Quinoa for breakfast? It's not as weird as you think! This Cinnamon and Blackberry Breakfast Quinoa will keep you full and satisfied all morning long. Not to mention, it's a delicious way to start your day!
(This recipe for Cinnamon and Blackberry Breakfast Quinoa was originally published in August 2008, but was updated with new photos in 2018).
This post should be alternatively titled " the perfect breakfast." When I first wrote this post in 2008, I was just learning what quinoa was (and may have even thought it was pronounced quin-o-a).
I started seeing it all over lists of "healthy foods you aren't eating, but should be," and when I saw a breakfast quinoa recipe, I decided that my first time prepping it would be in a breakfast dish.
It turned out to be delicious and 10 years later, my pantry is never without a box or bag of quinoa in it. And this blog has a ton of quinoa recipes on it. I can't believe there was a time when I didn't know what quinoa was!
The recipe I first spotted all those years ago was this Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa from the 101 Cookbooks blog. I'm a sucker for blackberries and needed a little switch from my Special K with Red Berries breakfast (I bought 8 boxes…hey, they were on sale at Walgreen's) so I knew I needed to make this.
Just a few minutes in the kitchen and I had a hearty and healthy breakfast that lasted for days.
Why Quinoa is a Great Breakfast Option
Think quinoa for breakfast is weird? It’s not! OK, maybe it is a little bit. If you’re simply used to eating it in salads at dinner time, you may think starting your day with it is a bit odd.
But quinoa for breakfast is actually a super smart idea because it’s packed with protein, fiber, and iron that will keep you full and satisfied all morning long.
It also happens to be one of the only plants that contains a complete protein, which means it provides all the essential amino acids we need. Does it get any better than that??
In many ways, quinoa is like a blank palate and you can add any flavors you want to it. Cinnamon, honey, and fruit make it taste like the ideal breakfast!
- Dry quinoa
- Low-fat milk (or dairy or dairy substitute of your choice)
- Ground cinnamon
- Agave or honey
How to Make Cinnamon Blackberry Breakfast Quinoa
Quinoa takes a little bit longer to cook than the typical oatmeal, but if you've ever cooked rice before, you can definitely cook quinoa. This breakfast quinoa is super easy to prepare!
Put the quinoa in a saucepan with the milk and water and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Let it cook for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.
Take the quinoa off the heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes. Now, fluff it up with a fork and add the blackberries! If you can’t find good blackberries or they’re too pricey, you can always use blueberries. Or any berry of your choice.
Add the cinnamon in too (another super food!) and mix it all up.
Now serve it! And top with toasted pecans and honey.
If you prefer agave or maple syrup, you can use those, too, but this breakfast quinoa does need a little bit of sweetness (blackberries are often more tart than sweet, after all).
This is a really, really good hearty and filling breakfast. And much more satisfying than a simple bowl of cereal.
You can keep leftovers in the fridge (you’ll have plenty!) and have breakfast instantly ready each morning. And this breakfast quinoa is delicious served both cold and hot. At first I was wary about heating up the blackberries, but I actually loved them warm.
Variations on Recipe
If blackberries aren't your thing or you're just looking to switch this breakfast quinoa up without getting bored, there is so much you can do with it. Here are some more breakfast quinoa toppings I love:
- Other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana, mango, pears, etc.
- Other spices like pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, ginger, etc.
- Other nuts like walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, etc.
- Mix-ins like peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, etc.
There's really no limit to the ways you can make this yummy meal.
More Quinoa Recipes
Like I mentioned, I have A LOT of quinoa recipes here at We are not Martha, some for simple salads and some for more unique dishes. Here are some of my favorites:
- Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Peanut Butter Quinoa Chia Granola
- Quinoa Black Bean Corn Salad
- Jalapeño Parmesan Quinoa Tater Tots
- Quinoa Fried Rice
- Roasted Tomato Soup with Quinoa and Feta
- Blueberry Quinoa Muffins (from Jar of Lemons)
- Quinoa Fruit Salad (from Healthy World Cuisine)
Breakfast quinoa is blowing my mind and now I’m truly understanding how awesome this grain really is.
After eating this, I’m legit not hungry for hours, which is super duper rare for me. And I’m also happy and satisfied in a way I wouldn’t be if I just ate a big bowl of bran cereal or something.
This is also the kind of breakfast that knows no season; it’s equally as delicious in the winter and summer!
You all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and when you’re eating a breakfast filled with so many super foods, you’re going to be feeling good all day. Hooray for that!
Have you ever had quinoa for breakfast?
Cinnamon and Blackberry Breakfast Quinoa
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 cup low-fat milk (or dairy or dairy substitute of your choice)
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 4 tsp agave or honey
- Put quinoa in a saucepan with milk and water and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove quinoa from heat and let sit for another 5 minutes.Fluff it up with a fork and add blackberries or berries of your choice and cinnamon. Mix together.
- Serve in bowls and sprinkle toasted pecans and drizzle honey or agave on top.
- Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks
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