Home » Substitute » 10 Best Substitutes For Quinoa

10 Best Substitutes For Quinoa

Quinoa is an increasingly popular grain, but it can be expensive. If you are looking for a substitute for quinoa, that has the same nutritional benefits and tastes great, look no further than these 10 substitutes for quinoa!

You can do quinoa replacement with Cooked rice, White or brown pasta, Couscous, Polenta, Cauliflower, Brown rice, Barley, Dried beans, Lentils,Grits.

Substitutes For Quinoa

  1. Cooked rice
  2. White or brown pasta
  3. Couscous
  4. Polenta
  5. Cauliflower
  6. Brown rice
  7. Barley
  8. Dried beans
  9. Lentils
  10. Grits

1. Cooked rice:

cooked rice is a best substitutes for quinoa

No need to go out of your way to buy quinoa anymore. Let the convenience of Cooked Rice do all the work for you! It is our first choice in substitute for quinoa. With our special blend, you can substitute equitably with an equal amount of boiled rice and whip up a more nutritious dish that satisfies everyone’s cravings. You know you need to have something in your stomach before a night out, but you don’t want to eat too much. Rice is perfect for soaking up anything extra and it doesn’t make you feel bloated like quinoa sometimes can over time. You’ll be feeling refreshed and doing more damage when the night’s all said and done with this side dish.

2. White or brown pasta:

pasta is another substitutes for quinoa

White or brown pasta is perfect for quinoa replacement. Who knew eating pasta could be so healthy! With gluten-free pasta, you will have a grain-like experience without the grains. Fill up your stomach with delicious comfort food, but don’t forget to keep it light on the calories and fat. Brown pasta is great Italian comfort food, but in times of stress, it may be time to make the switch. Our white or brown pasta can satisfy pasta cravings with its hearty taste and texture that diners swear by. With so many flavor options, you’ll never get tired of this new healthy alternative!

3. Couscous:

A Great Summer Grains. In the summer heat, a little light pasta is refreshing and easy to prepare without heating up the kitchen. Couscous is a great quinoa replacement with its cool, dry granules bursting every time you chew. And with unsexy names like “Israeli burghul”, couscous sounds less intimidating than it really is. Try cooking it with olive oil (or other ingredients for added flavor) before soaking in lemon water or enjoying as you would quenelles or macaroni in hot soup. Simplify your table this summer by exploring varieties of couscous and be ready to enjoy them all over again; The grains make excellent base dishes healthier entrees that are more environmentally friendly.

4. Polenta:

polenta is one of the best substitutes for quinoa

Polenta is a great quinoa substitute. Rice and grains are a staple for many people, yet their heavy carbs can be harmful to one’s health. Luckily, there’s an alternative that still tastes great and saves you a ton of unwanted calories—Polenta! Polenta is made from cornmeal with nothing else added, making it a perfect substitute for rice or quinoa. It can also take the place of potatoes, pasta, porridge – basically any dish you would use those other products in. Polenta only has 45 calories per cup while white rice clocks in at 200-260 (depending on the brand) and table salt at 404 kcal/tbsp; not to mention how full of flavor it can be when served with tomato sauce or pesto.

5. Cauliflower:

Cauliflower replaces quinoa in this tasty dish. It tastes great with stir-fried chicken, sugar snap peas, and garlic. The vegetables provide vitamins K, A, and B6 as well as folate which provides support for nervous system health. Mix up a bowl today to see if you should replace quinoa with cauliflower!

6. Brown rice:

Brown rice is a perfect substitute for its cousin, quinoa. It’s high in magnesium and Vitamin B-6 which help regulate metabolism and reduce hunger. Unlike other grains, it has a lower glycemic index so you reach your targets faster! Brown rice is wholesome, hearty protein and a great quinoa replacement. In its natural state, brown rice can range in color from yellow to dark reds and violet and has an assertive flavor with more nutty notes than white rice. That same earthy deliciousness also means that you about your carbs by substituting our brown instead of white. It’s about time everyone got back to basics!

7. Barley:

Barley is the perfect substitute for all of you crazy health nuts who are too scared to eat anything that has gluten in it. It is nutritious, high-fiber, and actually easy on our digestive systems! It just goes to show, gluten or no gluten, we’ll find a way to make food damn near kill us if we wanted. You don’t need to be gluten-free to enjoy barley! Rich in selenium, this mild grain is a great alternative for those who can’t have quinoa. Use it as a cereal or try one of our delicious recipes like the Barley porridge with dried cherries and almonds. We also offer sweet barley jerky, which is perfect for snacking during long hikes!

8. Dried beans:

Dried beans are great for gluten-free diets. They’re easy to store and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Try substituting them with your favorite spicy beans in tacos or any game-day snacks, like wings! Dried beans can substitute for laboriously cooking up a quinoa bowl and throwing in some green vegetables on the side! Packed with protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, these compact packets of nutrition will fill you up without weighing down your wallet.

9. Lentils:

Have you been trying to find a protein-packed replacement for your beloved quinoa? Or maybe you’re bored of all the same old food options and want something different. It is time to shake up your game with lentils! Vegan, gluten-free and packed full of protein–no wonder they’ve been eaten by humans for thousands of years. They are also high in fiber, low in sodium, cholesterol-free, and rich in iron. Bring highly nutritious legumes into your diet today with this new trend we can’t get enough off.

