{Tazo Cookoff} Vanilla Rooibos Quinoa Pudding with Cherry & Pistachio


Fate smiled down on me last week when I opened the box containing the mystery ingredient for week two of the Tazo Cookoff. I had been dreaming of a tea enriched breakfast appropriate rice pudding for months. When I was first asked to participate in this challenge I knew I finally had an excuse to actually make it. But I wanted to step things up for this challenge so I decided that instead of using rice I would use quinoa. I crossed my fingers and hoped that one of the mystery ingredients would work in this dish.Imagine my delight when I opened he week two box only to find a jar of organic red quinoa waiting to take part in some culinary magic. My quinoa pudding was meant to be.

I used boxed vanilla rooibos latte concentrate for this recipe because cooking with a product clearly meant for drinking (even more than tea in general) seemed fun. Plus it meant that I didn’t need to add any additional sugar or spices (the concentrate is slightly sweetened and contains vanilla and cinnamon). Complete with toppings, this recipe contains a grand total of six ingredients. You can’t get much simpler than that!


The quinoa gives this pudding a nutty flavor and a coarse texture — it lacks the creamy starchiness or rice pudding and reminds me more of steel cut oats. The flavor of the tea is very prominent and combined with the sweetness of the cherries and the crunch of the pistachios, it makes a great breakfast or a filling snack.Also, vanilla rooibos lattes? Totally my new favorite drink. Warm and creamy, with a slightly floral this drink reminds me of the perfect rainy day. The kind where you have nothing better to do than sit in your yoga pants, drink tea, and curl up with a book while the rain softly pitter patters outside the window.

A few tips for making this pudding:
  1. Make sure to rinse the quinoa well. Until the water runs clear. This will prevent it from being bitter.
  2. Ignore the directions on the back of the box of concentrate. If you look at the box, you’ll be tempted to use more concentrate than this recipe calls for. That would be a huge mistake. Even though you start with a cup and a half of milk, it reduces down to form the pudding and you’ll only end up with about a quarter cup of milk in the final dish. If you use too much concentrate the ratios will be way off and your pudding will be far too sweet.



Vanilla Rooibos Quinoa Pudding with Cherry & Pistachio

For a more dessert-like pudding, use rice instead of quinoa. Cherries are delicious, but any combination of a seasonal fruit and complimenting nut will work.

  • 1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream*
  • 1/4 cup vanilla rooibos tea late concentrate
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 2 Tbs chopped pistachios

Combine the quinoa, milk, cream and tea concentrate in a medium saucepan over low to medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for a half hour. For the first 20 minutes, the mixture will seem very liquidly, but after that it will begin to reduce very quickly. Keep a close eye on it at this point. When the mixture has reduced down to a pudding-like consistency, remove it from heat. Chill for at least a half hour.

Add the cherries to a small sauce pan with a tablespoon of water. Cook over medium heat until soft and slightly syrupy. Top the quinoa pudding with the warm cherries and a sprinkle of chopped pistachios.

Serves 4

* I added the cream because the pudding won’t reach the right consistency without a little fat and I only had skim milk. Feel free to substitute 1-1/2 cups whole or reduced fat milk for the skim milk and cream.



Looking for a second chance to win a great Tazo gift pack including a one year supply of tea and a selection of tea-brewing essentials? You’ll be entered one time for every comment you leave on one of my Tazo recipes. This is recipe # 2 of 3. The first recipe was my tea-smoked salmon with lavender and honey glaze. (Every comment you leave will also help me win a $1,000 gift card to Williams Sonoma.)

I was provided with a selection of Tazo teas and quinoa to use as inspiration in this challenge. I have no affiliation with Tazo or Starbucks, and any opinions stated above are my own.


  1. This looks absolutely fantastic Lauren – what an inspired dish! You are such a talented recipe developer!

  2. This is a great recipe. I love Vanilla Rooibos lattes and quinoa as a porridge. This would make such a hearty breakfast on the cold winter mornings. Great Job!

  3. mmm vanilla rooibos lattes are heavenly!
    that looks amazing

  4. This looks SO yummy! I cannot start my day without a hot steaming mug of rooibos tea as I drive to work!

  5. Wow – those cherries are just popping right off the screen. This looks like another wonderful Tazo creation!

  6. Hi there. I saw your guest post over at 5 Star Foodie’s blog and wanted to check yours out. I have to say I am intrigued by quinoa pudding. I’ve recently made a delicious salad with quinoa, avocados, and tomatoes, and am curious to cook with it a little more now. Nice blog! :)

  7. RavieNomNoms says:

    How absolutely gorgeous and it looks so great!!

