July 22, 2020

by Alyssa

How to Flavor Quinoa: 6 Easy Ways

Not a fan of the flavor of quinoa? We're showing you how to flavor quinoa 6 easy ways! We've got tips and tricks, plus some tried and true recipes.

How to Flavor Quinoa: 6 Ways

Quinoa can be kind of hit or miss for people. Especially when they're just starting out. Sometimes it can be a bit bitter, which is definitely off-putting to newer tastebuds.

As someone who has been cooking with quinoa for years, I kind of think of myself as an expert. I've tried it a million different ways and definitely have a few tricks up my sleeve.

I honestly don't know why it's taken me this long to put a post together about how to flavor quinoa, but that's what we're doing today! I'm going to share my favorite ways to make quinoa taste delicious, and also give you some of our tried and true recipes for flavoring quinoa.

The FLUFFIEST Garlic Butter Quinoa made with just 5 simple ingredients!

How to Flavor Quinoa

Before we dive into anything specific, I want to give you some general tips. These are simple ways to flavor quinoa as you're cooking it, that should make it not only more flavorful but also more palatable if you're someone that finds it bitter.

Easy ways to flavor quinoa:

  • Broth: first and foremost, change up the liquid that you're using to cook your quinoa. Rather than using water, try to change it up for broth (veggie, chicken, beef, mushroom, etc). You can also use coconut milk if you're wanting something a little more creamy/tropical.
  • Spices: I've talked about this before when I shared must-have spices for flavorful cooking, but spices are one of the easiest ways to add flavor to your dish. Think about what flavor profile you're going for and then just add a few dashes of those spices directly into the pot with the quinoa as it cooks!
  • Extracts: If you're going for a dish that is more on the sweet side – which quinoa can totally do – extracts (like vanilla, almond, peppermint) can be a simple way to boost flavor!

And when all else fails, a simple blend of salt and pepper can really go a long way!

Our Favorite Quinoa Flavors: 6 Ways

So now that you have the kind of basics on how to flavor quinoa, we're going to share 6 of our favorite “recipes”. You can think of these as bases for different types of meals you might be making. We'll also share some ideas for how to serve each!

6 delicious ways to flavor quinoa: 

  1. Spanish Quinoa
  2. Grakuc Butter Quinoa
  3. Ginger Miso Quinoa
  4. Lemon Turmeric Quinoa
  5. Italian Quinoa
  6. Mexican Quinoa

Ready to dig in? Let's do this!

Easy Mexican Quinoa Recipe

1. Spanish Quinoa

First up, we have Spanish Quinoa! Think of this as the quinoa version of Spanish rice. It's made with onion, salsa, and a few other goodies, that makes it really flavorful, but also a bit spicy.

Serve this Spanish Quinoa with:

  • Grilled tofu, chicken or seafood
  • inside a burrito or taco
  • Smothered with black beans

How to Make Quinoa

2. Garlic Butter Quinoa

Our second way to flavor quinoa is arguably my favorite. It's simple, it's buttery and it goes well with pretty much everything!

Serve this Garlic Butter Quinoa with:

  • any type of protein
  • a thick curry or stew
  • topped with sauteed greens + drizzled with tahini

an easy quinoa recipe with miso and ginger

3. Ginger Miso Quinoa

Third, on our list is a more Asian-inspired dish that uses ginger and miso. It's salty, it's a bit spicy and it's incredibly versatile!

Serve this Ginger Miso Quinoa with:

  • a veggie stir fry
  • in a grain bowl with tofu
  • next to a thick curry or stew (it would be great with our sweet potato curry!)

Lemon Turmeric Quinoa

4. Lemon Turmeric Quinoa

When you need something a little bright and bold, this lemon turmeric quinoa is it! It's tangy, it's zesty and it's delicious. We love using this as a base for salads, but it also works well as a side.

Serve this Lemon Turmeric Quinoa with:

  • a salad base with a mix of veggies and chickpeas
  • grilled or baked protein of choice
  • under a curry or dahl (especially this Red Lentil Dahl)

one pot italian quinoa with tomatoes, white beans and basil

5. Italian Quinoa

Our fifth way to flavor quinoa is a bit of a more complicated recipe (i.e. more ingredients), but it's DELISH. It has tomatoes, basil, white beans and the absolute best texture. We actually love this as a more staple part of the meal, but it also works well for a side dish.

Serve this Italian Quinoa with:

  • your favorite salad
  • zucchini noodles and pesto
  • on top of a bed of greens

Mexican Quinoa Recipe

6. Mexican Quinoa

Last, but certainly not least, in our list of how to flavor quinoa, is this recipe. One of our first 5-ingredient recipes and still one of the most popular. Our Mexican quinoa recipe is simple, easy, and super tasty!

Serve this Mexican Quinoa with:

  • inside tacos or burritos
  • with roasted sweet potatoes & greens for a bowl
  • inside enchiladas
  • on top of greens for an easy salad

How do You Flavor Quinoa?

If you have any favorite ways of making quinoa extra tasty, we'd love to know. Let us know in the comments! And don't forget to browse our entire library of quinoa recipes if you need some inspiration!

How to Flavor Quinoa: 6 Ways
How to Flavor Quinoa: 6 Ways
How to Flavor Quinoa: 6 Ways

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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. Hi, so sorry, but I’m unable to open the last 3 recipes by touching their title, unlike the first 3. Is there a glitch?

  2. I am an old(I’m supposed to say elderly) guy with diet issues. I love to cook and always looking for variety. I use fresh herbs and make my own
    seasoning blends. You have given me some great ideas to explore.


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