15 Ways to Use Leftover Cooked Quinoa

A collage of three different quinoa recipes including salad, tarts, cookies.

Tired of throwing out leftover cooked quinoa that’s gone bad? Here are 15 delicious and creative ways to use cooked quinoa.

For tips on how to cook fluffy, perfect quinoa every time, check out this post. If you’re looking for brand recommendations for quinoa, this one is my favorite, but I’ve never met a brand of quinoa I haven’t liked.

#1: Add Cooked Quinoa to Breakfast Cookies

These hearty breakfast cookies are my favorite thing to do with leftover quinoa! They are naturally flour free, sweetened with mashed banana, and boosted with a scoop of leftover cooked grains. Get the recipe here.

#2: Build a Buddha Bowl

Quinoa’s neutral flavor and fun, fluffy texture works great in any sort of buddha bowl situation. If you’re new to buddha bowls, check out this post for my best tips for building one without a recipe.

#3: Put Your Leftover Quinoa Into Pancakes

I’ve tried many quinoa pancakes over the years, and this one is my absolute favorite. These lemony pancakes are naturally flour free, filling, and perfect for using up cooke quinoa. Recipe here.

#4: Add Leftover Quinoa to a Super Salad

Throw your quinoa into any salad or slaw! This one is one of my favorite salads of all time with crunchy cabbage, sweet mango, and spicy peanut sauce. For more salad and slaw inspiration, click here.

#5: Throw Leftover Quinoa into a Pot of Chili

Quinoa is great for giving a pot of chili some extra texture and a nice nutrient boost. I usually add dry quinoa to my chili when there’s about 20 minutes left of cooking, but cooked quinoa works great too! Just add pre-cooked quinoa to chili shortly before eating it so that it doesn’t overcook and get too soggy. Here’s a great recipe for smoky red lentil & quinoa chili.

#6: Top Your Leftover Quinoa with a Yummy Stew

Instead of serving your next soup or stew on top of rice, why not use quinoa? Here are some of my favorite soup and stew recipes.

#7: Make Quinoa Crusts with Your Leftover Quinoa!

Did you know you can take cooked quinoa and mix it with a little bit of ground flax seed for simple, flourless 2-ingredient quinoa crusts? Great for tarts, quiche, pizza, etc. Instructions here.

#8: Add Leftover Quinoa to a Pot of Curry

Serve your curry on top of quinoa instead of rice, or throw the cooked quinoa into the curry at the end of cooking, just to warm it up and soak up the flavors. Here’s a recipe for my favorite Easy Weeknight Curry.

#9: Use it the Next Morning in a Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Have you ever tried quinoa for breakfast? It’s a great way to use up leftover quinoa and it’s yummy warm or cold. It’s somewhere between a cereal and porridge. The key to good breakfast quinoa is to use flavorful milk and toppings, because the quinoa itself is pretty much a blank slate in terms of adding flavor, just like any breakfast grain. I love using coconut milk, but any plant-based milk is tasty! Recipe here.

#10: Include Leftover Quinoa in Breakfast Baking

It’s easy to throw quinoa into any hearty baked goods, including muffins, cookies, and bread loaves.

#11: Dress Up Your Quinoa with some Fruit & Fresh Herbs

Some seasonal fruit, nuts, and fresh herbs elevate quinoa to impressive salad levels. Here’s a few of my favorite combos:

#12: Make Veggie Burgers with Your Leftover Quinoa

Check out my simple and easy veggie burger formula. Cooked quinoa works perfectly here.

#13: Stuff Peppers with Your Leftover Quinoa

Toss your cooked quinoa in a skillet with some sautéed veggies and a few spices and you’ve got a stuffed pepper filling! Recipe here.

#14: Stuff Squash with Your Leftover Quinoa

While we’re talking about stuffing vegetables, here’s one from our Seasonal Eating Cookbook. The sweet roasted delicata squash, savory quinoa, crunchy nuts, and creamy tahini sauce couldn’t be a more perfect combo. 👌

#15: Toss it with Kimchi & Top with Poached Eggs

With leftover quinoa, this tasty breakfast comes together in 3 minutes (or however long you like to poach eggs for). Recipe here.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful, and may you never throw out forgotten quinoa again! 🙂

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