Home > Recipes > Ingredients > Quinoa Flakes
April 3, 2019

by Alyssa

10 Amazing Ways to Use Quinoa Flakes

There are so many ways to use quinoa flakes, but this post narrows down the list and brings together the most popular ways you can use quinoa flakes.

How to use Quinoa Flakes

Quinoa flakes. Do you use them? Do they scare you? Are you unsure what they even are? Let's chat.

These little flakes are definitely one of my favorite ingredients on earth. I use them all the time and even take me with them when I travel. But quinoa flakes can also be tricky to find. And once you do end up finding a box, there's a good chance you might be at a loss at what to do with them.

If you've been following here for a while then I'm sure you know how much I adore quinoa flakes. I sprinkle them into my recipes pretty much whenever I can, but it happens to be one of the ingredients I get the most questions about. So today, we're talking all things quinoa flakes.

Are Quinoa and Quinoa Flake the Same?

Quinoa and quinoa flakes are not the same. The difference is how they are processed. Quinoa is the whole seed, whereas the quinoa flakes have been made using a specific machine. I like to describe quinoa flakes as the rolled oats version quinoa. Essentially, to make quinoa flakes they just take the whole quinoa seed and then flatten them into flakes using a grain flaker.

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes

Where Can I Find Quinoa Flakes?

This is the question I get most often. Quinoa flakes can be hard to find, especially if you live in a place that doesn't have a lot of grocery stores or natural health markets. So let's talk about the two places where you can find quinoa flakes!

Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes1. At the supermarket.

When you're looking for quinoa flakes in the supermarket, head to either the cereal aisle, the gluten-free aisle or the baking aisle. If you have a Whole Foods near you, they'll be in the cereal aisle.

The box is pretty unmistakable, but the name might throw you off. I almost always see Ancient Harvest in stores, so keep your eyes peeled for a box that looks like this – turquoise, medium-sized and says, “hot cereal flakes” on the front.

2. Online.

If you can't find quinoa flakes at your local grocery or health food store, you can always find them online. Depending on where you live, I recommend Amazon. They always have them in stock, they sell Ancient Harvest, as well as two other brands I love: Shiloh Farms and I Heart Keenwah (which are actually toasted).

And don't forget, if you're signed up for prime, they'll be shipped to your door in two days. I also think buying them in bulk, like with this 3-pack is the way to go – it will end up saving you a few dollars per box!

Lemon Blueberry Overnight Oats

Can Quinoa Flakes be Substituted for Oats?

This is a tricky one because it really depends on what recipe you're making. If you're going with something basic – like hot cereal – you can use quick oats to replace the quinoa flakes. If the quinoa flakes are being used for structure or texture, you're going to have to play around a little bit. I know that might not sound like the best suggestion, but there isn't anything else that behaves exactly like quinoa flakes, so just like anything else it can be a trial and error period 🙂 I'll make some suggestions with the recipes that I share below.

Can Quinoa Flakes be Eaten Raw?

Sure! Quinoa flakes can definitely be eaten raw, but honestly without flavor add-ins, I don't think they'd taste all that great. Since quinoa flakes are made from the whole quinoa seed, it's essentially the same as eating raw quinoa.

As you'll see below in the recipe section, there are a few ways that I use quinoa flakes raw. I make them into overnight “oats”, as well as no bake cookies, but I'm flavoring them with things like fruit, sweeteners, and chocolate. So while yes, you can definitely eat quinoa flakes raw, I definitely recommend using them in recipes with lots of flavors.

How to Use Quinoa Flakes

And now to the fun part: RECIPES! Just to show you how versatile quinoa flakes can be, I've pulled together a bunch of my favorite ways to use them.

1. Quinoa Flake Porridge

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Quinoa

Why it works: quinoa flakes cook in under 90 seconds and make the most amazing, creamy hot cereals. They have a smoother texture than oats – almost like a cross between cream of wheat and oatmeal, but have a mild flavor so you can really jazz them up however you please.

Quinoa flake porridge recipes:


2. Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

These AMAZING Gingerbread Quinoa Breakfast cookies have almond butter, molasses and warm spices and they're actually HEALTHY | gluten-free + vegan

Why it works: quinoa flakes give breakfast cookies a nice kick of protein without compromising the flavor or texture. I love adding them to my cookies because they make them light and fluffy, while locking in all the amazing nutrients that quinoa has.

Quinoa breakfast cookies to try:

p.s. want even more breakfast cookie recipes? Check out our NEW Healthy Breakfast Cookie Cookbook!

3. Gluten-Free Granola

Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Granola Recipe

Why it works: this is one of my favorite ways to use quinoa flakes because of how crunchy and clustery it makes the granola. Because quinoa flakes are softer and more delicate than oats, they help to bring together ingredients and create gorgeous granola clusters.

Quinoa Flake Granola Recipes to try:

4. Overnight Quinoa

Apple Pie Overnight Quinoa Recipe

Why it works: unlike oats, quinoa flakes are much softer and end up getting even more tender when they sit overnight. They can be a little bitter though, so I like to combine them with oats and some sweeteners or fruit. They also add extra protein to your morning meal which is always a plus!

Overnight quinoa recipes to try:

5. No-Bake Desserts & Snacks

These amazing chocolate quinoa cookies are NO-BAKE and filled with healthy ingredients | recipe on simplyquinoa.com | gluten-free + vegan

Why it works: quinoa flakes act not only as a binder, but they also lighten up no-bake treats. I sometimes feel like no-bake treats can be very nut-heavy and too much for me, that's why I love adding in quinoa flakes. They add texture without compromising taste or flavor!

