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March 22, 2016

by Alyssa

5-Ingredient Chocolate Quinoa Birds Nest Cookies

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These chocolate birds nest cookies are an easy and nutritious treat. Using only 5 ingredients, including almonds and quinoa, they're healthy and decadent.

Chocolate Birds Nest Cookies...made with just 5 ingredients! These are healthy, vegan and have an amazingly crunchy texture!

Figuring out that you can make quinoa crispies at home has pretty much changed my life. Not only do I now never waste unused quinoa – if I think it might go bad I just turn it into crispies – but I've discovered that it can be used in so many different ways!

I always add them on top of my morning smoothie bowls or breakfast toast, I toss them into my homemade granola instead of buying brown rice crisps, I add them to my chocolate bars for extra crunch and now…I've turned them into birds nest cookies.

These HEALTHY chocolate birds nest cookies are so easy to make! Just 5 ingredients and 5 minutes of hands on time is all you need! [gluten-free + vegan]

First, just a quick little background on my love for this recipe. I have this thing for birds. Like I really, really love them. Why? Because my dad is an ornithologist, which means he studies birds, and growing up going with him on trips was one of my favorite things. We got to hold little songbirds, I learned the different kinds that are at my feeder and it gave me a deeper appreciation for nature.

Now in my adult life, even though I'm not a bird watcher, I always find myself paying attention to the birds. I watch them out my window just fluttering around in the trees, I listen to them on my daily walks, and I find them almost calming. Might sound a little silly, but birds are kind of awesome.

And so today I'm taking my love for birds and combining it with my love for quinoa and chocolate. Giving you these no-bake chocolate birds nest cookies! They only take 5 ingredients, 5 minutes of hands-on time AND they're such a fun Easter-inspired treat. (and really just perfect for anything Spring)

The best VEGAN baking chocolate -- 70% dark, organic, soy-free, gluten-free + fair-trade!

These cookies are so incredibly easy to make. All you need is some high-quality dark chocolate, coconut butter, some slivered almonds, quinoa crispies, and jelly beans. For the chocolate, I used a 70% dark that is organic, soy-free and vegan, but you can feel free to use any chocolate that you'd like.

Learn how to make these Dark Chocolate Birds Nest Cookies! You only need 5 ingredients and 5 minutes of hands on time!

We start by just melting the chocolate in a double-boiler, then stir in our coconut butter which makes it a bit more creamy and gives the chocolate a velvety smooth texture. Once those two are melted, you just stir in the almonds and quinoa.

The secret ingredient to these chocolate birds nest cookies? QUINOA! It makes them crunchy, healthy and adds a touch of protein!

The secret ingredient to these chocolate birds nest cookies? QUINOA! It makes them crunchy, healthy and adds a touch of protein!

To make the cookies, I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and then used a tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out the chocolate mixture. I scooped them into mounds and then gently shaped them into little nests with my fingers. It will seem like they aren't going to hold their shape, but once you let them set in the freezer, they'll be perfect.

Then just pop them into the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes and you're done!

Dark Chocolate Birds Nest Cookies...only 5 ingredients and TOTALLY healthy!

For the “eggs” I used organic jelly beans which I found in the bulk section at whole foods. I have to be honest and tell you that I haven't found a truly “clean” candy, but these were pretty close. They do use cane sugar but don't have any artificial colors or flavors.  Of course, these are totally optional and if you have another candy that you want to add in there, by all means, go for it 🙂

But for me, the jelly beans were just right because they make these little nests the perfect (healthy) treat to make for Easter or another Spring party (baby shower perhaps??). Either way, these are super easy and really fun to make. Plus, no baking required!

You might also try my Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls recipe.

Your turn…

What's your favorite go-to treat? Mine is definitely anything chocolate related, but I'm always looking for ways that I can recreate recipes you love in a more simple and healthy way. If you have any Spring-themed recipes, share them below!

