1-Bowl Quinoa Breakfast Bake. Simple, vegan and loaded with apples and cinnamon. Perfect for meal prep and absolutely delicious healthy breakfast or snack for both adults and kids.
I’m completely smitten with this quinoa breakfast bake. Total nostalgia for the rice pudding my grandmother used to make….but this recipe is sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. So tasty…and the texture is just right too.
Super cozy apple cinnamon flavors are fantastic. Topped with a dollop of almond yogurt, a drizzle of almond butter and some raspberries….wow. Just wow. A healthy, plant based protein breakfast that’s so delicious I could eat it every day!
Plus, this easy recipe is meal prep friendly, uses just one bowl and is perfect for a healthy breakfast, snack or dessert!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- QUINOA: Excellent plant-based source of protein with all nine essential amino acids. Low on the glycemic index, high in fiber, minerals and antioxidants. It’s quinoa that gives this bake the rice pudding texture that I love.
- GROUND FLAX: High in Omega-3s, fiber and protein.
- CHIA SEEDS: High in nutrition, low in calories! Coming in strong with antioxidants, fiber and high quality protein.
- ALMOND MILK: Really, any milk will work here. For nut allergies, use soy or oat milk. I’ve used hemp and pistachio with great results too.
- APPLE SAUCE: If you don’t have any applesauce, consider subbing very well mashed banana or pumpkin puree.
- MAPLE SYRUP: If you sub date syrup, I found it much sweeter (super tasty too!) so cut back by 1 Tablespoon.
- APPLES: Here’s where you can really change things up, depending on what’s in season. Pears work well, as does any stone fruit (think: peaches, plums, nectarines). Fresh berries are terrific and if nothing is in season near you, frozen berries (you don’t even need to defrost first) are perfect in this breakfast bake), mango or papaya is also delish. You decide if you like your fruit in bigger chunks or a smaller dice.
- WALNUTS: Walnuts are a super food. They are nutrient rich with healthy fats and promote both gut and heart health. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants and omega 3s. If you are allergic to nuts, use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. If those won’t work for you, just omit the nuts and substitute with some old fashioned oats mixed with the maple syrup and cinnamon for the topping.
- SPICES: I used cinnamon and allspice because I love how they enhance the apple flavor. Switch it up if you prefer other spices. Nutmeg is delish with pumpkin, sumac really enhances stone fruit, cloves work well with pears. You do YOU!
EASY Quinoa Breakfast Bake
- Mix wet ingredients together. Use a mixing bowl large enough to fit the wet and the dry.
- Add dry ingredients: ground flax, uncooked quinoa, chia seeds, cinnamon, allspice and walnuts.
- Mix well. Incorporate wet and dry ingredients until uniform.
- Keep mixing until everything is incorporated. It’s not unusual for the cinnamon to take a bit longer to blend in.
- Batter will still be a bit loose. It will firm up as the quinoa expands while it bakes.
- Stir in the fruit. If using frozen berries, there’s no need to defrost first.
Breakfast Meal Prep…or BAKE.
1. Pour batter into baking pan. STOP HERE for make ahead meal prep. You can set this in the refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days and then continue with remaining directions.
2. Use the SAME bowl (no need to wash) to mix topping ingredients: nuts, cinnamon, maple syrup and sea salt. For nut allergies, use seeds or rolled oats in place of walnuts.
3. Scatter topping over top of baking pan. It will not TOTALLY cover the apples and quinoa mixture, and that’s OK.
4. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 50 minutes, until browned and set. SErve warm and top as desired. Cool completely before freezing.
I say toppings are optional…but don’t skip all the good stuff! Toppings can be easy, fun and colorful. They add taste, texture and nutrition. I love to add a dollop of Kite Hill unsweetened almond yogurt. Nut butter is another creamy, dairy-free choice, plus it’s super simple. I also like to add cacao nibs, chopped nuts or hemp seeds for their crunch. More fruit or fresh berries are great choices too.
Why you’ll love this vegan quinoa breakfast bake recipe:
- Delicious…with tons of flavor and texture.
- One-bowl for easy clean up.
- Prep the night before for an easy morning healthy breakfast.
- Use whatever fruit is in season….or frozen berries.
- Low in calories….but still satisfying.
- Plant-based high quality protein.
- So tasty….with no added sugar.
- Gluten-free and low on the glycemic index.
- Simple…add toppings, if you want!
More Make Ahead Healthy Breakfast Recipes:
- Grain-free Energy Bars
- Berry Oatmeal Bake
- Vanilla Chia Pudding
- Jam filled Muffins
- Healthy Zucchini Bread
- Overnight Oats
- Vegan Apple Muffins
- Oatmeal parfait
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1/4 cup apple sauce*
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dry (uncooked) quinoa
- 3 Tablespoons ground flax
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 apples, small (1/4") dice*
- 3/4 chopped walnuts*
- OPTIONAL: pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375
- In a medium sized bowl, mix almond milk, apple sauce, 2 Tablespoons of the maple syrup and vanilla together.
- Add in quinoa, flax, chia, 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and allspice and mix until well incorporated.
- Chop apples into a small dice, pour into bowl and mix well.
- Pour into 8 x 8" baking dish. Stop here if making ahead. Cover and refrigerate overnight or as long as 2 days, then continue below, reducing baking time as noted.
- In the same bowl, mix together chopped walnuts, remaining 2 Tablespoons maple syrup and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon plus the sea salt, if you are using any. Sprinkle on top of mixture in baking pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes, until browned and just set. If you prepped ahead and mixture has been sitting in baking pan at least 4 hours, reduce baking time to 30 minutes.
- Serve warm, at room temp or cold.
APPLE SAUCE: If you don't have applesauce, substitute mashed banana or pumpkin puree.
APPLES: Minimum 2 cups, not more than 3 cups. OK to substitute any other fruit you have. Good choices would be berries (fresh or frozen---and no need to defrost), pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, mango, papaya.
WALNUTS: Any nut or seed would be fine as part of the topping. For nut allergies, use old fashioned oats mixed with the maple syrup and cinnamon and sprinkle on top.
- You can prep this in advance and then just pop into the oven when needed. See directions for adjusted baking times.
- Freeze the entire baked quinoa. Defrost and then reheat in 350 oven for 20 minutes.
- Cut into pieces. Freeze in individual serving size. Defrost on the counter for a couple hours or in the fridge overnight. Enjoy cold or warm in the oven or microwave.
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: Nut butter, a dollop of plant-based yogurt, additional fruit or chia jam.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 142Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 0mgSodium 30mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 5gSugar 13gProtein 6g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.
Yes! This quinoa breakfast bake is perfect for make ahead easy breakfast. Make the recipe until just before baking and set in the fridge overnight, or up to 2 days, and THEN bake just before serving.
OR make the full recipe, including baking, in advance and serve cold, or at room temperature. You can also gently reheat when ready to eat.
Make sure vegan breakfast casserole is completely cool before freezing. Cut into individual servings and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat to serve warm. You can also freeze the entire casserole and reheat just before serving.
Yes, quinoa has complete plant based protein and good amounts of fiber. When baked in this recipe, it’s high in nutrition and low in calories, making it a great addition to a healthy diet.