Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge
5 from 2 votes

This maple vanilla quinoa porridge is easy to make, tasty, and so nutritious. I like it as an alternative to oatmeal because of its creamy, yet light and fluffy texture. Top the porridge with fresh fruit, chopped or sliced nuts, and some toasted coconut flakes for crunch.

An asymmetrical round bowl is resting on a white surface. It holds a warm breakfast cereal with raspberries, coconut, and walnuts.

Porridge. Doesn’t the word alone give you a cozy feeling?

Quite simply, porridge means a grain or starchy plant that’s cooked—either whole or in a crushed form—in warm milk or water.

The porridge that I eat most often is oatmeal. But I also love to create porridges with whole grains that aren’t oats. This maple vanilla quinoa porridge is one of my favorite recipes along those lines.

If you’re a gluten-free eater, or you’re just exploring more gluten-free breakfast options, this recipe may be for you.

When I first developed the porridge, I made it with maple cream. Maple cream is delicious, but it’s not easy to come by.

Nowadays, I make the recipe with good old maple syrup. The quinoa porridge still has a maple-sweetened flavor.

The other main flavor here is vanilla. Vanilla, maple, and cinnamon will fill your home as you cook the porridge, making you very excited for your breakfast.

How to make creamy quinoa porridge

Quinoa is usually grouped together with whole grains, like barley, rice, or farro.

In actuality, it is an edible seed, which works similarly to a grain for culinary purposes. This type of seed is called a psuedograin. Other pseudograins include millet, buckwheat, wild rice, and amaranth.

For years, I’ve cooked plain quinoa the same way. I rinse it through a fine-mesh sieve, allow it to drain, then add it to a pot with water.

Some quinoa cooking instructions call for 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. I’ve found that a 1.75 : 1 ratio is actually better. It results in fluffy, light quinoa, whereas the 2 : 1 ratio can result in quinoa that’s a little mushy.

Most of the time, then, 1 use 1 3/4 cups water and 1 cup of rinsed quinoa.

I bring the quinoa and water to a boil, cover it, and cook the quinoa for 13-15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. After that, I uncover the pot, fluff the quinoa, re-cover, and let it steam for 5 minutes before using or storing.

So, what’s the difference between this type of quinoa preparation and the process of making quinoa porridge?

For this porridge, the aim isn’t light, fluffy, defined grains of quinoa. It’s something creamy, like cooked oatmeal or cream of wheat.

Therefore, I use a full 2 cups liquid for 1 cup of quinoa. Instead of cooking the quinoa, fluffing it, and steaming it, I bring it to a simmer, then cook it with some periodic stirring. This is the same way I cook my morning oatmeal.

An close-up, overhead image of a warm, whole grain breakfast of quinoa porridge. It's topped with fresh fruit and chopped nuts, as well as coconut flakes.

Health benefits of quinoa

Here’s another reason to try quinoa porridge instead of traditional oatmeal for breakfast: like oatmeal, it’s incredibly rich in good nutrition.

First and foremost, quinoa is a source of complete protein. With six or seven grams of protein per serving, it’s higher in protein than rice and comparable to oatmeal as a protein source.

You can combine quinoa with other vegan protein sources, too. For this quinoa porridge, you can use soy milk as your non-dairy milk of choice to increase the protein in each serving of the recipe.

Quinoa is also rich in dietary fiber, which means that it can contribute positively to your digestive well-being. Dietary fiber is associated with maintenance of healthy blood lipids and, therefore, a reduced risk of atherosclerosis.

What else? So much else! Quinoa provides zinc, which is positively associated with immune function, folate, and magnesium.

Moreover, quinoa is an iron-rich vegan food. One cup of cooked quinoa contains about 2.8 milligrams of iron. This is 16% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iron for premenopausal women and an impressive 35% of the RDA of iron for men of all ages.

By having quinoa for breakfast in the form of this delicious bowl of porridge, you’ll be supplying your body with solid nutrition to fuel your day.

If you’re on a quinoa kick, check out these other nutritious vegan quinoa recipes from my blog.

