Cashew Quinoa Granola

This cashew quinoa granola is a protein packed version of a favorite snack. The quinoa is baked without precooking for a fun new take on granola.

Usually my weeks go something like this…I wake up, stumble downstairs in pajamas, head straight to the coffee machine, make breakfast, sit down at the computer and work for 2-3 hours before I decide that if I spend one more minute bra-less and in the clothes I woke up in, I’m a complete bum. So from there, I “get dressed”. Quotes are warranted because that essentially means workout clothes and not a single ounce of makeup. The day proceeds as normal (work + blog cooking at lunch time) until my one social event of the day, CrossFit. Besides that one hour, I’ve probably talked to my dog, my coworkers on an internal IM thing and maybe had 1 or 2 actual phone conversations the entire day. Repeat that 5 times and you know now my Monday through Friday. Predictable, boring but somewhat comfortable.

Cashew quinoa granola

This week however, is exciting!!! Three exclamation marks kind of exciting.

quinoa granola with cashews

I got to go to NYC for a food event for a day (more on that eventually), I “get” (not exactly something I want to do but more so forced to) to go to Connecticut for work for a day and I have dinner plans 2 nights this week.

That’s like 3 days of actually getting dressed, driving somewhere and functioning outside of my living room turned office. Big news.

So, I decided to make granola at the start of the week for quick breakfasts when I’m trying to get out the door before 8am and never ever seem to leave enough time to get ready in the morning and easy snacking while I’m out and about.

The crazy part though is that I used quinoa. Uncooked quinoa. Did you know you could do that?! Because I totally didn’t until reading Sonja’s post. I also totally don’t buy into the paleo-ers claims that quinoa is more like a grain than a seed so I’m deeming this a grain-less granola (to my semi-paleo self at least) which just rocks. Another perk? There are far fewer nuts and seeds in this recipe because of the quinoa so you don’t have to spend your life savings at the bulk bins in preparation.

cashew granola with quinoa

Personally, I think this version beats out the normal oat approach by a landslide. It’s super crunchy but not in an “omg, I’m going to break my tooth” sort of way and there’s a serious protein boost from the quinoa.

I’ll trade in workout clothes and talking to my dog any week if it means more of this stuff.

Cashew Quinoa Granola

Cashew Quinoa Granola

Yield: about 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This cashew quinoa granola is a protein packed version of a favorite snack. The quinoa is baked without precooking for a fun new take on granola.


  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (I used a mixture of white & red)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspooon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup chopped golden raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine quinoa, coconut, cashews, chia seeds, pepitas, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Add coconut oil and honey and toss well to fully coat the mixture.
  4. Spread granola mixture onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, tossing occasionally and watching carefully to avoid burning.
  6. Remove from oven and add the apricots and raisins to the baking sheet, toss to combine.
  7. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Clusters will form as it cools.
  8. Store in an airtight container.


Adapted from A Couple Cooks


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen


  1. Caitlin

    I’m in Peru, and the stores carry Quinoa-Kiwicha granola, which seems pretty similar to this, and it’s delicious. Would you suggest an alternative to the coconut oil? I get the love for it as a semi-paleo cross-fitter, but it’s not accessible/affordable here. Will olive oil ruin it? What if I used thickened applesauce or even, gasp, butter?

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      olive oil would be fine! Not sure about applesauce. I’ve seen granola recipes with it, but haven’t tried it myself.

  2. Shannon @

    Brilliant! I must try this. And, I will admit to being a bit envious of your ability to work in pajamas some times, as I sit here at 6am ready and waiting to catch the bus to my office – technically awake and dressed, but mostly still asleep. I can imagine it could get lonesome, though, so enjoy the big days/nights out. I look forward to hearing more about the food event in New York!

  3. Reba Cox

    Two questions:
    1) What can I use in place of coconut oil?

    2) Crossfit related- Since you seem to really enjoy it I figured I would ask you. I’ve been doing crossfit for two weeks now, so far I find it relatively easy. I’m in pretty good shape but I just thought it would be harder. Yes lots of the moves I find difficult to do, IE Wall Walk-ups. But overall it just seems quick and easy. Does it get harder as you go? Perhaps because you can do moves fully and faster? Or perhaps the 6AM classes I take are more laid back?


    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      olive oil would work fine. As for CrossFit, are you in the normal classes or still doing the on-ramp/fundamentals/whatever your box calls it? On ramp was way easier than the real classes. If not, it’s hard to say b/c programming can vary so much from box to box and coach to coach. I’d try out a different time slot and/or coach if you can b/c while some workouts aren’t as challenging as others, I don’t think I’ve met an “easy” one yet and I’d like to consider myself somewhat in shape ;) It can definitely be quick, but I’d never say easy!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea. I know you’re “supposed” to with quinoa but I confess, I hardly ever do ;)

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  9. Henri M.

    Sounds good, but I’m hesitant on adding apriciots, I might switch it out with a bit of chopped dates for some extra sweetness.

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