Breakfast Quinoa On-the-Go!

A few weeks back, I came up with an idea for a recipe. I decided that today was the perfect day to try it out, since we’ll need lots of fuel for this week’s 14+ hour drive from Wisconsin to Ithaca, NY, and these little beauties are nice and portable.

I present to you: Breakfast Quinoa Balls.


You read that right: Breakfast. Quinoa. In Ball Form. AKA, can easily be eaten on the road.

Not to mention the fact that it combines two of my favorite foods: Quinoa and Almond Butter. And these are vegan and gluten-free!

These are crispy and toasty on the outside, but soft on the inside. They’ve got a bit of sweetness to them, but they aren’t too sweet. Breakfast quinoa balls are perfect for breakfast or snacking!

I’m extra-excited about this recipe because it is the first one I’ve made up completely from scratch. Usually when I bake, I am either following a recipe, or using one as inspiration. I did a little research, and couldn’t find anything quite like these (which also made me feel extra creative, by the way ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), so I made them up all by myself!

As a present to congratulate me for making up my first recipe, Dan has decided to start pronouncing ‘quinoa’ correctly. He has jokingly been referring to it as ‘Q-Noah’ ever since I started eating it, and offered tonight to actually start saying the correct ‘keen-wa.’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Breakfast Quinoa Balls


2/3 c. quinoa

1 1/3 c. water

1 1/2 c. whole almonds

1 1/2 T. agave nectar

1/2 tsp. table salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 T. brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the quinoa and water in a small pot. Heat, covered, over medium heat until it starts to boil. Remove the cover and lower to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Spread quinoa out on a mat or pan to cool.

In the meantime, spread the almonds on a baking sheet. Roast at 375 for 5-7 minutes.
Place roasted nuts in the bowl of a food processor. I used my Cuisinart Mini-Prep, which was a sufficient size to hold everything, but you can use larger if you’d like. Process almonds until almond butter is formed. For the Mini-Prep, I used the blunt side of the blade and the ‘Hi’ setting, but other food processors may be different. (If you don’t have a food processor, or just want to skip this step, you can also use already-made almond butter, though I’m not exactly sure of the amount you will need.)
Add the agave nectar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar to the almonds. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
Grease/spray a baking sheet. Mix the quinoa and almond mixture together. With your hands, form 2″-balls and place them on the sheet, with about 1″ between each ball. This made 14-16 balls for me.
Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops start to brown.
Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely on a flat surface.

I am in love with the flavor of these, and both Dan and my dad gave these a ‘thumbs-up’ as well. Considering Dan doesn’t really eat breakfast quinoa, but he likes these, I’d say it was a success!ย  My dad described them as ‘homemade energy bars!’

The nutritional stats for one quinoa ball are:

Picture 1.png

Not too shabby! Eat 3 or 4 of these with some fruit for breakfast, and you’ll be getting 9-12 grams of protein and 6-8 grams of fiber, plus all the nutrients from the fruit. Not a bad way to start the day, right? I could also see eating these as an afternoon snack, especially on days when I have a lot of back-to-back classes and need something I can eat quickly.

I am going to keep tweaking the recipe a bit, because a few of the balls were a little more crumbly than I liked, but they still tasted amazing and most of them came out with a perfect texture!

I also plan to try playing around with other flavors… chocolate? coconut? fruity? The possibilities are endless!

What do you think? Would you eat breakfast quinoa balls? I highly recommend that you try them! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Though I’ll have limited internet access for a few days, I have pre-written some more Savvy Eats for you. This week, watch for:

  • Coconut Cherry Granola recipe
  • Scones recipes: both the ones I made for Ashley’s bake sale and an exciting new flavor!
  • ‘An Ode to Quinoa’
  • The Little Things #8

Have a lovely Monday!


  1. says

    Wow! those look really good! i will be trying them! I really wish I was talented enough to make up recipes from scratch! How do you come up with things like this? Great job! Have a wonderful week!

  2. says

    Okay, so Dan’s decision to change how he pronounces quinoa is a clear marker of your success (our husbands must be related in intentionally mispronouncing words). Congrats on coming up with a new recipe – it takes lots of understanding of how everything works together to do that – ie basically you rock!!

