Spiced Quinoa Porridge


The September issue of Vogue told me a few things about Fall.

It told me that prints are the new basics, maroon is the new black, curvy is the new sexy, and quinoa is the new oatmeal.

I’m lying. Vogue totally didn’t say that. BUT, if Vogue covered breakfast foods, like they do clothes, they def would have said that. Oatmeal out; quinoa in! And calling it “porridge” gives it this very chic “working class English industrial revolution” feel. Think: orphans in Oliver Twist, BUT trendy and adorable (and not sad).

Quinoa for breakfast may seem strange. I suppose it is, a little. But when cooked in sweetened and spice-spiked milk, it goes from sort of weird to dreamy and stylish.

What’s awesome about this recipe is that it’s fast, easy and really flexible.

It’s not a make ahead recipe; it’s a make it right now recipe.

I used whole milk because I had it in the fridge. This porridge would work equally well–if not better–with other milks like almond, coconut or rice.

I used brown sugar to sweeten it, but you could swap it for a teaspoon of agave.

I topped it off with a small handful of toasted slivered almonds. Again, you can use walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts.

The ratio for quinoa is typically 1:2. One cup of quinoa to two cups of liquid. In this case I used one part whole milk and the other part water. And then I added brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Friday night I sat in bed and read article after article about traditional English porridge (very normal!), and apparently one of the most crucial ingredients is salt. Who would’ve thought that?!

I digress…all of these things are added to a pot and cooked for about 12 minutes, and until the liquid is absorbed. I sliced up some pears, add the toasted almonds and topped it off with a drizzle of warmed fig jam.

This bowl tastes like healthy, sweetened warmth. I’m not a big oatmeal eater because it’s generally just too soft for me, but this quinoa has a bit of crunch. There’s a little heft to it that’s just lovely.

If you find yourself rushed in the morning, make this on a Sunday night and enjoy it for the next three days. It warms up pretty easily with an added tablespoon or two of milk.


Spiced Quinoa Porridge

Print this recipe!

1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup dried quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup whole milk, plus 4 tablespoons, divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 pear, sliced
2 teaspoons fig jam, warmed

1. In a medium pot, add the slivered almonds and toast for 1 minute, until lightly golden brown. Remove and set aside.

2. Using a sieve, rinse quinoa until the water runs clear. To the medium pot (use the same one as you did for the almonds), add the quinoa, water, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook until all of the liquid has absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. Turn the heat off and fluff the quinoa with a fork.

3. To two bowls, add a few hefty spoonfuls of the porridge. Mix in two additional tablespoons of milk. Top with a small handful of the toasted almonds, sliced pears and drizzle of jam.

Yields 2 large bowls

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply emmycooks October 8, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I’m so glad that I read your blog because I had no idea that maroon was the new black and I love maroon! So glad to hear I’m in style again. πŸ™‚

    I have never made quinoa for breakfast, but if oatmeal and rice pudding are acceptable for breakfast (what? rice pudding isn’t breakfast?) I should give other grains a chance. And I love the cinnamon/nutmeg/pear/fig combination–fall doesn’t get much better than that.

    • Reply Adrianna October 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      HAHA. I sorta made that up. But maroon is awesome! P.S. Rice pudding is totally breakfast.

  • Reply Leah October 8, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I love quinoa porridge! I haven’t made it in an while, but you’ve inspired me with the fig jam topper. I am totally with you on the working class England scene too – non-sad orphans all the way.

  • Reply Anita October 8, 2012 at 2:05 am

    This looks delicious – but i totally snorted at the idea of porridge being chic! I’m Irish & porridge is just porridge, bland and cheap and force fed to you every morning from age 4 to 14! Oatmeal on the other hand sounds cool and American

    My Mam (read ‘Mom’ if you’re American) has porridge made with water & sprinkled with flaxseed every day of her life for breakfast and claims she looks forward to it!

    I do however love porridge made with milk, cooked slowly with raisins or dried cranberries cooked in with the porridge so they plump up – and then drizzle the top with some honey. Mmmm – I obviously haven’t quite attained the self-deprivation lifestyle my mam rocks!

    • Reply Adrianna October 8, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      MAM! I love it. Raisins until they plump up – YES! I want that.

  • Reply jules October 8, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Quinoa is so not weird for breakfast! In fact I just did a post last week for quinoa, amaranth and steel cut oats porridge. If you have a bit more time on your hands, this one is also great. Love the idea of using coconut milk, I think that would be delicious with some sliced mango on top…mmmm

  • Reply Margherita October 8, 2012 at 3:37 am

    I love quinoa in almost all forms, never had it as porridge though. Very curious to try this!

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 8, 2012 at 6:09 am

    This sounds lovely!

  • Reply Yelle October 8, 2012 at 8:24 am

    This recipe sounds so delicious! My last experience with quinoa wasn’t a great one, but this recipe can change that!

