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16 Healthy Quinoa Recipes (Gluten Free, Dairy Free Options)



By: The Real Food Dietitians Posted: 11/8/22

We love to create healthy quinoa recipes that you can turn to for dinners that provide great taste and well-rounded nutrition. Quinoa is a good-for-you, gluten-free, grain-like food (technically quinoa seeds are classified as a pseudocereal). Quinoa is also a rare plant-based food that provides all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source, too. These 16 healthy quinoa recipes will ensure you have a lot of flavorful ways to enjoy this pantry staple.

Collage of quinoa-based side dishes and main entrees with text over for 16 healthy quinoa recipes.

Healthy Quinoa Recipes Are Perfect for Weeknights

We think a healthy quinoa recipe is just the thing to make your weeknight dinners successful. Quinoa lends itself well to many different flavor profiles. It tastes great with all sorts of proteins, vegetables, and spices, and it cooks very quickly. The next time you’re in need of a weeknight recipe that the whole family will love and that provides well-rounded nutrition, reach for one of these healthy quinoa recipes. Bookmark this page, then come back often and try them all!

Shallow bowl filled with uncooked quinoa, a spoon in quinoa

Nutrition Spotlight: Quinoa

  • Quinoa is a complete source of protein, which is rare in the world of seeds and grains. This means that quinoa contains all nine of the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs and that our bodies don’t create fully on their own. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein.
  • A good source of fiber, quinoa provides 5 grams of fiber per cup.
  • Quinoa is a good source of other important nutrients, including iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and copper.
  • A very versatile ingredient, quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it a nutritious option for people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

16 Delicious Quinoa Recipes to Try

Roasted Brussels sprouts quinoa salad with dried cranberries and toasted pecans on white plate with gold fork.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

Tender quinoa, perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and shaved Parmesan cheese are tossed in a delicious citrus-thyme vinaigrette, making this a delightful salad for fall and winter. It can be served warm or cold. 

Gluten Free | Egg Free | Nut Free | Dairy-Free Option

Overhead view Southwest flavored quinoa salad with corn, avocado, tomatoes, and lime slices, in a white serving bowl with wooden serving spoon.

Chili Lime Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Tossed in a simple chili-lime vinaigrette this quinoa black bean salad is full of flavor and fresh vegetables. It’s the perfect summertime salad whether your serve it up at a backyard barbecue or as a weeknight dinner with your favorite grilled protein.

Dairy Free | Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free | Vegan

Overhead view white baking dish filled with pepperoni pizza quinoa casserole topped with melted mozzarella cheese, serving spoon in casserole with serving missing.

Pepperoni Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Easy? Check. Family-friendly? Check. Veggie-loaded? Check. Tastes just like pizza? You bet it does! This easy Quinoa Pizza Casserole makes enough for a crowd (or dinner for  four, plus leftovers). The best part is you stir everything together right in the casserole dish! 

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free

Two hands holding large white serving bowl filled with Harvest Salad with quinoa and butternut quash, wooden serving spoons in salad.

Harvest Salad with Quinoa and Butternut Squash

Harvest Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash will impress everyone at your table. It’s full of flavor, hearty, and every bite comes with a mix of sweet, salty, and savory notes. This salad makes a great side dish, is hearty enough for a main-dish salad (with or without added chicken or another protein), and is great for holidays, too! 

Dairy Free | Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free | Vegan

Greek quinoa salad with avocado slices and feta cheese served in white bowl topped with fresh herbs.

Greek Quinoa Salad with Avocado

This Greek Quinoa Salad is a delicious vegetarian main dish or side dish salad that features all the Mediterranean flavors you love, and healthful ingredients, including olives, avocado, quinoa, artichokes, and fresh veggies. Toss it all together with a simple lemon-oil-herb dressing for healthful lunches and dinners.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free | Dairy Free Option

Overhead view white baking dish filled with Southwest chicken quinoa casserole topped with melted cheddar cheese and jalapeño slices.

Southwest Chicken Quinoa Casserole

This family-friendly Southwest Chicken Quinoa Casserole comes together quick and is a complete meal when served with your favorite toppings. Make it from budget-friendly pantry staples, including quinoa, canned beans, canned tomatoes, and everyday spices.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free 

Close up view Thai-inspired Peanut Quinoa Salad served in speckled bowl topped with Thai peanut dressing and sesame seeds.

Thai-Inspired Peanut Quinoa Salad

Healthy, hearty, and loaded with colorful veggies this Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad is as scrumptious as it looks. It’s tossed in a flavorful peanut Thai dressing and topped with crushed peanuts, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Serve it as a main-dish salad with or without added chicken.

Dairy Free | Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free | Vegan

Overhead view Mediterranean Bowl with Salmon fillet in ceramic bowl topped with fresh herbs, chickpeas, and feta cheese.

Mediterranean Bowl with Salmon

A healthy quinoa recipe that comes complete with lemon-herb marinated salmon, garbanzo bean salad, tender quinoa, crisp greens, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and topped with purchased or homemade Tzatziki sauce. This Mediterranean Bowl with Salmon is hearty, healthy, delicious, and makes for the perfect prep-ahead meal.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free | Dairy Free Option

Overhead view Quinoa Kale Salad with fresh blueberries, pistachios and feta cheese, served in white bowl with serving spoon.