  3. says


    once i locate Quinoa.
    and purchase a food processor.
    i will be making these from SCRATCH.
    until then, i will be dreaming of them.
    and if i locate the Quinoa, i may as well just use the jar of almond butter i have at the house because i CAN NOT WAIT to taste these little guys!

  4. Ashlee says

    I made these today and they were delicious! My husband even liked them! For those interested, the almonds made about 6 oz of almond butter.

  5. says

    I made these with peanut butter and honey and sprinkled a little sea salt on top of the formed balls prior to cooking. Very very yummy. I also added about half an egg yolk and that seemed to keep the balls together very nicely. Thanks for introducing me to quiona! I’m a vegetarian so I’m always looking for ways to get protein.

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Thanks for the tip on the egg yolk! I’m glad you liked the quinoa balls…PB + honey + sea salt sounds delicious!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Let me know how you like them! Another reader suggested using half an egg yolk to help them hold together better, fyi. :)

  6. says

    Omygosh!!! I just made these with some of the leftovers of quinoa from dinner tonight- I adapted by using sunflower butter instead and honey instead of agave nectar AND added 1 TB cocoa powder- oh my I had to stop myself from eating the batter -yum-O!!!!!
    Thanks sooo much for this recipe ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Many blessings

  7. Carla says

    I can’t wait to make these breakfast balls. How did you create that Nutrition Label? Is there a template for it somewhere on the internet?

  8. Eileen says

    I love to bake & since it’s just 2 of us in the house, I send a lot of overflow to my husband’s coworkers (which lets me bake even more!) I started them out with the standards: chocolate chip cookies, lemon poppyseed cake, etc. Now, they trust me & will eat anything I send their way. Last week it was your quinoa balls. Although most of them had never heard of quinoa before that morning, the breakfast balls disappeared in a flash & 2 people requested the recipe. (My husband gave them a link to your website.) You are transforming the snacks people eat!

  9. says

    Radical- I will be making them today. I have a bag of quinoa and have had no idea what to do with it. I’ll be using apple juice concentrate instead of honey or agave, some carob powder, sultanas and chopped almonds. DOn’t know if I will bake them though, might just refiegerate them overnight- apple juice concentrate is really sticky and will hold them together well, and the chopped almonds will provide the crunch. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Justine says

    Making these right now! Substituted honey for the nectar. They smell fabulous. Thank you so much for all of the great whole food recipes. You rock :)

  11. kathy says

    Great treats! I made these for my little guy and used 1/2 sunflower seed butter/almond butter, and then added some hemp seeds. I used brown rice syrup as I didn’t have agave, and they turned out great.


  12. Anna S says

    Read about these today in your “Ten for Two” post and realized I had everything on hand I needed to make them. I just finished making them and even though its late evening, I just had to taste one. YUM! I sure hope my kids like them for breakfast tomorrow.

  13. says

    i made these yesterday and they are almost gone already! i used peanut butter – what was left at the bottom of two old jars of the natural kind. they were still a little dry and crumbly, though, so i added a splash of lactose-free milk. crispy outside, moist and nutty inside, and not too crumbly. thanks for sharing!

  14. Rebecca Magliozzi says

    Heck, yes. we will try these! Anyway I can get quinoa into me and my boys is a good thing. My hubbie won’t touch it with a ten foot pole, but that’s his problem.

  15. Ashling says

    Yum these are tasty! Added the half an egg yolk like suggested. Almost reminds me of a hermit cookie- I may experiment with the same spices I use in hermit next time- though they are wonderful as is- made 15 pcs- Thank you!

  16. Shelby says

    I just made these, and had to stick them back in the oven. The mixture when I was making the balls was very very sticky, I had a hard time forming balls. They have crumbled some during baking and don’t seem like they will hold up if I pick one up. I used real butter, 2 or 3 tsp instead of almond butter, and honey instead of agave nectar….could it be one of those ingredients? Novice baker over here.

    • says

      I would guess that the butter is the culprit here. The stickiness of the almond butter really helps the ingredients hold together. If you don’t like/have almond butter, perhaps you could try peanut butter instead?

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