5 Quinoa Recipes Your Guests Will Fall In Love With

Whether you are organizing dinner or hosting folks for an extended stay, keeping quality recipes on hand for meals, snacks, and desserts means less time being stressed and busy, more time being present with others. These quinoa recipes make hosting guests a joyful, easy, and flavorful experience. Ancient grains are diverse. They can be a strong supporting ingredient or a hearty main attraction. These recipes suggest many ways of using quinoa, and they all have something in common: Cooking any of them will delight your gluten-free family, create tastes your friends will crave, and satisfy the neighbors with nutritious nosh.

The scope of these recipes cover a full-day schedule. From quick-grab energy bars at breakfast to decadent chocolate chip cooks as a late-night snack. There are grain bowls and salads rooted in the flavors of three different continents, midday morsels for picnics and escapades, and a quinoa dinner stuffing as well. It's time to dig in!

1. Quinoa cranberry energy bars

Let's start with the most (important?) forgotten meal of the day: breakfast. Preparing these quinoa cranberry bars can serve overnight houseguests with a continental option for breakfast or also as a pick-me-up during afternoon coffee. A mix of almonds and almond butter, quinoa, oats, honey, and dried berries makes 10 bars. Several spices add a seasonal warmth to them once cooled.

Batch baking is a great way to have snacks on hand, and the whole process takes less than an hour. The only prep required is mixing the ingredients, and the only thing easier than cooking this Tasting Table recipe is eating it.

2. Thai quinoa salad

Pro runner and cookbook authors Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky shared their recipe for Thai quinoa salad with Tasting Table a while back, but it remains as hot today as it was when "Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow." was published.

The Thai-inspired quinoa recipe calls for big bursts of flavor from lime, green onion, and spicy peppers (jalapeno or Serrano or none at all). Mint, cilantro, and basil bring in vital herbaceous notes (and nutrients). Mix it all with fish sauce and pre-shredded bits of cabbage and carrots. Serve chilled.

With only 10 minutes of prep needed to cook the grains and shred the veggies, you'll have plenty of time to spend with friends.

3. California grain bowl

The California grain bowl from here at Tasting Table is the first recipe clocking over 30-minutes, thanks to the grounding addition of roasted Hasselback zucchini and cobb corn. As the quinoa cooks the garden goods can roast and your guests can get involved with slicing avocados or tomatoes.

The salad is finished with the zing of radish and arugula, then tossed in a turmeric-lime dressing that's so West Coast you might start singing "Good Vibrations". The variety of produce packed into this quinoa recipe boosts it from a lunch salad to a dinner main for your gluten-free or vegan visitors.

4. Quinoa veggie burgers

Tasting Table's veggie burger is a highly qualified main course. With matzo meal, mushrooms, carrots, and corn, it's a patty full of food that you can sink your teeth into. There are broccoli florets and onions and lemon juice — a real "everything but the kitchen sink" kind of thing.

This recipe will delight your grain-free or sans-meat dinner guests. Amazingly, the substitution of an egg replacement is all that is needed to make it vegan too. Full flavors arrive between a fluffy brioche bun.

5. Quinoa chocolate chip cookies

Loaded chocolate chip cookies are a classic dessert option anytime. However the non-classic addition of pecans and cherries will give your guests something to crave all the time. There's no small amount of chopped dark chocolate and brown butter in the dough of these cookies, plus they are topped with a dusting of sea salt. It's a contrasting combination that's softened by puffed quinoa. The batch bakes 30 cookies. That's plenty of sweet treats to share with visitors, as well as plenty to keep for yourself.