Recipe: Crispy Quinoa with Avocado and Mint

Toasting adds texture to this nutritious dish
quinoa avocado and mint

You may appreciate garden-variety quinoa, but crispy quinoa is a whole new ball game. The secret: texture. It can make the difference between an ordinary dish and an extraordinary dish.

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After cooking and fluffing the quinoa (which takes a mere 15 to 20 minutes), you simply brown it in a pan, and voila: crispy quinoa! And that’s just the beginning of the texture-fest. Crunchy cucumber and almonds and creamy avocado make an appearance, too. And with scallions, ginger, mint, and lime, this dish has tantalizing flavor for days. The variety of plant foods in this dish translates to nutrients galore. (Quinoa is even high in protein compared with other grains.)


1 cup quinoa (regular, red, or mixed)
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 avocado, quartered and sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
16 fresh mint leaves, torn
1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover tightly, and cook until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, or about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes more.
  2. In a small skillet, toast the almonds, tossing often, over medium heat, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the cooked quinoa and press it into an even layer. Cook until the bottom layer of the quinoa starts to crisp and turn golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a spatula to turn over sections of the quinoa. Let cook until the undersides crisp up, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Divide the quinoa among bowls. Then, dividing evenly, top with the cucumber, avocado, scallions, ginger and almonds. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt. Scatter the torn mint leaves over the top and serve with a lime wedge.

Nutritional information per serving

Yield: 4 servings

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Calories 336
Total fat 18 g
Saturated fat 2.5 g
Protein 8.5 g
Carbohydrate 36.4 g
Dietary fiber 7.4 g
Sugar 2.0 g
Added sugar 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 155.6 mg

Developed by Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness

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