Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

Good morning and happy Monday!

I hope you had a fun and relaxing weekend! We started the weekend off by going to see Gravity in 3D on Friday night. Actually, I lied. We started the weekend off by testing multiple versions of this pudding, and then posting about it on Instagram so you all can be entirely sure that I lead the least exciting life possible.

Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

But then we did actually leave the house and saw Gravity. Not that I ever hoped to be an astronaut, but I’m going to go ahead and say that now I never want to go into space. That movie stressed me out so much. I was so tense that I actually had a backache by the end. What do you think – am I a good candidate for space if  I can barely handle the stress of staring at a screen for 90 minutes? Staying cool under pressure is deeeefinitely what I’m good at.


I think I should stick to pudding.

Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

Luckily, that’s pretty much exactly what I did for the rest of the weekend… with a few breaks for running, cleaning and Indian food. But in general, this was the weekend of pudding, which resulted in my dishwasher looking like this:

Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

All the spoons and bowls.

What can I say? Many batches of pudding require many taste tests. You know it’s serious when you have to run your dishwasher again and the ONLY thing you’ve made since the last time you ran it is pudding.

Life is tough, I tell ya!

Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

But let’s talk about this pudding. The reason I made so many batches is that I originally wanted to make it dairy-free. After testing both almond milk and coconut milk versions, though, the flavors just weren’t adding up. (I’ve made a coconut milk pudding before, but that was chocolate – easy peasy. Vanilla is not as forgiving!) So, whole milk is where it’s at, and the flavors are woooonderful.

You could use canned coconut milk to make it dairy-free, and the texture will still be good… just know ahead of time that you are missing out in the flavor department!

Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

I feel like we’re cool with the idea of a vanilla cardamom pudding, but that I might need to sell you on the quinoa element. But do I really? It’s like rice pudding, just… with quinoa. Simple as that. It seems kind of unexpected, but it also makes total sense that we would make a rice/tapioca-like pudding with trendy quinoa.

I am pudding (<– get it?) quinoa in everything lately! And this is just Monday. Just you wait – there is more quinoa in your future this week, although not of the dessert variety.

Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

This pudding isn’t overly sweet; the honey complements the vanilla just enough to make it dessert-like. But let me say that I think you’d be totally justified in eating this for breakfast. I even toyed with the idea of calling it a breakfast pudding… but in the end I just wanted to eat it for dessert. But I mean, milk and quinoa is practically milk and cereal, right? It’s even pretty healthy, and I think the vanilla would taste great with a cup of coffee. Yes. Try it and let me know?

I loved using a vanilla bean here for that rich perfect vanilla flavor (plus the fun little vanilla bean specks!). The flavors of the quinoa and cardamom keep it interesting, too – and yes, you can totally taste the quinoa. Know that ahead of time. You must like the flavor of quinoa to enjoy this pudding!

I liked topping mine with chopped toasted pistachios and pomegranate seeds for crunch, crunch, crunch. So much texture in one little bowl of pudding!

So – quinoa pudding. Are we sold?

Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding

5.0 from 3 reviews
Vanilla Cardamom Quinoa Pudding
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
Yields: 6 servings (1/2 cup each)
  • 3 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, split down the middle and seeds scraped out
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
  • chopped toasted pistachios, for serving
  • pomegranate seeds or other fruit, for serving
  1. Bring 3 cups milk, vanilla bean and seeds, honey, cardamom, and salt to a simmer in a small pot, whisking to dissolve the honey. Add rinsed quinoa and return to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  2. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. In a small bowl, stir together corn starch and remaining 1/4 cup milk until corn starch is dissolved. Stir into pudding mixture. Allow to simmer for 30 seconds to a minute, which will thicken the milk. Remove from heat and stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes to release more steam. Set aside until warm but no longer hot. Press plastic wrap onto the top of the mixture and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  3. Scoop into individual dishes and top with toasted pistachios and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!


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  1. says

    I want to see Gravity, but I’d probably be tense and stressed the whole time too, so I’ll just wait until it comes out on video…less dramatic that way :) This pudding looks fantastic! I’ve never made pudding with quinoa and I am so down! Plus cardamom is one of my favorite spices, so this recipe is calling to me. mmmhmmm!

  2. says

    I’m pretty sure that I’m right there with you on not having exciting Friday nights. I was in bed by 10pm!
    The thought of going to space scares the bajeezus out of me too. Brandon is always saying he would pay to do it and I’m like, um, how about no.

    I’ve never seen quinoa pudding but I think it’s a brilliant idea and the flavors sound uh-mazing. Love the colorful pictures too, just gorgeous!

  3. says

    This looks lovely – I tried the most delicious cardamom, pistachio and turmeric ice cream about a year ago and have been trying to recreate it as a vegan pudding ever since (I eat dairy, but I dont have an icecream machine) however Im just not having much luck with non-dairy alternatives, I think whole milk is definitely the way to go!

  4. says

    I am most DEFINITELY sold! Honestly, I was totally mesmerized by the photos and I absolutely LOVE a good rice pudding so there really wasn’t much convincing involved! Oh and I’m a total sucker for a good pun so there’s that too! ;) This would be a perfect breakfast treat and great to make up on the weekend to eat throughout the week! Definitely going on my to-make list!

  5. says

    OMG LOVE this recipe! It is reminiscent of kheer (Indian rice pudding!). I didn’t have plain pistachios so I used slivered almonds instead, and 2% milk cuz it was what was in the fridge (I can only imagine what whole milk would taste like, or some evaporated milk? Yummy!) The only change I would make is add some golden raisins while it’s still hot so they plump up (sorry, it’s the Indian rice pudding thing for me!) The green pistachios and pom arils– such beautiful colors! Thanks SO much for sharing! This is definitely a keeper!

    • Erica says

      Love the golden raisins idea! I’ve never had kheer but now you have me craving some! Thanks for the comment, Laura :)

  6. Heath says

    I am trying various quinoa puddings this week. This one sounds delicious, but I wonder why you have the cooking time listed as 2.5 hours.
    I also wonder, related to a recipe I acquired elsewhere, if you know why red quinoa would get rubbery when cooked for nearly an hour with almond milk. Does quinoa get rubbery when overcooked, undercooked, or what?
    I’m glad I found your website. Thanks for all you post!


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