Easy Coconut Quinoa

This coconut quinoa pairs nicely with any Asian-inspired dish. It comes together in 30 minutes and is packed with coconut flavor!

Creating This Coconut Quinoa Recipe

When we made our 15 things in 2015 list, Logan added try new foods. One of his “new foods” being couscous. The night he asked me to make it I actually didn’t have any, but I figured quinoa was close enough. Who was I to deny him an opportunity to willingly try something new?

I made a basic quinoa without much added, just some salt and olive oil. And for some reason that is still a mystery to me, both kids liked it. Specifically, Logan said “quinoa is way better than rice, which tastes like nothing.”

Ok then. I guess we will be eating a lot of quinoa this next year.

The problem is I don’t super love quinoa plain on its own. I like it in these Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers, or Shredded Beef, Black Bean and Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos or Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Stuffing.

But on its own? Cooked only in water? And with nothing else added? I’ll pass.

That first night I had actually made a crockpot cajun sausage dish that I served on top of my quinoa. The kids kept their’s separated. The kids have a harder time with multiple textures all mixed together.

I was trying to figure out how to serve up quinoa with some extra flavor to it, but without chopped up veggies or things like that, to go with an Asian-inspired recipe for an Orange Baked Chicken recipe I was experimenting with. 

Normally I would have probably served coconut rice alongside the chicken, so I thought it was feasible to try that with quinoa instead. This is what I came up with for a Coconut Quinoa that has a more flavor than plain quinoa, tastes good on its own, and doesn’t have a bunch of other stuff mixed in it.  

Coconut Quinoa Ingredients

For this coconut milk quinoa recipe, you’ll need:

  • Coconut oil
  • Quinoa
  • Water
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Is Quinoa Gluten-Free?

Yes, quinoa is naturally gluten-free. However, cross-contamination can occur so you should still look for certified gluten-free quinoa if you have an intolerance.

Easy Coconut Quinoa Recipe

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How to Prepare Quinoa

To make this coconut quinoa, you first need to toast the quinoa in melted coconut oil for about 5 minutes. Then, add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, turn the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it rest for another 15 minutes (this helps it become nice and fluffy).

Do I Have to Use Coconut Oil?

If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, you can use a neutral-flavored oil in its place. Coconut oil adds a subtle sweetness to the dish, but your coconut quinoa will still taste good without it.

How to Store Quinoa

Let the coconut milk quinoa cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for a few days and is easily reheated in a saucepan with a little extra water to prevent it from drying out. Coconut quinoa is also delicious cold atop salads.

Tips for Making Coconut Quinoa

When making the quinoa, be sure to thoroughly rinse it before adding it to the saucepan. If you don’t rinse the quinoa, it tends to taste quite bitter.

I highly recommend garnishing this coconut milk quinoa with sliced green onions or chopped cilantro. It makes for a great base to serve with Asian-inspired recipes as an alternative to rice.

For an extra boost of coconut, you can try using toasted coconut. Don’t know how to toast coconut? Check out this post on how to toast coconut flakes 3 ways (they’re all super easy!), how to store toasted coconut, how long toasted coconut lasts, and the many different ways you can use this fun, tasty ingredient!

More Quinoa Dishes:

This Chicken, Beet, and Arugula Quinoa Bowl is topped with a homemade sherry molasses vinaigrette. This is a protein-packed meal that will keep you full!

I love making these Rainbow Quinoa Bowls with winter produce like pomegranate seeds, delicata squash, and Brussels sprouts. This recipe is so easy to make, but so hearty.

Tired of the same boring salads you’ve been making for months? Shake things up with this Winter Spinach Chicken Salad Quinoa Bowl. It’s a filling salad that you won’t get tired of!

These Black Bean Quinoa Burgers are packed with Latin flavors. They’re a great alternative to regular hamburgers and can be frozen for later.

Looking for another unique quinoa recipe? Make this Roasted Poblano Cilantro Quinoa. It’s a great side for any Mexican-inspired meal.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy quinoa?

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Coconut Quinoa

Coconut Quinoa

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This coconut quinoa pairs nicely with any Asian-inspired dish. It comes together in 30 minutes and is packed with coconut flavor!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained according to package instructions
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Instructions

    1. Melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. Add the quinoa to the saucepan and cook, stirring often, until the quinoa is golden, about 5 minutes.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low. Simmer on low for 15 minutes.
    3. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off but leave the lid on and let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Notes

Garnish with sliced green onions or chopped cilantro. This is a great base to serve with Asian inspired recipes as an alternative to rice.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 219 Total Fat 18g Saturated Fat 15g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 279mg Carbohydrates 13g Fiber 1g Sugar 1g Protein 3g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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