Vegan Breakfast Quinoa Bowls Recipe
These 5-minute vegan breakfast quinoa bowls are the perfect way to use leftover quinoa for a quick and healthy breakfast.
This is great. I prep the quinoa in advance then heat it up in the morning on the stove with almond milk and add all the toppings. It’s a nice change from oats! I love lots of berries, banana and peanut butter. Super yummy and filling.—Karina
Did you know quinoa makes an excellent alternative to oatmeal for breakfast? Quinoa has an earthy, nutty flavor and fluffy texture that works well for sweet and savory breakfasts.
Quinoa bowls are wonderful for a warm and filling breakfast, especially with toppings like fresh fruit and healthy fats for a more balanced meal.
Quinoa is even a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids, and is a good source of a range of other essential nutrients.
We’re going to cover two methods for making breakfast quinoa. One is a 5-minute recipe that involves simply heating pre-cooked quinoa and the other is cooking quinoa from scratch, specifically for breakfast.
- Quinoa: You can use any variety of quinoa such as red quinoa, white quinoa or tri colour quinoa. If you’re making the 5-minute version, you’ll need 1 cup cooked quinoa. If you’re cooking the quinoa, you’ll need 1 cup uncooked quinoa.
- Milk: You can use any plant-based milk you enjoy such as almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk or oat milk.
- Flavour & Sweetening: Try cinnamon, vanilla and a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour. Maple syrup is suggested for an optional sweetener.
- Chocolate: Add 2 tbsp cocoa, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 a mashed banana or 2 tbsp maple syrup.
- Chai Spice: Add 1/4 tsp each vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, ground cloves and nutmeg. Sweeten to taste with your choice of sweetener such as coconut sugar or maple syrup.
- Berry Vanilla: Add 1 tsp vanilla and top with fresh berries like raspberries and a drizzle of coconut cream or cashew cream.
- Pumpkin Spice: Add 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1-2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice and top with pecans or walnuts.
- Apple Pie: Add 1 diced apple and 1 tsp cinnamon while the quinoa is heating or cooking. Top with pecans, raisins or walnuts. A bit of lemon zest is nice in this too.
- Tropical: Top with diced mango and toasted coconut flakes.
- Peanut Butter and Banana: Top or stir in sliced banana and peanut butter. Sprinkle with peanuts or other nuts.
Option 1: 5-Minute Breakfast Quinoa
There are 2 different ways you can make quinoa for breakfast.
I like the 5-minute version of just heating up pre-cooked quinoa with a bit of milk, cinnamon and vanilla but you can also cook quinoa specifically for making breakfast quinoa.
To make quinoa for breakfast in just a few minutes, add your desired amount of cooked quinoa to a small saucepan (1/2-1 cup cooked quinoa is suggested) and heat with your choice of milk and flavouring like cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup.
Serve in a bowl with with your choice of toppings.
The benefits of making it this way:
- Super quick and easy.
- All you have to do is heat it up.
- You can make a single serving.
- Customize every batch with different add-ins and toppings.
- You can use this method with any cooked whole grains.
Option 2: Cooking Breakfast Quinoa
The second option for making breakfast quinoa is to cook a larger batch of quinoa specifically as breakfast quinoa.
I do find if you cook the quinoa as breakfast quinoa you can add more flavour during cooking by adding vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup as it cooks, rather than adding them after but both methods work great.
To use this method (makes 3-4 servings):
- Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of almond milk to a boil in a saucepan. If using full-fat coconut milk, use 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Add 1 cup of rinsed uncooked quinoa and any desired sweetener or add-ins, suggested to add 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt for flavour. Stir, cover and reduce heat. Simmer lightly for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Lift the lid and fluff quinoa with a fork. You can stir in more milk to adjust the consistency if you like.
- Serve with any toppings you enjoy.
You can but not in the same way you would make overnight oats. You need to use cooked quinoa.
To make overnight breakfast quinoa, add 1/2 cup cooked quinoa to a container with vanilla, sweetener of choice, cinnamon, 1/2 cup milk and any add-ins such as berries or nuts.
You could also do 1/4 cup cooked quinoa and 1/4 cup rolled oats or chia seeds. Enjoy cold or reheat in the microwave or a small suacepan.
