November 30, 2023

Healthy Breakfast

I really like this Healthy Breakfast

Creamy Fonio Cereal (Easy Breakfast Porridge)

Wake up to a bowl of scrumptious Fonio Cereal! This creamy porridge is a fast and easy to make hot breakfast that’s super healthy and totally delicious!

A bowl of Fonio Porridge topped with fresh berries.

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My husband travels for work, often bringing home little souvenirs. It’s usually a something like a t-shirt, candy bar, or stickers (so many stickers, he’s obsessed lol), but sometime he’ll bring home different foodie treats.

And that’s how I discovered Fonio, a type of millet that’s native to West Africa! This tiny ancient grain looks similar to couscous, and it cooks up just as fast.

This creamy Fonio Cereal is my favorite way to cook it, and it’s the perfect hot breakfast for busy mornings! You’re going to love this easy porridge, too … it’s ready in under 10 minutes, healthy, and the nutty flavor is so tasty. Plus, it’s endlessly customizable with different toppings.

Ready to try this recipe for yourself? Then keep reading for all the delicious details!

A spoon in bowl of the finished breakfast recipe.


The yummy recipes requires just a few basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fonio – The star of the recipe! You can find fonio at Whole Foods and The Fresh Market, as well as online. I used Yolélé Fonio for this recipe, but Amazon carries other brands, too. Find more place to purchase the grain here.
  • Milk – You’ll cook the grains in milk, which gives the finished dish a creamy texture. Any kind of milk will work, regular or plant based. I used my favorite soy milk.
  • Salt – A pinch of salt is optional, but it brings out the nutty flavor. I recommend using Kosher salt.
  • Toppings – Okay, now for the fun part … the toppings! I like to serve this hot cereal with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of brown sugar or drizzle of maple syrup, but there are so many other options. Check out the Toppings section below for ideas.

This nutritious recipe is vegetarian friendly and gluten free! For a vegan friendly option, make sure to use plant based toppings and dairy free milk, such as soy, almond, or oat.

You’ll Also Need

You’ll need a small saucepan (preferably with a heavy bottom) to prepare this recipe, as well as a wood spoon to stir the mixture as it cooks.

Ingredients for Fonio Cereal arranged on a marble counter.

How to Make Fonio Porridge

This tasty Fonio Breakfast couldn’t be faster or easier to prepare! You’ll find a detailed recipe card below, but here’s a quick overview of the steps:

  1. Combine milk and fonio. Stir the milk, fonio, and a pinch of salt together in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil. Cook the mixture over high heat, stirring frequently, just until it comes to a boil.
  3. Simmer. Once the porridge starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until most of the milk is absorbed and the mixture is creamy and thickened.
  4. Add toppings. Transfer the finished cereal to a bowl, then serve it hot, garnished with your favorite toppings.

And that’s all there is to it … your creamy Fonio Porridge is ready to eat!

Tip: This hot cereal will thicken as it cools, so watch it closely as it cooks. If it get too thick, simply stir in an extra splash of milk before serving.

A photo collage showing how to make fonio porridge cereal step-by-step.

Topping Ideas

Now that you’ve mastered the basic recipe have fun picking out the perfect toppings! Here are some easy ideas:

  • Fruit – Anything goes here, including both fresh and dried fruit. Try strawberries, blueberries, banana, mango, raspberries, blackberries, pomegranate, pineapple, citrus, apples, apricots, figs, and more. For an extra indulgent treat, try topping it with these scrumptious Caramelized Bananas!
  • Nuts – Sprinkle your favorite nuts over the top to give this creamy cereal for some crunch. Try almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, macadamias, etc.
  • Jam – A drizzle or dollop of jam (such as strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, or cherry) will add tons of flavor. Tip: Pair the jam with peanut butter for a delicious PB&J flavor!
  • Nut Butter – Add extra flavor and protein by stirring in a dollop of nut butter. Almond, peanut, cashew, and other varieties would all work great.
  • Coconut – Give your breakfast a tropical twist by adding a sprinkle of shredded coconut, or for extra crunch, some coconut chips!
  • Chocolate – Treat yourself to an extra delish morning meal by topping the finished dish with chocolate chunks or chips.
  • Granola – A small sprinkle of granola is the perfect way to add texture. Try it with my easy-to-make Homemade Granola or even this Tropical Trail Mix.
  • Sweeteners – This cozy breakfast is tasty as-is, but a little sweetener (such as honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar) drizzled or sprinkled over the top is a welcome addition.
  • Spices – Add extra flavor as you cook the recipe by stirring in a few dashes of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, allspice, or even pumpkin pie spice.
  • Savory – Fonio Cereal can also be enjoyed with savory toppings, such as roasted vegetables, fried eggs, hot sauce, or crumbled cheese.


