Cocoa Baked Quinoa Bars: No Sugar Added, Gluten Free, Dairy Free


These look like brownies don’t you think? Well they could certainly pass for one but the secret is QUINOA!! You cook some up and boy you can do some many things with it. I’ve made a bunch of quinoa salad recipes with it and lately have been enjoying baking with it. It is gluten free and works really well when combining it with other fabulous ingredients.

This recipe takes only about 10 minutes to put together and bakes for about 45 minutes but once you make it you’ve got a great grab-n- go snack for your family!



Mix some wonderful ingredients together in your blender or food processor and bake it like this or add some toppings!



Here I added some grain sweetened chocolate chips and roasted sunflowers. Dried fruit and chopped nuts would be fantastic. These are only slightly sweet on their own without chocolate chips so if your family is used to sweeter snacks you may want to add in some stevia. But my family enjoyed it like this. :)



They hold their shape well and you can easily take them to go. They aren’t dry like the texture of a granola bar,  but if my picky 12 year old liked them I think ANY kid will. My son is surely HARD to please!

P.S. I NEVER told him they were quinoa bars. He knows only the name chocolate baked bars to go!



YUM! Enjoy some and then store in the fridge.

Wrapping individually with plastic wrap ensures they won’t stick together, makes it easier to handle and it’s perfect to pack into lunches as well.


*adapted from

*Check this post if you are not sure how to cook your quinoa

I’ve adapted this recipe to be completely SUGAR-FREE as well as in the CROCK POT! Check it out here: CROCK POT SUGAR-FREE CHOCOALTE QUINOA BROWNIES!

Cocoa Baked Quinoa Bars: No Sugar Added, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 12
  • Serving size: 1
  • Calories: 202
  • Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Sodium: 6mg
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds*
  • 1-1/2 cups almond milk*, unsweetened (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup applesauce*, unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal*
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon liquid chocolate stevia, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, dried chopped fruit
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop your almonds in your blender or food processor.
  3. Add your pitted dates and almond milk in a high powdered blender or food processor (slowly, a few at a time).
  4. Add chia seeds, applesauce, cocoa and salt and blend until smooth.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and add your cooked quinoa and flaxseed meal.
  6. Prepare an 8 by 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or use parchment paper.
  7. Place your cocoa quinoa mixture into the prepared dish and spread evenly.
  8. Add optional toppings.
  9. Bake for 45 -60 minutes or until firmly set on top. Mine were perfect at 45.
  10. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting into 12 squares.
  11. Keep refrigerated or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.
* Make this nut free by removing the almonds and using milk of choice, increase flax and applesauce to 1/2 cup. Bake as recipe follows.
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 5*



Other Baked Quinoa recipes you might like:


The Sugar-Free Mom Cookbook has been Released!! Amazon is selling it at a discount right now!


  1. Hu, I wonder if I could use quinoa flour and this basic recipe to make these. I have plenty of quinoa grains and a dry blade mixer…may give this a shot!!!

  2. All great ingredients. I will call them Chocolate Baked Bars too. I will never tell them what’s in it unless they ask.

  3. Yum!

    How hot should the oven be?

  4. Could I simply use sugar instead of dates to sweeten these? We have no problems eating it, so I was wondering if it would be an exact substitution or if I’d need less or more.

    • I don’t use sugar at all so I would be guessing to tell you whether this recipe would work and hold together using sugar, sorry!

  5. ooooh yes! Gonna try for sure! And not tell the kidlets…..anything chocolate…they love :)

  6. i can have these! well, ‘cept for the milk, nuts and chips.
    will call for pricing! LOL
    you r the best!

  7. Hi there,

    Is there something I can substitute for the chia seeds?



    • The original recipe from Whole Foods uses hulled hemp seeds. I’ve never used them so i have no idea about taste and texture.

  8. Flaxseed may work as a decent sub for chia seeds in this recipe.

  9. Thanks!! just made them they look yum..
    i would like to add a comment- when using a processor id suggest adding the milk slowly as i put all the ingredients it at once and the milk spritzed all over!!!!

  10. Where would you suggest I find grain sweetened chocolate chips? Whole foods? Didn’t see them on

  11. I can’t wait to try these!! YUM! So healthy and still so decadent.

    Thanks for sharing my recipe with your readers. So sweet of you!


  12. Just love these – about to make my second batch, by demand!

    Just wondering if you know how many grams a serve is?

    Many thanks.

  13. These were delicious! I reduced the dates by half due to my diabetic hubby and they were sweet enough. I might experiment with pumpkin…unless you already did!

