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Perfect Crunchy Quinoa

 July 2, 2024

If you’re looking for the perfect, gluten-free alternative to croutons, breadcrumbs, or your favorite crunchy toppings, then this Perfect Crunchy Quinoa is it. Made from just three simple ingredients, it’s perfect for adding to your favorite salads for that delicious, crunchy, finishing touch!

A golden baking tray filled with cooked quinoa, with a wooden spoon resting on top. Surrounding the tray are various bowls containing raw quinoa, oil, and other ingredients on a light-colored surface.

When I shared my Cucumber Salad with Crunchy Quinoa a few weeks ago, you guys went crazy for the Crunchy Quinoa. And truth be told, I don’t blame you! This Crunchy Quinoa is such a fun alternative to traditional croutons or breadcrumbs and is the perfect way to add more flavor and texture to your favorite salads. Plus, not to mention, the quinoa is naturally gluten-free!

I love adding this quinoa to my favorite salad recipes, like my Copycat Erewhon Kale White Bean Salad, my Strawberry Arugula Salad, or my Hearty Kale Salad. Simply prep this recipe ahead of time and keep it in the pantry (or fridge) to add to any salad recipe!

The Only 3 Ingredients You’ll Need to Make This Recipe

  • Quinoa: The key to making this Crunchy Quinoa is to start out with cooked quinoa. This is my method for cooking perfect quinoa, every time, and I highly recommend it!
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil helps the quinoa get nice and crunchy! You can also opt to use another better-for-you oil, like avocado oil or coconut oil.
  • Kosher Salt: A pinch of salt adds just the right flavor to this Crunchy Quinoa, while keeping it neutral enough to add to any of your favorite recipes.
A baking sheet filled with crumbled, brownish breadcrumbs is shown on a light-colored countertop. A hand is pouring olive oil onto the breadcrumbs from a glass bottle. Surrounding the baking sheet are bowls containing breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, and salt.
Next, toss the cooked quinoa with the olive oil and sea salt and add it to a baking sheet and spread it out into an even layer.

How to Prepare This Perfect Crunchy Quinoa

To make this Crunchy Quinoa, start by cooking the quinoa according to your preferred method. I personally love this one!

Next, toss the cooked quinoa with the olive oil and sea salt. Add it to a baking sheet and spread it out into an even layer. Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and allow it to cook for 20-25 minutes, being sure to stir the quinoa every 10 minutes, so that it gets nice and crispy.

Once the quinoa is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. Add the finished Crunchy Quinoa to your favorite recipes, then serve and enjoy!

A plate of cooked quinoa sits on a light-colored surface, with a spoon resting on top. The quinoa is fluffy and brown, and there are small bowls of uncooked quinoa, salt, and greens nearby. A checkered cloth is partially visible in the bottom left corner.
Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and allow it to cook for 20-25 minutes, being sure to stir the quinoa every 10 minutes, so that it gets nice and crispy. Once it’s done, add it to your favorite recipes, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different grain besides quinoa?

Yes! You can substitute the quinoa for another grain, like rice! Simply cook the rice (or, grain of choosing) according to your preferred method, then follow the recipe as instructed.

My quinoa isn’t getting crispy, what am I doing wrong?

The key to getting the quinoa nice and crispy is to make sure you’re using a dry pan and spreading the quinoa out in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the pan, otherwise the quinoa will steam instead of crisp.

How can I add more flavor to my crunchy quinoa?

If you want to add some more flavor to this crunchy quinoa, simply toss it with your favorite spices, herbs, or seasonings before baking it!

How long will my crunchy quinoa stay fresh?

The crunchy quinoa will stay fresh when stored in an airtight container, on the countertop, for up to three days, or in the fridge for up to one week.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A golden baking tray filled with cooked quinoa, with a wooden spoon resting on top. Surrounding the tray are various bowls containing raw quinoa, oil, and other ingredients on a light-colored surface.
Dairy Free/gluten-free/Nut Free/Refined Sugar Free/snacks/Vegan

Perfect Crunchy Quinoa

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
SERVES 6 Servings
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If you're looking for the perfect, gluten-free alternative to croutons, breadcrumbs, or your favorite crunchy toppings, then this Perfect Crunchy Quinoa is it. Made from just three simple ingredients, it's perfect for adding to your favorite salads for that delicious, crunchy, finishing touch!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Instructions

  • To make this Crunchy Quinoa, start by cooking the quinoa according to your preferred method. I personally love this one!
  • Next, toss the cooked quinoa with the olive oil and sea salt. Add it to a baking sheet and spread it out into an even layer.
  • Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and allow it to cook for 20-25 minutes, being sure to stir the quinoa every 10 minutes, so that it gets nice and crispy.
  • Once the quinoa is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
  • Add the finished Crunchy Quinoa to your favorite recipes, then serve and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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