10 Authentic Peruvian Recipes With Quinoa [You Won’t Believe #7]
If you ask a Peruvian what quinoa is, you may get a pretty philosophical response. According to them, ““Quinoa is life, hope, the past, the present, and it’s the future of humanity.” Or, in Spanish:
“La quinoa es vida, es esperanza, es el pasado, es el presente, es el futuro de la humanidad.”
While Peruvian cuisine doesn’t go heavy on the spices, it certainly goes heavy on including quinoa in almost every type of Andean dish you could imagine!
Peruvian traditional recipes include some basic herbal staples, like oregano, lemon verbena, and cilantro—and the following Peruvian recipes with quinoa also play around with these aromatic flavors.
(So does #7, which will surprise you!)
Before we jump in to explore 10 traditional Peruvian recipes with quinoa, let’s cover the questions: where does quinoa come from and why should you be eating it?
The Origin of Quinoa
For over 5,000 years, Peruvians have been creating recipes with quinoa. Since there is uncertainty about the origin of the seed, there are legends about how quinoa landed on Earth from another mysterious place of origin.
The Aymara Spoke With the Stars – Andean Legend
The Andean legend tells us about a young boy that took care of the crops by Lake Titicaca. He watched over them because his people thought they were being stolen.
One night, the boy discovered a group of country girls in the crops, so he made them go away. They turned into birds and flew away to the stars. Bewildered, the boy went looking for one of the stars on the back of a condor and he found her.
She fed him with quinoa and when he returned to Earth, she gave him this seed so that he would feed his people.
Include Quinoa in Your Diet
Because of its nutritious characteristics, this seed is usually classified as a whole grain. You can find it in different colors: black, red, yellow, and white.
When harvested, it is important to remove the natural saponins, as they are hazardous.
A wonderful source of protein and fiber, quinoa is a gluten-free seed.
Check out the delicious Peruvian recipes with quinoa that you’ll love to try at home!
10 Peruvian Recipes With Quinoa
1. Quinoa atamalada
If you’ve ever gone around Latin America and tried tamales, you’ll love this dish!
Quinoa atamalada is Spanish for “tamale-like quinoa.” They gave this name to the dish because of its peculiar consistency when you let it cool.
As odd as it sounds, the consistency comes from mixing quinoa and rice! Yes, even if these grains are usually known as the other’s substitute.
The recipe also includes ají and queso fresco (white fresh cheese), some of your favorite condiments, and evaporated milk.
Although the complete cooking time is over 45 minutes, this recipe surely is worth the wait!
You can serve it in multiple ways according to the consistency you want. Freshly cooked, it’s like a thick soup. On the other hand, if you let it cool, you get a firmer consistency.
Queso fresco might be hard to find in northern countries, but you can use any white, fresh cheese as long as you add it in cubes.
Try this unique Andean delicacy at home!
2. Quinoa Soup
This soup requires no extravagant preparation nor complicated ingredients but is still a must among the Peruvian recipes with quinoa.
Along with carrots, potatoes, vegetable stock, and ginger to add a spicy taste, this recipe’s success relies on its fork-tender vegetables.
You’ll be glad to know that this meal is also low-calorie, low-fat, and high in fiber—which means it is light on your stomach and still satisfying enough.
In the end, the preparation time is between 30 and 35 minutes and it promises to be a healthy, delicious dish.
3. Quinoa Salad
Looking for even healthier options? This is one of them!
In 30 minutes tops, you can prepare a tasty, refreshing salad with a high fiber content.
Prepare your quinoa as you do rice, and then add your favorite salad toppings. The recipe suggests lime, queso fresco, tomato, and cilantro. Those who have tried it say salt is key to achieving a unique flavor to the recipe.
Because it is a simple recipe, you can even ask your kids to tag along. You can add any other vegetables you want to make it your favorite salad.
Impress your Spanish-speaking friends with your cooking skills next time you meet them for lunch.
Learn more about Peru: 12 Glorious Reasons to Visit Cotahuasi Canyon in Peru
4. Quinoa Porridge
If you’re a fan of sweet foods over salty ones, we’ve got you covered. Peruvian recipes with quinoa are so diverse that there is a little bit for everyone.
With quinoa porridge you can feel like a natural-born chef as you get a healthy, delicious traditional quinoa recipe.
This version of porridge is perfect for breakfast, a flavorful bomb of fiber, carbohydrates, and protein.
With a total preparation time of 25 minutes, you can combine the sweet flavors of rice milk, amaranth, and vanilla protein.
