Lenten Quinoa & Coconut Cream Pudding Recipe

Eating healthy has been a pretty challenging lifestyle change for us.  Sometimes we do really well and other times not so much.  I’m a meat and potatoes kinda gal with a big sweet tooth (as you can probably tell since most of my recipes are desserts, lol), so it takes enormous amounts of willpower for me to stay away from all the junk I’m used to eating all the time.

I’ve had a bag of quinoa in my pantry for a long time.  I won’t tell you how long because you’ll think I’m totally gross and might call the health department on me.  Just kidding.  Sort of.  There’s no expiration date by the way so don’t judge.  😉

Even though quinoa is incredibly versatile, I just couldn’t figure out what to make with it.  I’m not a big fan of it by itself and if I sprinkled it randomly into dinner, my boys wouldn’t touch it.  And I really, really wanted to find a way for them to eat it this incredible super food!

Quinoa is a pretty interesting little…grainy rice thingy though.  Even though it’s neither grain nor rice and is actually more closely related to spinach, beets and tumbleweeds, even though you’d never know by looking at, smelling or even tasting it.  Most people mistake it for a grain because it can be prepared similarly to rice or barley and it looks like some sort of wheat.  It’s also extremely high in iron (15% of your daily intake), fiber (21% of your daily intake) and protein (8.14 grams per cup).  Quinoa also provides all nine essential amino acids and is both cholesterol and gluten free!  Pretty amazing, right?


So the question was…what to make with these powerful little guys that the whole family would enjoy?

My answer?  Quinoa & Coconut Cream Pudding!  I basically make it like I would a regular rice pudding, only I replace the milk and whipping cream with non-dairy ingredients (and obviously the rice).  Coconut milk is delicious and Trader Joe’s carries these cans of Extra Thick and Rich Coconut Cream.   So I mix those three ingredients together with a little bit of sugar and vanilla and that’s it!

You can top it with blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates or whatever fruit you have on hand.  It cooks up with little effort and only those five ingredients!!  It’s really delicious!



1 cup quinoa
3 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup heavy coconut cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Raspberries or other berries of choice


  1. 1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water for one minute.
  2. 2. In large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together milk, coconut cream, sugar and vanilla.
  3. 3. Bring to a simmer.
  4. 4. Turn heat to low and continue to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  5. 5. When pudding is desired consistency, remove from heat and pour into glass pudding cups. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  6. 6. Serve chilled, topped with fruit.


quinoa pudding

16 thoughts on “Lenten Quinoa & Coconut Cream Pudding Recipe

  1. Oh, this looks really good, i will have to try it! Unfortunately my wife doesnt like coconut, but maybe i can substitute.
    I too have been trying find ways to prepare this stuff, and even supposedly 4 star recipes just don’t taste right (maybe i need more practice 🙂

    1. Zozimas, you really don’t taste the coconut that much (depends how much she dislikes it) but maybe try almond milk and non-dairy creamer? If you try it let me know! And I agree some of them still aren’t very tasty, maybe I need more practice too! 🙂

  2. Can’t wait to try this!! We have a “Lenten Cafe” at our church to show our parishioners that lenten foods aren’t really that complicated. I’m going to try this one on them!!! Thank you!!

    1. Annette, you’ll have to let me know how it goes! If making it in “bulk”, you will probably need to add more coconut milk. Keep your eye on it and add as much as you think you need to keep it creamy. Be sure to keep in an airtight container if making it ahead of time because it does tend to dry out quickly which is why I make it in small batches. 🙂

      1. I will let you know!!! The pudding is going to made for this upcoming Sunday as that is our Lenten Cafe! I made the chocolate chip cookies for yesterday’s social hour after church. Everyone went crazy for them!!

        Thank you!!!

    1. I got everything from Trader Joe’s but I think you could substitute it with a thicker non-dairy creamer if necessary.

  3. Hi! Just a tip for preparing Quinoa…..If you soak it overnight and rinse well first (for any dish) it helps remove the ‘bitter’ outer shell and makes the taste of Quinoa much, much nicer! Also, to help reduce refined sugar intake, simply replace with coconut sugar, raw honey or maple syrup! Easy and much better for our bodies!!!! Enjoy!

    1. Great tips, Presbytera! Thanks for sharing them! I am definitely going to soak it overnight next time and have never heard of coconut sugar so will be on the lookout for it! 🙂

  4. I’ve been making Thai coconut rice “pudding” (which we usually eat with mango) and this sounds very much like it. ♥ Thanks for sharing this recipe, I’ll be trying it this week!

  5. We absolutely LOVE quinioa in our house ! My kids ask for the stuff that I make with it ! Try a bunch of different recipes and I bet you will find some they love !!! Some of the ones my kids love are a cold salad, similar to a waldorf salad taste, mediterannean pilaf, sweet potato/quinoa patties……and the ever simple quinoa/corn/peas mixture ! Let me know if you want any recipes ! Most I have found online when I first started eating it! Happy eating !

    1. I wanted to make this pudding this week, but I couldn’t find the coconut cream !! 🙁 I have one more health food store to check….but if I can’t find it, what do you think I can use to substitute?

  6. I made it today using almond milk instead. I couldn’t find coconut cream, so i ended up making my own cream out of 1/4 cup cashew butter and 1/2 cup almond milk in a blender. 1/2 cup real maple syrup instead of sugar.
    Came out pretty good. 🙂

  7. Thank you for this recipe! I tripled it for my coffee hour this Sunday. I tasted a little and it is so good! I did soak the quinoa overnight. It will be interesting to see what my fellow parishioners think. I’m not sure how many of them have ever had quinoa!

  8. This looks great. I am not a very experienced cook so I was wondering, at what point do you put the quinoa into the sauce pan. I read over it a few times and I don’t see it anywhere. Sorry for a silly question. Thank you for your help.

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