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Summer quinoa recipes

Quinoa is a high-protein, gluten-free seed that has become the darling of the whole grains realm. Available in ivory, red, and black colors, tender cooked quinoa can be served chilled or warm, savory or sweet. Here are three healthy quinoa recipes that are deliciously fitting for your summer menu.


Mexican Quinoa Salad in Avocado Cups

A fun lunch or light dinner to serve al fresco, this spicy quinoa salad, served in buttery ripe avocado halves, is loaded with protein, fiber, healthy fats and satisfying flavor.

Serves 6


  • 1 cup ivory quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded, minced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder or more to taste
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 medium to large ripe avocados
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Pinch of cayenne


  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, toast quinoa, shaking pan frequently, for about 4 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Remove pan from heat and carefully add water. Place pan back on the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Spread quinoa on a baking sheet and allow to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine jalapeno, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, chipotle, lemon zest, and juice.
  5. Add quinoa and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Half avocados lengthwise and remove the pits. Using a large spoon, carefully scoop avocado halves from the peels.
  7. Set avocados on serving plates, cut side up (cut a small slice from the round bottoms of each, if they don’t stand up). Use a small spoon to remove some of the avocado flesh from the center to make a “cup”.
  8. Transfer avocado flesh to a small food processor and puree with oil and vinegar. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper.
  9. Mound quinoa mixture atop each avocado, letting it spill over the sides of the avocado cups.
  10. Drizzle with avocado vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Quinoa with Olives, Apricots, and Pistachios

If your tastebuds yawn at the thought of another cookout potato salad side dish, partner your grilled meats with this scrumptious quinoa recipe. Boasting myriad colors, tastes and textures, this is a summer side dish that you’ll want to serve year round.

Serves 8


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 cups red quinoa, rinsed well
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pistachios
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled feta


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is softened.
  2. Stir in garlic, coriander, and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add quinoa and broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
  4. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and stir in apricots, pistachios, olives, parsley, lemon zest, and juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with feta and serve warm.

Double Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Do an Internet search for “quinoa desserts” and you get plenty of quinoa pudding recipes, but you can also transform this high-protein seed into a dark delicious double chocolate cake that exudes hints of coconut. Take this to your next neighborhood potluck.

Serves 12


  • 2/3 cup black quinoa
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped premium dark chocolate
  • Confectioners’ sugar or finely ground coconut sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease a 13×9-inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stir together quinoa and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed.
  3. Spread quinoa out on a baking sheet and let cool to room temperature.
  4. In a food processor, combine quinoa, coconut milk, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla. Puree until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Transfer quinoa mixture to cocoa mixture and stir until just moist. Stir in dark chocolate.
  7. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool on a wire rack. Dust with a little confectioners sugar or finely ground coconut sugar

More tasty quinoa recipes!

Easy gluten-free quinoa recipes
Creative cooking with quinoa
What is quinoa and how can you cook it?

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