Quinoa Kale Salad with Blueberries and Feta

A delicious and gorgeous healthy quinoa recipe that is chock full of good-for-you ingredients like kale, quinoa, blueberries, and pistachios, all tossed together in a simple and flavorful lemony vinaigrette. Serve as a main dish or side dish. Also great for taking to potlucks and packing leftovers for lunch. 

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Dairy Free Option

Chipotle flavored quinoa casserole with chicken and corn in baking dish topped with melted cheddar cheese, avocado slices and fresh cilantro.

Chipotle Quinoa Casserole with Chicken

Here’s a healthy and delicious weeknight dinner that boasts nutritious ingredients and crowd-pleasing Tex-Mex flavors. This family-friendly quinoa recipe is a casserole that’s high in protein, veggie loaded, and provides wonderful leftovers. Top servings with your favorite taco toppings, such as avocado and cilantro.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free

A pink serving bowl filled with quinoa arugula salad with fresh peach slices, almond slices, and goat cheese.

Quinoa Arugula Salad with Peaches and Goat Cheese

Juicy peaches, peppery arugula, tender quinoa, creamy goat cheese, fresh mint, and toasted almonds are the stars of this show. They come together in this delicious and beautiful simple quinoa salad recipe. We know you’ll find that this Quinoa Arugula Salad is the perfect choice for when fresh peaches are in season.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Dairy Free Option

Overhead view herbed quinoa pilaf served on small salad plate over bed of mixed greens.

Herbed Quinoa Pilaf

A fresh and flavorful side dish, this herbed quinoa pilaf features crunchy almonds and sweet dried apricots. It’s an easy and delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with your favorite grilled or roasted meat, fish, or poultry. Make it year-round with easy-to-find ingredients.

Dairy Free | Egg Free | Gluten Free | Vegan Option

Cherry pecan granola with quinoa on a baking sheet.

Cherry Pecan Granola with Quinoa

Cherry Pecan Granola with Quinoa is a healthy quinoa recipe that is perfect for sprinkling on top of yogurt, or even soups and salads, too. This homemade granola recipe has the perfect crunch, the right amount of sweetness, and it’s lightly infused with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Dairy Free | Egg Free | Gluten Free | Vegan

Side view balsamic roasted vegetables over quinoa salad and mixed greens in shallow bowl.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

A beautiful and tasty salad that makes for a perfect weeknight dinner on its own or when serve with your favorite added protein, such as chicken, steak, pork, or fish. Leftovers are great for the next day’s lunch, served warm or cold.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free Option | Dairy Free Option

Quinoa spinach turkey burgers with goat cheese on serving plate over lettuce leaves with lemon slices and tomato wedges.

Quinoa Spinach Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese

The addition of quinoa gives these burgers a boost of fiber and keeps them tender. The cooked burgers are freezer-friendly, too, so feel free to double the batch for future nutritious reheat-and-eat meals.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free | Dairy Free Option

Arugula salad with apple chunks, quinoa, dried cherries and goat cheese, served in white bowl.

Arugula Salad with Apples, Almonds, Quinoa, and Goat Cheese

This Arugula Salad combines crisp apples, toasted almonds, hearty quinoa, creamy goat cheese, and tart dried cherries. That delicious combination of flavors comes together with a fresh and easy-to-make citrus vinaigrette.

Egg Free | Gluten Free | Nut Free Option | Dairy Free Option


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Uncooked quinoa in a shallow bowl with a silver spoon in quinoa

What Is A Pseudocereal?

Many people consider quinoa to be a whole grain because it cooks and acts similar to other grains in recipes, like rice and oats. But quinoa is actually a seed from a weed-like plant called goosefoot. And the plant that seed comes from is called a psuedocereal.

Pseudocereals are plants that produce seeds and fruits that are similar to grains and used in the same ways. Psedocereals are classified as being high in protein, nutrients, and vitamins, and most often they are gluten free. Other common pseudocereals include amaranth and buckwheat.


Make These Quinoa Recipes Work For You!

These simple weeknight quinoa recipes are designed to be easy to make, delicious, and nutritious. Here’s how to use these recipes and make them work for you any night of the week:

  • Substitute or omit vegetables, depending on what you have on hand, what’s available to you, and what’s in season
  • For dairy-free options, simply omit the cheese if the recipe calls for it (this works well in any of the salads and our quinoa burger recipe)
  • Change up the ground meat in the quinoa casseroles and quinoa burger, if you’d like. Ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, ground lamb, and ground pork will work in any of these recipes
  • In the quinoa salad recipes, substitute any favorite nuts, dried fruit, and/or fresh fruit with what you already have on hand in the pantry, freezer or refrigerator

    Pin Now to Make Later!

    Collage of salads and casseroles made with quinoa with text overlay for 16 Healthy Quinoa Recipes.

    For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish a recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

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