Cook the quinoa and amaranth, add the heated milk with the rest of the ingredients, and you’ve got yourself an easy breakfast!
The best part is that you can serve it warm or cold if you want to store it in the fridge.
Prepare this one-of-a-kind porridge at home.
5. Quinoa Pudding (Quinoa con leche)
Similar to the Latin American typical dessert arroz con leche (rice with milk), quinoa con leche requires ingredients that are easy to come around and that will make you the star of desserts among your family and friends.
In less than an hour, you cook the quinoa spiced with cinnamon and lemon, add milk, sugar, and vanilla.
To add an extra sweet touch, you can also top the dessert with raisins, berries, port wine, or cherries. The beauty of this dish is that you can eat it hot or cold.
A filling, mushy, unique dessert that you’ll love to make at home!
6. Quinoa Stew
Stew is a common dish in Latin America, usually made with beef, poultry, or pork. This time we’ve got a vegetarian friendly option for this tasty meal!
With chopped vegetables and a touch of your favorite grated cheese—cheddar or monterey jack—this soup also requires onions and other common herbs so it doesn’t lose its strong taste.
In 20 minutes, you can prepare this simple and healthy soup- It’s low in calories and fat yet high in fiber! It’s an excellent option in case you’re changing your diet.
Dare to become an expert in Peruvian recipes with quinoa using this easy recipe.
More about Peruvian food: The Mistura Festival in Peru Was South America’s Biggest Food Festival
7. Quinoa Beer
Quinoa beer? You heard that right, gluten-free readers!
If you’re not only passionate about cooking but also about home brewing, this recipe is for you.
With quinoa, you can achieve an American pale ale flavored beer—and with this recipe, you’ll have enough ingredients to make up to 5 gallons of beer!
Aside from other typical beer brewing ingredients, you’ll need malted quinoa, rice syrup, and clove honey to make this one-of-a-kind beverage.
Try out your home-brewing skills with this low-alcohol beer that’s perfect for those with a gluten intolerance.
8. Quinoa a la huancaína
Explore your culinary abilities with this juicy Peruvian recipe!
You’ll need to prepare your crema huancaína (huancaina sauce) to spread it over your quinoa and vegetables.
This exceptional dish includes potatoes, which you can cook to your taste. Prepare your quinoa as you usually would, and serve it on your plate. Slice hard-boiled eggs and place them over your freshly cooked quinoa.
Prepare your own crema huancaína with ají amarillo, evaporated milk, and queso fresco.
Remember that you can always replace it with other types of cheese. The particular huancaína sauce also includes smashed soda crackers to add consistency.
Finally, add some hot huancaina sauce on top of your quinoa and hard-boiled eggs and enjoy a heart-warming Peruvian meal.
9. Quinoa chaufa
La chaufa de quinoa is a curious mix of Peruvian and Chinese cultures. Just as typical chinese recipes, this one includes fried quinoa along with vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, and peppers.
It also includes eggs, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Chop your preferred vegetables, and cook them. Then beat the eggs to make an omelet. Add these and the quinoa to the vegetables, and finally pour soy sauce and sesame oil to add the final touch.
While it sounds odd, this recipe is rather easy and an excellent opportunity for you to fuse two of the most tasteful cuisines there are!
10. Hot Quinoa Beverage
Last but not least—tasty among Peruvian recipes with quinoa, this sweet beverage is quite versatile as you can have it as a snack or even for breakfast.
The ingredients are common to the Holiday season if you’re in the mood for cooking something for your loved ones. You need quinoa, apples, pears, and some of your favorite spices if you wish.
Making this sweet beverage only takes up to 35 minutes to prepare.
For a unique touch you can add coconut milk, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, turmeric, and vanilla essence! Some also like to add honey or maple syrup.
Be the star of the Holiday season by making this quick, delicious Peruvian dessert!
Learn more about Latin America: Unique New Years Traditions of Latin America
Learn Spanish and Visit Peru
Just like the Peruvian legend about quinoa, you can also reach the stars when it comes to achieving your dreams!
Learning a new language—especially Spanish—can help you get the opportunities you’ve been looking for! Getting a new job or a higher salary can be done if you’re a bilingual hard worker. They will surely reward your ability to communicate with more people than others.
Let HSA be a part of your goals as you take part in our one-on-one classes with native Spanish speakers! Our highly-qualified teachers are your ticket to becoming an expert in vocabulary, grammar, listening, and speaking!
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