Looking for the perfect way to start a cool fall morning? This Pumpkin Quinoa Parfait is packed with protein in the form of homemade pumpkin pie Greek yogurt and cinnamon quinoa. It's easy, healthy, and ridiculously satisfying!
(This recipe for Pumpkin Quinoa Parfaits was originally published in October 2010, but was updated with new photos in 2018).
I realize I won't make many friends in the blog world saying this, but I am not a yogurt person. OK, I actually have a love/hate relationship with yogurt. I love the idea of it and I want SO badly to like it, but it bores me to no end. Don't get me wrong, I always have yogurt in the fridge, but it often goes bad before I get in the mood to eat it (yes, I do need to be in a yogurt mood to eat it). The coming of Greek yogurt helped a bit and I do enjoy a good pomegranate or pineapple Greek yogurt more than I've ever enjoyed yogurt before. But it's still yogurt. And yogurt just doesn't excite me.
However, so many bloggers have been posting photos of the yogurt parfaits they've been eating and they always look so delicious to me. And they actually make me wish I would crave yogurt every morning instead of something like, you know, eggs benedict. But I think I'm just an eggs benedict kinda gal, and that's a fact I'm just going to have to live with. Trust me, I've come to terms with it.
Then I saw Pumpkin Quinoa Parfaits on the blog of How Sweet It Is (if you love sweets, this is your blog!) And I could not get them out of my head for days. Me! With yogurt stuck in my head! It was totally unheard of. So much so, that I knew I had to make some version of the parfaits. At the very least, it would get visions of yogurt out of my dreams, right?
PUMPKIN QUINOA PARFAIT RECIPE
One of the best thing about yogurt parfaits is that they're generally pretty easy. And healthy! This pumpkin quinoa parfait is no different, though it does require a couple different components. Everything can be done ahead if you want to keep everything in the fridge overnight and assemble it in the morning. Or you can even assemble it the night before and just grab and go in the morning.
Start by cooking the quinoa, mixing it with a little cinnamon, and letting it cool. Then mix up some pumpkin pie yogurt. Yum! It's really just Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. You can add a little bit of honey or agave if you want to sweeten it up a little. Without it, this yogurt parfait is certainly not a "sweet treat" (aside from the graham cracker base), but that is totally fine with me. When I gave one to Chris, he wanted something a bit sweeter. For the graham crackers, you can simply put them in a plastic bag and crush them instead of getting out the food processor. Easy is key here!
Then it's time to layer all the ingredients to make the most perfect pumpkin quinoa parfait. Start by dividing the graham cracker crumbs between the two glasses. Then spoon ¼ of the pumpkin pie yogurt over the graham crackers, followed by ½ the quinoa. Finish each parfait off with another scoop of yogurt and top with crushed pecans if desired. I also sprinkled on a little bit more cinnamon and some more crushed graham crackers, too.
Isn't it pretty? There's something about starting the day with such a pretty breakfast that makes you feel like you can conquer anything. Of course, ease and taste are more important than looks and luckily this breakfast is both super simple and incredibly delicious. You don't even have to use exact measurements for the recipe if you're in a hurry and can simply throw all the components into a bowl.
These pumpkin quinoa parfaits are also incredibly healthy and are packed with protein, which will likely keep you full and satisfied all morning long. They also offer a very generous serving, so you can certainly split this into two if you want. It will be just as delicious the next day!
If I ever open up a little brunch spot (which is totally one of my dreams), I'll most definitely be serving this in the fall months. It's SO simple, but amazingly beautiful and seasonally tasty. Plus, it's nice and filling.
And I actually feel quite inspired to try other yogurt parfait creations. Making this yogurt parfait did not, in fact, get yogurt out of my head. It actually made my head practically explode with yogurt parfait ideas. Candy cane. I need to do a candy cane parfait.
Are you a "yogurt person"? What's your favorite kind?
If you're looking for more delicious and healthy fall breakfasts, check out my Bircher Muesli and my Chai Tea Pumpkin Breakfast Quinoa. I also love these Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes from Muy Delicious!
Pumpkin Quinoa Parfait
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tbsp honey or agave, optional
- ⅓ cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup chopped pecans, optional
- Place 1 cup water and dry quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, covered saucepan, and let cook for about 10 minutes, until water is completely absorbed. Transfer to separate bowl, stir in 1 tsp cinnamon, and place in fridge to cool.
- In a separate medium bowl, stir together Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and remaining 1 tsp cinnamon. Also stir in honey or agave if you want to sweeten the yogurt a bit.
- Add graham cracker crumbs to the bottom of a glass or bowl. Add ¼ of the pumpkin pie yogurt mixture (about ¾ cup) over the graham cracker crumbs. Add ½ the quinoa. Top quinoa with another ¼ of the yogurt.
- Top with chopped pecans. You can also sprinkle additional cinnamon and/or graham cracker crumbs over the top, if desired. Repeat layering with second glass or bowl.
- Recipe adapted from How Sweet Eats
Kristina @spabettie says
oooh, these look fabulous. 😀
yes, Jessica is truly a SWEET inspiration, isn't she ??
Um, I love yogurt. So much. I'm extremely particular about it too. I don't like yogurt that is too rich and creamy or too sweet...I actually prefer sweetening my own these days since I like literally just a touch of sugar. France has the most amazing yogurt, I found my yogurt nirvana there, a brand of light, not too rich, barely sweetened vanilla yogurt. Delicious. Now, I generally make my own yogurt and add a touch of sugar and some vanilla or fresh fruit. These look delicious. I want yogurt now.
mmmmm looks so yum..
Jessica @ How Sweet It Is says
Thanks for the sweet shout out. 🙂 Glad you like the parfait!
I think one of my favorite things about this blog is that every single recipe is out of the norm. I love yogurt, that looks amazing!
[email protected] Small Boston Kitchen says
LOVE this idea! I love quinoa but hadn't attempted to do any sweet things with it yet. This would be a great thing to pass off as "breakfast" 🙂
I saw this parfait on Jessica's blog, and both yours and hers look great! I need to try quinoa for breakfast/dessert.
I am a HUGE yogurt fan, and my favorite is brand is Fage. I wish they would come out with an organic line!
Oh... I forgot to mention: I will soon be posting a recipe for pumpkin parfaits using my vegan pumpkin pudding, homemade pumpkin spice granola, and Greek yogurt - it might just tempt you to eat more yogurt ;).
I saw this on How Sweet, too, and was tempted to give it a try. I'm a yogurt fan in the summer... but this time of year, not so much.
Fun and Fearless in Beantown says
I do like yogurt a lot, mostly Oikos Greek yogurt. I'm intrigued about using quinoa in a sweet breakfast/dessert dish.
Yum! I'm a big enthusiast of pumpkin yogurt. Lately it has been my afternoon snack topped with a couple of almonds. Love the idea of a parfait!
Ok, I admit it too I have a problem with yogurt. (What I feel is a very valid reason) About 15 years ago I got food poisoning from that little bugger. I had been a huge yogurt-fanatic, until that day. I couldn't even bring myself to saying the word for nearly 10 years! Now with kids, and understanding the importance of yogurt in their diets, I have bought it and give it to them. They love it.
Now, I can say the word, and I even added it to a smoothie yesterday to get a little protein, and you know what? I actually liked it again. This recipe looks so amazing! I think I'm going to give it a try, thanks Sues!
I've seen someone do a savory pumpkin quinoa and was so intrigued, but I never considered a sweet variation!! Quinoa is SO healthy and I love finding ways to incorporate it into my diet, and dessert sounds like a fun way, haha.
Yes, I am parfait obsessed. A few of the waiters at Charlestons cafe (despite knowing my name) call me parfait lady haha. This one looks GORGEOUS. I saw it on Jessicas blog and have been wanting to make it ever since. My DREAM is to open a brunch & lunch cafe. Or manage one.
I love quinoa, but I still haven't tried using it in a sweet/breakfast dish. I need to try this!
Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says
That parfait looks so pretty. Kinda reminds me of some of my favorite sweaters and nail polish hehe. I am definitely a yogurt person, and my favorite is Greek yougrt. Usually plain because it is so versatile but I also love Chobani Pineapple yogurt!
Is it confession time? I'm not really either. Once in awhile I enjoy a Chobani, or a Fage, or a Stonyfield. But they are not a staple in my fridge or my diet! The parfait looks beautiful!
These parfaits look great, and very innovative! I used to despise yogurt, but started mixing fruity flavored versions with granola cereal (which is much cheaper than straight-up granola). Now, I am addicted to yogurt + granola - it's my favorite afternoon snack, and a great source of protein!
Emily @ The Happy Home says
yummy! i'm not a huge yogurt fan either, but that looks soooo good!
sarah k @ the pajama chef says
that is so gorgeous! i want to make this now. lately i've been enjoying pumpkin yogurt (plain yog + canned pumpkin + spices + sugar).... yum! i love yogurt, so does my husband. we each eat at least a serving a day... we have a 1/2 a shelf of our fridge (3 shelf fridge) filled with yogurt!! 🙂
i totally agree with you - i like yogurt, but i definitely have to be in the mood for it. this recipe sounds soo good though, i think i would enjoy yogurt a whole lot more if i ate this!
Can't wait to make this! 🙂
Beth @ DiningAndDishing says
I eat yogurt almost every day! I have kind of gone off the really sweet, flavored kind but I like ones that are lightly flavored like Siggis. Orange ginger is my absolute fave!
What a good looking dessert! That'll make a yogurt lover out of anyone.
I knew this looked familiar! Yours looks just as beautiful as Jessica's!
lynn @ the actor's diet says
i am a big greek yogurt fan. i tried a soy one recently and was impressed too!
This looks amazing! Pumpkin yogurt is such a great idea.
I dont like yogurt either!! I actually never eat it unless I'm making chicken salad.... but I think I could learn to like this! Looks delicious Susie!!! Ps- I made your pumpkin tacos and THEY ROCKED!
alicia Fidalgo says
You caught me with this post just as I was making my grocery list. Yogurt, check! Pumpkin, check! and graham crackers....yep, gotta try this.
I used to be a yogurt girl but now I'm solely a Greek yogurt girl. Love the stuff thought I don't eat it every day (it's kind of expensive!). This parfait looks absolutely marvelous. I love anything with pumpkin. I think I'm not going to be able to get this out of my head until I eat it!
Oh my goodness, that looks amazing. I have to try it! I love, love Greek yogurt. I mix it with Peanut butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter and it makes for the most delicious treat!
Yogurt and granola is my favorite way to eat yogurt. I like this parfait, it would be great for breakfast.
I have tried so many different yogurts. I always come back to Yoplait. It tastes the best to me.
I agree. Not much of a yogurt person, either. I like it okay, but I can live without it.
This just brought my obsession of two favorite food items and jammed it all up into one! Pumpkin and Quinoa?! Get out! I will be posting this on my blog with my own spin-likely discussing the nutritional value and boasting more about its healthy qualities! THANK YOU!!!!!!
really i can't get enough yogurt so i really dig this 🙂 especially since it contains pumpkin!!!
I just made - and thoroughly enjoyed - one of these parfaits. AWESOME is all I can say :).
This looks so yummy & is very creative! Thank you!
This Pumpkin Quinoa Parfait is beyond brilliant! The flavors and textures are out of this world!