This Quinoa for Dogs is packed with a colorful mix of butternut squash, red peppers, and green beans, making it a nutrient-rich meal for dogs. It's a simple, but wholesome way to add variety to your pup's daily mealtime and it's easy to customize to your dog's tastes!
Remember when you had no idea what quinoa was?? Then it suddenly became a major fad. These days, it's pretty much just woven into regular restaurant menus and home-cooked meals. And now we're feeding it to our dogs.
At least I am.
Pups from all over have been enjoying my chicken and rice for dogs recipe and I started wondering if I could make a similar dish, but with quinoa.
After doing some research, I determined that I could! So, I worked on developing this easy quinoa for dogs recipe. It's packed with delicious dog-friendly recipes and is a vegetarian meal.
But dog quinoa can easily be modified to add chicken, salmon, and more.
🐶 Can dogs eat quinoa?
The short answer is yes, they can! Quinoa is even an ingredient in many pet foods. It's a high-quality alternative to grains and is a source of complex carbohydrates, natural fiber, essential amino acids, and fatty acids.
It's known as a super food and complete protein and making it a part of your dog's diet can even help support a healthy and shiny coat, healthy teeth and nails, and strong bones. It can also support brain function (source).
According to the American Kennel Club, some people are worried about a chemical called saponin that's naturally found in quinoa. But the amount of saponin is likely too small to cause your dog issues with their digestive system and if you rinse your quinoa before using (which you should!), that will remove most of it.
You should also always cook quinoa before serving it to your dog (without adding things like salt, garlic, and onions).
As always, be sure to check with your vet before feeding your dog a new food. And whenever you're introducing a new food, you should always give them small amounts to start and monitor them to ensure they won't have any adverse reactions like an allergic reaction.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
You can feel good about feeding this quinoa dish to your dog as it's nutritious and super tasty. Of course, you can customize it to your pup's specific tastes and can serve it to them as a meal or a treat.
Yes, humans can eat this, too (it's made with all human foods), but something tells me you'll want it with a few more seasonings incorporated!
Here's everything you need to make quinoa for dogs (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Diced butternut squash
- Diced red pepper
- Diced green beans
- Olive oil
- Quinoa: I use white quinoa, but you could also use red quinoa if you prefer.
- Sodium-free chicken or vegetable broth: I recommend finding a broth that doesn't use onion or garlic, like this Good & Gather Chicken Bone Broth. You can also use chicken broth that's made specifically for dogs, like Caru Daily Dish Chicken Bone Broth.
- Finely grated parmesan cheese: optional
👩🍳 How to make quinoa for dogs
You'll start with roasting the veggies. Make sure they're diced into little bite-sized pieces!
I love when I'm able to feed my dog the rainbow.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Though you don't want your pup to have too much olive oil, I do recommend tossing the veggies in about ½ Tbsp to help them roast.
Spread them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
And roast them for 20-25 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until the veggies are nice and tender.
Winnie was getting very curious as to what I was up to with all of this deliciousness!
While the vegetables are roasting, combine the quinoa with broth in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed.
Toss the cooked quinoa and roasted veggies together in a large bowl.
Let the mixture cool slightly before adding in grated parmesan (if desired) and feeding to your dog.
Winnie loves cheese, so I always add a little in for her.
Isn't this quinoa for dogs a seriously pretty dish that looks more than good enough for human consumption?? I love all the different colors!
I wasn't sure what Winnie would think since I don't think she's ever had quinoa before and she's not exactly used to meatless meals.
But after sniffing it a bit...
She dove in and started absolutely loving it! (I should note here that I didn't actually let her eat this entire bowl... though I think she may have!)
I already knew Winnie loved squash, red pepper, green beans, and parmesan cheese, but I'm thrilled to know she actually really enjoys quinoa, too.
⏲️ How to store
Once the quinoa for dogs is cooled, I recommend storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. When stored properly, it should stay fresh for about 5 days.
You can serve the leftover quinoa and veggies to your dog cold or warm it slightly in the microwave (however they prefer it!). If you are warming it, be sure to only warm the portion they'll be eating.
If you want to freeze it, I recommend dividing it into individual portions first so you can just thaw what you need. Store it in the freezer in airtight container or freezer bags.
🐕 What is a portion size?
A lot of people ask me about portion size for my dog-friendly recipes and there's no easy answer since recommendations really depend on how big your dog is, their age, their activity level, and what the rest of their diet is like.
It's always best to consult a veterinarian and to start with a small portion and monitor your dog.
This chart is helpful for determining the amount of chicken and rice to feed your dog, which you can use as a rough guideline for quinoa and veggies, too.
🎉 Variations on recipe
My dog loved this quinoa for dogs, but I think she would have loved it even more if it involved chicken or ground turkey!
The great thing about this recipe is you can fully customize it to your dog's own preferences. If he or she doesn't like squash, green beans, or red peppers, you can substitute to them with other veggies. Of course, you can also add protein and more.
Here are some ideas for quinoa add-ins (be sure all meat proteins are cooked before adding to quinoa):
- Chicken or turkey (I like to use chicken and turkey breast, but you could also use lean ground chicken or turkey)
- Scrambled eggs or hardboiled eggs
- Plain cottage cheese or yogurt
- Sweet potatoes
- Baby spinach
- Pumpkin Puree
- Brown rice instead of quinoa (or use a mixture)
You can even turn this meal into a breakfast quinoa for dogs, similar to my Oatmeal for Dogs.
🍽️ Is this a meal replacement?
I don't feed this quinoa for dogs to my pup as her main food source. I utilize it as a special treat meal when I know she's bored of her regular kibble.
I am not a vet or a food scientist and acknowledge that every dog's needs are different. You should always talk to your vet when introducing new foods and especially when significantly changing your dog's regular diet.
I believe in treating my pup to special home-cooked meals and delicious treats, but also work to ensure all of her dietary needs are met.
🦴 More dog-friendly recipes
Treating your dog with homemade goodness is the best! I love making food and treats for my pup and I hope you use my recipes to spoil your dog, too. You can check out all of my dog-friendly recipes here, but I'm also sharing some of my faves below:
I truly believe there are two types of pet parents out there... those who think of their dogs as pets and those who think of their dogs as furry children who deserve to enjoy all kinds of delicious homemade treats.
If you're reading this post, I can probably guess which kind you are!
These days, there are so many high-quality dog foods you can buy for your canine companions. But when it comes to special treats, there's nothing quite like something home-cooked and made with love.
I hope your pup enjoys this delicious quinoa for dogs and thanks you with lots of licks and snuggles!
Quinoa for Dogs
- 1 ¼ cup diced butternut squash
- 1 ¼ cup diced red pepper
- 1 ¼ cup diced green beans
- ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups sodium-free chicken or vegetable broth (I recommend using a broth with no onion or garlic added)
- ⅓ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the diced butternut squash, red peppers, and green beans in olive oil and spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Roast veggies in oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until they are tender.
- While veggies are roasting, combine the quinoa with broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed.
- Toss the cooked quinoa and roasted veggies together in a large bowl. Let cool slightly before adding in grated parmesan (if desired) and feeding to your dog.