What Tastes Best With Quinoa? Ultimate Guide + Recipes

Quinoa is perhaps the most affordable of all superfoods and is sold in almost every major supermarket in the big city.
It contains many easily digestible proteins (14.1 g per 100 g of product), vitamins A and B, C, E, trace elements, minerals and amino acids. If you are sick of eating rice, bulgur, couscous and buckwheat, quinoa is a great alternative for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let’s find out what tastes best with quinoa and what you can add to quinoa for flavor.

What do you eat with quinoa? Quinoa goes well with vegetables (tomatoes, zucchini, pepper, carrot, peas, asparagus), meat and seafood (beef, pork, veal, shrimp, turkey, chicken). Quinoa is often cooked with chicken and broccoli in a creamy sauce for dinner. Quinoa also goes well with nuts, jam, apples, blueberries. 

What Tastes Best with Quinoa? Ultimate Guide

Quinoa is a superfood and a great source of vitamins. It is added to soups, salads, pastries, and desserts. Quinoa should be soaked in cold water for several hours before boiling it. Once the water boils, reduce heat and cook for another 15 minutes. The volume of quinoa is increased several times during the cooking process, so make sure to take a big enough pot.

What tastes best with quinoa? For breakfast, quinoa tastes best with apple/strawberry jam, blueberries, nuts, and honey. For lunch, try the soup with quinoa and black beans or quinoa with broccoli in a creamy sauce. For dinner, quinoa tastes best with shrimp, baked turkey, and fresh/grilled vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, or tomatoes).

See also: Here Is Why Quinoa Became and Remains Popular

How to Make Quinoa Taste Good

There are many ways to prepare quinoa. It can be eaten either boiled or raw (pre-soaked for 10-12 hours). Quinoa can be eaten raw or cooked. Classic recipes recommend boiling quinoa, but you can experiment in different ways if you like. Some may say that quinoa is bitter or even tastes like dirt.  The outer shell of quinoa is coated with saponin, a naturally occurring organic compound that protects quinoa from insects and birds.

To remove quinoa bitterness, soak it in cold water overnight or at least 2-3 hours before cooking and rinse it thoroughly to get rid of saponin.

What can you add to quinoa to make it taste better? What can I add to quinoa for flavor? Add fresh herbs and spices (basil, thyme, oregano, black or red pepper, ginger), olive oil, and garlic to quinoa for flavor. If you want the quinoa to be sweet, add honey, nuts, apple/raspberry/strawberry jam, blueberries, banana, almond butter, cherries, vanilla, raisins, or condensed milk. 

See also: What Does Couscous Taste Like? Is It Just Like Rice?

What Is Quinoa Used For In Cooking?

Quinoa can be used to cook a variety of dishes, including:

  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Hot dishes
  • Buddha bowls
  • Granola
  • Smoothie
  • Fillings for vegetables such as baked peppers
  • Cookies
  • Bread
  • Muffins
  • Sushi

Add butter, olive or coconut oil to plain quinoa and dress it up with grated cheese (mozzarella, gruyere, gouda), garlic, oregano, cilantro, fresh parsley, basil, dill, or nuts, banana, pear, almond butter if you want it to be sweet. 

Fresh Herbs Quinoa Goes Best with:

  • Spinach
  • Ruccola
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Mint

Spices Quinoa Goes Best with:

  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Chili
  • Thyme
  • Paprika

See also: What Does Quinoa Taste Like?

While cooking, you can add garlic, onion, sea salt, and black pepper for better flavor. Try adding fresh spinach, parsley, dill, and paprika to make quinoa taste better. You can also add sun-dried tomatoes or a cream sauce with garlic for a stronger flavor. 

Quinoa goes best with:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Red beans
  • Corn
  • Citrus
  • Nuts

What sauce to put on quinoa? Quinoa goes well with a cream sauce with garlic or tomato sauce, mushroom, and olives. Cilantro lime quinoa also has many fans around the world. Try adding sesame oil, salt, black pepper, and ripe soft avocado. Some like cooking quinoa in a curry sauce or basil pesto with lemon.

What Can You Add to Quinoa to Make It Taste Better? Best Recipes

  • Smoothies

You might have seen numerous smoothie recipes with chia or flax seeds. So why not replace them with quinoa, thereby increasing the protein content of the drink several times? Use half a cup of cooked quinoa for a cooling quinoa smoothie, and you won’t feel hungry until lunchtime.

