An unlikely comfort food: Quinoa Pudding

It’s been a rough week. After a promising start to the season, the state of Colorado is on fire once again and many of my loved ones are evacuated and waiting to hear if their homes will survive. We’re safe here on the farm — nothing more than a little smoke and some extra-beautiful sunsets in my neighborhood, but every time I look at the thick haze settled over the mountains my heart sinks.


At the same time, I learned that one of my friends was experiencing a health crisis. So the past few days have been spent watching and waiting, and of course worrying. For me, a heavy heart leaves no room for the stomach — this has been the sort of week where I’ll watch the fiery sunset until the colors fade, and then realize I haven’t even begun to think about dinner.


Fortunately, I had a big batch of this quinoa pudding in the fridge. It’s the ultimate comfort food, as far as I’m concerned. It reminds me a lot of tapioca pudding, but with a texture that will probably be a lot more appealing to the tapioca-haters out there (I just don’t understand.) Not to mention, it’s nutritious and easy to digest.


It’s just what I need when I’m feeling sick, or sad, or just looking for a quick and delicious breakfast. And I haven’t tested this theory yet, but kids will probably love it too.


Quinoa Vanilla Pudding

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Quinoa Vanilla Pudding

Easy, delicious, and nourishing -- this pudding is comfort food at its finest.


  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes (you can find these sold as a hot breakfast cereal)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ripe peaches, nectarines, or plums (optional)


  1. Rinse the whole quinoa thoroughly to remove any bitter residue (you don't need to do this with the flakes.)
  2. In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and whole quinoa (not the flakes.) Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is tender (about 20 minutes.)
  3. Stir in the quinoa flakes and simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, thoroughly beat the egg in a small bowl.
  4. Slowly dribble a ladleful of the hot quinoa mix into the egg while stirring with a whisk (this tempers the egg so it doesn't curdle.) Then, gradually whisk the egg mixture into the rest of the quinoa in your saucepan.
  5. Cook for another 2 minutes under low heat; be careful not to let the mixture boil. Whisk in vanilla and remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes to thicken. Serve hot, cold, or with a splash of milk and some fresh fruit.


Adapted from Whole Grains for a New Generation, by Liana Krissoff.

2 Thoughts on “An unlikely comfort food: Quinoa Pudding

  1. I’ve found that most quinoa sold in the US is already pre-washed so you don’t have to do the rinse part. At the very least, the quinoa sold in bulk at Sprouts and Whole Foods is ready to cook without the need to pre-rinse.

    • Sara on June 16, 2013 at said:

      Katina- Very true. A few of the varieties I buy have rinsing instructions on the package, so I do it out of habit — but I’ve definitely forgotten several times and can’t say I’ve noticed a difference in flavor. I still include it in my recipes though, because I hope someone out there is having better luck growing quinoa than I am. 🙂

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