What to Do with Leftover Quinoa

April  5, 2014

There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Congratulations -- you're so responsible, you made enough quinoa to last all week. Here's what you should make with it.

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Take a minute to remember the first dinner you ever cooked from scratch. Whether it was a cheesy pasta or a big bowl of odds and ends (you called it a salad), it made you proud -- the important thing was that you'd cooked yourself real food, and that in itself was a rite of passage.

An even bigger harbinger of responsible personhood is having the foresight to cook enough for leftovers. Cooking big batches of wholesome food to last you the week? That might be the holy grail of adulthood. So the next time you find yourself with a surplus of cooked quinoa, the first thing you should do is allow yourself one moment of smugness. Once you've done that, you might wonder how best to use all that quinoa. Samanthamdavies found herself in the same boat and asked for your tips:

  • Use that extra grain to bulk up a saladPierino says: "Combine black quinoa with Israeli couscous over frisée lettuce with vinaigrette...and top with a poached egg." Stephanie G likes to "mix with a vinaigrette, add some fresh fruit and roasted nuts, plus maybe some goat cheese," while ATG117 simply dresses it and adds "chickpeas or anything else that strikes your fancy."
  • Turn it into breadStephanie says this quinoa skillet bread is "filling, yes, and delicious, hell yes."
  • Give it the oatmeal treatment and have it for breakfastKelly's method: "The night before, add cinnamon, nutmeg, dried fruit of choice, sweetener of choice, and enough almond milk to make a thick slurry. Let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, heat it in the microwave or on the stovetop, add nuts/fruit, and enjoy as a hot breakfast cereal."
  • Fold it into cake batter, like Eileen King does, for the most protein-packed dessert around.
  • Still maxed out on quinoa? SKK points out that you can freeze it for later use.

What's your favorite way to use leftover quinoa? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Dru Marks
    Dru Marks
  • cookingwithleftovers
  • AKOS
  • diana lee
    diana lee
Fond of large dogs, tiny houses, pungent cheese, and dessert for dinner (or breakfast).


Dru M. April 8, 2014
I add it to my pancake makes amazing pancakes and waffles.
I put mine in pizza dough. yum.
AKOS April 6, 2014
Quinoa and chickpea salad with spinach, peppers, pickled red onion slices and a cilantro lime vinaigrette! OR use in fav meatloaf instead of breadcrumbs (1 cup cooked quinoa to 1 lb meat)
diana L. April 5, 2014
I use leftover quinoa to make fried "rice". Stirfry with some oil, garlic and any leftover veggies, then add soy sauce or tamari and finally a scrambled egg. Delicious!