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This crispy quinoa granola is a grain free granola that’s delightfully crunchy and sweet, and packed with nutritional punch.

Crispy Quinoa Granola
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Just a few days and I’ll be on a plane headed across the world to Laos for 30 very long (and lonely) hours of travel time on my own. How to eat when travelling is in the top of my mind, and I’ve been pondering snacks that can satisfy. Luckily, a perfect idea is just in front of my nose: this crispy quinoa granola we made this weekend.

Making crispy quinoa granola

This recipe was born of Alex’s idea of a crunchy garnish for our curried acorn squash soup. The interesting part is that instead of oats, this recipe uses uncooked quinoa! We were a bit wary of eating the quinoa raw, but being a seed and not a grain, it turned out perfect — delightfully crunchy, sweet, and packed with nutritional punch. It was quite filling, more so than a traditional granola, and a great protein-filled (and gluten-free) treat.

Related: DIY Instant Oatmeal | Healthy Granola |Instant Pot Apple Crisp with Granola

Crispy Quinoa Granola

This recipe is easy to put together and a great way to start to explore healthy snacking. Just don’t eat the whole jar in one sitting! Throw it on yogurt, eat it with milk, or just dry as a quick snack on the run.

PS There’s currently quite a bit of talk out there about ethical growing of quinoa. To us, it’s important to know that growers treat farmers, communities and the land with respect and ensure sustainable growing and business practices. We were glad to hear that the company that produced the quinoa we used, Alter Eco, is committed to doing so!

Crispy Quinoa Granola

Looking for healthy snack recipes?

Outside of this quinoa granola, here are a few more healthy snack recipes we love:

This recipe is…

This crispy quinoa granola recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

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Crispy Quinoa Granola


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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 ½ cups 1x

Description

This crispy quinoa granola is a grain free granola that’s delightfully crunchy and sweet, and packed with nutritional punch.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup dried golden raisins (or other dried fruit)
  • *Note: This recipe can easily be doubled and fit on one baking sheet.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Chop the almonds. In a medium bowl, combine chopped almonds, dry quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and kosher salt. Stir in the olive oil and honey to thoroughly combine. Spread onto a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring a few times during baking. Remove from the oven and add the golden raisins (or other dried fruit) and let cool 15 minutes. Break any large chunks into small pieces and store in an airtight container.

Notes

Adapted from the Little Yellow Kitchen

  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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45 Comments

  1. Annie Hammond says:

    Sounds good & different
    . Love healthy ideas. From young Senior citizen!

  2. Waxi says:

    Plz help me understand how you use this though it’s uncooked and no words about importance of soaking or extensive rinsing as quinoa upsets many people’s digestion…I believe due to lack of removing raw quinoa properties, is it starch related? can’t recall exactly. However this is just straight out of the pantry quinoa? Thx for feedback as am still learning. Gracias this looks yummy.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! We use it just straight out of the pantry — we have not had any issues with digestion.

  3. Carmari says:

    Hi. Would love to try. Can one add coconut flakes? Maybe some other nuts too? Cinnamon or chaj masala?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      All of those sound amazing and would taste great!

  4. Barbie says:

    Is this granola really fine like a ceral or clumpy? I am looking for more heartier pieces. If it isn’t do you have any suggestions on how I could make it clump more without taking away the nutritional value?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      It does come out clumpy in chunks! So you should be good!

  5. Robyn says:

    Good Morning! I just made this recipe and it is yummy! So excited to find a new way to use Quinoa! Thank you!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  6. Becs says:

    This does look lovely but I think you should be careful about using raw quinoa in your recipe. Much of the advice about eating raw quinoa online seems to suggest that it should only be eaten raw if it’s sprouted first. Just a thought.

    1. Alex says:

      Hi! The quinoa is roasted in the oven for this recipe!

  7. Purely Elizabeth says:

    Love the idea of only using quinoa instead of oatmeal. Also pumpkin seeds are a great addition, packed full of great vitamins!

  8. Lorrie Patterson says:

    This is excellent. I’ve now made several batches , giving away some as small gifts and everyone I’ve given it to has asked for the recipe. I tweaked it a tiny bit, adding flax seed and omitting the pumpkin seeds. Fantastic breakfast with my homemade plain yogurt.

    1. Alex says:

      Glad you are enjoying the recipe! Reminds me that I need to make it again :)

  9. Jessica says:

    This was so good! I used maple syrup instead of honey, chopped pecans instead of pumpkin, and cashews instead of almonds and it turned out great.

  10. Amy says:

    I seem to always have a hard time getting my quinoa granola to be crunchy? I used coconut oil, maple syrup and coconut sugar for sweetener. Any suggestions?
    Thanks

    1. Sonja says:

      Hmmm, I’m not quite sure! Maybe check your oven temperature, and try baking a little longer? We have only tried it with the quantities in the recipe of honey and olive oil, and it worked great. Let us know if you’re able to get it to work with the sweetener/oil that you used!

