Wondering how to make chocolate bark? This recipe features dried cherries and quinoa for a delicious sweet crunch.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Bark | How to make chocolate bark

This post is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute. All opinions are our own.

The holiday season has never naturally been my forte. Decorations are not my thing, nor is baking. It took me well into my adult years to get my own (artificial) Christmas tree, and some years we don’t even put it up! Usually we travel back to my home in Minnesota during the holidays, so I’m generally a consumer of that cozy holiday atmosphere, not a creator of it. 

As each year goes by, though, Alex and I are starting to find what feels natural to us: exchanging donations with my sister, doing no gifts at all with my best friends, opting for time together. Baking Christmas tree pizzas. And of course, making super simple holiday treats like this chocolate bark. Keep reading for how to make chocolate bark, and this healthy spin on chocolate bark ideas.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Bark | How to make chocolate bark

How to make chocolate bark

This dark chocolate bark is a holiday treat that feels just right in its simplicity. It’s so delicious and simple to make that it’s perfect as DIY holiday gifts or easy Christmas desserts. It’s also gluten-free and could be made vegan with vegan chocolate, making it a versatile treat for family and friends of various diets. The basic idea for how to make chocolate bark? Melt the chocolate, then pour it into a thin rectangle. Top with toppings, let it harden, and then break it into irregular shapes!

When it comes to toppings, we like chocolate bark ideas with a healthy spin. This combination is top-notch: Montmorency tart cherries, salty pumpkin seeds, and roasted quinoa for some added crunch. When something can combine both fantastic flavor and nutrients , it’s a favorite in our house. I know we’ll be making this chocolate bark for years to come. It’s also a fantastic homemade holiday gift! Let us know if you give it a try.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Bark | How to make chocolate bark | Chocolate bark ideas

About tart cherries

Over the coming months, we’re working with the Cherry Marketing Institute to create a few recipes with tart cherries. Montmorency tart cherries are mainly grown on small family orchards in the US and Canada, and are available year round dried, frozen, and as juice in grocery stores and online.

We love tart cherries for their flavor, but they’re also rich in nutrients, with health benefits ranging from inflammation and exercise recovery to sleep. They’re a great snack since they can fulfill that sweet craving — you can eat them plain right out of the container (our favorite!) or pair with nuts or seeds, which makes for a fantastic combo of fiber and protein. Check out more details about Montmorency tart cherries and their nutritional benefits here. They’re perfect for chocolate bark ideas!

How to make chocolate bark | Chocolate bark ideas

Aside from this chocolate bark, here are a few of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes:

This chocolate bark recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan, plant-based and dairy-free using vegan chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Bark | A Couple Cooks
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Chocolate Bark with Cherries

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


Wondering how to make chocolate bark? This recipe features dried cherries and quinoa for a delicious sweet crunch.


  • 3 tablespoons quinoa
  • ½ cup dried tart cherries
  • 12 ounces (2 cups) dark chocolate chips, vegan if desired
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


  1. Toast the quinoa over medium low heat in a dry pan for 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan often, until golden (some kernels will pop during the process). Remove from heat into a bowl to cool fully.
  2. Chop the dried cherries.
  3. Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Place chocolate in a heat-safe bowl (metal or glass). Once the water is simmering, turn off the heat and place the bowl of chocolate in the water, then stir until melted. (Alternatively, melt in a microwave for 30-second intervals until melted and smooth, stirring in between each interval with a spatula). When chocolate is fully melted, stir in 2 tablespoons quinoa, ¼ cup cherries, and ¼ cup pepitas.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the parchment paper in a 1/4-inch thick layer. Sprinkle over the top the remaining 1 tablespoon quinoa, ¼ cup cherries, and 2 tablespoons pepitas.
  5. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes until hardened. When hard, cut into irregular pieces with a knife. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Chocolate Bark, Healthy Desserts, Cherries, Chocolate, Quinoa, Quinoa Chocolate Bark

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. This Christmas I am also giving mostly homemade or experience gifts (like gift cards to yoga classes, hiking tours, etc.) I’m also planning to bake a bunch of treats instead and package them real pretty to put under the Christmas tree! Trying to be smart this year! This will go super well since my family is gluten and refined sugar free. Love that quinoa crunch!

  2. Oh my goodness this looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it.

    My quinoa seems to be fairly dirty. Should/can you still wash the quinoa before use, or will this mess up the “toasting”?

    For #3 in the directions, I think you are missing the word “second” for “30-second intervals”

    1. Virginia — good eye! Yes, 30-second intervals. (But I do love the thought of it taking exactly 30 intervals to melt chocolate – haha!)

      Regarding the quinoa washing — that is a great question! I have not tried washing prior to toasting since ours didn’t seem to need it. I found this instruction that looks like it’s possible to go straight from rinsing to toasting. Let us know if you try it out! (I may also give it a try.) http://www.food.com/recipe/how-to-properly-clean-and-toast-quinoa-421986

  3. I totally agree with hesitating to call foods healthy. Healthy seems like a joyless descriptor and a cop-out, both of which are actually seldom true. This looks like it’s actually healthy, and tastes vibrant.