Hearty and nutty quinoa breakfast bowl recipe

When it comes to the foods that I eat and prepare at home, there are several common themes. Easy. Simple. Minimal ingredients. Nutrient dense.

That being said, today I’m sharing with you what I’ve been having for breakfast a lot lately, and it’s not your typical breakfast food. Quinoa, my friends, quinoa.

I shared a picture of a recent quinoa bowl I was enjoying on Instagram and got a lot of questions, so here’s the low-down on how I made it, with some fun facts thrown in …

Hearty & nutty quinoa breakfast bowl via A Lay Goes West

Why quinoa?

While some of you may struggle with pronouncing this word (which I did until recently too — just say “keen-wah”!), it’s not a scary thing. It’s like a nutty-flavored, small kernel of rice. But it’s not rice. It’s better. Even though most people think quinoa is a whole grain, it’s actually a seed, which is why it’s totally gluten free.

Quinoa packs a healthy helping of iron and fiber and is also a complete protein, which means it has all the nine essential amino acids our bodies need and cannot produce on their own. That’s a pretty good list of accolades for a well-priced plant product and complex carbohydrate, wouldn’t you say?

A look at quinoa

Why quinoa for breakfast?

I’m a creature of habit and for a long time was on an overnight oats kick, because that concoction includes all of the protein, carbs and healthy fats I need to round out my first meal of the day. And I can make it ahead of time and pull it out of the fridge in the morning to enjoy it without much additional work.

However, it’s always good to change things up, and as I was looking for something different to make, I realized it didn’t have to fall under the “breakfast” heading to be consumed at that time. Enter, quinoa. Much like overnight oats, this quinoa recipe can be prepared in advance and enjoyed cold or hot. It definitely keeps me full for a few hours.

And did I mention it’s super easy to make? 

Minimal ingredients, maximal enjoyment

You only need a few things to get started …

Ingredients for quinoa bowl

I chose to go with organic quinoa, but of course, any type of white quinoa will do. And the chia seeds are optional, yet I added them for some additional healthy fat and omega 3s.

I’ve been having this bowl of deliciousness topped with either chopped-up almonds or an extra dollop of almond butter and a sliced-up banana, and it’s been a great way to start the day. So tasty!

Hearty and nutty quinoa breakfast bowl

Breakfast bowl of quinoa

Hearty and nutty quinoa breakfast bowl

Ashley from A Lady Goes West
A tasty protein-packed bowl of breakfast goodness.


  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups of milk I used almond
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter I used almond
  • OPTIONAL 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • Any and all toppings of your choice


  • Rinse one cup of uncooked quinoa in a finely meshed strainer with tap water.
  • Combine the quinoa, milk and cinnamon in a sauce pan, uncovered on medium heat, and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, stir the concoction and cover it.
  • (Add the optional chia seeds and stir again.)
  • Cook for 15 minutes covered at a simmer.
  • Remove the cover, stir and fluff the concoction, and let it sit for 5 minutes still on a simmer.
  • Add the nut butter and swirl it around evenly.
  • Serve one portion into a bowl and store the rest in the fridge.
  • Add your additional favorite toppings and enjoy.


You can save the leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days and pull out just enough for about three or four breakfast bowls, depending on your portions. Top with your favorite fruits and fixings and enjoy warm or cold.

This quinoa dish serves as a base for so many different options too. Once you make this, you can section out a serving each day and dress it up in various ways. Consider the following …

  • Adding local honey and chopped-up peanuts
  • Adding coconut flakes and berries
  • Adding your favorite protein powder
  • Using the quinoa as a base for a parfait with Greek yogurt and mixed fruit

Talk about versatile and nutritious. Why don’t you join me on the keen-wah bandwagon soon?

That’s it for today, friends! After launching the new BODYATTACK last night, I’m now preparing to launch the new BODYPUMP tonight. Choreography overload going on over here! See you back on the blog tomorrow for some more talk about food. Have a lovely day!

Questions of the day

What did you have for breakfast today?

Any fun things planned for the month of April?

What is your favorite breakfast topping?

Ashley signature



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  1. I used to not like quinoa at all. And then one day it finally made sense to me–I think I was cooking it wrong before that! Have you ever tried quinoa flakes? I did and thought they were awful!

  2. I’m a huge fan of make ahead breakfasts – helps me pop out of bed quicker knowing that I have a yummy breakfast waiting for me. I have all of the ingredients so I’m totally going to try out the recipe πŸ™‚

    1. I know, Catherine! I love to know there’s something waiting for me in the morning too! Have a great day, and let me know if you try this one! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Pragati! I know, I used to be that way too! This is one thing I’ve started to get into though! Let me know if you try it! πŸ™‚

  3. This looks delish! I haven’t thought to try quinoa for breaky! I am loving it with chopped veggies for lunch. I am so attached to oatmeal, I might try mixing it with oatmeal – that would probably be delicious! Thanks for the idea πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Jill! Baby steps away from the oatmeal heheh! I know! Try half-oats-half-quinoa? It’s good and just as versatile as oats! Happy Tuesday! πŸ™‚

  4. I had a green smoothie this morning and it was heavenly. Nut butter is obviously my favorite breakfast topping. I have always wanted to make quinoa for breakfast. Thanks for the recipe!

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