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30 Quinoa Recipes for Weight Loss

Light quinoa-centric dishes to help you eat well every day.
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Quinoa may be a "health food," but that doesn't mean you will lose weight every time you use the grain. Yes, the grain is packed with protein and loaded with essential amino acids and fiber, but once you add less virtuous, calorie- and fat-laden ingredients to the mix, those quinoa recipes you found online may not be the best dish for trim-down success.

To help all you health-minded quinoa lovers out there, we've scoured the net. Whether you're looking for a new go-to healthy lunch or a virtuous take on your favorite "bad" food, you're sure to find something you'll love in this collection of quinoa recipes. And for more cooking tips, be sure to check out our list of 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.

Quinoa Pilaf

quinoa pilaf

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 230 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 320 mg sodium

This vegan-friendly recipe pairs salty, sweet, and tangy flavors, which play off each other so well you won't even notice you're eating a healthy dinner. Add some shrimp or chicken to it if you want to round out the meal with some extra protein.

Get our recipe for Quinoa Pilaf.

Mexican Quinoa and Chicken Salad

mexican quinoa and chicken salad on wooden cutting board with bowl of salsa
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 413 calories, 19 g fat (3 g saturated), 375 mg sodium, 9 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 21 g protein

This Mason jar salad only takes around 30 minutes to prepare, and you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days. In this case, the extra time will only make the dish even more flavorful as the lime juice, cilantro, and garlic soak into the chicken and quinoa. Think meal prep, but without the dried-out meat.

Get our recipe for Mexican Quinoa and Chicken Salad.

Healthy Quinoa Chicken Curry Bowls

quinoa chicken curry
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 315 calories, 8.9 g fat (1.7 g sat fat), 289.3 mg sodium, 7.9 g fiber, 8.4 g sugar, 23.7 g protein

Flavorful chicken thighs, warming spices, and a hefty dose of protein. This comforting dish can be made in your slow cooker. Don't have one? Don't fret: It comes together easily in one pot and the stove does almost all of the work.

Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Pickled Red Onions

quinoa burgers
Courtesy of Love and Olive Oil

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 470.8 calories, 20.8 g fat (6.5 g sat fat), 1006 mg sodium, 4.2 g fiber, 6.5 g sugar, 17.9 g protein

Tangy goat cheese and pickled red onions team up to take this unique veggie burger to the next level. Looking to go lighter on sodium? Give yourself a thinner layer of goat cheese, which can still add maximum flavor in minimal amounts.

Get the recipe from Love and Olive Oil.

Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad

kale quinoa salad with apples and walnuts in two white bowls
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 377 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated), 299 mg sodium, 17 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 13 g protein

Sure, you know that kale and quinoa are both great foods for you. But how can you add them to your diet in a new and exciting way? Enter this kale quinoa salad recipe, which is anything but ordinary.

Get our recipe for this Warm Kale-Quinoa Salad.

Mason Jar Quinoa Salad with Green Thai-Style Dressing

mason jar quinoa salad
Courtesy of Top with Cinnamon

Serves: 1
Nutrition: 505 calories, 22 g fat (10.4 g sat fat), 358.2 mg sodium, 10.6 g fiber, 14.37 g sugar, 12.6 g protein

Who says it has to be hard to pack yourself a gourmet lunch for the office? Meet the mason jar salad, a genius way to get complex flavor on the go. This one's sure to keep you full until dinnertime. Pack as much spinach as you can at the top and use a scant teaspoon of coconut oil to prepare the sweet potato.

Get the recipe from Top with Cinnamon.

Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

quinoa chicken nuggets
Courtesy of Creme de la Crumb

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 494.5 calories, 10.9 g fat (2.6 g sat fat), 733.3 mg sodium, 3.2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 72.1 g protein

Chicken nuggets get a double-dose of protein with a quinoa-based crust. You'll love the satiating effect, kids will just love that they're getting chicken nuggets. There will be no fighting at the dinner table tonight!

Get the recipe from Creme de la Crumb.

