What can I substitute for quinoa flakes?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for quinoa flakes?” and will discuss the possible substitutes for quinoa flakes. 

What can I substitute for quinoa flakes?

Quinoa flakes can be best substituted with cooked rice, cooked couscous, cooked barley, cooked chickpeas, roast cauliflower, roast vegetable, and nuts.

Quinoa prices collapsed in 2014. In that year, the Andean region produced 206,000 t and exported 66,000 t . Producing a higher quantity than the Andean countries exported led to the downward correction of quinoa prices to 2.5 USD/ kg and 1.8 USD/ kg by the end of 2018. The production area in the Andean region lowered to 172,000 ha and the production volumes to 147,500 t. In that year (2018), Peru and Bolivia exported more than 84,000 t equivalent to 74% of global quinoa exports (1).

Substitutes for quinoa flakes

Quinoa flakes are pressed quinoa. They are gluten-free and contain a lot of good fibre and protein. Quinoa flakes give a nutty and grainy flavour to the cooking products. They give an appealing chewy texture. 

The dry quinoa seed is consumed as a cereal grain and has gained importance globally due to its high nutritional value. The balance of essential amino acids, fatty acids, micronutrients, vitamins and antioxidants is considered of high quality compared to the principal cereals. As a gluten free food grain with a low Glycemic Index, quinoa is a viable alternative for special diets and industries (1).

You can easily prepare quinoa flakes in the microwave oven by mixing the cereal and liquid in a bowl. 

But if you don’t have quinoa flakes around you in the kitchen or stores. Then you could go with other substitutes which have the same texture and flavour.

Here’s the list of the substitutes for quinoa flakes:

Cooked rice

Cooked rice can be the substitute for cooked quinoa. Brown rice can be the best substitute in terms of nutrition and flavour. There will be a slight difference in cooking time because rice has a different ability to absorb liquid. After draining the liquid, the rice could be used for cooked quinoa.

Cooked rice can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart diseases. It helps in maintaining a healthy weight because the intake of fibre makes a person feel full (2).

Brown rice is rich in vitamins and minerals. The bran layer is rich in vitamins like thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine, and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, and iron. Some varieties of brown rice were found to be low in glycemic index and evidence has shown that low glycemic index food has many health benefits such as controlling type II diabetes (2).

Cooked couscous

Cooked couscous can be the substitute for quinoa flakes. Couscous helps in boosting your immune system. It provides plant-based protein. It is quite easy to prepare. It lowers the risk of cancer due to the presence of soluble and insolube fibers. In addition, it contains many minerals, including selenium in its ingredients. 

Couscous is whole wheat, which includes bran and wheat germ, therefore, provides protection against diseases such as constipation, ischaemic, heart disease, disease of the colon called diverticulum, appendicitis, obesity and diabetes (3).

Couscous is rich in fibre. Cooked couscous can be kept at room temperature for some hours and can be kept in the fridge for 3 days. The time duration may shorten when couscous is mixed with other ingredients. You can reheat it in the microwave.

Cooked barley

Barley is obtained from a plant. Cooked barley can be used as a substitute for quinoa flakes. It gives a unique texture and flavour to the cooked food. There may be a mere difference in cooking time and liquid absorption. Barley is rich in nutrients. It helps in reducing hunger and helps in losing weight (4). 

It is also beneficial for reducing heart diseases. It is good for lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Recent studies have proved that barley is super beneficial for kidney and liver health because it contains a sufficient amount of soluble fibers. It should be, however, ingested with appropriate amounts of  water, to avoid intestinal obstruction (5). 

Cooked chickpeas

Chickpeas are also used as a substitute for quinoa flakes. Cooked chickpea is gluten-free. It contains the same amount of protein and fibre as quinoa. Similar to other pulses, chickpea is a good source of fat-soluble vitamins especially folate, riboflavin, and thiamin. Folate is an important micronutrient to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in newly born during pregnancy. It is rich in vitamin A also but poor source of vitamin C (6).

It is rich in raffinose, which have been reported to possess prebiotic properties. It makes our bones stronger. The main components of chickpeas are calcium, magnesium, fibre, and other nutrients. It helps in improving our mental health. You should avoid raw chickpeas because raw chickpeas contain toxic substances that may cause difficulty indigestion. 

Low-carb quinoa substitutes

Roast cauliflower

The roast cauliflower is a good low-carb alternative to quinoa flakes. It is rich in nutrients such as choline. It contains high fibre and antioxidants. It helps in reducing weight. 

The roast cauliflower is also rich in phenolic compounds which include protocatechuic acid, quercetin, pyrogallol, vanillic acid, coumaric acid, and kaempferol. You can easily add it to your diet because it contains the best amount of vitamin E  and vitamin C (7). 

Roast Vegetable

Roast vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or even broccoli are the healthier substitutes for quinoa flakes. It contains healthy fibre. So, it helps in improving the healthy heart fibre and vitamins. No water is required in roasting vegetables, and it uses dry heat (8). 

When vegetables are cooked in the dry heat of the oven, the natural sugar in them is heated which is the main reason for adding sweet, nutty, and toasty flavour in dishes.


When you run out of quinoa flakes you can use nuts as a replacement. Nuts contain nutrients. Nuts are rich in antioxidants. Nuts help in reducing weight also in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. Nuts help reduce inflammation.

Nuts are rich in fibre, so they are quite beneficial for our health. Nuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. 

There’s a high amount of arginine amino acid, which helps keep our blood vessels healthy (9). 

We hope that the list above brought additional insight on what to substitute the next time you run out of quinoa flakes. But, if you personally prefer the real thing, that is perfectly fine, too!

Other FAQs about Flakes that you may be interested in.

Can you eat Bonito flakes?

Can you eat frosted flakes with braces


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What can I substitute for quinoa flakes?” and have discussed the possible substitutes for quinoa flakes. 


  1. Alandia, Gabriela, et al. Global expansion of quinoa and challenges for the Andean region. Global Food Secur, 2020, 26, 100429.
  2. Upadhyay, Atul, and Sanjeev Kumar Karn. Brown rice: Nutritional composition and health benefits. J of Food Sci Technol Nepal, 2019, 10, 47-52.
  3. Kumar, Pawan, et al. Nutritional contents and medicinal properties of wheat: a review. Life Sci Med Res, 2011, 22, 1-10.
  4. Ames, Nancy P., and Camille R. Rhymer. Issues surrounding health claims for barley. J Nutr, 2008, 138, 1237S-1243S.
  5. Ioniță-Mîndrican, Corina-Bianca, et al. Therapeutic Benefits and Dietary Restrictions of Fiber Intake: A State of the Art Review. Nutrients, 2022, 14, 2641.
  6. Parveen, Saima, et al. Pulses: A Potential Source of Valuable Protein for Human Diet. Legumes Research-Volume 2022, 2.
  7. Adak, Keya. Indian Vegetables boost Immunity and Truncate obesity: A Review. Int Res J Adv Sci Hub, 2020, 2, 48-52.
  8. Patel, Nikita, and Rajashekhar Ingalhalli. Significance of vegetables in human diet–A short review. RRBS, 2014, 9.
  9. Ros, Emilio. Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients, 2010, 2, 652-682.