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Quinoa Sushi with Tuna & Mango

A modern, superfood take on the Japanese classic, this quinoa sushi is loaded with flavor and packs a tropical punch.

Please tell me you understand vacation brain. It's when you come back from vacation and it takes forever to get back into the swing of things. This past weekend, we celebrated my birthday weekend (I turned 25, so it was a big one!!), and spent the weekend in the Catskills in a little cabin in the woods.

Normally, we would have gone to the beach, but now we have a puppy, and life has changed… a lot. Instead of going to the beach, where we would have to leave her home all day long, we go to the woods and bring her hiking, swimming and playing all day long. But life with a puppy is worth it πŸ™‚

And now that we're home, back in the concrete jungle, I wish we were in the woods. It's quiet. It's peaceful. It's serene. And I don't want to be back at work (even if my office is my living room). I want to be on vacation. Is permanent vacation allowed?

So while I get back into the daily grind, I'm going to dream of meals like this quinoa sushi. And I know you're going to love it.Β It's simple, elegant and delicious. Quinoa adds a faint crunch that rice doesn't, and the nutty flavor really makes the other ingredients sing. I chose tuna because it's the easiest sushi grade fish for me to find, but this would also be delicious with salmon, yellowtail, shrimp or even grilled chicken.

Whichever way you choose to enjoy this, I think your mind may be swayed…every Japanese restaurant should serve quinoa sushi.


More Quick and Healthy Quinoa Meals:

Quinoa Sushi with Tuna & Mango

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surprisingly easy to make, this quinoa sushi uses protein, packed quinoa instead of rice, resulting in a healthy, delicious meal
author: Alyssa
yield: 8 Rolls
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes


  • 1 sushi rolling mat
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa cooked
  • 1 teaspoon organic rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 nori seaweed sheets
  • 1/2 lb sushi grade tuna sliced very thin
  • 1 ripe mango cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cucumber cut into thin slices
  • 3 green onions greens removed, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 small carrots julienned
  • Gluten-free soy sauce & wasabi paste for dipping


  • Add 3 cups water and 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down to simmer for 8 - 10 minutes. When the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is nice an fluffy, add the rice vinegar, ginger and salt. Toss well to combine. Let the quinoa cool completely in the fridge while you prepare your filling ingredients.
  • Once the quinoa has cooled, place the sushi mat on a flat surface and begin assembling the rolls. Place one sheet of nori on the mat, shiny side down and scoop about 1/4 cup of the quinoa onto the nori. With wet hands, spread it out into a thin layer over the nori, leaving about a 1 inch strip uncovered along the edge farthest from you.
  • Lay the the veggies down first, then top with tuna and sliced mango. Lift the edge of the mat that is closest to you with your thumbs, holding the filling ingredients in place with your middle fingers.
  • Roll the mat over the ingredients, pulling back and tightening it after each rollover. Wet the uncovered edge and roll through. Gently squeeze the rolled mat around the nori roll and remove from the mat.
  • Place the rolls in the fridge while you assemble the rest of your sushi.
  • When you're ready, remove them from the fridge and slice each roll into 8 pieces, using a sharp, wet knife.
  • Serve with gluten-free soy sauce and wasabi paste.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3610IU | Vitamin C: 11.1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2.1mg
cuisine: Asian, Japanese
course: Appetizer, Main Course

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16 comments on “Quinoa Sushi with Tuna & Mango”

  1. Oh Lawd, now you’ve really gone and done it…in all the right ways.

    Okay, so all of the ingredients are at my local grocery store…except for the sushi grade tuna. Fact is, I’m too skeered to experiment with raw fish. Any suggestions regarding cooking the fish?

    I know how to work with cooked or smoked salmon so I guess I could start there…only smoked salmon has such as strong flavor. Would the flavor of smoked salmon go with sushi?

    But I’ve just remembered…the store sells vacuum packed salmon sheets that aren’t smoked but are salt “cured”. That would probably go really well with this recipe.

    1. Why thank you!! How did the cured salmon work? I don’t think smoked would work, but you could also use grilled salmon or grilled chicken. Hope you love it!

      1. I haven’t made the recipe yet. I was just thinking that cured salmon could prove to be pricey. So, I’ll go with canned salmon and I could also use chicken, like you’ve suggested (Which is a great suggestion, btw).

    1. Yay! So happy you were able to attend. It was so fun chatting about quinoa πŸ™‚ Hope you try the sushi – it’s surprisingly easy and soo tasty!

  2. For someone who likes veggie sushi (I don’t like seafood, I know it’s weird!), do you have any suggestions for an alternative to tuna?

    1. Hi Christina! I actually think that this would be delicious with just veggies. Or if you eat tofu, I think it would also be tasty with tofu. If you eat meat, it would also be really good with grilled chicken (I know, so not traditional, but still really tasty!). But I’ve made this with just veggies and it was delicious. I’d probably add avocado if I was skipping out on the seafood πŸ™‚

  3. You say “then top with tuna and sliced avoca.” I first thought that was avocado, but I don’t see avocado in the list of ingredients. Could you please let us know what you mean? Thanks.

  4. Since I should not eat Tuna ( is to high in mercury) can I substitute it with salmon? and can I use the rice paper wraps instead of the nori sheets?

    1. Yes, and yes! They would be more of a spring roll rather than sushi, but I’m sure it would work. Your preparation might vary slightly, because when you make spring rolls, you’re going to prepare them more like burritos then sushi rolls. Let me know how they turn out!

  5. Avatar photo
    Ruthy @ Omeletta

    Quinoa sushi!? What a great idea. I agree, I bet it goes so well with fresh tuna, I can’t wait to try this.

  6. Avatar photo
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens

    Wow! You definitely didn’t have “vacation brain” when you thought up this recipe! Such a great concept to use quinoa in sushi – brilliant! Love the addition of mango, too! Mmmmmmm …