Quinoa Taco Bowl

quinoa taco salad

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 528.3 calories, 11.3 g fat (1.6 g sat fat), 197 mg sodium, 18.7 g fiber, 6.7 g sugar, 21.1 g protein

Ditch the unnecessary carbs. A couple of crispy tortillas on top of this flavor-packed bowl is all you'll need to get your fix. Everything else in this taco-inspired dish is fresh, healthy and—most importantly—filling.

Get the recipe from One Ingredient Chef.

Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

quinoa stuffed acorn squash
Courtesy of Love and Lemons

Serves: 8
Nutrition: 574 calories, 20.4 g fat (4.3 g sat fat), 125 mg sodium, 17.2 g fiber, 2.7 g sugar, 21.1 g protein

Plenty of protein and fiber in a presentation worthy of your fanciest dinner party. Enjoy an entire half of squash and say goodbye to late night snacking.

Get the recipe from Love & Lemons.

Garlic Butter Shrimp Quinoa

quinoa shrimp
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Serves: 8
Nutrition: 298 calories, 13.5 g fat (6.2 g sat fat), 621 mg sodium, 3.0 g fiber, 0.7 g sugar, 15.9 g protein

Need something indulgent that won't break the calorie bank? Look no further. Plenty of lean protein and fiber with the indulgent touch of garlic butter. Your friends will never know it's so low-cal.

Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Moroccan-Inspired Quinoa Pilaf and Salmon

quinoa pilaf salmon
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 310 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 780 mg sodium

The Moroccan pantry is one of the finest on the planet, overflowing with powerful spices, tantalizing condiments, and healthy whole grains. This sweet and savory combination of spices could be rubbed on chicken or pork, but it takes especially well to the (healthy) fattiness of salmon. Quinoa makes for a healthy, complex, textured, and filling pilaf. It might become your new favorite thing to pair with salmon!

Get our recipe for Moroccan-Inspired Quinoa Pilaf.

Roasted Red Pepper, Quinoa and White Bean Burgers

roasted red pepper quinoa burgers
Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 736 calories, 18.2 g fat (3.2 g sat fat), 642 mg sodium, 30.6 g fiber, 6.9 g sugar, 37.3 g protein

We calculated for an open-faced burger with classic toppings: bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Just because it's a veggie burger doesn't mean you can't enjoy a healthy dose of bacon, too.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup with Quinoa

cream of mushroom soup
Courtesy of One Ingredient Chef

Serves: 5
Nutrition: 409 calories, 12.5 g fat (2.1 g sat fat), 626 mg sodium, 6.6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 15.7 g protein

Creamy, comforting soup—without the cream. You'd never know if we didn't tell you. This indulgent but healthy soup is just as delicious and won't have any negative effect on your waistline. Just make sure to look for low-sodium stock.

Get the recipe from One Ingredient Chef.

Toasted Quinoa Cashew Butter Cups

cashew butter cups
Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

Serves: 12

Nutrition: 238 calories, 14.2 g fat (10.3 g saturated), 28 mg sodium, 24.5 g carbs, 1.6 g fiber, 18.2 g sugar, 3.5 g protein

Fat-blasting coconut oil, cortisol-moderating dark chocolate, and satiating cashew butter come together so flawlessly, you'll think you're committing a flat belly sin. Move over Reese's, you've been replaced.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

Five-Minute Parfait

quinoa parfait
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Serves: 1

Nutrition: 260 calories, 2.8 g fat (0 g saturated), 78 mg sodium, 49.8 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 15.7 g sugar, 9.8 g protein

Fire up your brain cells, protect your bones and soothe your gut in just five minutes when you whip up this yogurt parfait. What's more? According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, pomegranates contain ellagic acid, which might fend against cancer by suppressing estrogen production and preventing the growth of breast cancer cells.

Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Chicken Parm Quinoa Bake

chicken parm
Courtesy of Fit Foodie Finds

Serves: 6

Nutrition: 296 calories, 7.6 g fat (3.2 g saturated), 225 mg sodium, 25.7 g carbs, 3.6 g fiber, 3.6 g sugar, 30.6 g protein (calculated with all natural no salt added sauce)

Chicken Parm can be a waistline disaster. Breaded, fried, smothered in tomato sauce and oozing with cheese. Luckily for you, this dish is low in calories, fat, sodium and sugar, and boasting with satiating protein!

Get the recipe from Fit Foodie Crush.

Asparagus Feta Quinoa Salad

asparagus quinoa feta salad
Courtesy of The Creative Bite

Serves: 4-6

Nutrition: 338 calories, 23.4 g fat (6.7 g saturated), 522 mg sodium, 23.3 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 8.7 g protein (calculated with no salt added diced tomatoes)

Boost the nutrition and flavor of your feta with amino-acid-boasting quinoa and asparagus. The green contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants, and it's super low in calories.

Get the recipe from The Creative Bite.

Slow Cooker Chicken Quinoa Chili

quinoa chili
Courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything

Serves: 8

Nutrition: 364 calories, 6.4 g fat (1.9 g saturated), 431 mg sodium, 59.9 g carbs, 12 g fiber, 5.2 g sugar, 23.4 g protein

Thanks to the fibrous beans in this chicken chili, you'll be on your way to a slimmer stomach in just a few bites. And it's not just your typical fiber, but a form called "resistant starch," that as its name implies, resists digestion, keeping you fuller longer.

Get the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Quinoa Cakes with Lemon, Olives, and Parsley

quinoa cakes lemon
Courtesy of Love and Olive Oil

Serves: About 6

Nutrition: 200 calories, 8.3 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 343 mg sodium, 22.4 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber, 1.1 g sugar, 9.6 g protein

At just 200 calories a piece, these wholesome quinoa cakes are the perfect salad topper, appetizer or side dish to any protein. Looking to add more superfoods like quinoa to your meal plan? Check out these 50 Best Chia Seed Recipes on Instagram!

Get the recipe from Love and Olive Oil.

Savory Zucchini Quinoa Loaf

zucchini quinoa loaf
Courtesy of To Her Core

Serves: 5

Nutrition: 234 calories, 7.2 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 228 mg sodium, 36.7 g carbs, 10 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 9 g protein (calculated with 1 tsp of salt)

The green squash adds more than color to this loaf. It's packed with hunger-squashing fiber, contains more potassium than a banana (which can stop belly bloat) and is super low in calories!

Get the recipe from To Her Core.

Easy Quinoa Pizza Bowls

pizza quinoa bowls
Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

Serves: 6

Nutrition: 270 calories, 13.6 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 243 mg sodium, 23.7 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 3.7 g sugar, 14.4 g protein

Pepperoni pizza may not fit into your body goals, but this bowl version might. With just five ingredients, 270 calories and 14.4 grams of satiating protein, this is one slice that won't expand your waistline.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

Honey Lime Quinoa-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes
Courtesy of Cooking Classy

Serves: 8

Nutrition: 361 calories, 5 g fat (1.6 g saturated), 53 mg sodium, 66.2 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 8.5 g sugar, 15.1 g protein

This dish knocks out nearly 40 percent of daily fiber recommendations, thanks to the orange spud superfood. Not to mention this dish is boasting with magnesium, vitamin A, phosphorus, potassium, and B6. With sweet potato recipes like this one, who really needs a multivitamin?

Get the recipe from Cooking Classy.

Chocolate Quinoa Bananas

chocolate quinoa bananas
Courtesy of One Ingredient Chef

Serves: 8

Nutrition: 258 calories, 6.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 35 mg sodium, 45.7 g carbs, 5.4 g fiber, 10.2 g sugar, 7.2 g protein

Banish bloat, fuel your workout, boost your metabolism, fight cravings, and suppress your appetite with this seemingly-sinful meal.

Get the recipe from One Ingredient Chef.

Quinoa Chocolate Bark

quinoa chocolate bark
Courtesy of Well Plated

Serves: 8-10

Nutrition: 162 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated), 1 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 2 g protein

Do you usually bring some sort of treat to parties or family get-togethers?? With just two ingredients (which are both superfoods), it doesn't get much cleaner than this chocolate bark. Translation: You won't have to feel guilty about this one.

Get the recipe from Well Plated.

Light Cheeseburger Quinoa Skillet

cheeseburger quinoa skillet
Courtesy of The Creative Bite

Serves: 6

Nutrition: 315 calories, 9.6 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 234 mg sodium, 32.8 g carbs, 4.2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 24.3 g protein (calculated without salt)

We admit it: We're kinda burger obsessed, but we love that we can ditch the empty calorie bun and sub in quinoa instead. It's kind of like hamburger helper, only this version won't wreak havoc on your waistline. Just make sure to pick a grass-fed beef, which is naturally leaner than its counterparts.

Get the recipe from The Creative Bite.

Quinoa Vegetable Soup with Kale

quinoa vegetable soup with kale
Courtesy of Cookie + Kate

Serves: 4 to 6

Nutrition: 280 calories, 10.3 g fat (1.4 g saturated), 1019 mg sodium, 40.8 g carbs, 8.9 g fiber, 9.2 g sugar, 9 g protein

Prep it ahead, take it to work, freeze it . . . this soup is the jack of all trades. Beans and quinoa is a bone-warming combo for colder months, but light enough to be enjoyed in warmer weather, too.

Get the recipe from Cookie + Kate.

Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies

peanut butter quinoa cookies
Courtesy of The Baker Mama

Serves: 2 dozen

Nutrition: 188 calories, 7.6 g fat (1.4 g saturated), 71 mg sodium, 24.4 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9.5 g sugar, 7 g protein

Believe it or not, you can actually lower your risk of developing diabetes by eating these cookies! Along with being delicious, peanut butter has been accredited with everything from lowering death risk, healthier muscles and nerves, and weight loss. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, lower the risk of developing diabetes by almost 30 percent. Here's why: Peanut butter contains genistein, a compound that turns down obesity genes and reduces your body's ability to store fat.

Get the recipe from The Baker Mama.

Caribbean Salmon Quinoa Bowls

salmon quinoa bowls
Courtesy of Recipe Runner

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 475 calories, 4.7 g fat (<1 g saturated), 243 mg sodium, 85.3 g carbs, 15.5 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 25 g protein

By the time March rolls around, we all need a vacation. Transport your taste buds to the Caribbean with this salmon quinoa bowl. Wild salmon is rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that fights off metabolism-slowing inflammation and breast cancer prognosis. Not to mention, it's a great source of protein, a nutrient that increases post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent!

Get the recipe from Recipe Runner.

Quinoa Cauliflower Chowder

cauliflower chowder
Courtesy of Foodie Crush

Serves: 4

Nutrition: 228 calories, 8.7 g fat (4.4 g saturated), 477 mg sodium, 28.4 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 5.9 g sugar, 10 g protein

One bowl of chowder from Red Lobster contains 400 calories, 29 grams of fat and 1,290 milligrams of sodium. No, thanks! Whip up this instead and knockout 80 percent of daily vitamin C recommendations with just one serving!

Get the recipe from Foodie Crush.

Quinoa Apple Salad with Honey Lemon Mint Vinaigrette

quinoa apple salad
Courtesy of Savory Simple

Serves: 3-4

Nutrition: 433 calories, 12 g fat (1.5 g saturated). 9 mg sodium, 69 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 12.6 g sugar, 13.2 g protein

The Honey Lemon Mint Vinaigrette on this salad does more than add flavor; it helps you burn calories. In fact, in 2003, researchers tested the influence of 14 different herbs and spices on the activities of digestive enzymes pancreases and small intestines of rats. They found that mint was one of the spices that enhanced these activities, more effectively turning food into energy. Although you're not a rat, your digestive system functions similarly.

Get the recipe from Savory Simple.

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Dana Leigh Smith
Dana has written for Women's Health, Prevention, Reader's Digest, and countless other publications. Read more about Dana Leigh