Breakfast Quinoa

I love love love breakfast, and I get on these kicks where I eat the same breakfast every single day for like a year.

My senior year in college and the first year I was in graduate school, I had a bowl of oatmeal and a few egg muffins {or a hard-boiled egg} every day.

Breakfast Quinoa4


That’s two years, friends… Two years of the same breakfast pretty much every single day {minus some weekends}.

Needless to say, I got a little tired of oatmeal.

But oatmeal is so good for you. It gives you heart-healthy soluble fiber which is great for helping to lower your cholesterol. It also has some protein, especially if you make it with milk.

Unfortunately, seeing or even thinking about eating another bowl of oatmeal made me want to gag, so 1) I gave myself a month long oatmeal break and 2) I came up with an oatmeal alternative: Quinoa

I love quinoa!

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It’s a whole grain food. In fact, I don’t even know if they make a non-whole grain version, so there’s no issue with trying to find the whole grain version {unlike so many other grains}.

Not only is it a whole grain, it has a reasonable amount of protein. That’s pretty cool trait to have when you’re navigating through the plethora of grains.

A lot of people eat mostly carbohydrates at breakfast, and while carbs aren’t a bad thing, you need a little protein at breakfast {and every meal for that matter} to keep you going all morning. So quinoa it is.

Breakfast Quinoa2

Another good things about quinoa is that it can typically be tolerated by those that must follow a gluten-free diet, so if that is a concern for you then quinoa is a great choice {but make sure to check your package for a gluten-free label}.

I’m making quinoa for breakfast, and I think you should too.

It’s pretty similar to oatmeal, but it’s not oatmeal. And while I do get tired of things, I like a breakfast routine, so this is perrrrrfect.

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Milk helps boost the protein content and add extra flavor. I use 2% since you will be heating it and don’t want it to break down {like skim milk sometimes does}. Warming cinnamon, a touch of salt {to enhance the sweet flavor}, some vanilla extract, and a little bit of maple syrup morphs this dinner side dish or lunchtime staple into a breakfast-worthy meal.

I like to sprinkle with a few chopped nuts and/or berries. I also drizzle a tiny bit of extra maple syrup on top just for good measure {about 1 tsp extra per serving} but that’s just a personal preference.

This is really adaptable to your taste, so use honey instead of maple syrup, coconut milk instead of regular milk, almonds instead of peanuts, anything goes here. Enjoy!

Breakfast Quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings {2 2/3 cup total}

Serving Size: 2/3 cup

Breakfast Quinoa

Change up your breakfast by using quinoa instead of oatmeal. A delicious bowl will warm you from the inside out and fill you with heart healthy fiber and lean protein


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cup milk {I used 2%}
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional


  1. Rinse quinoa well in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Stir together quinoa and milk, and heat over medium low. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to very low. Cover, and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has absorbed. Stir in cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  3. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle with chopped nuts, if using.

Note: Quinoa can sometimes be either hard to find or expensive. Look for it in the bulk bins at health food stores {like Whole Foods} or somewhere like Costco. If you are having trouble finding it {look in the health food section at your grocery store or near the rice}, you can purchase it online.


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Meme Inge is a registered dietitian/nutritionist living in New Orleans, LA - notably referred as The Big Easy. Growing up surrounded by a family of cooks, Meme has always been a lover of food - both healthy and not so healthy. She started the blog Living Well Kitchen as an outlet for sharing her kitchen creations and nutrition knowledge with others. Living Well Kitchen is busting with recipes, practical nutrition advice, local restaurant reviews, fitness fun, and any other ramblings she may have. Join her as she waxes poetic about fruits & veggies and tries to make southern staples just a little bit healthier.

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  1. I would have never thought to use quinoa for breakfast! Your recipe looks wonderful!

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