Is Quinoa Keto?

Is quinoa keto?

No, Quinoa is not keto-friendly.  It is far too high in carbs to be keto-friendly. While quinoa does come from a plant, it doesn’t make up for its carbohydrate content when choosing which foods to eat while on keto. What’s more important for ketogenic dieters is the carb to protein ratio of their food. Quinoa has far too much carbohydrate compared to protein, so it should be left off your grocery list and replaced with something you can eat on the ketogenic diet.

Quinoa is a plant-based food that is packed with high-quality protein. In 1 cup of Quinoa, there are 8 grams of protein and 11 grams of carbohydrate. The health benefits are abundant when eating this food, just not for those following the keto diet.

Quinoa Nutrition Facts

Quinoa is an ancient grain from the Andes that looks a lot like rice and provides high-quality protein, soluble fiber, and magnesium. Quinoa is considered one of the best plant-based sources of complete protein, which is ideal for vegans and vegetarians.

In addition to being packed with high-quality protein, Quinoa also has great amounts of magnesium. Magnesium promotes bone strength by improving calcium absorption. It also reduces the risk for heart disease and helps fight depression. The soluble fiber in Quinoa is a big reason why this food scored so high on the heart health rankings. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol levels by sweeping through your digestive system and binding to bile acids that are produced during digestion.

Healthy Quinoa Recipes (not Keto)

Vegan Almond Joy Quinoa Cookies

What You’ll Need:

2 cups almond flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp coconut oil (measured as liquid)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sift if lumpy

1/2 cup coconut sugar (you can use regular sugar, too)

5 tbsp water

3 tbsp maple syrup or honey (optional – see notes for vegan version)


Combine all dry ingredients in bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Set aside In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients and mix well Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir until combined Transfer dough onto parchment paper or silicon mat Bake at 325 F for 15-20 minutes Remove from oven and let cool. Serve with favorite beverage! * For the vegan version: replace honey with maple syrup Notes: You can use regular cocoa, but if you do the cookies will no longer be vegan    

These chocolate chip cookies are dense and chewy. Even on days when you’re not following a ketogenic diet, they should still satisfy your taste buds. They can even be used as a base for other desserts (just add sugar free chocolate chips and cream cheese) or for ice cream sandwiches! Quinoa is the perfect way to make these treats nutritious – here’s why:

– There is 8 grams of protein per serving. Protein helps fill you up and allows your body to burn fat more efficiently.  – Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol levels by sweeping through your digestive system and binding with bile acids that are produced during digestion.  This type of fiber has been found to lower LDL and total cholesterol.  – Magnesium helps your body burn fat by improving calcium absorption, which contributes to higher levels of magnesium in the muscle. It also reduces the risk for heart disease and depression.

Quinoa Pizza Bites

What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup bacon bits (can omit or replace with vegetarian version)

2 tbsp almond meal or flaxmeal mix OR 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (for dairy free option)

4 egg whites, whisked until frothy

3 oz mozzarella shredded cheese (omit for dairy free option)  OR 1.5 oz fresh mozzarella, diced into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp Italian seasoning (or mix of oregano, basil, parsley)    


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pan with oil or spray with cooking spray (you can find an inexpensive silicone baking set for $8!) Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed Add egg whites and whisk until frothy Transfer dough into greased muffin pan and press down lightly. Press mozzarella cheese cubes into tops of the batter (if using fresh mozzarella). You want them to peek out just slightly Bake for 15-20 minutes or until deep golden brown Let cool and serve! * Tip: use a small cookie scoop to keep the measurements exact – this will ensure your dough goes into the pan evenly and none is wasted!

Quinoa may not be keto-friendly, but it is a superfood. Quinoa has been around for centuries and was originally grown in the Andean region of South America. It’s common to find Quinoa as part of many dishes on restaurant menus these days because it tastes great with so many different flavors! You can use quinoa flour or flakes just like you would any other type of grain substitute. If you are following the ketogenic diet, then we recommend sticking with low-carb substitutes that don’t have gluten in them – such as almond meal or coconut flour, for example.

Find out if your favorite foods are keto-friendly on our Is It Keto page!

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