  • Reply mallory @ totalnoms October 8, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Never thought about making sweet quinoa! I love oatmeal so I’m definitely going to try this out.

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition October 8, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast all.the.time lately (I make it with almond milk and I need the calcium!) But I also love quinoa and have been meaning to make a sweet breakfast version! Thanks for more inspiration πŸ™‚

  • Reply Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes October 8, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I still have yet to try quinoa – I know – sad! This looks yummy

  • Reply Pia Bineau October 8, 2012 at 11:43 am

    This looks really yummy. I was thinking about something new to make with my quinoa stash in my pantry just a couple of days ago. I have already purchased the goodies to make a Moroccan roasted pumpkin and almond dish. Your quinoa porridge will be next on my to eat list!

    Best regards,

  • Reply [email protected] Totes Delishy October 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I am still getting to quinoa in savory applications and now I HAVE to try it in a sweet breakfast kind of way.

  • Reply Amy @ Elephant Eats October 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    What a perfect autumn breakfast! I’ve just discovered quinoa for breakfast…I’m boring, thought, I just mix up a batch with water the night before and put it in the fridge. In the morning I combine some cold quinoa, yogurt, fresh pears and a little cinnamon. Yours sounds much better for a chilly morning though!

  • Reply Cowen Park Kitchen October 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    There’s something amazing in how quinoa makes me feel. Maybe…excited about life?! Delicious AND wholesome. I love that combination!

    • Reply Adrianna October 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Excited about life!

  • Reply Emily : RainbowDelicious.com October 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I’m excited to try quinoa for breakfast! My two kids love oatmeal for breakfast so I’m hoping they won’t mind the switch over πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jackie October 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    This recipe looks like the perfect warm and filling thing to eat this season. I love quinoa but have yet to try it as a porridge or oatmeal for breakfast. Definitely going to give this a try πŸ™‚

  • Reply Maria October 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    What about skim milk? I’d love to make this extra healthy. Should I use 2 cups of skim milk?

    • Reply Adrianna October 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      You can do that. Or use 1 cup water and 1 cup skin milk.

  • Reply Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen October 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    That’s a really healthy switch-up! I love quinoa as does my family, I wouldn’t mind a bowl of this in the morning! It sure would give you lasting energy!

    • Reply Adrianna October 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Buttery biscuits to quinoa. How I roll. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Michelle October 9, 2012 at 7:21 am

    I think you should def. pitch your breakfast ideas to Vogue. I don’t see how it could fail!

  • Reply Megan @ girl by the lake October 9, 2012 at 9:18 am

    This recipe is so interesting! I love the idea of throwing out my oatmeal…I mean, really, who NEEDS oatmeal? Not me. Maybe cookies, but certainly not me! ha

    This is so interesting. (sorry for the repetition) I’m going to try it out later this week!

  • Reply erin @ yummy supper October 9, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Adrianna, I am cracking up. It looks like you and I have been eating porridge together ( if you peek at my post today, you’ll smile too!)
    I like that you used quinoa here – that grain is so friggin good for you!
    Have a good week,

  • Reply Sophie October 9, 2012 at 10:28 am

    GREAT idea. i’m all about quinoa being the new oatmeal!…. i need serious protein in the mornings after my workout πŸ™‚ thanks for this recipe!!

  • Reply Joelle @ on a pink typewriter October 9, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    That first photo is breathtaking!

  • Reply Lisa October 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Mmmm…warm whole grains, slightly sweetened and possibly some fruit. That just makes the world a better place!

  • Reply Christina @ The Beautiful Balance October 10, 2012 at 12:25 am

    This looks amazing. What type of fig jam do you use?

  • Reply lisa October 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    this looks delicious!



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  • Reply GIGI October 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    never had porridge. will have to try some. gigi. food and beauty blogger @ http://www.gigikkitchen.blogspot.com

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  • Reply Tiina October 20, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I had sweet porridge for the first time in my twenties. I mean, it’s not dessert, and as a Finn, I do not start my day off with a ton of sugar. My mom would’ve never allowed that. It wasn’t that many years ago that I discovered how yummy porridge is if you make it with brown sugar and raisins. I can’t get enough of that!
    I’ve started to get acquainted with quinoa and LOVE the idea of making it with coconut milk and mangoes.
    Thanks for the great idea!

  • Reply Jack Tyler October 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Gonna try this one now!

  • Reply Amanda January 27, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I’ve looked through so many pages already and bookmarked recipes to try.

    This was my first one and it was delicious! I’m definitely sharing on my blog (credit to you of course) and will be back for more recipes πŸ™‚

    Thank you!

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  • Reply Paula June 21, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Oh wow…such deliciousness. As an Irish girl living in Peru this combines TWO of my comfort foods, porridge and quinoa. HURRAH!

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