  • Quinoa Instead of Oatmeal

First, quinoa is prepared much faster than oatmeal, and every minute counts in the morning. But the most important thing is that it has twice as much protein and tons of other nutrients and vitamins. Are you still not sure what to cook for breakfast tomorrow? Try this recipe for blueberry lemon quinoa.


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Take a small saucepan, put quinoa, water, milk, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, almond extract, salt in it and bring it all to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for another 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

Divide the cooked porridge into four cups and add 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, one tablespoon of chopped toasted almonds, two tablespoons of almond milk, and half a teaspoon each of brown sugar and lemon zests to each. A delicious breakfast for the whole family is ready!

See also: Why Has Quinoa Become Popular and Expensive?

  • Quinoa Energy Bars

Take two cups of cooked quinoa and a cup of wholemeal flour. Add your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits or dark chocolate pieces. Mix this with two cups of boiled oatmeal, an egg, and a teaspoon of baking soda. Grease a baking sheet or baking dish with oil, spread the mixture evenly, and bake in the oven at 190°C for 20 minutes. Cool, cut into small bars and enjoy.

  • Quiche

Nutritionists say this quiche is the perfect breakfast. Eggs, some of your favorite vegetables, cheese, meat and crispy dough, what can be better? If you add quinoa, the quiche will have even more protein and antioxidants. Each recipe requires a different amount of cereal, but usually, one glass of boiled quinoa is advised for eight eggs.

  • Quinoa Salads

Prepare your favorite salad with some boiled quinoa. Quinoa goes well with almost all products and will look great in a Mediterranean salad of fresh vegetables and cheese and spicy Mexican appetizers from beans and jalapenos. Quinoa is more nutritious than regular bread croutons, and if used as a base (bottom layer), it can take all the juice and aromas from vegetables and gravy. Make a light salad with quinoa, chicken, avocado and orange and enjoy.

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Prepare quinoa according to package recommendations. Transfer to a large bowl, stir with a fork (to avoid lumps) and let cool.

Make a chicken marinade: In a large bowl, combine chili powder, two teaspoons of crushed garlic, lime zest, two teaspoons of olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of pepper and salt. Add the chicken fillet and stir until the marinade completely covers the meat. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the oven on both sides until tender. Let the chicken cool slightly, cut into small pieces and add to the quinoa.

Peel the avocado and orange and cut them into medium slices. Add to meat and quinoa. Season the salad with lime juice, three tablespoons of olive oil, finely chopped cilantro, leftover garlic, and salt and pepper. Stir and serve.

  • Quinoa Burgers

To make the burger even more satisfying and healthy, add some boiled quinoa to it: just one cup of quinoa for 450 grams of minced meat is enough for four patties. And if you don’t eat meat, mix half a cup of cooked quinoa with one cup of beans for awesome veggie burgers.

  • Quinoa Pudding

Many people think that quinoa is absolutely unsuitable for desserts and sweet dishes. We’re going to bust this myth! Do you like puddings with cereals (like rice)? Then try the following recipe: a light, delicate quinoa pudding with orange, cinnamon and star anise flavors.

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Prepare the quinoa: pour it into a fine sieve, put it in water and rinse well twice. Drain the water, lightly dry the cereal and transfer to a large saucepan.

Use a knife to cut open the vanilla pod and remove the seeds. Add both seeds and pod to the quinoa and cover with 1.5 cups of water. Add grated orange zest, salt, cinnamon and star anise and bring everything to a simmer over high heat. Then cover, reduce heat slightly and simmer for another 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.

Add milk and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil again over high heat. Reduce the heat a little and simmer with the lid open for 22 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut and raisins and cook, occasionally stirring, for another 20 minutes, until the mixture thickens and becomes creamy.

Remove the pan from the heat, and remember to get out the vanilla pod, cinnamon, and star anise. Take one glass of pudding and slowly pour it into the egg bowl, constantly stirring with a whisk. Now combine this all with the remaining pudding and mix well again until smooth.

Put the dessert in bowls and garnish with orange zest. Bon Appetit!

Quinoa Health Benefits

  • Lysine enhances the absorption of calcium and accelerates tissue healing.
  • Improves the functioning of the digestive system.
  • Stabilizes the work of the nervous system, strengthens sleep, removes distraction and irritability.
  • Phytic acid in quinoa enhances anti-cancer functions of the immune system and lowers cholesterol.
  • Helps to restore physical and emotional tone after operations and diseases quickly.
  • Prevents the development of arthritis, arthrosis and other joint diseases.
  • Serves as a source of easily digestible vegetable protein, which is necessary for muscle mass growth, the development of the child’s body, and nutrition for pregnant women.
  • Reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and hypertension.

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