Quinoa Muffins- Protein Filled Breakfast Fuel

Quinoa Muffins

I surf the web sometimes, cruising ingredients that interest me. Sometimes I find things that I didn’t even know would interest me. Things like quinoa muffins. I’m here to tell you that generally muffins do not interest me. Which isn’t to say I don’t like muffins. It just means that I don’t generally find muffins suitable to my blog. After all, what’s so newsworthy about a muffin? So the whole idea of quinoa muffins never once entered into my thought process.

But think about it. Quinoa is a grain (well actually a seed). A very tasty and (evidently) very versatile grain (seed). What’s not to like about quinoa? It has a delicate texture, nutty flavor and a high protein content.

Nutty flavors that are high in protein are a perfect way to start the day with your metabolism in full gear. But quinoa is not a grain I’ve ever associated with breakfast. Surely proper quinoa time starts at lunch. A quinoa salad is a perfectly sensible, perfectly healthful, perfectly tasty lunchtime option. As the day progresses options for quinoa just become more and more appropriate. Culminating in a whole plethora of quinoa possibilities by dinnertime.

But a quinoa muffin for breakfast? Certainly that’s just trying to fit a round quinoa into a square muffin hole, isn’t it?

Nope. Quinoa Muffins are delicious. Quinoa muffins are even blog worthy.

Quinoa Muffins

When it comes to quinoa muffins there are two ways to go. You can grind the whole grains into flour and substitute it 1:1 for wheat flour in pretty much any of your favorite muffin recipes. It’s a bit tedious but it makes a satisfying quinoa muffin that is gluten-free and a great source of protein. However, in my opinion you are sacrificing the very best trait of quinoa– its delicate texture. I love the texture of quinoa. It’s got a subtle bite and an addicting little pop when you crunch on it as a whole grain.

So my recipe features whole cooked quinoa. These muffins may not be gluten-free, but they’re moist and flavorful and they’ve got that little pop that starts the day off with a bang. GREG

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The quinoa grains photograph appears courtesy of an editorial  partnership I have with Shutterstock.

Quinoa-Carrot Muffins

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 12Published

It’s very important that the quinoa be properly cooked. The grains of quinoa should be tender but separate, rather than mushy and clumped together.

Quinoa-Carrot Muffins


  • 2 cup cooked quinoa (prepared according to pakage instructions)
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 1 cup coarsely grated carrots
  • ¼ cup canola oil (or other mild flavored oil)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup carrot juice
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Meanwhile, line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with parchment paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, walnuts, and cooked quinoa.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together grated carrots, oil, milk, carrot juice, egg, and vanilla. Add half of milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Repeat with remaining milk mixture. 

Using a 1 ½‑inch ice cream scoop drop two leveled scoops into each liner. It should fill the liner just about to the very top.

Bake in the heated oven, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool about 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and place on the rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature.