I had a box of red quinoa sitting in my cabinet for a while. I’ve cooked with quinoa before, adding it to salads. I really enjoyed the Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Salad my niece made for Thanksgiving dinner. But, I’d been hesitant to cook it up and eat it as a hot breakfast cereal. Over the weekend, I finally opened the box and decided to cook up the red quinoa in much the same way I’d cook oatmeal.

A quarter cup of dry quinoa provides two whole grain servings and has 6 grams of protein. It can be used in cold salads, added to soups, ground up to be used for bread, cooked as a hot breakfast cereal and so much more.

For my hot quinoa breakfast cereal, I worked from a recipe on 101 Cookbooks, adjusting the recipe to serve just one and substituting ingredients to my taste and/or what I had on hand.


  • 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dry red quinoa
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • handful of chopped walnuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave


  1. In a small saucepan, add milk, water and quinoa and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the saucepan, and simmer for about 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Take the saucepan off the heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes with the cover still on.
  4. Stir in raisins, nuts, cinnamon, and Agave. Serve.

My notes

  • Once you’ve cooked the quinoa, you can add whatever you want. Substitute fresh berries for the raisins when they’re in season. Toast the walnuts if you’d like or switch them up for pecans (toasted or not). Sweeten with honey or organic sugar or don’t sweeten at all. Basically, anything you’d add to your oatmeal, you can add to cooked breakfast quinoa. I wonder how it would taste if I prepared it like my Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal?
  • This recipe would work just as well with white quinoa as it does with red.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Recipe: Red Quinoa Hot Breakfast Cereal
Quinoa is as versatile as oatmeal in the morning. Add fruits, nuts or sweeteners to freshly cooked quinoa and get a jumpstart on your day.