apple nut quinoa

As much as I love my myriad of baked oatmeal recipes, I’ve wanted to shake things up a bit lately and try something other than oats for breakfast.

Enter quinoa. If you’ve never had quinoa (“keen-wah”) it’s a little seed that is packed with protein and fiber. It cooks up fast and is fun to eat because the little pellets have a great texture once cooked. Usually quinoa is seen in savory dishes, but it also works great in sweet recipes, like this breakfast Apple Nut Quinoa.

The juice in this recipe provides all of the sweetness that you need and really ups the flavor a notch (or ten). Use any juice blend that you’d like, but try to get one that is 100% juice and doesn’t contain any added sweeteners. I thought apple cranberry would have been nice, but the apple cherry that I used was much less expensive and happened to have no added sugar, so I went with that.

Hit up the bulk bins at your local grocery store or health food store for the best price on quinoa. It’s often over priced when sold in small packages (these are usually found near rice and beans).

It’s almost New Years and time for resolutions, so keep this one handy for when you get that sudden motivation to be “healthy”! ;)

Apple Nut Quinoa

Apple Nut Quinoa

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4.8 from 5 votes

Apple Nut Quinoa

Apple nut quinoa - a hearty vegan breakfast treat that is subtly sweet with crunchy walnuts.
Total Cost: $4.54 recipe / $1.15 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa ($1.36)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice ($0.34)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon ($0.03)
  • 1/16 tsp ground cloves (pinch) ($0.02)
  • 1 medium apple ($0.96)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts ($1.82)


  • Place the quinoa in a wire sieve and rinse thoroughly for 1-2 minutes with cool water. If you don’t have a wire mesh sieve, place the quinoa in a bowl, fill it with cool water and swish the quinoa around. Allow it to settle and then carefully pour out the water. Repeat 4-5 times. Rinsing quinoa well is essential to remove its natural coating, which can cause the quinoa to taste bitter.
  • Place the rinsed quinoa in a medium pot. Add the juice, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir briefly. Place a lid on top and bring the pot up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and allow it to rest, without removing the lid, for ten minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop the apple into small bite-sized pieces. Also roughly chop the walnuts.
  • After the quinoa has cooked and rested, remove the lid and fluff it with a fork. Add the apples and walnuts and stir them and then eat!


This quinoa can be refrigerated and then reheated in the microwave each morning for a quick fix! I like to top it with a little milk (dairy, soy, or almond – they’re all great).
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Apple Nut Quinoa

Step By Step Photos

dry quinoa
This is what quinoa looks like when it’s dry. Little white pellets. Careful, they like to static cling to plastic bags and tend to get ALL over the place when spilled…

rinse quinoa
Rinse the quinoa really, really well… and then rinse it some more. The easiest way is with a wire mesh sieve because they are so small that they’ll fall through a colander. But, you can just do it carefully in a bowl if you don’t have one.

This is the juice that I used. It’s totally yummy and has no added sugar, just blended juices. You can use plain apple or apple/cranberry or just be creative!

ready to cook
Put the rinsed quinoa in a pot and add the juice, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. I filled my 1/8 tsp measuring spoon half way for the cloves, so about 1/16 tsp. Give it a quick stir to make sure it’s combined. Put a lid on top and bring the pot up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn it down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for an additional ten minutes without removing the lid.

chop walnuts
Meanwhile, roughly chop up the walnuts…

chop apple
And chop the apple into small pieces.

fluffed quinoa
After the quinoa has cooked and then sat for 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff it up with a fork.

apples walnuts
Add the apples and walnuts…

Stir to combine and you’re done! How easy is that!

Apple Nut Quinoa