All About Quinoa

3/3/2020 | Lauren Baker, RDN, LD

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is considered a gluten-free whole grain, but originates as a seed. Historically, quinoa was grown in Andean region of South America.

How can I use Quinoa?

Quinoa can be used just like rice! Try quinoa as a side dish or sprinkle it over salads or into soups. Replace rice in stuffed peppers or burrito bowls with quinoa for a higher fiber and protein boost. Quinoa can be used as a breakfast cereal in place of oatmeal or baked into muffins. Try quinoa, black bean, sweet potato chili as a meatless Monday meal.

What are the nutrition benefits of quinoa?

Quinoa is rich in plant-based protein and fiber. Quinoa is considered a complete protein since it contains all nine amino acids. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 satisfying grams of protein and 5 grams of filling fiber. Quinoa is also high in several minerals including manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc!

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Quinoa Chili Recipe

(Adapted from Kristen Chidsey at


  • 1Tb olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large sweet potato cubed
  • 2 cans rinsed and drained black beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups stock
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1.5 Tb chili seasoning mix  


  1. Once oil is heated in a large pot, sauté the diced onion and minced garlic until cooked, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring chili to a boil.
  3. Turn heat down to let chili simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.
  4. Serve and top with your favorite chili toppings!

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