10. Grits:

It’s the time of year when feelings get a little wintry and you start to crave something warm. You have heard about quinoa but it just doesn’t seem like enough, your craving is for some grits! Our Grits are delicious with eggs, blended in an omelet or on their own. If you want a gluten-free holiday twist that can be served as a side dish and main course then Grits is what to have! Grits are the one grain we all should be eating! Grits provide a healthy source of protein. They’re alkalizing, they don’t require gluten, and they help get your gut back on track when you have been consuming other inflammatory foods like sugar. Don’t worry if it’s not in your comfort zone: try adding some eggs or veggies to spice it up!


Can I substitute rice for quinoa?

Sure! You could use rice, but the cooking time does vary. Quinoa needs less water than rice to cook properly. Quinoa is a bunch of tiny seeds that are rich in protein, fiber and minerals – like iron and potassium. It has more protein than many grains (e.g., brown rice) and lots of B vitamins too so it’s a really nutritious food!

Can lentils be a substitute for quinoa?

Yes, you can substitute lentils for quinoa. Most often grain substitutes are simply whole grains that provide low glycemic index carbs from an alternate source of insoluble fiber. Lentils are a perfect substitute for quinoa as they have a similar protein and fiber content, and the seed is also high in phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. The recipe possibilities are endless – hearty soups and chilis or as a vegetarian main dish with rice or grains like bulgur wheat or couscous.

Can I use buckwheat instead of quinoa?

Yes, buckwheat is a perfect substitute for quinoa as it offers the same nutritional benefits as high fiber and nutrient count. Similar to most plant-based foods, a serving of both will provide you with all two essential amino acids that aren’t found in animal products. Quinoa and buckwheat are very similar in terms of protein content and taste which would make them easy substitutes for each other if needed – especially because many people like substituting gluten-free grains such as brown rice or oatmeal flour with more nutritious options such as almond or coconut flour. Quite simply put, they’re just different types of food with their own set of culinary purposes but can equally be used interchangeably based on what your goal is in cooking.

What can substitute for quinoa?

One common substitution is brown rice. Other possibilities include bulgur wheat, pearl barley, millet, polenta, or other cereal grains. If you’re going for a really different texture and taste combination, here are three substitutes that I personally love: black bean pasta (much lower in carbs than traditional pasta), lentils (add some chopped spinach for extra nutrition) or tofu cooked like scrambled eggs.

Why is quinoa bad for you?

There is nothing inherently “bad” about Quinoa. It’s not bad for you, but it isn’t the best thing you can be eating either. It should only be eaten by those who have tried a vegan diet and know that tofu just doesn’t do it for them anymore. The amino acids in quinoa are complete as they contain all the essential ones, but animal proteins are much more convenient to eat and absorb due to their availability of complete amino acids. Quinoa also lacks a lot of proteins that would help make muscle from what we consume so it should never replace meat in any way or form during one’s diet if there is an alternative available that contains adequate protein supply such as fish or eggs.

Which is better quinoa or lentils?

It depends on your taste preference. Quinoa has more protein than lentils. Quinoa also nourishes more quickly than lentils and does not require a long cooking time. If you want more protein, quinoa is the better option because of its increased amino acid content compared to that found in black beans or kidney beans. Lentils are a better option if you need something quick, but they will take longer to prepare due to the shorter cook time needed for preparing them versus quinoa preparation. Most people think that there is no difference in taste between the two which is just opinion though most people eat it only as part of their diet type.

Which is healthier quinoa or barley?

Although barley is a grain and quinoa isn’t, quinoa is higher in protein than barley! A three-ounce cup of dry roasted quinoa has 9.4 grams of protein and 2.9 grams of fat while one cup of cooked pearl barley has 4.6 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat! If you’re looking for something to add more bulk to your diet without adding as many calories, then the answer is definitely going to be “quinoa.” Quinoa packs a lot more nutrition into each serving — it’s far lower in fat than barley, yet contains more fiber too.

What is a good alternative to quinoa?

Amaranth is a seed that can grow in poor soils and harsh conditions, and it has way more protein than your average grain. It’s high in iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium as well. Quinoa is a good substitute for those who are gluten intolerant or allergic to wheat products, but there are other great alternatives like amaranth that offer heartier nutrition. Quinoa is also extremely high in phytic acid which interferes with the absorption of certain minerals such as iron and zinc – so if you’re going with this option go heavy on the greens!

Does quinoa have more protein than rice?

Rice and quinoa are very different grains. Rice is a very starchy grain with low protein content, while quinoa is a seed with high-quality protein. This fact is the primary reason why people who don’t do well-digesting animal proteins have been turning to quinoa as an excellent plant-based source of lean protein. Many foods that are high in carbohydrates can also provide some level of lean protein, and so it’s sometimes more accurate to think about the amount of “protein by weight” in order for someone to compare two or more foods.

Why does quinoa taste so bad?

It tastes bad because it’s not the type of food that your body is used to digesting. If you’re asking, “What am I eating in this?” chances are very high it repels the taste buds with a bitter or metallic taste. However, throwing up after doing so will only make you feel worse… and hungry again. So, if it doesn’t taste like anything at all go ahead and vomit for a while; be done with it and know that there are more types of food in the world than certain farmers’ worst fears.


Quinoa is a grain-like seed that’s not technically a grain. It packs all the nutritional punch of rice, but it has more protein and fiber than any other cereal grain with only about one-third of the calories. This makes quinoa an excellent choice for those looking to eat healthily or lose weight! We have compiled some of our favorite substitutes for quinoa here! What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Scroll to Top