A great way to use leftover quinoa, this spicy crispy quinoa is made with chili oil, a handful of almonds, and parsley. It's the perfect topper for salads, soups, and more. This is inspired by the quinoa on the mother earth bowl at Earl's.

Try using crispy quinoa to top dishes like a ginger dal, for any green salad (I love it with this roasted butternut squash salad) or the best lentil soup. If you need a bit of a texture boost for just about any savoury dish, this has you covered. It keeps for a while too so you can make a batch and use whenever!

A green salad topped with quinoa in a large serving bowl.
Jump to:


If you have leftover cooked quinoa, all the better! If not, cooking some doesn't take long and it doesn't need to cool before baking.

Crispy quinoa ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Quinoa: any colour you like, cooked according to package instructions.
  • Chili oil: if you don't want the spiciness, use more olive oil instead.
  • Parsley: sub cilantro if you like it more, or leave out the herbs if you don't have any.
  • Almonds: substitute another nut or seed if you'd like.

How to Make Crispy Quinoa

Quinoa before and after baking in the oven.

Step 1: add everything to a sheet pan and mix well to combine.

Step 2: bake for about half an hour, stirring halfway through, and cool before storing.

Top Tips

  • Give it a stir: stirring the quinoa halfway through cooking will ensure it's evenly browned and crispy all over.
  • Use your leftovers: scale the recipe up or down depending on how much leftover cooked quinoa you have.
  • Season to taste: this might be a little salty for some if the quinoa itself is well seasoned, but remember that it's a topping and not a meal on its own. If you prefer less salt, reduce the amount added.

How to Store

Storage: keep your quinoa crisps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.

Freezing: I've never tried freezing this and I think that it would get a little soggy when thawed.


What happens if you don't rinse quinoa?

Quinoa can taste a little bitter because it's naturally coated in a saponin that tastes bitter to humans. Most commercially sold quinoa is now pre-rinsed, so there's not usually a need to rinse at home before cooking unless otherwise specified.

Is quinoa supposed to be crunchy?

Boiled quinoa shouldn't be crunchy. It's cooked like rice, with a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio for about 20 minutes, covered, and should be perfect in that case.

If you make this Crispy Quinoa recipe or any other vegan staple recipes on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.


A green salad topped with quinoa in a large serving bowl.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Crispy Quinoa

A great way to use leftover quinoa, this spicy crispy quinoa is made with chili oil, a handful of almonds, and parsley. It makes a perfect topper.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Sophie


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheet


  • 1 cup leftover cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Add all of the ingredients to a large baking sheet and mix well to coat the quinoa and combine everything.
    1 cup leftover cooked quinoa, 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, 1 ½ teaspoons chili oil, 2 tablespoons chopped almonds, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Once it's ready, it should be a nice golden brown.
  • Cool fully before storing in a sealed container in the fridge. Use your crispy quinoa to top salads, soups, and more, using a few tablespoons for each serving.


If you don't like spice, replace the chili oil with more olive oil.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating