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11 Protein-Rich Dinners for Quinoa Lovers

Quinoa just keeps on keeping on as a trendy whole grain. But it's popular for a reason. Tasty with a pleasing texture that pairs well with other foods, quinoa is also easy to prepare. Plus, and this is rare among plant foods, quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids the body requires.

With that in mind, we've gathered together 11 top-rated quinoa recipes that are complete meals. Most of these main dish recipes pair quinoa with an additional protein, including chicken, turkey, beef, and shrimp. But you'd be fine to leave out the meat or swap in veggie crumbles -- or just let the quinoa do the talking on its own.

1. Shrimp and Quinoa

This one-skillet meal combines shrimp and quinoa with mushrooms, asparagus, bell peppers, raisins, and ginger root. "A great way to eat quinoa," says Lori. "Fantastic. Easy and delicious, and so healthy! It's a good recipe to make on the weekend for upcoming lunches."


Shrimp and Quinoa

Photo by winointhekitchen

2. Quinoa Chicken

It's so easy! Combine ground chicken with Rotel diced green chiles and tomatoes, garlic, and onion. Try it with cubed chicken breast meat or veggie crumbles, too. "Easy peasy," says Colleen. "Great taste with such simple ingredients."


Quinoa Chicken

Photo by LilSnoo

3. One Skillet Mexican Quinoa

Black beans add extra protein here. But leftover grilled chicken or beef would be tasty additions. "With a large family, I love these one skillet dishes where, for at least 15 minutes, I can 'set it and forget it," says The Gruntled Gourmand. "And the kids love it!"


One Skillet Mexican Quinoa

Photo by The Gruntled Gourmet

4. Chicken with Quinoa and Veggies

Simply sauté strips of chicken in olive oil with a little garlic and onions, zucchini, broccoli, and tomatoes. Then top it off with flavorful feta cheese, fresh basil, and a splash of lime juice to brighten up flavors. "A quick recipe that can be adjusted to include whatever vegetables you have on hand," says kmo1070. Try it with shrimp, too!


5. Turkey and Quinoa Meatloaf

"This version of turkey meatloaf has a great texture and a surprisingly good flavor. The secret is the quinoa, which adds wonderful texture and is much nuttier than breadcrumbs." - Drew



6. Quinoa Jambalaya

"The simplicity of this recipe really makes it a keeper," says Tonya. "A super-simple, super-tasty meal in 30 minutes.


Quinoa Jambalaya

Photo by DIZ9829

7. Quinoa Pilaf with Shredded Chicken

"This was the BEST quinoa recipe I've tried so far," raves Kris. "Really tasty, and the picky men in my family actually liked it!"


1044837 Quinoa Pilaf with Shredded Chicken 169590 Occasional Cooker

Photo by Occasional Cooker

8. Quick Quinoa Chili

"This is a winner," says LilSnoo. "The recipe couldn't be easier, and it's ready fairly quickly. A great recipe that's providing me with some delicious and nutritious lunches all week!"


Quick Quinoa Chili

Photo by LilSnoo

9. Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

"Extremely delicious," says dubs. "There's room to experiment with spices and condiments, but in its basic form, it was superb." Enjoy garnished with fresh raw spinach, sliced tomato, and caramelized onions.


Quinoa Black Bean Burgers


10. Mini Frittatas with Quinoa

These savory bites of quinoa, eggs, ham, zucchini, and cheese are excellent hot or cold. You'll love them for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. "Delicious, super easy, and versatile," raves ccmariposa.



11. Quinoa Chili

A super delicious quinoa and ground beef chili with unique texture and sweet savory flavor with a hint of spice. "This dish is delicious, hearty, and healthy," says Sarah. "What more could you want?" Replace the beef with ground turkey or vegetarian protein if you like.

Want more quinoa? Explore our collection of Quinoa Recipes. And for more on preparing quinoa, check out How to Cook Quinoa: Plus Tips, Nutrition, And More.


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Carl Hanson

About Carl Hanson

Carl will eat that. Share with him @CarlNo9 on Twitter.