"Quinoa Crispies" Is the 2-Ingredient Recipe That Upgrades Any Meal

Food blogger Justine Doiron's crispy quinoa is a staple I make every week to top yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, casseroles, and even ice cream.

<p>Simply Recipes / Stephanie Ganz</p>

Simply Recipes / Stephanie Ganz

I follow recipe developers the way some people follow baseball players. I have my favorite heavy hitters, fiery pitchers, and upstart rookies whose newest recipes never fail to thrill me. One of my favorites is Justine Doiron, who is known as @justine_snacks on Instagram.

Justine's calm videos are super comforting. I love the way she approaches ingredients in creative ways, and her recipes have become new classics for me, preserved for eternity in my Instagram saved tab.

So, when I first saw Justine making crispy quinoa in a Reel that garnered over two million views, I knew I had to try it. I’m a quinoa lover, and the idea of using this super grain in a new way was too intriguing to pass up. Now, I couldn’t imagine getting through the week without this versatile, wholesome crunchy topping, which I lovingly call "Quinoa Crispies."

Texture is super important to me, so I love adding crunchy things to my meals. Bonus points for added nutritional value, such as chopped nuts and seeds. Justine's crunchy quinoa excels on both fronts: a satisfying crunch, plus protein and fiber.

How To Make Crispy Quinoa

It’s so easy to make crispy quinoa that as soon as you try it once, you’ve basically mastered it.

Combine cooked quinoa (any color) and olive oil, plus a pinch of salt. A good ratio is one cup of cooked quinoa to two tablespoons of oil. Spread the quinoa over a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pop it in an oven heated to 375°F.

Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring well every eight to 10 minutes. On the last stir, add your seasonings, and combine thoroughly to make sure the flavor is evenly distributed. I usually opt for the plain version, but if I want to use crispy quinoa for something specific, I tailor the seasoning to fit the dish. A few of my favorites are lemon zest, ranch seasoning, finely grated parmesan cheese, and/or chili oil for savory applications and, for sweeter dishes, hot honey or maple syrup.

Allow the quinoa to cool before packing it up in an airtight container. This keeps in my pantry for up to two weeks, but honestly, it rarely makes it that long. I go through it so quickly!

<p>Simply Recipes / Stephanie Ganz</p>

Simply Recipes / Stephanie Ganz

Tips for Making Crispy Quinoa

I've made crispy quinoa countless times and here are some things I learned:

  • Quinoa: You can use any kind of quinoa. I usually use tri-color because I like how it looks, but white, red, or black can be made the same way.

  • Add Seasonings Last: Wait until near the end of baking to add any seasonings because they may burn if you add them at the beginning.

  • Use Flavored Oil: Play around with a flavored oil instead of olive oil for an extra flavor boost. If you’re using a flavored oil, consider lowering the oven temperature to 325°F or 350°F and increasing the cooking time. Oils with flavorings sometimes have a lower smoke point, which turns them bitter when the temperature is too high.

Ideas for How To Use Crispy Quinoa

My favorite way to use crispy quinoa is as a topping for a bowl of cottage cheese with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a handful of crispy quinoa. I could eat it every day, and if you ask my family, I do exactly that.

I also love topping salads with crispy quinoa. It provides the crunch of a crouton, but better, making it a smart choice for finishing big leafy salads or even a Caesar salad.

Also, growing up in the South, casseroles have always been a major food group for me, and swapping crispy quinoa for the typical crumbled cracker topping feels like a smart choice in my ongoing attempt to make these comfort classics a little bit healthier.

Let’s not forget the sweets. Maple or honey-sweetened crispy quinoa is a great foil for granola for a bowl of fruit and yogurt or even a scoop of ice cream. Yes, quinoa on ice cream. Believe it.

<p>Simply Recipes / Stephanie Ganz</p>

Simply Recipes / Stephanie Ganz

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.