Pumpkin Quinoa Parfait

Pumpkin Quinoa Parfait

October 14, 2010


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 Chobani Pomegranate or Pineapple yogurt more than I’ve ever enjoyed yogurt before. But it’s still yogurt. And yogurt just doesn’t excite me.

However, Erica at Itzy’s Kitchen often posts photos of the yogurt parfaits she eats 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’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 Parfaits (serves 2):

• 1/4 C dry quinoa
• 2 C plain Greek yogurt
• 1 C pumpkin puree
• 2 t pumpkin pie spice
• 2 t cinnamon (separated into 1 t and 1 t)
• 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
• 1/4 C pecans (optional)


Cook your quinoa according to directions. I had to rinse mine and then boil 1/2 C of water with 1/4 C dry quinoa. Once it came to a boil, I lowered it to a simmer, covered it, and let it cook for about 10 minutes.


In the meantime, get your yogurt on. Mix 2 C of plain Greek yogurt with 1 C pumpkin puree, 2 t pumpkin pie spice, and 2 t cinnamon.


Mix it all up. Hi, you just made pumpkin yogurt. Congratulations.


Then smash your graham crackers. I did mine in a plastic bag, so I didn’t have to get out the food processor or anything crazy like that.


Oooh look, the quinoa is done! Add your 1 t leftover cinnamon to it. Then pop it into the fridge to let it cool. It should only take about 5-10 minutes.


Now get out whatever glass you want to use (or bowl if you’re not going for presentation!) and start the layering. Put 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the glass.

Then add a layer of 1/2 C of pumpkin yogurt.

Then half of the quinoa.

Then another layer of 1/2 C pumpkin yogurt.

Sprinkle pecans over the top. And more cinnamon, too, if you so desire.


Isn’t it pretty? Obviously why I was so attracted to it in the first place! Of course, you don’t have to even use measurements if you don’t want to.


The next day, i just gobbled up some leftover pumpkin yogurt and quinoa mixed together. And I totally enjoyed it. I enjoyed yogurt.


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.


I’m sure it didn’t hurt that I was eating my yogurt parfait out of a wine glass. Does it ever?

Are you a “yogurt person”? What’s your favorite kind?


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38 Responses to "Pumpkin Quinoa Parfait"

  1. oooh, these look fabulous. 😀

    yes, Jessica is truly a SWEET inspiration, isn’t she ??

  2. Vi says:

    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.

  3. notyet100 says:

    mmmmm looks so yum..

  4. Thanks for the sweet shout out. 🙂 Glad you like the parfait!

  5. Susan says:

    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!

  6. 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” 🙂

  7. Lauren says:

    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!

  8. Lauren says:

    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 ;).

  9. Emily says:

    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.

  10. I do like yogurt a lot, mostly Oikos Greek yogurt. I’m intrigued about using quinoa in a sweet breakfast/dessert dish.

  11. sweetersalt says:

    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!


  12. 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!

  13. Victoria says:

    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.

  14. Erica says:

    First off- thank you for the shout out 🙂 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.

  15. brandi says:

    I love quinoa, but I still haven’t tried using it in a sweet/breakfast dish. I need to try this!

  16. 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!

  17. Daisy says:

    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!

  18. MichellePC says:

    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!

  19. yummy! i’m not a huge yogurt fan either, but that looks soooo good!

  20. 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!! 🙂

  21. Katie says:

    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!

  22. Gina says:

    Can’t wait to make this! 🙂

  23. 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!

  24. Amanda says:

    What a good looking dessert! That’ll make a yogurt lover out of anyone.

  25. Sharlene says:

    I knew this looked familiar! Yours looks just as beautiful as Jessica’s!

  26. i am a big greek yogurt fan. i tried a soy one recently and was impressed too!

  27. Danielle says:

    This looks amazing! Pumpkin yogurt is such a great idea.

  28. Lizzy says:

    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!

  29. 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.

  30. Joanne says:

    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!

  31. Kelly says:

    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!

  32. DianaHayes says:

    Yogurt and granola is my favorite way to eat yogurt. I like this parfait, it would be great for breakfast.

  33. joan says:

    I have tried so many different yogurts. I always come back to Yoplait. It tastes the best to me.

  34. sophia says:

    I agree. Not much of a yogurt person, either. I like it okay, but I can live without it.

  35. 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!!!!!!

  36. Shana says:

    I have to say I was SO excited to try this. I got all the ingredients and made it up exactly as described and then began to dig in…to disappointment. 🙁 Maybe I have crazy tastebuds, but I was hoping this would be a bit sweeter. I love yogurt, even Greek yogurt, but this just didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I think if I make it again I will substitute oatmeal for the quinoa and either use plain yogurt or sweeten the Greek yogurt a bit. Thanks for posting this recipe though because I would have never attempted pumpkin yogurt on my own! 😉

  37. Shannon says:

    really i can’t get enough yogurt so i really dig this 🙂 especially since it contains pumpkin!!!

  38. Lauren says:

    I just made – and thoroughly enjoyed – one of these parfaits. AWESOME is all I can say :).

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