What color quinoa should I use?

Quinoa can have different colors. The quinoa that’s sold most commonly in the United States is white, but red and black quinoa are often available in American grocery stores, too.

Any one of those types of quinoa will work for this recipe. You see white quinoa in the images, as that’s usually the cheapest and easiest for me to find. But I like using red quinoa sometimes, too.

Choosing the right plant milk for quinoa porridge

In order to make the quinoa porridge, quinoa is cooked in non-dairy (plant) milk.

I like to use soy milk for the recipe, as I believe it’s the most nutritious option. Soy milk has a healthful fatty acid profile, and it’s a great source of plant protein.

Moreover, the isoflavones—a type of micronutrient—found in soy foods have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

If you have a soy allergy, you can try using almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, or oat milk in the recipe as well.

If you’d like to maximize the nutrition of this porridge, try using a fortified non-dairy milk, which will contain both Vitamin D and calcium.

The Vegan Week

Embrace the joy of eating homemade food every day with the hearty and wholesome recipes in The Vegan Week.

Whether you have three, two, or even just one hour of time to spare, The Vegan Week will show you how to batch cook varied, colorful, and comforting dishes over the weekend.

Meal prep and storage

Do you love vegan meal prep breakfasts as much as I do?

Well, great. Because the quinoa porridge is an excellent candidate for make-ahead morning meals.

Once you prepare the porridge, you can store it in an airtight container for up to four days.

To reheat the porridge, you have two options. You can place it in a microwave-safe dish, cover it, and microwave it for 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.

You can also transfer one or a few portions of the quinoa porridge to a small sauce pot, add a splash of your non-dairy milk of choice, and cook over low heat, stirring, until the porridge is warmed through.

A round bowl is resting on a white surface. It's filled with maple vanilla quinoa porridge, raspberries, and chopped nuts.

Optional quinoa porridge toppings

The quinoa porridge will have even more nutrition, color, and flavor if you add some lovely nut and fruit toppings.


Many variations are possible here. When I first made this porridge, I used thinly sliced fresh figs as the fruit for the recipe.

Over time, I’ve made the porridge with many different types of fresh fruit. Usually, raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries are my go-to.

However, chopped fresh apple or pear can be especially nice in the autumn months.

If you don’t have fresh fruit, you can try adding raisins, chopped dates, chopped, dried figs, or chopped, dried apricots to the porridge.


So long as you don’t have an allergy to work around, you can add any chopped or sliced tree nut or seed that you like to the porridge. I’ve used:

  • Chopped pistachio kernels
  • Chopped, toasted walnuts
  • Sliced almonds
  • Slivered almonds
  • Chopped cashews
  • Chopped macadamia nuts
  • Chopped, toasted pecans
  • Hemp hearts
  • Pepitas
  • Chia seeds
  • Toasted coconut flakes

All of these options are a nice addition of crunch and healthful fat.

In particular, I like to combine some chopped nuts and some toasted coconut flakes, which is the preference that you’ll see reflected in the recipe.

Speaking of, here’s how to make warm, delightful maple vanilla quinoa porridge for your next whole grain vegan breakfast.

An asymmetrical round bowl is resting on a white surface. It holds a warm breakfast cereal with raspberries, coconut, and walnuts.
5 from 2 votes

Maple Vanilla Quinoa Porridge

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed (180g)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk (360ml; substitute oat, almond, or cashew milk if desired)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups raspberries, blueberries, or chopped fresh fruit of choice
  • 1/2 cup chopped or sliced nuts (60g; such as chopped walnuts or sliced or slivered almonds)
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes (10g; optional)


  • Place the rinsed quinoa, milk, water, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup in a medium sized pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often, or until the quinoa has a creamy consistency and has absorbed the cooking liquid. The mixture should be creamy, not gluey. If it's overly thick, burning, or difficult to stir, add an extra 1/4-1/2 cup water and continue stirring and cooking.
  • Transfer the quinoa into four serving bowls. Top each with a half cup of fruit, two tablespoons chopped nuts, and a tablespoon of toasted coconut flakes, if using. Serve.
  • Alternatively, for meal prep, you can divide the porridge into four storage containers. The porridge will keep for up to four days in airtight containers in the fridge. Reheat for 2-3 minutes, covered, in the microwave, then top with toppings of choice.


