Chocolate Quinoa Cereal

I run a lot. Between the miles I log every week and my already-fast metabolism, I actually have to put some effort into getting enough calories. This cereal was developed as a snack that included every high-fat, high-protein, high-calorie ingredient in my pantry while still being healthy, unprocessed, and (of course) incredibly tasty.

The version I make for myself is fairly high in calories because of the super-rich chocolate peanut butter coconut sauce, but I scaled back the ingredients in this recipe to be a little more typical, and you could scale them back even more if you’re looking for lower calorie foods. Regardless of how much sauce you use, this healthy chocolate-coated quinoa makes a very nutritious hot or cold breakfast.

Quinoa Granola

Chocolate Quinoa Cereal

Makes about 3 cups


  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Slivered almonds (optional)

Step One

Cook the quinoa. First, rinse the dry quinoa thoroughly through a strainer to remove the bitter coating, then add to a pot with 1 1/2 cups water. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Typically with quinoa, you want to use 2:1 water:quinoa ratio, but we’re using a little less water here so the cereal is more dry after cooking.

Step Two

Just before the quinoa is finished cooking, prepare the chocolate, coconut, and peanut butter sauce. To do this, add all the remaining ingredients (minus the almonds) to a saucepan and gently heat. You don’t want to “cook” this mixture, just melt and incorporate the sauce.

Coconut butter — if you’ve never worked with this ingredient, it is basically the pureed meat of a coconut (think peanut butter made with coconut instead of peanuts). It should be fairly easy to find in most grocery stores and adds a great thickness to this sauce that wouldn’t be possible with just coconut oil.

NOTE: This sauce is absolutely killer by itself when chilled. It makes the most rich and delicious peanut butter fudge. I might continue to experiment with this and create a whole recipe around it. Stay tuned. 🙂

Step Three

In a large mixing bowl, pour the liquid chocolate mixture over the top and toss gently until the quinoa is completely coated. What you have now is a warm and delicious chocolate-coated quinoa. If you’re ready to eat this right away, you could easily skip the baking step and enjoy the cereal as-is. But for a firmer texture that will keep for several days…

Step Four

Preheat the oven to 350º F and thinly spread the quinoa mixture onto a baking sheet. The thiner you can spread this, the crispier it will get. Bake for at least 30 minutes until it becomes somewhat dry. This will never become super-crunchy granola, but it does firm up quite a bit. Toss in the optional almonds (or any other add-ins you’d like).

Store in mason jars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When ready to serve, add to a bowl with non-dairy milk and enjoy hot or cold (both are delicious!).

Quinoa Close

Quinoa Cereal


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    • Yes – it’s all allowed foods! 🙂 That’s what I was telling you last week. It’s really good, too. You should make it!

  1. as soon as i get some coconut butter i’m going to try this. i’m going to toss it in the dehydrator for a few hours instead of baking and see how dry i can make it.

    • Ah, let me know how the dehydrator goes. I had the same idea and I haven’t had time to try it out yet. I’m interested to see if that helps it develop a crispier texture.

  2. This sounds amazing. I’ll admit, I almost bailed on this page when I read about your goal of creating a high calorie dish, because I am not cursed with a super fast metabolism 😉

    I’m glad I stuck it out – definitely going to treat myself to this!

    • Thanks, Alissa. Yeah, I wanted to make that point without scaring people away :). It *could be* high in calories if you drenched it in peanut butter and coconut oil, but the version here is actually really balanced and quinoa is super healthy with lots of protein and fiber. So I don’t know what the exact calorie count is per serving (I never pay attention) but it’s probably right inline with most cereals.

  3. hey love your website!!
    would i be able to substitute the peanut butter for almond butter? and can i use something else for the coconut oil and coconut butter?

    • Hi Esther, Thank you!
      Sure, the peanut butter / almond butter substitution should be fine. But honestly, I don’t know how you could sub both coconut ingredients. You could possibly try using vegan margarine, like Earth Balance.

  4. this is AMAZING!!!! thank you so very much for something so delicious!!! not that everything on this website isn’t super yummy…. but it’s amazing to look at the ingredient list for something for say, like, coco crispies…. it’s disturbing!!! This cereal is proof that you can make something even MORE satisfying, with very little effort, and that you can feel proud to put into you body or serve to your family! I am so grateful to have discovered One Ingredient!!! thanks again Andrew!

    • Ooh, thank you so much for the kind words! I love the comparison to coco crispies… I should really try to find a way to “puff” quinoa and make a legit coco quinoa crispy cereal! 😮

  5. Made this and loved it. Normally don’t do peanut butter or maple syrup, but it was an amazing treat. I loved the addition of almonds also.

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