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Jumpstart your morning with a Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. The maple cinnamon quinoa base is packed with protein and pairs well with both sweet and savory toppings. Build your bowl with fresh fruit, veggies, eggs, and so much more!
Looking to change up your typical bowl of oatmeal for breakfast? Step out of your routine with this Quinoa Breakfast Bowl instead. It’s made with a base of maple cinnamon quinoa and topped with the sweet or savory toppings of your choice. It’s the best way to start the day!
Both oatmeal and quinoa are excellent gluten free whole grains you can enjoy for breakfast or any other time of day. Quinoa, however, reigns supreme in the protein and fiber department. The texture isn’t so bad, either.
The warm and creamy quinoa porridge is cooked in milk and cinnamon, then sweetened with maple syrup. As for toppings, anything goes! Choose from a variety of fresh and fruity toppings, make it chocolatey with a drizzle of homemade Nutella, or build a savory bowl with eggs, bacon, and leafy greens. You’re bound to have fun with this one.
- Quinoa has more protein and fiber than oatmeal and granola, making it a more nutrient-dense option for breakfast.
- The quinoa is naturally sweetened with maple syrup and warming cinnamon, giving the bowls a sweet and savory baseline of flavor.
- It’s naturally gluten free and ready in 20 minutes! You can even prep the bowls in advance for meal prep.
Quinoa - It’s super high in fiber and protein (almost twice as much as rice, oats, or barley), making it a nutritious base for this breakfast bowl. You can use any color of quinoa (white, red, or black).
Milk - Quinoa is typically cooked in water or broth, but for breakfast, it’s best cooked in milk (just like oatmeal!). Both dairy milk or a creamy non-dairy alternative (like almond, oat, cashew, or coconut milk) can be used.
Cinnamon - For a touch of cozy, warming flavor. A pinch of nutmeg is also lovely here.
Maple syrup - Pure maple syrup naturally sweetens the quinoa and gives it a hint of caramel and vanilla flavor. Honey will work as a substitute but it will give the quinoa a floral flavor.
Toppings - Sliced strawberries and almonds are my favorites but you can use any variety of sweet and savory breakfast bowl toppings. Scroll down to the FAQs section for more ideas.
Step 1: Rinse the quinoa. Rinse the dried quinoa in a sieve under running water for 10 seconds.
Step 2: Make the maple cinnamon quinoa. Stir the rinsed quinoa, milk, and cinnamon together in a saucepan. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook until the quinoa has mostly absorbed the milk. Stir in the maple syrup once it’s done.
Step 3: Add the toppings and serve. When the quinoa has slightly cooled, scoop some into a bowl. Add a splash of milk, fresh fruit, nuts, and any other toppings you like. Serve with homemade cold brew or a fruit smoothie and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Rinsing the quinoa is a non-negotiable. This simple process removes the bitter-tasting saponin coating on the grains, helping it taste better and fluff up.
- It’s best to sweeten the quinoa with maple syrup after it’s cooked. Otherwise, the mixture tends to boil over the pot as it simmers.
- Add another sweet element by cooking the quinoa with vanilla extract or a vanilla bean.
- To make chocolate quinoa, whisk cacao or cocoa powder in with the milk before adding it to the saucepan.
Sweet topping ideas
Personalize your sweet quinoa breakfast bowl with any combination of these toppings:
- Fresh fruit - Strawberries, bananas, apples, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries.
- Dried fruit - Dates, mango, pineapple, cranberries, raisins, or shredded coconut.
- Nut butter - Add a drizzle of peanut butter, almond butter, or homemade Nutella on top.
- Creamy stuff - Finish the bowls with a dollop of vegan or regular whipped cream or use dairy free yogurt instead of the extra splash of milk. You can also top it with a scoop of sweet potato, mango, or gingerbread mousse!
- Crunchy stuff - Your favorite nuts and seeds, homemade granola, chocolate chips, or chocolate shavings.
Savory topping ideas
Savory breakfast foods and maple syrup actually pair very well together, but if you aren’t into the combo, feel free to season the quinoa with salt and pepper instead of the syrup. Once it’s done, top it with savory stuff like:
- Tofu scramble
- Sweet potatoes
- Roasted butternut squash
- Tomato slices
- Sauteed spinach or kale
- Everything bagel seasoning
- Sliced avocado
Are quinoa bowls Whole30?
Unfortunately, no, because grains of all kinds are not Whole30-friendly. If you’d like to adapt the recipe, use cauliflower rice and top the bowl with eggs, roasted sweet potatoes, or sausage crumbles. Alternatively, make this cauliflower breakfast bowl or zucchini noodle breakfast bowl instead!
The breakfast bowls are best enjoyed as soon as they’re assembled. There are, however, a few ways to store the leftover quinoa and even prepare extras for meal prep:
Refrigerator: Keep the leftover cooked quinoa in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Keep any prepared toppings in separate containers.
Make ahead: Double or triple the cinnamon maple quinoa so you have enough for five meals (one for every day of the week). Divide it between five airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 5 days. You can switch up the toppings every day of the week!
More healthy breakfast recipes
- Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
- Peanut Butter Quinoa Acai Breakfast Bowl
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Place rinsed quinoa, milk and cinnamon in a large saucepan or dutch oven and bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, place a lid on the saucepan and simmer for 20-25 minutes. If the mixture starts bubbling too much, place the lid ajar and cook that way. You'll know it's done once the quinoa is soft and has absorbed most of the milk. At this time, you should remove it from the heat and stir in the maple syrup.
- Serve quinoa with fresh fruit and maybe a little extra milk over top. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in August 2019. It was updated with new text and photos in September 2022.