An overhead image of a quinoa porridge, which has been topped with raspberries, nuts, and coconut flakes.

One of the things that I love about the quinoa porridge is that it feels like porridge for all seasons.

I love oatmeal, whether it’s sweet or savory oats. But, with its dense texture, oatmeal can sometimes feel a little wintery to me.

The texture of quinoa remains somewhat light and fluffy through cooking. Therefore, the porridge recipe is both hearty and light, which is a lovely combination for spring or summer.

I hope you’ll enjoy the recipe through any and every season!


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Categories: Recipes, Breakfast
Method: Stovetop
Ingredients: Quinoa
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, No Oil, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: 30 Minute or Less, Quick & Easy

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Recipe Rating

  1. These maple products sound amazing, & fall is the perfect season for them. Of course, I love maple syrup on pancakes. I also have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses maple syrup for the sweetener & is fabulous!

  2. I love making maple mate lattes. Almond milk, brewed mate tea, and maple syrup. A decadent treat 🙂

  3. I love maple syrup in so many things, I can’t choose a favorite! Possibly my favorite indulgence is to drink a small glass of it. The maple cream sounds AMAZING!

  4. Maple syrup is usually my go-to sweetener. I love some basic vegan peanut butter cookies sweetened with maple syrup.

  5. Def oatmeal! I looove oatmeal for breakfast and maple syrup is one of my favorite toppings 🙂

  6. I love maple syrup, and use it in a wide variety of dishes. Something I made fairly recently was the Spicy PDX Bowl of Goodness from Vegan Noms. Yum!

  7. As a Canadian, maple syrup has a special place in my heart. To be honest though, I haven’t even ever heard of maple cream. But I want to try it!!! It sounds amazing. It would be especially good in this breakfast porridge =)

  8. I love using maple syrup in homemade granola. Also, my son and I tried your quinoa bowl and absolutely loved it!! I had never tried quinoa as a breakfast base but it is delicious and so versatile! Will be making often! Thank you!!

  9. Maple syrup is my sweetener of choice in just about everything! I use it a lot in a quick fruit compote.

  10. Hi Gena, Although I’ve never tried anything maple I will give this a shot because it looks so good in your pictures!

  11. I’m an oatmeal-every-morning girl. Time to switch it up! This looks delicious! I love using maple syrup to make homemade granola.

  12. This porridge makes me want fall to arrive so badly. I’m ready for cooler weather so I can snuggle up on the sofa or my bed with a big bowl of porridge! Also, Gena, I was listening to the latest episode of the Food52 podcast and there you were! What’s funny is I was making cashew cheese just as you were talking about it, hehe- I just can’t get enough of cashews!

  13. I love maple syrup as a sweetener in just about anything! My favorite use is as a topper, because I think the flavor shines through the most there.

  14. I have made so many batches of Dreena Burton’s Maple Banana Muffins that it’s a little ridiculous. Definitely one of my favorite uses for maple syrup.

  15. Where to begin?! Maple syrup mixed with peanut butter, vanilla, and salt….maple syrup on oatmeal, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or butternut squash….maple syrup, eggs, and smoked sea salt (sorry vegans, but it’s delicious!)….somebody stop me!

  16. I adore all things maple, and my family is similarly addicted. We always have some on hand, because quite frankly, waffles aren’t worth eating without it. My favorite recipe is a maple-pecan pie, which I’m hoping to bust out again for the holiday season.

  17. Definitely giving this a try! I just found fresh figs in my Trader Joe’s for the first time this year and adore them. Of course, I also love maple and am so lucky to have family who makes maple syrup (sugaring) .

