18 Best Tasty Substitutes for Quinoa

Substitutes for Quinoa
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Quinoa is a versatile superfood with many health benefits and uses, but it can get boring to eat every day. Luckily, plenty of other foods can be used as quinoa substitutes for quinoa to add some variety to your diet!

This list of 18 tasty quinoa substitutes will introduce you to new ingredients and flavor combinations. 

So you can keep eating this excellent grain without getting bored. Just be sure to eat these substitutes for quinoa in moderation.

This is because quinoa’s higher calorie count means that overeating can cause weight gain if you’re not careful!

1. Brown Rice

Like quinoa, brown rice is a whole grain that contains fiber and nutrients. But brown rice is way more affordable and easy to find than quinoa. Plus, it has a milder flavor that can be a nice blank slate for whatever you’re cooking up.

2. Barley

Barley is a chewy, nutty grain that is among the great substitutes for quinoa in recipes. It has a similar texture and can be used in many of the same dishes.

Barley is also a good source of fiber and protein, making it a nutritious option. To cook barley, simmer it in water or broth for about 30 minutes.

3. Roast Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a great stand-in for quinoa because it has a similar texture when cooked. Plus, it’s super versatile- you can roast it, sauté it, or even turn it into rice.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut your cauliflower into small florets.
  3. Spread the florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, then roast for 25 minutes.
  5. Once the cauliflower is roasted, let it cool slightly before transferring it to a food processor or blender.
  6. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice or quinoa in texture.

4. Nuts

Quinoa is excellent if you want a hearty grain to add to your meals. But sometimes, you might be in the mood for something a little different.

That’s where nuts come in! Nuts are versatile food used as substitutes for quinoa in many recipes. Plus, they’re a great source of protein and healthy fats. 

Here are some of our favorite nuts to use as substitutes for quinoa Nuts are an excellent substitute for quinoa because they are full of healthy fats, proteins, and fiber.

They can be used in various dishes, including salads, stir-fries, and desserts. They’re a great energy source and can help you stay fuller longer. 

5. Oats

Oats are great substitutes for quinoa because they have a similar texture and can be used in various dishes. Plus, they’re loaded with nutrients like fiber and protein. To substitute oats for quinoa, use a 1:1 ratio. So if you’re recipe calls for 1 cup of quinoa, use 1 cup of oats instead.

6. Corn

Are you looking for substitutes for quinoa that are just as nutritious? Say hello to corn. This versatile grain is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Plus, it has a similar texture to quinoa, making it a great choice for dishes like salads and pilafs. Give it a try the next time you’re in the mood for something new.

7. Millet

Millet is a small, round grain popular in birdseed, but it also makes great human food. It’s gluten-free and has a mild, nutty flavor that goes well with just about anything. Plus, it contains nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.

8. Zucchini

Zucchini is a versatile vegetable used as a substitute for quinoa in many recipes. It has a similar texture to quinoa and can absorb flavor when cooked. To use zucchini as a quinoa substitute, cook it in the same way you would cook quinoa.

Zucchini can be enjoyed in salads, stir-fries, soups, and more. Give it a try the next time you’re looking for healthy and delicious substitutes for quinoa.

9. Couscous

If you desire quinoa but don’t have any on hand, don’t fret. There are plenty of other grains that make excellent substitutes for quinoa. Couscous is a great option because it has a similar texture and cooks quickly. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile and can be used in sweet or savory dishes. 

10. Eggplant

Move over quinoa. There’s a new grain in town! Well, eggplant isn’t technically a grain. They can be used in many recipes as delicious and healthy substitutes for quinoa.

Eggplant has a similar texture to quinoa and can absorb flavors well, making it the perfect ingredient to add to your favorite dishes.

Plus, eggplant contains nutrients like fiber and vitamins A and C. If you’re looking for a tasty way to switch up your routine, try using eggplant as a substitute for quinoa in one of these recipes.

11. Polenta

If you need quick and easy substitutes for quinoa, look no further than polenta. This cornmeal dish is just as versatile as quinoa and can be used in sweet or savory dishes. Plus, it’s a great source of complex carbs and fiber. 

To make polenta, simmer cornmeal in water or broth until it thickens. Then, add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

12. Lentils

Red, green, black, brown, yellow, French, and beluga lentils make great quinoa substitutes. They cook up similarly (red lentils will be the quickest, while black and beluga will take the longest) and can be used in all the same dishes. 

You’ll find the most significant difference in taste and texture – lentils are earthier and more robust than delicate quinoa. So if you’re looking for something with a little more heft, go with lentils.

13. Teff

Teff is an excellent grain to use as a quinoa substitute. It has a similar texture and taste but is also gluten-free and high in fiber. Plus, it’s a great source of iron and calcium. Teff is an excellent option if you’re looking for a healthy and delicious grain to add to your diet.

14. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are great substitutes for quinoa because they have a similar texture and can be used in various dishes. Plus, they’re packed with protein and fiber, making them a nutritious option. 

To substitute chickpeas for quinoa, simply cook them the same way you would cook quinoa. You can also add them to salads and soups or use them as a replacement for rice.

15. Kamut

Kamut is an ancient grain that is part of the wheat family. Its nutty and earthy flavor makes it a great substitute for quinoa.

It is also high in protein and fiber, making it a filling and satisfying option. Here are some tips for cooking with Kamut: 

  • Soak the Kamut in water overnight before cooking to soften the grains. 
  • Rinse the Kamut well before cooking to remove any dirt or debris. 
  • Cook the Kamut in boiling water for about 30 minutes or until tender. 
  • Add the Kamut to soups, stews, or casseroles for extra flavor and texture.

16. Grits

Grits are a southern staple made from ground corn. They can be served savory or sweet, making them versatile enough to be a quinoa substitute in most recipes. They cook up quickly and have a similar texture. This makes them perfect stand-in as substitutes for quinoa.

17. Sorghum

Sorghum is a delicious and healthy grain that can be used as a substitute for quinoa. It is high in fiber and protein and has a nutty flavor that goes well with many dishes. 

Sorghum is also gluten-free, making it an excellent option for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. To cook sorghum, rinse the grain and simmer in water or broth for about 45 minutes.

18. Farro

Farro is an ancient grain that’s nutty and chewy–a perfect stand-in for quinoa recipes. Plus, it’s packed with fiber and protein, making it a filling and satisfying option. 

To cook farro, simmer it in water or broth until tender. Then, use it in place of quinoa in salads, grain bowls, or even stuffing.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to reduce your carb intake, add more variety to your diet. Do you not have quinoa on hand? These substitutes for quinoa offer a delicious and nutritious alternative. Give them a try the next time you’re in the mood for something new!

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