How to Cook Amaranth for Breakfast + 5 Easy Recipes


Cooking amaranth grain for breakfast is a nutritious way to start your day. Packed with protein, fiber, magnesium, iron and more, this ancient grain is a superfood.

Plus it’s naturally gluten-free— perfect for those with celiac disease or anyone with gluten- intolerance.

Let’s take a closer look at how to cook amaranth for breakfast.

What exactly is amaranth?

Amaranth seeds are collected from the amaranth plant. While there are around 70 species of amaranth around the world, the most commonly found and used is Amaranthus retroflexus.

You’ll find amaranth growing wild—it’s considered a weed in some areas. Others forage, or cultivate amaranth for its leaves and seeds. Amaranth is an herbaceous plant that’s completely edible: leaves, seeds, and roots.

Technically, the grains we use for cooking are actually the seeds of the plant, making amaranth a pseudo-grain.

An amaranth plant growing wild.
Credit: Andreas Rockstein / Flickr, Amaranthus retroflexus

Amaranth nutritional info

Rich in antioxidants and nutrients, eating cooked amaranth for breakfast is a healthy way to start your day.

In just 1 cup (248 grams) of cooked amaranth, there is a whopping 9.3 grams of protein. It’s also rich in fiber, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and iron. This delicious porridge, a source of quality protein, keeps you feeling full and satiated until lunchtime.

What does cooked amaranth taste like?

Amaranth flavor is pleasantly earthy, slightly nutty, with a texture similar to quinoa. Think of amaranth like other similar hearty grains such as quinoa and cook accordingly.

Add a pinch of salt when cooking amaranth to enhance the natural flavor. Like other breakfast grains, you can add your choice of honey, brown sugar or other sweeteners as desired.

Do I need to soak amaranth?

Some recipes call for you to soak amaranth. The purpose of soaking amaranth (along with other similar grains) is to soften and break up the outer layer containing phytic acid for easier digestion. In some cases, phytic acid may play a small role in impairing iron and zinc absorption. On the flip side, phytic acid has antioxidant properties that are beneficial to your health. So if you have digestion problems or issues with mineral absorption , definitely soak amaranth!

Soaking amaranth helps with digestion, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

You can soak amaranth overnight, or if you’re short on time, soak for at least 30 minutes.

Amaranth cooking time

If you’re wondering how to cook amaranth for breakfast, be prepared to spend a bit of time. It generally takes between 25–35 minutes to cook a pot of amaranth. If you’re just not a morning person, or in a rush, try cooking amaranth ahead of time. It can keep in the fridge for several days covered. Just add a bit of water and reheat. You’ll have cooked amaranth in a matter of minutes.

But don’t let the cooking time throw you off. Once the amaranth and water is brought to a boil, it’s mostly hands off. You just need to stir occasionally leaving you free to do other things.

Try cooking amaranth in a rice cooker. Rinse amaranth and add 3 cups water to 1 cup amaranth. Your rice cooker automatically switches to “Keep Warm” when done. You’ll have hot porridge waiting for you while you go about your morning tasks.

Amaranth basic grain to water ratio

Use 1 cup of amaranth to 2 or 2 ½ cups of water if you like thicker porridge, or 3 cups of water for thinner porridge. One cup of amaranth makes approximately two servings.

  • 1:2, or 1:2.5 for thicker porridge.
  • 1:3 for thinner porridge.

Amaranth stovetop cooking instructions

Some people prefer to bring water to a boil first before adding amaranth. But combining the amaranth together with lukewarm water allows it time to develop better. You can try substituting half milk, half water to the recipe for a creamier taste.

  1. Rinse amaranth.
  2. Combine amaranth and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Adding salt at the beginning enhances the natural flavor. Adding salt at the end often leaves a bitter, salty taste.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer uncovered until most of water is absorbed (around 15 minutes). Cover for the remaining cook time until amaranth is tender.

Amaranth recipe roundup

Looking for more amaranth recipe inspiration? We’ve rounded up a collection of five breakfast amaranth recipes.

Breakfast Amaranth with walnuts and honey
Breakfast Amaranth with walnuts and honey.
Credit: Epicurious

Amaranth Breakfast Porridge with Cinnamon and Sugar

Sweet and simple, this recipe calls for aromatic cinnamon, almond milk, and brown sugar (via Food and Wine).

Breakfast Amaranth With Walnuts and Honey

Walnuts and honey? Yes, please. Walnuts perfectly complement the naturally nutty flavor of amaranth (via Epicurious).

Berry Delicious Vegan Amaranth Breakfast Bowls

A vegan spin with berries, coconut milk, cinnamon, and ginger (via Organic Grains).

Coconut Rhubarb Amaranth Porridge

The sweetness of coconut combined with the tartness of rhubarb makes this recipe sing (via Naturally Ella).

Strawberry Amaranth Porridge with Cardamom

Spices and stewed strawberries combine to make a comforting bowl of porridge (via Food and Wine).

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  1. SELF Nutrition Data, Amaranth grain, cooked: Accessed March 2020.
  2. Healthline, Phytic Acid 101: Everything You Need to Know, Phytic Acid 101: Everything You Need to Know. Accessed March 2020.

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