Fonio Porridge cooks up so quickly (under 10 minutes!) that you really don’t need to prepare it in advance. If you do have leftovers though, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to three days. Then rewarm gently in your microwave, adding extra milk to thin the mixture out, if needed.

A closeup of the finished acha porridge in a blue patterned bowl.

Related Recipes

Looking for more healthy breakfast ideas? Try on of these recipes next:

Interested in more fonio recipes? Check out The Fonio Cookbook! It’s written by chef Pierre Thiam, the creator of Yolélé (the brand I used for this recipe).

A bowl of fonio grain with a spoon in it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is fonio?

Fonio is a small grain native to West Africa. It’s a cultivated grass and part of the millet family. Other names for fonio include acha, iburura, and hungry rice. It is considered an ancient grain, because it has been grown the same way for thousands of years. Fonio thrives in hot, dry climates and grows quickly without the need for pesticides and irrigation, making it a sustainable crop.

What does fonio taste like?

Fonio has a delicious, mild earthy flavor and slightly nutty taste. It will take on the flavor of whatever seasonings you use to cook it.

Is fonio gluten free?

Yes, fonio is a gluten-free. People with a gluten intolerance can safely enjoy this nutritious whole grain.

Is fonio a superfood?

Fonio is often called a superfood, because it’s a nutritious, easy-to-digest whole grain that’s a great source of vitamins, minerals, and plant based protein.

Is fonio good for health?

Fonio is a nutritious whole grain that’s high in fiber and a good source of vitamins, minerals, and plant based amino acids. It also has a low glycemic index score and is naturally gluten-fee. All of this makes it an excellent addition to a healthy diet. Learn more about the benefits of fonio at Healthline.

Closeup of a spoon in a bowl of the finished hot cereal.
A bowl of Fonio Porridge served in a patterned blue bowl.

Print Recipe

Fonio Cereal

This hot, creamy breakfast porridge is a cozy treat … serve it with your favorite toppings!

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time10 mins

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: West African

Servings: 1 person

Calories: 260kcal


  • ¼ cup fonio
  • 1 ¼ cups milk (see note)
  • pinch kosher salt
  • toppings, such as fresh fruit, nuts, maple syrup, or brown sugar


  • Combine fonio, milk, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Mix well.

  • Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to a simmer.

  • Cook until the milk is absorbed and the porridge is creamy and thickened, stirring frequently (about 4 to 6 minutes).

  • Serve hot, garnished with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!


The typical Fonio Cereal ratio is 1 part fonio to 4 parts milk (for one serving: ¼ cup fonio and 1 cup milk). However, I prefer to add a little extra milk for creamier results (so ¼ cup fonio and 1 ¼ cups milk). Try it both ways to see which you prefer! Tip: If you’re using less milk, you’ll also have a shorter cooking time (about 3 to 5 minutes). 
Recipe makes one serving. If you are feeding more people, just double (triple, quadruple, etc.) the ingredients to make your desired amount.
Milk will give you the creamiest results, however, you can also prepare this recipe with water instead of milk, or with a mixture of water and milk. I used soy milk, but other milks (regular and plant based) will also work.
Make sure to read the info before this recipe card for more info about this grain, recipe tips, topping ideas, and more!


Calories: 260kcal

Closeup of a bowl of Fonio Porridge with a spoon in it.

Fonio CerealFonio Cereal