  11. Veronica says:

    I just made this yesterday and it turned out great! So crunchy and delicious and the combination of sweet and slightly salty is perfect in my opinion. I doubled the recipe and used dried apricots and about a tablespoon of chopped candied ginger rather than the golden raisins. The only change I might make next time is to bake it in a smaller walled baking dish because I found that it spread out quite a bit in the oven and the thin edges burned slightly, even with pretty frequent stirring. Then, I think I’ll just spread it on a baking dish afterwards to cool! Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe!

  12. Alicia says:

    Can’t wait to try it ! Quinoa has recently become a staple at my house & I’ve been wanting to find some new ways to use it , thanks !

  13. Cari says:

    I have a cereal type quinoa that looks like rolled oats. Wil that work just the same?

    1. Alex says:

      I would think so — just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

  14. Ellen says:

    Delicious! I doubled the recipe and substituted dried mango and pecans, replaced the olive oil with coconut oil, then added a little dried unsweetened coconut to the final product.

    1. Sonja says:

      Sounds perfect! Love these substitutions.

  15. Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa says:

    Stunning photos and what a delightful recipe. I love adding quinoa to granola. It’s brings a nice crunch, but also great flavor and makes the dish even more nutritious. Your ingredients are simple, which I think makes the perfect granola. Can’t wait to give this a try!

    I would love for you to share this recipe on this week’s Thank Goodness It’s Quinoa, the bi-weekly link party that celebrates all things quinoa. I know our readers will fall in love with this recipe just as I have!

    http://www.queenofquinoa.me/2013/03/thank-goodness-its-quinoa-tgiq-6/

    Happy Friday!

    Alyssa

    1. Sonja says:

      Thanks, Alyssa! We were excited to find a new use for quinoa. Thanks for your passion for this ingredient!

  16. Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen says:

    So glad you liked this!! It’s definitely something I plan to keep around for snackin’. I was also scared about the raw quinoa thing but I sure didn’t care once it was in my belly :)

    1. Sonja says:

      Thank you so much for the recipe and inspiration! I had been meaning to thank you personally for the lovely recipe. We loved this and can’t wait to make it again!

  17. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan says:

    I love that the quinoa is such an unexpected addition!

  18. Kristina says:

    this is SO good! I made my own version with other dried fruit and nuts, and LOVE how it turned out! thanks for sharing.

    1. Sonja says:

      Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it. We can’t wait to make it again either!

  19. Elissa says:

    I made this tonight and it rocks! I had no idea that quinoa was so good as granola!

    1. Sonja says:

      I know – we didn’t realize it could be used in granola either! We were excited to find a new use. Glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Meghan {For the Love of Dessert} says:

    In.ter.esting! I like this idea. A lot! Thanks for sharing :)

  21. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says:

    Hopping over from Erin’s blog — love this recipe! Quinoa is a staple in our household. So happy to see the versatility of this grain :)

  22. Jacqueline says:

    How exciting! I do love finding new uses for quinoa.

  23. Eileen says:

    Using quinoa in a granola sounds like a perfect idea–I love the idea of a mouthful of different kinds of crunch! :)

  24. Leah says:

    Mmmm, they serve something really similar to this at every hostel in Peru. I couldn’t get enough! The quinoa was a little more “puffed” but such a great texture and flavor. It’s usually stirred into some yogurt (not a thick Greek-style yogurt) with honey and any dried fruit you like.

  25. Shana says:

    Is the quinoa not bitter? Every time I used uncooked quinoa, the saponin makes it taste bitter. Oooh – I bet you could probably just rinse the quinoa first, then finish the recipe. Hmm…I think I’ll try it. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Sonja says:

      Hmm, I didn’t find it bitter, but maybe it’s just me! I would definitely think you could rinse it before making. Let us know if you try it out and how it works out! :)

  26. Beata says:

    This looks absolutely delicious!

  27. Brandie says:

    This looks delicious, and such FAB ingredients! I had also never thought to use quinoa whole. I just bought the tri-color, so I’m definitely going to give this a shot!

  28. Annie says:

    WHOA! This looks amazing, I have never thought of using quinoa in this way before, definitely gonna try this out – Thanks :)

  29. anna maria says:

    i love this idea and can’t wait to try it! I make granola pretty much every other week and am always splurging on special gluten-free oats – now I can switch it up with quinoa :) thanks for the great recipe!

  30. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This sounds like such a great recipe to wake up to, and perfect for your Healthy and Whole project!

  31. Sarah says:

    I love this! What a great, gluten-free alternative for breakfast or snacks! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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