Cold mornings call for a warm, hearty, flavorful breakfast. But sometimes oats can feel too heavy, waffles too time-intensive, and scrambled eggs just... boring. Sure, we can pop some bread in the toaster and call it a day, but there’s a better option.

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While quinoa is commonly served as a side dish or protein-packed salad topper, it's ideal for a.m. fare too. Suitable for both sweet and savory moods and easy to throw together in minutes, breakfast quinoa is pretty much the perfect weekday morning meal—even when it's not served oatmeal-style.

Sweet Bowls

Who doesn’t love eating chocolate for breakfast? We sure do, which is why we created this cocoa-infused recipe. Sweetened with honey, mashed banana, and vanilla extract, it tastes like a decadent dessert but makes for an awesome pre- or post-workout snack or easy breakfast. For a little crunch, top with cacao nibs or chopped pistachios.

Though pumpkin spice might get all the attention, those in the know recognize that chai is another exceptional flavor. Skip the lattes and have it with breakfast for an impressive 22 grams of protein. Refreshing ginger will wake up your taste buds while easing sore muscles after a tough a.m. workout.

Skillets aren’t limited to eggs and giant cookies—they produce delicious quinoa bakes too. Made with coconut oil, dates, shredded coconut, and nuts, this recipe looks as incredible as it tastes. Top with fresh berries for an extra fancy feel (and to boost your antioxidant intake), and make sure to save extra for the weekends, when you have a little extra time to cook.

Did you give up your mocha habit for New Year's? Punish your taste buds no more by opting for this breakfast quinoa, which uses coffee, coconut water, vegan chocolate chips, and a coconut cream topping to create a treat that’s arguably better than the sugar-laden coffee shop favorite. (Hey, we say splurge on milk chocolate chips if you feel like it!)

Why drink a smoothie when you can eat it? Quinoa hasn’t escaped the smoothie bowl craze, and it’s a good thing, because you won’t be able to put your spoon down. The grain is cooked in vanilla almond milk and then gets mixed into a fresh blueberry smoothie. Top with almonds you’ve toasted while the quinoa was cooking for a breakfast that’s full of fiber, protein, and pretty colors.

All you need are a few good ingredients to make breakfast seem special. Here, the blogger sticks to vanilla almond milk (we like using unsweetened to keep it extra healthy), cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, cooked quinoa, sliced almonds, and fresh berries to create one of the easiest breakfasts ever. Tip: Make a large pot of quinoa ahead of time to keep the cook time to five minutes (or less)!

If you’re bored with dry, boxed cereals, it’s time to give these quinoa flakes, found near the oatmeal at your grocery store, a whirl. We love that this recipe uses fresh herbs along with an easy, stovetop stewed berry mix, to get a flavor those other cereals wish they had. Top with chia seeds for an extra energy and antioxidant boost.

When you need a quinoa fix but are short on time, this recipe is clutch. While the total cooking time depends on your microwave, you’ll have a hot breakfast in less than 10 minutes with little hands-on time. It’s easy to customize with your favorite fixings, like sliced bananas, berries, or peaches. Be sure to keep the bowl covered so the quinoa doesn’t dry out.

You may be over the pumpkin craze, but it’s still a fun (and healthy) flavor to cook with. Use pumpkin purée, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, chopped pecans, and uncooked quinoa in this dish, and you’ll remember why it's such a popular trend—whether it’s fall or not.

Have breakfast ready when the alarm goes off with this overnight quinoa. The instructions couldn’t be easier: Dump everything in a jar, stir, and refrigerate. Coconut milk gives this a luxuriously creamy texture, and maple syrup or a couple dashes of Stevia sweeten things up.

OK, so berries and milk make for great breakfast quinoa—we’re sure you’ve picked up on that by now. But what makes this recipe special is the addition of maple syrup, the coconut trifecta (coconut oil, coconut milk, and shredded coconut), and our favorite antioxidant source: blueberries. For extra protein, top with a tablespoon of chia or hemp seeds.

We’re game for pretty much anything covered in melted peanut butter. This quinoa dish is cooked in coconut milk (though any milk will do), vanilla, and a dash of sweet spices, and topped with apples, creamy PB, and a handful of pecans. To make it extra gourmet, toast the apple slices and pecans while the quinoa is cooking.

Fresh baked banana bread not only smells like a dream, but it also tastes like one. Unfortunately it isn’t always the healthiest (with added sugars and butter galore) and isn’t ideal for those avoiding gluten. This recipe brings out the best banana bread flavors but sticks to nutritious ingredients like quinoa, walnuts, almond milk, and natural sweeteners so you can have the best of both worlds.

Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

This recipe is for the dairy lovers. Made with regular milk, organic grains, agave, toasted pecans, and seasonal berries, it tastes like a healthier version of berry crisp. If breakfast isn’t your thing, serve as dessert with a small scoop of ice cream on top. Yum.

Pancakes

Bisquick's getting the boot: You won’t turn back to the boxed stuff after making these. A mix of whole-wheat pastry and all-purpose flours ensure these pancakes aren’t too dense or cake-like. Using red quinoa adds a little extra crunch and nuttiness, but other colors work just as well. The three-ingredient strawberry sauce is divine; try making it with other berries too.

These pancakes are what you need after an intense morning workout or to prepare for a long day. They get a double whammy of protein from cooked quinoa and Greek yogurt. Applesauce and agave nectar lend sweetness and keep the cakes super fluffy. Finish ‘em off with a homemade blueberry sauce.

Apple Quinoa Pancakes

Too hungover lazy busy to whip up an apple pie? These pancakes are a close second. With whole-wheat flour, flaxseeds, quinoa, and fresh apple slices, each cake is packed with flavor and nutrition—and ready in just minutes. Top with maple syrup, more chopped apples, and cinnamon, or just gobble down as is.

Breakfast Cookies

You know when you make too many cookies the night before and are still sneaking in bites in the morning? These aren’t like that because they’re designed for morning nibbles. Bananas and honey satisfy a sweet tooth; quinoa, PB, and chia seeds bring on the protein; and zucchini adds moisture and a smidge of veggies (every bite counts, right?). Eat these as you dash to work for a no-muss, no-fuss make-ahead breakfast.

Peanut Butter and Banana Quinoa Bites with Chocolate Chips

Not only do these bites make a terrific grab-and-go breakfast, they also do double duty as a mid-afternoon snack. Bananas naturally sweeten things up; adding creamy peanut butter means you’ll be full for hours. These make a big enough batch to share or save for the rest of the week.

Savory Breakfasts

Move over, Benedict. There’s a new egg dish in town. Reminiscent of both a hash brown and sausage patty, this quinoa is full of flavor: Chives! Shallots! Parmesan cheese! Garlic! It’s enough to forget that they’re also full of protein and fiber. Brown these in the pan and top with a dripping poached egg for an impressive weekend breakfast.

This simple breakfast is a great excuse to using up leftover quinoa. It’s hearty, healthy, and easy to pack for work. Broil tomatoes for a few minutes, toss cooked quinoa with cheese, then top with an egg and those gorgeous charred tomatoes. So much flavor, such little effort—just the way we like it.

Great as a starter recipe, this scramble is waiting to be customized. Load it up with yummy ingredients: Fresh herbs, wilting greens, onions, breakfast meats, and a sprinkle of cheese would all be terrific here. And since it’s a scramble, it’s 99 percent foolproof.

These gluten-free muffins hit the spot(s): They provide protein, carbs, and veggies, and they're delicious. Using cottage cheese keeps them moist, and choosing broccoli as the green means crisp rather than soggy veggies. These are meat-free, but you could add chopped bacon or ham to please carnivores.

Forget adding eggs to your tortilla—here, they are the tortilla. Make like Chipotle and pack in your favorite fillings, but instead of sad, empty-calorie white rice, you’ll use quinoa. Combine it with refried black beans, fresh guac, a fruity mango salsa, and you’ll want breakfast at every meal.

Fancy enough to be on a brunch menu, these Mediterranean-inspired muffins are like your favorite Greek salad in breakfast form. After all, when spinach, tomatoes, olives, oregano, quinoa, and feta all party together, what can go wrong? Eat these chilled or reheated; you’ll love them either way.

Are you a breakfast bake fan? If not, you should be. Recipes like this one prove how easy they are: Toss a bunch of your favorite healthy ingredients and eggs into a large baking dish (no need to precook the quinoa!), slide into the oven, and bask in the glory 45 minutes later. This version uses spinach and fresh herbs, but you could easily use whatever else you have on hand.

Essentially a mini frittata, these portable cups are high in protein, low in calories, and super versatile. The classic ham and cheese combo with a dash of zucchini gets two thumbs up, but any ingredients you’d enjoy in an egg scramble would work. Make a big batch over the weekend, and reheat a couple to take each morning throughout the week.

Originally published January 2015. Updated February 2016.

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