinoa on hand, this luscious breakfast bowl is halfway made before you even start. Kiwifruit adds tanginess, kale and wheatgrass give it a power-greens boost, and banana lends sweetness. Sprinkle with toppings such as chopped apple, berries, pomegranate seeds, chia seeds, and/or sunflower seeds.
Quinoa Salad

Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad

Adding cumin and turmeric to the quinoa cooking water gives this Middle Eastern salad an attractive golden hue and warm flavor. Fresh or roasted red bell pepper lends sweetness, while tomato, cucumber, and fresh basil bring tangy-fresh flavor to every mouthful. Lemon juice is all the dressing you need for this one!

Quinoa, Corn, and Avocado Salad

This seven-ingredient summer salad demonstrates the power of using in-season ingredients for maximum yumminess. The lightness of quinoa goes well with summer veggies such as corn and avocado, while tomato adds juicy tang. Red onion, lime juice, and cilantro give this satisfying salad an enticing lift.

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About the Author

Headshot of Lisa Esile, MS

About the Author

Lisa Esile, MS

Lisa Esile is an author, illustrator, blogger, vegetable gardener, and whole-food enthusiast with a special fondness for potatoes. She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is passionate about showing people how to live happier, healthier lives. She is the author of Reach Your Big Calm and the co-author of Whose Mind Is It Anyway? Find her on Facebook.
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