  18. Maple is just the best! You can’t be a good New Englander and not love maple syrup 🙂 When we go up to our farm in New Hampshire, we love stocking up on maple products made by local producers. However I’ll always be partial to my home state of Connecticut’s maple syrup 😉

  19. I love using maple syrup in cornbread or granola! You really can’t beat it on top of oats though.

  20. sounds fantastic and figgy and nutrient dense, seriously soulful breakfast eats for the coming fall season, and who doesn’t love maple syrup, plus it has a notably high mineral content and quite low glycemic!

  21. Wow, this recipe is mouth watering :D! I have been eating fresh figs a lot lately, they are so delicious.
    That maple cream sounds so amazing…yum. I imagine it’s great in an oatmeal or porridge. Looking forward to trying it

  22. Wow, Gena–this bowl has so MANY of my favorite things in it. And LOVE fresh figs. I am eating them all the time. I had, quite possibly, the best fresh fig I’ve ever had in my life the other day when I bought a brown turkey fig at the Alberta Cooperative Grocery. I love black mission figs, too, and all around my new neighborhood are green figs that taste like light honey when they are ripe. Of course I love quinoa–cook it with millet and eat it for breakfast almost every day. And I love maple syrup when I use a sweetener–easiest one for me to digest and handle in general. I’ve never heard of maple cream–it would be fun to try it. Thanks for the great recipe! xoxo

  23. Thank you for reminding me how much I love quinoa for breakfast! I’m an oats girl through and through but it can be nice to switch things up and it’s been ages since I’ve had quinoa porridge. I bet it’s extra delicious with that maple cream!

  24. I’m a little bit obsessed with maple syrup – I always put it in my oatmeal, though I don’t know if that counts as a recipe. Probably my favorite that I’ve made is Naturally Ella’s Cherry Maple Crisp – so delicious!

  25. I love making a maple recipe on the first day of September every year to ring in Fall. Last year, I made maple cookies with maple frosting and used a moose cookie cutter!

  26. Tempeh bacon! Just made some this week. And Angela Liddon’s cookie dough glaze for oatmeal!

  27. I use maple syrup in everything, so I’m not sure I have a favorite maple-filled recipe. I first discovered maple cream, however, upstate. My husband’s parents had some local maple cream, and I spent our time up there putting it on everything I could. Cereal, toast, bagels, no carb was safe. So good!

  28. Woops- was referring to “you could pear it with a light green smoothie or additional fresh fruit!” Looks like I shouldn’t be editing at all!

  29. Wonderful freudian slip in “Try using chopped pear or apple, fresh citrus sections, berries, or sliced banana.” Made me smile!

    I love maple syrup on top of pancakes, cliche as it is- reminds me of childhood. And, of course, on top of oats.

  30. I’m a fan of maple syrup as a sweetener in a super simple apple crisp-I toss a sliced apple in a baking dish, throw a handful of oats and sliced almonds on top, drizzle with some coconut oil and maple syrup, and bake until it smells good and I run out of patience 🙂

  31. I use so much maple syrup! My mom gifts my husband and me a gallon every year at Christmas, and we usually run out before the following year! Eek haha. I’m not sure I have a favorite recipe but my most-used is maple candied pecans. Just coconut oil, maple syrup, and sometimes a little salt and/or cinnamon. Amazing on everything from salads to ice cream!

  32. I love maple syrup!! I eat a more raw based diet so I will try this maple cream on my favorite Chia porridge. Thank you for sharing!!

  33. I’m so bad – I don’t have a favorite recipe with maple syrup. I mainly love to just eat (drink?) it by the spoonful!

  34. I mean I love ANYTHING with maple syrup (I could drink the stuff) but I have a soft spot for sweet potatoes with cinnamon and a drizzle of maple. Simple and satisfying for breakfast for lunch or dessert or whenever.

  35. This porridge sounds sooo good! I can’t wait to try this. And the maple cream looks so delicious!

  36. I love making maple pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Even my nonvegan family loves it!

  37. That sounds amazing! I must try some!
    And quinoa porridge and figs….that’s just one happy morning bowl! So beautiful! xoxo
    Gotta say though, nothing will beat goo old maple syrup poured over some lovely weekend pancakes!