Chocolate Walnut Quinoa Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Yesterday I thought I was playing a sneaky trick when I asked on Facebook whether you wanted a quinoa recipe today or a cookie recipe. Usually when I do that, I’m shocked how many people choose the healthy option! But this time, a reader named Sarah saw right through me and said she wanted both. Well, in fact, that’s exactly what I was going to do either way.

Because I made quinoa cookies!

Quinoa cookies?!?!

Quinoa cookies. Don’t be scared. Unless you’re scared that your inner cookie monster will come out and eat half a batch of cookie dough. In that case, you should probably run for the hills.

[Side note about Facebook before we move on: Facebook really cuts down on the number of Pages updates it shows in your newsfeed if you don’t like or click on any for a while. If you haven’t been seeing Coffee & Quinoa updates in your Facebook newsfeed (and would like to!), go to Facebook and click on the Pages Feed on the left under Pages. If you like or click on a few Coffee & Quinoa posts, Facebook will start showing future C&Q updates in your newsfeed more often. I bet you will be surprised when you click on your Pages Feed how many pages you thought you were following that actually weren’t showing you updates! Just sayin’!]

OK, back to the cookies.

After my first gluten-free baking success, I thought I would try my luck with gluten-free cookies. I’ve also been looking for an excuse to use quinoa flakes, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity! So I whipped up a batch of gluten-free cookies with chocolate chips and walnuts, and threw some quinoa flakes into the mix. YUM.

Quinoa flakes take the place of oats in this recipe, adding protein and a bit of texture without adding much flavor. I don’t know about you, but I love chewy cookies, and I will pretty much add oats to my cookies whenever I can. I love the way they bulk up cookies and add amazing texture. If you’re the same, you have to try quinoa flakes! If for no other reason than 1) to mix it up a bit and 2) it’s kinda fun to surprise people by telling them they just ate a cookie with quinoa in it.

I mean, would you guess these perfect little nuggets had quinoa in them?!

Don’t get me wrong – they’re not a healthy cookie. Butter and sugar and eggs, oh my. Maybe sometime I’ll try out a healthier and/or vegan version, but for my first gluten-free cookie attempt, I thought the butter, sugar and eggs could stay. And hey, being gluten-free counts for something, right?!

I used almond flour and oat flour to get a great chewy cookie without any wheat. And I love that these cookies aren’t crumbly like some gluten-free ones I’ve had. Even several days later, they stay in one piece just like wheat-based cookies – no falling apart. I think the two eggs are to thank for that. See, the eggs had to stay!

The hardest part about making these cookies just might be finding quinoa flakes. I thought they’d be in the baking aisle, but found them in the breakfast aisle next to the oats, instead. I guess it makes sense… Anyway, I wasn’t able to find them in bulk anywhere, and ended up with an Ancient Harvest brand box. Whole Foods is probably your best bet if you’re on the hunt for a box of them!

The dough for these cookies is some of THE best I’ve ever had. Thank goodness for pasteurized eggs, because I sure love cookie dough! I mean, don’t get me wrong, the end result is good too, but holy cow – this cookie dough. Aaaamazing. The quinoa flakes definitely have something to do with it, too – they make the batter perfectly fluffy. Like I said, if you have an inner cookie monster, this cookie dough will almost certainly bring her out. Mmmmmm hmm.

Have you ever tried quinoa flakes?

Chocolate Walnut Quinoa Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Yields: 15-18 cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour (gluten-free if required)
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes (found in the breakfast aisle)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and then cooled to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp roasted almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Sift oat flour into a large bowl. Stir in almond meal, quinoa flakes, baking soda, and kosher salt.
  2. In another large bowl, stir together the melted and cooled butter, sugars and almond butter. Add the egg and vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir together until thoroughly combined. (The dough will be thick! If it seems unreasonably thick, add a tablespoon or so of milk.) Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This step is important!
  5. Preheat oven to 350 and line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop small scoops of cookie dough onto the baking sheet, leaving several inches between each. It’s not necessary to roll them into balls, but I do like to smooth them out with my palms a bit. Bake for 12-16 minutes, until golden. Remove and place the cookie sheet on a wire rack. Cool for several minutes like this before removing the cookies and placing them directly on the rack to cool completely.
  6. Enjoy!