Updated: 
Photo by Brittany Bennett

7 Flawless Quinoa Bowls To Make For Dinner Tonight

We’re keen on quinoa

If it’s what’s on the inside that counts, consider quinoa your new favorite beauty product.

Like our beloved Beyoncé, quinoa is the ultimate powerhouse (at least, in the world of superfoods). According to Ancient Harvest, the grain is a “complete protein,” meaning it provides “all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health.” Without going full science class on you, your body can’t produce these nutrients without certain foods. So, adorning a helping of this nutritional grain with fresh produce will have you walking away from the dinner table feeling a little bit more like Bey.

In addition to accentuating your inner Queen, quinoa is the grain that keeps on giving. Investing in a box for your pantry will provide you with at least a week's worth of dinners for one. A quarter cup of uncooked quinoa makes ¾ cups of cooked grains making it the perfect base to pile ingredients onto. 

Now that you’re quinoa connoisseurs, go forth and cook. Relish in every bite knowing that your bank account remains as full as your stomach. Bow down to the bowls in the gallery, below.

Photo by Brittany Bennett

1) Cilantro Lime Shrimp Bowl

Perks of this bowl? Use leftover fruit in tomorrow morning’s oatmeal, or, hey, we’re not stopping you—for dessert.

Ingredients

¼ cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup water

¼ cup pineapple

¼ cup mango

1 tbsp olive oil

¼ lb fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined or ½ cup frozen cooked shrimp

salt and pepper, to taste

For cilantro-lime Sauce

1 cup cilantro

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup olive oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tsp honey

Directions

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the uncooked quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until the quinoa absorbs all of the water, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, dice the pineapple and mango, set aside. Store leftover fruit in a container and keep in the fridge.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. If using fresh shrimp, wash and place in skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until shrimp is pink throughout, about 4 to 5 minutes. If using frozen, cooked shrimp, follow thawing directions according to the manufacturer. 

To make the dressing, pour all ingredients into a food processor or blender, and blend until incorporated. Add more salt, pepper, or honey as needed.

Assemble the bowl and serve with dressing.

Photo by Brittany Bennett

2) Miso Vegetable Bowl

Pouring miso dressing over quinoa will eliminate any fears of a bland bite.

Ingredients

¼ cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup water

1 egg

3 tsp sesame oil

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ cup green onion, white and green parts, chopped and divided (about 4)

1 small head of bok choy

¼ cup edamame seeds, ready-to-eat

Sesame seeds

For the miso dressing

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp white miso

½ tsp soy sauce

½ tsp honey

¼ tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp fresh ginger

Directions

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the uncooked quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until the quinoa absorbs all of the water, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk together. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, cover an egg in 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and cover until the egg is hard-boiled, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic, white parts of the onion, and bok choy. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Assemble your bowl with the cooked quinoa, bok choy, peeled hard boiled egg, and edamame. Garnish with the greens of the onion and top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve with the miso dressing.

Photo by Brittany Bennett

3) Roasted Vegetable Bowl

You guys, roasted vegetables might actually be the best thing since sliced bread. For starters, there’s the lack of carbohydrates. But most importantly, these enhanced flavors make sweet potatoes taste like adult candy. Your parents will be so proud.

Ingredients

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets

½ red onion, coarsely chopped

½ yellow pepper, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

¼ cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup water

For the red pepper dressing

1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 clove of garlic, minced

¼ tsp salt

pepper, to taste

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400ºF.

In a small bowl combine the chopped vegetables. Toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the vegetables out. Roast for 25 minutes, or until fork tender.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the uncooked quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until the quinoa absorbs all of the water, about 15 to 20 minutes.

To make the dressing, combine the roasted red pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Blend until combined.

Assemble bowl and serve with dressing.

Photo by Brittany Bennett

4) Green Bowl

You can gather most of the ingredients at a local farmer’s market, where you’ll not only be supporting your local food system but giving your taste buds VIP treatment. There’s no need for dressing here, the sautéed and steamed vegetables take center stage. Not only does this bowl look as lush as a garden, it tastes like one too.

Ingredients

¼ cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup water

¾ cup broccoli (about 6 florets, halved)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup kale, stems removed and chopped

½ cup brussels sprouts, halved (about 4 heads)

1 clove garlic, minced

½ avocado

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the uncooked quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until the quinoa absorbs all of the water, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Bring an inch of water to a boil in a saucepan. In a steamer, add broccoli and cover. Steam for 5 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, you can cook the broccoli in the water or use a sieve.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Sautee the kale and brussels sprouts, seasoning with salt and pepper, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Assemble bowl, top with avocado, and season with salt and pepper.

Photo by Brittany Bennett

5) Blue Bowl

Cooking your quinoa in coconut milk will form a chia pudding-like consistency. Starting your day this way will make you a berry happy person.

Ingredients

¼ cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

Sliced almonds, to taste

Honey, to taste

For blueberry sauce

½ cup fresh blueberries

1 tbsp water

Directions

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the uncooked quinoa and coconut milk to a boil. Add the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir and reduce heat to a simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all of the coconut milk, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the blueberry sauce. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the blueberries in the water until blueberries burst, about 3 minutes. Stir constantly until juice has thickened, for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Assemble, and serve with blueberry sauce, fresh blueberries, almonds, and honey.

Photo by Brittany Bennett

6) Breakfast Sandwich Bowl

If you’re looking to take a break from breakfast rolls, you might want to consider quinoa as a substitute. Crack your egg yolk to dress the quinoa, and add your favorite sandwich condiment to complement the bowl's flavors. Tell your bodega you’ll BRB.

Ingredients

¼ cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup water

1 tbsp olive oil

1 egg

salt and pepper, to taste

2 slices of smoked salmon

½ avocado

sesame seeds, to taste

poppy seeds, to taste

Hot sauce (optional)

Directions

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the uncooked quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until the quinoa absorbs all of the water, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Crack an egg into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and fry until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny, about 2 minutes.

Assemble bowl with smoked salmon, avocado slices, and fried egg, and top with seeds. Serve with hot sauce.

Photo by Brittany Bennett

7) Greek Bowl

Oh my goddess, this is an upgrade. If you have the time, consider quickly pickling your red onions. It’ll add a burst of flavor to the bowl. To do so, marinate the red onion in ½ cup red wine vinegar and ½ cup water. Toss and cover for at least an hour.

Ingredients

1 small eggplant, diced

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

¼ cup uncooked quinoa

½ cup water

½ red onion, sliced into half moons

3 tbsp crumbled feta

5 kalamata olives, pitted

4 slices sun-dried tomato, coarsely chopped

For olive oil dressing:

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400ºF.

In a small bowl, toss diced eggplant with salt. Let stand for 20 minutes. Once the eggplant has sat, combine it with 1 tbsp olive oil.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread out the eggplant. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, turning slices over halfway through.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the uncooked quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until the quinoa absorbs all of the water, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Next, make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk together. Set aside.

Assemble, by combining all ingredients, and serve with the olive oil dressing.