Quinoa Sushi Recipe

When it comes to sushi, it can be tempting to go overboard: All-you-can-eat buffets, deep-fried tempura fillings and creamy, sodium laden sauces. But getting your fix of the Japanese favorite doesn’t have to end in regret. In this healthier sushi recipe we turned to quinoa, a naturally gluten-free superfood, which has at least double the iron, protein, potassium, calcium and fiber of white rice. Mix and match with fresh, seasonal fillings like asparagus, avocado, cucumber and sweet potato for vegans — or add in prawns and crab for extra protein. One serving has only 100 milligrams of sodium and fewer than 200 calories. These rolls are so fun and satisfying — you won’t miss the giant takeout platter.

Serves 4

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Per 7-piece serving:

  • 199 cal
  • 6 g fat (1 g sat)
  • 28 g carbs
  • 100 mg sodium
  • 4 g fiber
  • 8 g sugar
  • 10 g protein


1 small sweet potato
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
4 sheets nori
1/2 a cucumber, cut into long thin strips
1/2 an avocado, pitted and cut into then slices
2 spears asparagus, steamed
1/2 cup cooked crab meat or 4 sticks imitation crab
4 prawns, cooked and cut in half lengthwise
Soy Sauce (or tamari for gluten-free) and wasabi to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Peel the sweet potato and cut into long thin strips. Lay out evenly on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender but not brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. Rinse the quinoa and place it in a pot along with 1 1/2 cups water on medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to medium low and place a lid on the pot. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. In a small sauce pan heat the rice vinegar and sugar. Once the quinoa has cooked, pour the vinegar mixture over the quinoa and stir until it is all absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the quinoa to cool.
  5. Lay a sheet of nori on a bamboo sushi mat, place a quarter of the quinoa on the nori and using your fingers, evenly distribute quinoa to every edge of the sheet. Lay a combination of the filling ingredients in a horizontal line across the middle of the quinoa.
  6. To roll, lift the end closest to you up using the bamboo mat, and tightly fold it over the filling, firmly pressing down as you roll to ensure its wrapped as tight as possible. Seal the roll together by dipping your finger in water and gently running it down the edge of the seaweed.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 6-8 bite sized pieces.
  8. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.