Gluten Free Breakfast Quinoa

Gluten Free Breakfast Quinoa


White bowl with breakfast quinoa and fruit

[pinit] This may sound like a no brainer, this gluten free breakfast quinoa. But even though I’ve made straight-up quinoa, like, a million times, I was having some serious trouble making a lovely, bright and tasty breakfast quinoa. I found that cooking quinoa with milk (any kind of milk) either made an unholy mess, as the milk bubbled up out of the pan and all over my stove, or the quinoa was bitter and just not breakfast-worthy. Until now. Breakfast quinoa pay dirt. Anyway even though it’s of course the middle of the summer right now, I’ve got early morning pre-school breakfast on my mind and I need alternatives. And it wouldn’t hurt to find a filling, healthy breakfast that all 3 of my kids love—and only takes a few minutes to whip up in the morning. It turns out it’s all about the proportion of milk to quinoa and the amount of time you simmer the mixture.

Overhead view of breakfast quinoa and fruit in a white bowl

In case you think that my family’s food life is smooth sailing all the way since I cook, bake and write about it for a living, it’s as normal and usual a food life as you can imagine. All 3 of my kids love things like gluten free oatmeal squares and gluten free granola bars, but just one square or bar isn’t necessarily enough to satisfy them (and for most days I’d prefer something lower in sugar than at least the oatmeal squares). One of my 3 kids will eat pretty much any breakfast food (and loves quinoa any way shape or form I make it), but the other 2 have all kinds of opinions (about quinoa, especially). And they’re not afraid to express them. Whatever happened to children being seen and not heard?

A close up of quinoa being boiled

But this is the gluten free breakfast quinoa that will have them all singing breakfast kumbaya. The secret to making it just right, in case you’re wondering, is to use a bit more than twice as much milk as quinoa. So here it’s 1 cup quinoa to 2 1/2 cups milk. Then make it in a too-large saucepan, start out with the pot covered and then finish it uncovered, cooking it just until it thickens enough to sputter and spurt. This way, you get no messy stove, and porridge-like quinoa that is has a consistency similar to oatmeal.

A bowl of fruit sitting on top of a wooden table

A couple tablespoons of pure maple syrup is all it takes to sweeten the quinoa enough to remove any bitterness. I really like using an unsweetened nondairy milk so I can control the amount of sugar. Now you don’t have to garnish it with summer berries and toasted coconut chips. But you really should at least consider it, since it’s a really nice breakfast. The lightly sweet quinoa is tasty enough on its own to be a satisfying breakfast alternative to gluten free oatmeal. But I say it’s summertime. Let’s live a little.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 4 servings


1 cup (168 g) quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz.) unsweetened almond milk

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

2 to 3 tablespoons (42 to 63 g) pure maple syrup

Fruit and toasted coconut chips, for serving


  • In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the quinoa, milk and salt, and mix to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the saucepan, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes.

  • After 12 minutes, stir the quinoa. If the milk is still simmering without beginning to sputter and spurt, cover and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. If the milk has begun to sputter and spurt, or after another 3 minutes, uncover the pan and simmer until it has just thickened enough to begin to sputter. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Taste and add the remaining tablespoon of maple syrup if desired.

  • Divide into 4 bowls, garnish with fruit and coconut and serve warm.


P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! Your support keeps the blog going!

Comments are closed.

  • Vicki Young
    July 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    I do a shredded zucchini, Daiya cheese, coconut milk and cooked quinoa that makes a great alternative to oatmeal.

  • Chris
    July 12, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    I recently discovered the quinoa flakes! They look like quick oats, as far as texture, but they microwave up to a consistency more like cream of wheat! I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! A few diced dried figs with maple syrup and cinnamon…man, oh, man!!! Now I’ll have to try THIS because the flakes are a bit pricey…and I do love me some unsweetened vanilla almond milk! THANKS for putting the time into this one, Nicole! MUCH APPRECIATED!!

    • July 14, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      Pleasure, Chris. I personally don’t really care for the texture of quinoa flakes, unless you want them to disappear into the liquid in which you are cooking them. I hope you enjoy this way of cooking quinoa.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pam Gordon
    July 11, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    do you think it could be made overnight in a crockpot? I have a small ‘dip’ pot.

    • July 14, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      I don’t see why not, Pam, but I don’t own a crockpot so I don’t know. You’ll have to experiment!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Mare Masterson
    July 11, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Yummy! I made a batch of GF oatmeal that I have been eating on for the
    week. Next week it will be a batch of Quinoa. It doesn’t matter that it is summer and I am in hell on earth, otherwise known as AZ, where we have triple digits (Dry heat you say? Think blow torch) and we now humidity because it is monsoon season (disgusting is the only word I can come up with) — I am eating oatmeal because it is about eating whole food. Thanks for the milk
    tip with the Quinoa! Here is a tip for you: I put my Quinoa in the oven for about 10
    mins. (after it is rinsed/dried) before I cook it. I was given that tip from someone. It brings out a more “nutty” flavor.

    • July 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      Interesting way of cooking quinoa, Mare!
      xoxo Nicole

  • […] post Gluten Free Breakfast Quinoa appeared first on Gluten-Free on a […]

  • Jennifer Sasse
    July 11, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Yum! Thanks for the recipe. something like this has been on my mind and I LOVE those toasted coconut chips from TJ’s. Have a great day!

    • July 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      I toast my own coconut chips, Jennifer, but I guess I’ll have to try the ones from TJ’s!
      xoxo Nicole

Where should I send your free guide?

By entering your email, you're agreeing to our Privacy Policy. We respect your email privacy, and will never share your information.