  8. Great recipe Lauren! I’ve never thought of quinoa in a sweet/dessert way, but now I’m eager to try it out! (Btw, hope you had a great time at Wicked!)

  9. this is such an intriguing recipes–major creative points for this one! i love it!

  10. It’s almost like we are psychically linked. Rice pudding is basically my most favorite dessert of all time. And then you amp it up by changing rice to red quinoa (luscious) and adding pistachios and cherries. Oh my delicious.

  11. I saw the title and was like…Quinoa, pudding?!?! This sounds great and like it could be breakfast or dessert. I’ll have to try sweet quinoa soon!

  12. Wow, this sounds so delicious! You are so creative!

  13. I am seeing a growing trend in the sweet quinoas! it totally works and i can almost taste it with its gritty texture.. but in a good way. looks amazing. I love the presentation in the stemless glassware!

  14. Donna Longo says:

    Another great recipe, how creative.

  15. Dorothy Emma says:

    Looking forward to waking up saturday morning and trying this.

  16. Oh my! I love rooibos tea and the combination of that with the quinoa and vanilla sounds so good!

  17. Vanilla rooibos and quinoa were my two great discoveries this summer – I can’t wait to try this and combine them! The presentation is gorgeous as well. I think this may inspire a breakfast party.

  18. What a fantastic and unique recipe!

  19. Lauren…I gladly came over from Natasha’s blog to come meet your culinary blog…how wonderful.
    In this particular recipe…I really appreciate the use of red quinoa as opposed to the regular kind.
    Everything looks wonderful ;o)

    Pleasure to make your acquaintance and flavourful wishes,

  20. This recipe is new to me and it really looks so sweet..I’m going to try this one for dessert.

  21. You had me at Rooibos.

  22. that looks beyond delicious. i love steel coat oats and this sounds like a tasty new breakfast option.

    you’re an inspiration.

  23. This looks so unique and delicious – I can’t wait to try it. This Tazo challenge thing sounds fun.

  24. You have such a beautiful blog. And great recipes! I’m glad to have found it through Healthy Living Blogs.

  25. The flavors and textures of this recipe have me so intrigued. I can’t wait to give it a try for myself.

  26. YUMMM! soo easy and delicious! I love cherries!

  27. I haven’t tried Vanilla Rooibos or a sweet quinoa recipe–I must correct this soon. It sounds heavenly.

  28. You should apply to be on Season 7 of the Next Food Network star! I really enjoy the Vanilla Rooibus. I am wondering what are the calories like in the concentrate?

  29. Annmarie Balsamello says:

    Looks Amazing!! Can’t wait to try this creative recipe.

  30. I have some Chai concentrate which would work well I think…It sounds perfect even for breakfast…which is now.

  31. What a neat idea! I never would have thought to make a dessert out of quinoa…

  32. What an innovative idea this is! Brilliant…Again, take me in for the Tazo tea giveaway :)

  33. This looks delicious. I bet it would make a great breakfast.

  34. This looks fantastic! I adore Tazo teas but I’ve never cooked with them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. Sclark1013 says:

    Looks like a great fall dessert!

  36. This is such a creative and intriguing recipe. I would have never thought to use quinoa in pudding, and yet it sounds like the nuttiness would work so well with the vanilla rooibos, cherry and cream. Terrific job!

  37. I recently had a ton of cherries and added them to muffins with pistachios…it was an amazing combination! I love your use of the two ingredients as well!

  38. WOW! Those cherries are beautiful! This looks amazing!

  39. I’d soooo like to try that! Yum!!

  40. Wow! This reminds me a lot of the quinoa breakfast bowl that was on 101 Cookbooks awhile back, except maybe even more delish!

  41. Creativity plus! That looks like a wonderful breakfast. kateiscooking

  42. Awesome idea! I often make quinoa porridge for breakfast, I think I’ll be adding some of this powder to it next time.

  43. Oh my! That looks soooo decadent. Mmm.

  44. Ashley D. says:

    I think this looks delicious. PICK ME>

  45. Oh man this looks delicious! And your photographs are beautiful! Everything here looks great!
    I recently launched my own blog, I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! :) Thanks!

  46. That looks just heavenly. I love cherries!

  47. This would be my breakfast for tomorrow!!! delicious!!


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