Of course. Quinoa is a nutritious ingredient that provides essential amino acids, fiber and a range of vitamins and minerals. It also has more protein than other whole grains and pairs well with sweet and savory toppings.
Quinoa is a source of carbohydrates, so consider pairing it with healthy fats for a more balanced meal that will help maintain blood sugar levels when eaten.
I recommend rinsing quinoa before cooking it, yes. This can help reduce the bitter taste quinoa can sometimes have and removes any debris.
You can use any variety of milk in this recipe such as almond milk, vanilla almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, cashew milk or coconut milk.
If you’re using full-fat coconut milk, I suggest using 1/4 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup water as coconut milk is quite thick.
The recipe calls for unsweetened milk but you may use sweetened milk if you prefer.
Yes. To make this recipe in the Instant Pot, use the “cook from scratch” method and use the “rice” setting on your pressure cooker. Once it’s done, open the vent to release the pressure, remove lid and adjust flavour as needed.
Any of these can be used as toppings or added to the quinoa while it cooks or heats up.
- Maple syrup.
- Banana slices.
- Fresh berries like blueberries, strawberries, etc.
- Almond butter, peanut butter, etc.
- Hemp seeds, chia seeds or flax seeds.
- Coconut flakes.
- Coconut yogurt.
- Cashew cream.
- Cacao nibs or chocolate chips.
- Any nuts such as walnuts or cashews.
- Chia jam, date paste, apple butter, or cranberry sauce.
- Dried fruit like chopped apricots, cherries, raisins or dates.
You can enjoy breakfast quinoa unsweetened or add your choice of sweetener. If you’re adding sweet toppings you may not need extra sweetener, but it depends on your preference.
- Maple syrup.
- Coconut sugar or other raw sugars.
- Brown sugar.
- Ripe mashed banana.
- Homemade date paste or jam.
- Stevia for sugar-free.
Start with 1-2 tsp of sweetener per serving and adjust to taste as needed. If you’re using mashed banana, try about 1/2 a mashed banana per serving.
Adding mashed or diced banana or another fruit as it heats is good way to add bit of natural sweetness if you want to go that route.
You can follow either method to make savory breakfast quinoa. Omit the vanilla, cinnamon and sweetener and just use the salt. Top savory breakfast quinoa with:
- 1-2 fried eggs or scrambled eggs.
- Roasted vegetables like squash, sweet potatoes and onion.
- Handful of fresh greens or cooked likes like kale or baby spinach
- Fresh herbs like basil or cilantro.
- Chickpeas, black beans or this cilantro lime corn black bean mix.
- Salsa or this mango salsa.
- Roasted red peppers.
- Pickled red onions.
- Coconut bacon.
- Sun-dried tomatoes.
- Sautéed mushroom and onion.
- Feta cheese.
- Drizzle of olive oil.
- Southwest sauce.
- Chipotle sauce.
- Tahini sauce.
- Hot sauce.
- Leftover cooked quinoa can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
- Prepared breakfast quinoa bowls can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-4 days, depending on the toppings you add.
- If you’re cooking a large batch for breakfast specifically, that can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheated with milk on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- You can also eat breakfast quinoa cold in which case, just cook up a big batch of breakfast quinoa, store in the fridge, portion and add toppings as needed.
More Breakfast Recipes
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This easy quinoa breakfast bowl makes a great alternative to oatmeal and great way to use up leftover quinoa. Top with your choice of fruit and enjoy!
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt, optional
- 1 tbsp maple syrup, optional
Cook from Scratch Method
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, optional
- For 5-minute breakfast quinoa, add the cooked quinoa and milk to a small saucepan with the vanilla, cinnamon and maple syrup, if using. Stir over medium heat until heated through.
- If cooking breakfast quinoa, bring the milk and water to a light boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and maple syrup, if using, and stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer lightly for 15 minutes then remove from the heat. Lift lift and fluff with a fork.
- To serve, scoop quinoa into a bowl and top with your choice of toppings.
Nutrition facts include 1 serving 5-minute breakfast quinoa with 1/2 sliced banana, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 tbsp almond butter and 1 tbsp hemp seeds.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl with toppings
- Calories: 469
- Sugar: 13 g
- Sodium: 108 mg
- Fat: 19 g
- Carbohydrates: 62 g
- Fiber: 10 g
- Protein: 16 g
Keywords: breakfast quinoa, quinoa breakfast bowls