Quinoa is quickly replacing many popular grains as a protein-rich, healthier alternative. It’s gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly and very versatile. In fact, many people are replacing their morning oatmeal with quinoa recipes that include fresh fruits and sweet spices. If you aren’t familiar with quinoa, it is a seed that was originally from the Andean region of South America. It has a very mild, nutty flavor which is why it is usually used in place of rice or couscous. When it comes to nutrition, it is high in protein, has many beneficial amino acids and is a great source of fiber. See if one of these recipes piques your quinoa interest:

Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes: Jazz up ordinary tomatoes by stuffing them with cooked quinoa. The addition of parsley, basil, pepper and Parmesan-Reggiano cheese will make this a quick family favorite. (via Skinny Mom)

Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

Quinoa, Kale and Bacon Stuffed Butternut Squash: Here’s a powerhouse of a side dish that could be its own meal. Red quinoa gives this recipe some color while the bacon, onions and cheddar cheese give it a great, mouth-watering taste. (via Rachel Cooks)

stuffed butternut squash

Quinoa Mexi-Lime Salad: Turn Mexican night into quinoa craziness with this scrumptious salad. Jalapeno pepper, cumin and lime juice make this one spicy and tangy salad that you can enjoy any night of the week. (via Skinny Mom)

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Quinoa Berry Bliss Bites: Yes, you can make delicious muffins with quinoa. This one is filled with berry goodness so you can include your favorite one or do all of them. These are a great grab-and-go snack when you are in a rush – not to mention great for the kids. (via Damy Health)

Quinoa berry breakfast muffins

Quinoa Omelet Breakfast Cups: Here’s a new spin on the traditional omelet – making it into cups. Packed with vegetables, cheese and spices, you can even make these ahead of time giving your morning routine a little break. (via Damy Health)

Clean Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Quinoa Brownies with Cookie Dough Frosting: Quinoa for dessert? Absolutely! And who can go wrong with a brownie?! This one is not only delicious, but is dairy-free and packed with healthy ingredients. (via Damy Health)

Quinoa-Bronies

Flourless Chocolate Quinoa Cookies: What’s so great about these cookies besides the taste? How about the fact that they are gluten-free and vegan. Don’t tell your kids, but they are also sugar-free. They are so good, they’ll never know. (via Healthy Blender Recipes)

 

quinoa cookies

Quinoa, Vegetable and Chickpea Cakes: This delicious recipe is perfect because it includes vegetables, legumes and complex carbs. With the help of whole wheat flour and a little bit of Sriracha sauce, you’ve got one complete side dish or appetizer. (via Blue-Apron)

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Cheesy Chili Quinoa Casserole: A quinoa casserole is a great alternative to traditional casseroles that often use high-fat ingredients. This spicy variety gets an added kick with paprika, chili powder, chipotle chili in adobo sauce, and garlic. Top it off with diced turkey bacon and cheddar cheese, and this is one casserole that is sure to be an instant family favorite. (via Cooking Quinoa)

Cheesy Chipotle Chili Quinoa Casserole

Quinoa Apple Cake: This recipe definitely takes the cake since it is dairy- and sugar-free. Raisins give it an extra bit of sweetness while chia seeds give it some heart-healthy omegas. You’ll never eat apple cake the same way again. (via Ricki Heller)

quinoa bar

Curry and Chicken Quinoa Salad: With the inclusion of chicken, this salad is a lot more like a main course than a salad. The curry, ginger and pineapple provide a sweet yet tangy flavor to please every palate. (via Canadian Family)

healthy chickpea curry quinoa

Photo Credit: Food Gawker

Quinoa Blueberry Pancakes: Your morning pancakes just got healthier. The quinoa replaces the flour, but does not fall short of creating fluffy and delicious pancakes. Throw some blueberries into the batter and breakfast just got a whole lot better. (via Recapo)

Protein Pancakes

Chicken and Quinoa Mac and Cheese: Your kids (and you) are going to flip for this skinny version of mac and cheese. No more noodles or macaroni in this one. It’s all quinoa along with some chicken, cheddar cheese and even some hot sauce. Don’t be surprised if you have to double the recipe next time when there is none left over to enjoy. (via Mrs January)

Chicken Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Quinoa Pilaf: Who needs rice when you have quinoa? This zucchini and lemon recipe includes mint, making it both zesty and tasty. You will absolutely love the flavor and the quick cook time. (via Family Spice)

lemon zucchini quinoa

With all its healthful benefits and versatility, you could be making endless quinoa recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And because it is packed with protein and other important nutrients, you don’t have to worry that you and your family are not eating a healthy meal…despite the fact that it sometimes tastes like dessert!