Quinoa Substitute – The Ultimate List Alternatives For Quinoa Lovers!

Quinoa has been famously named one of the best super grains you can find for a healthy eating habit. If you are familiar with a clean diet, quinoa must be regularly found in vegetable dishes or even dining meals.

Other than quinoa, there are other kinds of super seeds that greatly impact people’s health as well, and they can be the choices to think of when you run out of quinoa. 

Let’s see the quinoa substitute available in this article to have a diversifiable eating routine!

What Is Quinoa?

Since many people do not have a clear vision of quinoa, let’s quickly look at what quinoa is. Originally coming from tropical South American, Quinoa is a rice-like seed with a nutty, earthy flavor. When cooked, quinoa will develop into a chewy texture like rice or barley. 

Among all kinds of nuts, quinoa has the most protein, which makes the seed the number one contender in the healthy nutrition ranking. Moreover, quinoa contains a lot of fiber, like in fruits and vegetables with low GI. These reasons make quinoa favorable for healthy eating since it’s probably the best choice among healthy seeds. Due to all the great characteristics quinoa carries, sometimes it isn’t easy to purchase quinoa because of its high price and unavailability. 

That’s why although quinoa is such a great choice, we need to find a quinoa substitute to get an equal amount of nutrition and flavor. 

7 Ingredients Used As A Quinoa Substitute

quinoa substitute

# Grained Quinoa Substitute 

Let’s go through some grained quinoa substitutes

1. Teff

If you haven’t known teff before, you can imagine it as quinoa’s twin. With the same nutty, earthy flavor and diversifiable characteristics to go with sweet and savory dishes, teff is truly one of the best quinoa alternatives. Teff is gluten-free, rich in vitamin C seeds used mainly in Ethiopian cooking, such as Greek traditional dishes or spongy injera bread including cumin, etc. 

All the mentioned characteristics make these grains similar to quinoa, and they can go well with both desserts as cereal or savory dishes like stew, as long as you connect it well into your dishes’ flavor. 

2. Kamut

Kamut’s flavor is the same as brown basmati rice with less fiber, more protein, and more fatty acids in nutrition, which will energize you more than any healthy seed. 

The name of Kamut comes from a Khorasan, but unlike its originality, which is full of fat, Kamut is fat-free but high in protein, making it a great substitution for quinoa when we compare kamut vs quinoa

Moreover, Kamut keeps its shape nicely when cooked under hot temperatures, so it is a nice approach to high-end yet healthy dishes. With a little bit of flavor adjustment, Kamut can be present in both sweet treats and savories. 

It pairs well with salad and Mexican cuisine as well if you give it a try. 

3. Millet

Millet is another gluten-free quinoa alternative, making its healthy content suitable for millet vs quinoa. There are many kinds of millet, but pearl millet is frequently used because it is easy to find and easy to cook. 

Unlike quinoa, cooked millet is more fluffy and creamy as this seed is water-favorable, so the more water you cook it with or, the longer you cook it, the seeds become richer in water, giving you a smashed puree. 

With high magnesium minerals, millet is a full package of beneficial minerals proven to be heart-and-mind-healthy. You can completely use millets to replace quinoa – these grains like quinoa bring the same nutritional facts and tasty flavor. 

4. Fonio

Fonio may be distant to you at first, but let’s recognize it as the oldest grain in Africa with the most nutritional value compared to fonio vs quinoa. It can be found in many high-end salads or included as ingredients in soup or cereal. 

With the same nutty aroma and pebble-like shape, fonio is like a combination between quinoa and couscous. Cooked fonio is delicious with many healthy nutritions as it is gluten-free, vegan, and loaded with vitamins and minerals.

# Cooked Quinoa Substitute

Another choice to substitute quinoa is a cooked quinoa substitute. Compared to grain quinoa replacement, cooked foods like quinoa are easier to find and handle, so these three alternatives below might be more accessible. Let’s see what they are!

5. Cooked Couscous

If you are a fan of Italian cuisine, couscous must be a rice type that is familiar to you. In case you ask, “Can you substitute couscous for quinoa?” – the answer is yes too! Couscous includes grains shaped like quinoa and taste like quinoa as well. 

Thanks to this similarity, couscous can be a quinoa rice substitute when you are craving a creamy rice dish for lunch or dinner. Its earthy taste goes well with fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat as long as you know how to combine them in one dish. 

For example, you can alter quinoa for cooked couscous with a bit of masa harina to create a delicious Mexican couscous recipe. One thing you should bear in mind to substitute quinoa for rice is that cooked couscous takes less time to cook than quinoa seeds themselves, so make sure to be cautious about the cooking time, or else the couscous will be overcooked. 

If you have had enough quinoa and want to have a slight change, cooked couscous is the option to choose. 

6. Cooked / Canned Chickpeas

Sometimes the numerous amounts of protein in quinoa can be a problem. If you want to cut down the protein amount you usually get from quinoa, try to take another substitute for quinoa, such as cooked chickpeas. Depending on your preference, you can choose to cook chickpeas freshly from home or purchase canned chickpeas from home. 

Compared to quinoa, chickpeas might not be as nutritious, but these peas still include a large amount of nutritional value that you can not find in any other kinds of nuts and seeds. 

Furthermore, chickpeas are easy to cook with, and they are the perfect partner in many dishes. They can be used as puree, garnishment, or even turned into a snack. 

If you want to digest a quick meal with equal nutrition compared to when eating quinoa, the healthy content of gluten-free, fiber-and-vitamin rich in chickpeas can serve you well. 

In case chickpeas are nowhere to be found, you can purchase its twins: ranch-style beans. Ranch-style beans are great to eat and serve as an alternative to quinoa too. 

7. Cooked Rice

We understand that you can get white rice at any time, but the true way to substitute rice for quinoa must lie in the hands of brown rice. Due to the similarity in color, flavor, and nutritional value, brown rice is an optimal option when you want to replace rice with quinoa

Compared to quinoa, brown rice performs an excellent role when combined with savory poultry and red meat. With low carb and few calories, brown rice is a cool yet tasty rice replacement quinoa. 

The only thing you should notice when substituting these two ingredients is the cooking time will be different. Brown rice takes a faster time to cook than quinoa, so you need to stay cautious to ensure your rice is not overcooked. 

The Final Word

And that’s everything we have about quinoa substitutes. Quinoa is such an interesting, healthy diet choice. Still, we hope that you can learn more about different substitutes for quinoa so that you can change your eating routine whenever you want while maintaining the nutritional value. 

Thank you for reading our article, and we will catch up with you soon!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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