January 3, 2024

How to Make Crispy Quinoa (Air Fryer)

Looking for a new and delicious way to enjoy quinoa? You've gotta try this air fryer crispy quinoa. It makes for the perfect crunchy, crispy topping that you'll want to sprinkle on top of salads, bowls, soups, stews or anywhere else you want some texture, crunch and a boost of protein.

crispy quinoa on air fryer baking tray.

Truth be told, I'm not much of a quinoa lover. It's not a grain that I cook with regularly because I find it a little boring (hence why you won't find many recipes with it over here). But, this has changed with the introduction of crispy quinoa. To say I'm obsessed may be an understatement. I love how crunchy the quinoa gets in the air fryer and it makes for the perfect protein topper on salads. I usually opt for crispy seeds or nuts as a salad topper, but crispy quinoa may just be my new go-to. I hope you love it too!

How to cook quinoa

Cooking fluffy quinoa is the first step to making crispy air fryer quinoa.

Here's how to make fluffy and perfect quinoa at home.

Combine the dry quinoa with water in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit covered for ten minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.

cooked quinoa in pot with spoon.

How to Make Crispy Air Fryer Quinoa

Once you have your fluffy, cooked quinoa, it's time to air fry it.

Preheat your air fryer.

Toss the cooked and fluffy quinoa with olive oil and salt.

quinoa on air fryer tray.

Place an air fryer friendly parchment paper liner inside your air fryer and pour the quinoa on top in an even layer (working in batches if needed). Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until crispy, shaking at the halfway point.

crispy quinoa on air fryer baking tray.

How to Use Crispy Quinoa

Here are some ways to enjoy crispy air fryer quinoa.

  • Salads: sprinkle a good handful of crispy quinoa on salads for added texture, protein, nutrients and crunch. I love it on this kale, radicchio salad with fig balsamic dressing!
  • Soups: toss some on top of a blended soup for added texture and crunch.
  • Sandwiches: sprinkle some in your sandwiches or wraps for an extra boost of protein and added crunch.
  • Bowls: add some to your favourite bowls for added crunch, it would be delicious on this mushroom barley bowl.
crispy quinoa in bowl with spoon.

How to Make Crispy Quinoa in the Oven

If you don't have an air fryer, no worries! You can make it in the oven too.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss the cooked (and seasoned) quinoa on top. Spread it out in an even layer.

Bake at 375ºF for about 28 to 30 minutes, removing halfway through and tossing. It should be browned and crispy when it's done.

My preferred method is to air fry as I find it gets crispier and takes less time, but if you're doing a very large batch, it may be better to do it in the oven.

Flavour Variations

Looking for different flavour options, try any of these ideas.

  • Spicy: add smoked paprika, cayenne or Aleppo pepper to your cooked quinoa.
  • More flavour: cook your quinoa in chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Italian flavour: add Italian seasoning to the cooked quinoa.
  • Other flavour options: try using a spice blend like za'atar, Ras el Hanout or cajun seasoning. You can also make it sweet with cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup.
crispy quinoa in bowl with spoon.

Ingredients & Products I Recommend:

I share these products to show you what I choose to use in my kitchen as staple ingredients I use daily (or weekly). So if you opened up my fridge (or pantry), here's what you'll find!

Kosher salt:

I exclusively use Diamond Crystal kosher salt for all of my recipes. I prefer the texture, taste and consistency of this brand and highly recommend it for everyday cooking.

Which Air Fryer Do I Use & Recommend

I've tried three different air fryers over the years, and my most recent is also my favourite.

It's the Wonder Oven from Our Place. I absolutely love it and highly recommend it, for several reasons.

  • Aesthetically pleasing: as with all Our Place products, the design is unmatched. This means you can leave it out on your countertop and don't need to hide it away in a cluttered drawer.
  • Non-toxic: the trays that come with the Wonder Oven are all non-toxic and made from stainless steel and aluminum with a toxin-free nonstick ceramic coating. This is SO hard to find with other types of air fryers and is the main reason I use it so much.
  • Different cooking modes: this is not just an air fryer, it can air fry, bake, toast, roast, reheat and broil. I also love the steam function for bringing breads back to life.
  • Compact size: I love how small and mighty it is. It won't take up much room on your countertops, something that was so important to me living in a condo with limited countertop space.

The only drawbacks I've noticed while using this is the timer function. It's not digital and can be hard to be precise when using it. So I prefer to just use the timer on my oven or microwave when using it to be sure it's exact. The knob also has to be turned off manually by turning it rather than having an on/off switch.

But honestly, other than those missing features, it's such a great appliance and I do recommend it.

You can check out Our Place Wonder Oven here!

crispy quinoa in bowl with spoon.

More Recipes to Use Crispy Quinoa

Ready to make this? Let's go!

If you make this air fryer crispy quinoa, please let me know by tagging me on Instagram, or leave a comment and/or review below!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

How to Make Crispy Quinoa (Air Fryer)

This air fryer crispy quinoa is the perfect crunchy addition to salads, bowls, soups and stews.



  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350ºF. Toss the cooked quinoa with olive oil and salt.
  2. Place an air fryer friendly parchment paper liner inside your air fryer and pour the quinoa on top in an even layer (working in batches if needed). Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until crispy, shaking at the halfway point.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.


1 cup dry quinoa will make 3 cups cooked quinoa.

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