And if you end up making this (or any of my other recipes), I'd love for you to snap a pic and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @SimplyQuinoa or using the #simplyquinoa. Or send me a Snap – that's always fun too! 🙂 (@alyssarimmer)

xo A

The HEALTHIEST chocolate birds nest cookies EVER! These are vegan and gluten-free, only take 5 ingredients AND have protein-rich quinoa!

More Delicious Easter Recipes to try:

Dark Chocolate Quinoa Birds Nest Cookies

No-bake chocolate birds nest cookies! They only take 5 ingredients, 5 minutes of hands-on time AND they're such a fun Easter-inspired treat. (and really just perfect for anything Spring)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Refrigerate 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 14 Cookies
Calories 126kcal
Author Alyssa Rimmer
Print Pin
DARK CHOCOLATE BIRDS NEST COOKIES....made with only 5 ingredients including almonds + crispy quinoa! [vegan + gluten-free]
4.34 from 3 votes



  • Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, stirring until completely smooth. Whisk in the coconut butter until melted and combined.
  • Add almonds and quinoa crispies, stirring together until they are evenly coated with the chocolate. Using a cookie scoop (or spoon), scoop 1- 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them out about 1" apart.
  • Using your fingers, gently flatten the mounds and form them into little "nests" making a well in the center of each mound. Pop the baking sheet into the freezer and allow the cookies to set for 20 - 30 minutes.
  • Remove and add in jelly beans then serve immediately.*



These are best served chilled, so keep them in the fridge until you're ready to serve.


Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1.4mg



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DARK CHOCOLATE BIRDS NEST COOKIES....made with only 5 ingredients including almonds + crispy quinoa! [vegan + gluten-free]

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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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    • They’re linked in the ingredient list 🙂 You basically just dry out cooked quinoa until it turns crispy!

    • Hmmm not sure about that one. You could try another nut butter, but I would decrease the amount as it doesn’t solidify in the fridge like coconut butter. Alternatively, I think you could also leave it out!

  1. I love your recepies, I am introducing natural products little by little. I am glad in the process of taking care of myself. Thanks!!!!

    • Aww that’s so sweet – thank you for writing! Thrilled to hear that my recipes are helping you eat more whole foods 🙂 xo

  2. I love anything that has chocolate in it. The darker, the better. I love how simple and gorgeous this cookie recipe is. And I absolutely love that it’s no-bake.

    • I think so, but I would only do 1 tablespoon instead of two 🙂 But honestly, I think you could also leave it out all together and be completely fine!

  3. Question: I’m allergic to coconut, so I try to avoid the coconut butters and oils you use. If I swap out this coconut butter with regular butter or margarine, will they come out the same? Our family is comprised of vegans and vegetarians who also have assorted food allergies so I feel like I’m constantly trying to modify things. So glad for the props for birds! We also have birders in our family and love to watch our backyard feeders! Thanks for these great recipes!

    • Hi Jill – a fellow bird lover, awesome! And honestly I think you could just leave the coconut out all together, maybe just use 3/4 cup of quinoa instead of the full cup 🙂

  4. Great recipe Alyssa- few ingredients, minimum time, no bake. Will definitely try. I’m not much of a sweet fan but occasionally after dark(psychological) I look for something. And how lucky you were, as a child, living in beautiful Vermont and having a Dad telling you all about birds. I love birds too. Originally from Montreal but living in Southern California for many years, I keep my windows open much of the year and often wake up to the birds singing in the morning. What a treat!

    • Sounds like the absolute perfect way to wake up – I’m jealous! And I’d love to hear what you think of the goodies…they’re cute, healthy AND tasty 😉

  5. What a nice story! I’m so glad your dad helped inspire a love of nature in you. Sadly, it’s the sort of thing that many people miss and it’s so needed for balance in life.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  6. How can I find out how many calories this recipe has? Why don’t you include nutrition information? Please, there are some of us that are trying to loose weight and must count calories, carbs and fat. Thanks for the great recipes, they make switching to meatless entres.


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