Healthy no-bake dessert & snack recipes:

6. Granola Bars

Almond Coconut Quinoa Granola Bars

Why it works: just like with granola, I love swapping out some of the oats in granola bars which makes them a little softer, but also adds lots more nutrients. You can do this with both no-bake granola bars and also the baked variety!

Easy quinoa granola bar recipes to try:

7. Fruit Crisps + Crumbles

Slow Cooker Quinoa Apple Crisp

Why it works: another recipe where we tend to use oats, quinoa flakes are a great substitution (or addition) to a crisp/crumble topping. It helps create lovely little clusters of crunchy goodness on top of bubbly fruit or berries.

Healthy fruit crisps and/or crumbles to try:


8. Quinoa Pancakes

These HEALTHY quinoa pancakes are vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free | recipe on simplyquinoa.com

Why it works: because quinoa flakes are so light and fluffy, they're a great ingredient to add to your morning pancakes to make them extra healthy and delicious. I almost always add some, even if just a sprinkle, since I notice my pancakes get much moister and fluffy.

Easy quinoa pancake recipes to try:


9. Quinoa Muffins, Scones and Other Baked Goods

Spiced Quinoa Muffins with Coconut Yogurt

Why it works: you might be noticing a theme here – quinoa flakes go well in most baked goods. Muffins and scones happen to be one of my favorites though. I really love hearty muffins, but adding rolled oats can sometimes weigh them down. That's where quinoa flakes come in. They add just a hint of texture, while not making the muffins (or scones) heavy or gummy.

Healthy quinoa muffin recipes to try:


10. Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Simple Vegan Quinoa Burgers

Why it works: this isn't something I have done frequently, but my recipes for peanut butter quinoa crackers is amazing. They're super easy to make, the quinoa flakes make them a hearty and more protein-rich snack and it doesn't feel like you're biting into something with actual flakes (like oatmeal).

Healthy veggie burger recipes:

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I love quinoa flakes and often use them in baking in place of other things like oats. I find I have to add more liquid to get the flakes cooked properly and that’s never much of a problem, but sometimes I want to get the texture to be softer. In this instance, I have a brownie recipe in my collection that calls for oats (which is great if you can eat them and I cannot any longer) so I was thinking of substituting with the quinoa flakes. The problem is I need to get the flakes softer. Would soaking them for 1/2 – 1 hour prior to cooking help, do you think?

    • Typically you don’t have to soak them–but maybe it could help with the softening process. I’d be curious to hear if it works!!

  2. I have some quinoa flakes in my pantry that are 2 years old……will they be safe to use? They have been stored in a sealed container in a cool place.

  3. The flakes that I have smell and taste just as bitter as the flour. I’ve found instructions in many places for toasting the flour, but have only seen quick one-off one-sentence instructions to just toast the flakes in a pan (elsewhere) — which failed miserably; the flakes went from untoasted and still bitter smelling to burnt extremely quickly. How can the flakes be properly toasted so that they don’t burn and can actually be used without the end product tasting bitter? (The one time I used them was before I knew about toasting to get rid of bitterness, and the muffins were nearly inedible.) Thanks!

    • I think you’d want to keep them in a very low heat pan and just stir them constantly. I haven’t personally toasted them, so I’m not 100% sure!

  4. You have a beautiful blog with awesome recipes. Will definitely try some from this list. However, the user experience on site is completely ruined with dozens of adds, newsletters and automatically playing videos. Don’t wan’t to sound mean, just thought you might want to think of that for ideal UX. 🙂 I’m not saying my blog is anyhow perfect either (https://sinimalism.com/), just wanted to give some feedback. Have a good day!

  5. I recently bought quinoa flakes, and decided to make my first breakfast porridge with it ahead of tomorrow, and I tried cooking it in the microwave, and I was actually surprised at how it cooks in such a short amount of time, and absorbed the liquid like no man’s business as opposed to oats.

    And I tried it on a yeast free quick bread, and the texture is very surprising, and it gave the quick bread that bread-like fluffy texture that I have been looking for when making sandwich breads.

    This is an ingredient that I will definitely incorporate when making baked goods. It’s such a timesaving ingredient.

  6. Would you do a 1-1 switch in a recipe between rolled oats and quinoa flakes? I have a great recipe for a baked oatmeal (with blueberries) that I would like to make gluten free for friends, by using quinoa flakes. Would I need more quinoa flakes, or would it be a 1-1 switch?

    • I would say if anything I’d do a little less quinoa flakes to rolled oats. For example if it calls for 1 cup, I think I’d try 3/4 cups of quinoa flakes since they’re a bit lighter and more try 🙂

  7. There’s no link to the Gluten-Free Apple Crisp (from Gluten-Free Goddess) Recipe. All these recipes look grand, and I will be trying them. Sure would love to see the GF Apple Crisp. Also like the no-oat options listed in the comments because I’m allergic to them too. Thanks so much!

    • Unfortunately, no! They’re totally different. THink of quinoa flakes like rolled oats. They’re the whole quinoa seed that has been flattened in a grain flaker. What you’re talking about is more like quinoa crispies! 🙂

  8. What an awesome list. I’ve always been a bit curious about quinoa flakes. The pictures on this post made my mouth water. They look delicious, especially the blueberry quinoa flakes.


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