  14. Fresh or dry dates?

  15. These look wonderful and I can’t wait to try them!! I know you had directions to make it nut free but, do you think sunflower seeds would work instead of the almonds and coconut milk instead of the almond milk?

  16. Hi, there. I love the idea of making these for my kids.
    Can I ask if you grind the almonds into a flour or just add them roughly chopped?

    • In the directions you ad them first to chop them but keep them in the food processor and add dates,etc so they will become finer and more like a crumb than chopped. I guess if you use almond flour you could just throw it in after the dates are chopped in the processor.

  17. Thanks for the awesome recipe. Do you think fresh dates would work?

  18. Hi. Can I replace the flax with something else? I don’t like the taste of it, I wish I did. Thank you.

  19. i’m following the candida diet and can’t have the dates. do you think i could add extra chia for binding and some stevia or xylitol for sweetening?

    • You’re guess is as good as mine. I’ve not tried it without the dates. I’m sorry.

    • Alison – Did you try making these without the dates? If so, how did it turn out? I’m following the candida diet as well and I was just wondering the same thing. These bars do look amazing! -Laura

  20. Yummy! Very tasty for breakfast and snacks. I put hempseeds and cacao nibs on top of mine. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  21. Is it possible to omit the chia seeds altogether? (since i’m already adding the extra flax, by making it nut free). would eliminating the chia seeds change anything? i saw that you suggested hemp seeds, but i do not have those either. any other substitutes?

  22. Delicious recipe! I used unsweetened coconut (1/2 cup) instead of flax meal, and added 1/4 cup of chocolate chips then baked as cookies. My kids even enjoyed a bowl of it uncooked :)

  23. I followed the recipe to a tee except I didn’t have applesauce on hand and I substituted for equivalent amount of greek yogurt (which wouldn’t be the source of my problem). I cooked for 50 minutes and cooled for an hour and the end result is that it is still as soft as batter- sloppy in fact :S I used 2 full cups of cooked quinoa, but when I poured batter in 8X8 pan doesn’t look at all like yours does in picture. It almost was as though I needed more quinoa…
    Did anyone else have this problem??
    Any suggestions??

  24. These look fabulous!!!

  25. These look to be just the snack for me! My only variations would be unsweetened rice milk and unsweetened carob chips. I need to purchase some chia seeds and flaxseed meal for the recipe, and some liquid stevia too … just to have it available for all sorts of treats.

  26. Can you provide other recipes that you use chia seeds in? I found them at the store but they were super expensive. I could justify it if I could use them in more than 1 recipe. Thanks!

  27. Somehow I dont like chia seeds, can there be some good alternative to this.

  28. My daughter has a fructose allergy so we can’t do applesauce. Can I substitute oil or is there something healthier you can suggest? Thanks!

  29. Any one have suggestions for these WITHOUT FLAX. I deathly allergic and don’t know what to add/subtract to make up for it.

    • Hi,

      Did you find an alternative to flax because Im making them for a party and friend is allergic as well. If so, please please please share your secret??
      Thank you!!!

  30. what could you sub for the dates? raisins?

  31. I have these baking right now for my toddler’s morning breakfast! So excited for him to try them, hopefully he enjoys it! He just recently turned 2, and thus we have entered the infamous “terrible twos”. My previously fantastic eater has not become a picky pain in the butt and I’m desperately trying to find things he will eat besides cheerios. Due to his sudden picky-ness, I’m also trying to pack in as much protein, fat, and nutritious ingredients into everything. I’m trying this tonight with some modification for his diet :quinoa cooked in “super milk” and coconut oil, half homemade coconut milk and half “super milk”, almonds and walnuts, raisins, shredded coconut, and a very ripe banana. Thanks for a great recipe!


  1. […] some perfectly fresh little cherry tomatoes with sliced string cheese and a yummy Baked Cocoa Quinoa Bar for […]

  2. […] quinoa (toasted for a crunchier texture; cooked for a softer texture) to your favorite homemade trail-mix bar, bakes or […]

  3. […] Many granola bars suffer from a lack of protein and fiber; fix that problem by adding quinoa (toasted for a crunchier texture; cooked for a softer texture) to your favorite homemade trail-mix bar, bakes or bites. […]

  4. […] Cocoa Baked Quinoa Bars from Sugar Free Mom I’m always on the lookout for great new quinoa recipes.  This looks like a keeper! […]

  5. […] pasta in traditional dishes. Trying it for a dessert wasn’t a new idea for me as I had my  Cocoa Quinoa Bar recipe to work with. I wanted to remove the dates used as a sweetener to make it sugar free. The […]

We Love to Hear From You


Rate this recipe: