How to cook quino?

Table of Contents

How to Cook Perfect Quinoa on the Stove

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa (prounouncedˈkēnwä|) has been the “it girl” of the whole grain world for quite some time now. Even though we think of it as super popular in these times, it was a actually staple in the diet of the Ancient Incas, since it was able to grow in high altitude of the Andes. It’s actually a seed, but treated and cooked like a whole grain.

Quinoa is mild and delicious, with a satisfying texture, and takes beautifully to all kinds of seasonings and uses. It’s got a crazy high protein count (8 grams of protein in a half cup of cooked quinoa), so it’s a boon to vegetarians and vegans; it contains a nice dose of fiber; and it’s gluten-free for those who have issues with gluten, which is a pretty big deal in the world of grains, many of which contain gluten.

Also cooking quinoa is super easy—as easy (if not easier) than make a pot of rice, and it cooks up even more quickly, so it’s a terrific weeknight grain side dish.

How to Make Quinoa:

How Long Does Quinoa Take To Cook?

Cooking quinoa takes less time than you might think. Quinoa cooks up much more quickly than most other whole grains, and any of us who have stood watching that pot of brown rice (which we love!) take its own sweet time to become tender will appreciate that. About 15 minutes, and you’ve got quinoa.

Quinoa Varieties

Quinoa comes in different varieties, with different colors as well, which can be a lot of fun to play with, visually. White, red and black, are the most common colors/varieties available, and some brands make a rainbow quinoa, which is a blend of different colors. Cooking times vary from type to type, so check package directions.

How To Use Quinoa

Quinoa can be used as a side dish, on its own or mixed with any number of add-ins – such as tossed with a sesame oil and honey dressing and some carrots, and topped with sliced avocado. Perfect as part of a spread, or a lunch grain bowl all on its own.

Add quinoa to soups and salads, or use it as a nice base to scoop various stews and chilies over. It soaks up sauces wonderfully. It’s great hot, warm or cold, and you can make up a big batch at the beginning of the week, and use it for days, heating it up for dinners, adding vegetables for a portable salad, and so forth.

Rainbow Quinoa

Rainbow quinoa is a blend of white quinoa, which has a tasty slightly nutty flavor with even nuttier red quinoa, and black quinoa which has a bit more crunch. The grains cook in the same amount of time and the color combo adds extra pop to all of your quinoa dishes. You can use the blend wherever you would use any single colored quinoa.

Freezing Quinoa

You can also freeze it in freezer proof containers or heavy duty zipper top bags – just press the air out, seal it up, and it will keep for months.

How to Cook Quinoa

Rinsing Quinoa

Some quinoa has already been pre-rinsed (the packages should indicate if it has or not), but this is a necessary step to remove the sponin, which is the bitter coating that occurs naturally as quinoa grows to protect it from being eaten by random wildlife. An additional rinse doesn’t hurt, so when it doubt, rinse. Use a fine mesh sieve so you don’t lose any of the grains down the drain, and let cold water run over the grains for a few minutes, shaking the sieve and using your hand to move it around and make sure all of the grains get a good rinse.

Toasting Quinoa (Optional)

This step is optional, but it really brings out the flavor in the quinoa. You simple place the quinoa in the saucepan over medium high heat and give it a shake and a stir every few seconds, for a total of about 4 minutes, until it is golden – watch carefully that it doesn’t burn. You can also heat up a couple of teaspoons of olive, vegetable, or grapeseed oil (per cup of quinoa) before adding the quinoa for even more flavor.

What is the Quinoa to Water Ratio?

Adding Liquid to Quinoa

The quinoa ratio to liquid is important. Add the liquid to the quinoa in the pan, whether you’ve toasted it or not. The basic ratio is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid. You can use water (season it with a bit of kosher salt), or you can use any kind of broth (I like to use slightly diluted low-sodium broths and add any extra salt to the finished dish as needed so that the flavor of the grain shines on through) from vegetable to chicken to beef. You can also add a bit of dry white wine to the liquid for another layer of flavor.

Simmering the Quinoa

Turn the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pot, and simmer gently until the quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes. The liquid should all be absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender and have sprung a little tendril-ey shoot—which is actually the germ of the kernel—indicating that it’s done.

Fluffing the Quinoa

When the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it sit, covered, for a few more minutes. Then give it a stir and a fluff with a fork to loosen it up. You can serve it hot, or spread it out in a rimmed baking sheet and let it cool for use in salads and other room temperature or cold dishes.

If you want a similar little bulleted list of info on How to Cook Perfect Rice on the Stove, well, just .

Basic Quinoa

This is a recipe for basic untoasted quinoa—but if you wanted to toast it in the dry pot, or in a little bit of oil before adding the water, just see the step-by-step above. Different colors of quinoa have slightly different cooking instructions, s if there are specific directions on your packaging, follow those.

If you are making a vegetarian dish, make sure to use vegetarian broth or water. And if you don’t have plans for your quinoa, try this recipe for Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots. Gorgeous and filled with great textures.

A recipe for perfect quinoa every time. Yield: 4 People Prep Time 2 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 17 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or broth I prefer a diluted or delicate broth
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with cold water (unless your quinoa is labeled pre-rinsed).
  • Pour the quinoa into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. You can toast the quinoa for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Or add the broth or water immediately and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa grains have sprouted their little tendrils. Remove from the heat.
  • Allow the quinoa to sit, covered, for about 5 minutes, then lift the lid, fluff the quinoa, and serve, or cool. If you want to cool the quinoa, your best bet is to spread it out on a large platter or baking sheet.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg

Made this recipe? Post a photo of your delicious creation on Instagram with our hashtag #dinnersolved

How to Prepare and Cook Quinoa

Learn all about quinoa as well as our best tips for how to cook quinoa perfectly on the stovetop, in the microwave, using a presser cooker, or in your rice cooker. Jump to the Quinoa Recipe or read on for all of our tips.

Pronounced “keen-wah,” quinoa is a nutritious seed with a nutty flavor that originated in the Andes in South America. While quinoa has been enjoyed for thousands of years, it’s becoming more and more popular here in the United States.

Quinoa is highly nutritious. It’s high in protein and amazingly offers all the essential amino acids we cannot make on our own. This is why quinoa has surged among vegetarians and vegans. They may be little seeds, but wow do they pack a nutrient punch. There are 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber for every uncooked 1/2 cup.

There are quite a few varieties of quinoa. Here, we are showing white (or golden) quinoa, which has a tan color, but you can find quinoa in a variety of colors. Look for orange, black, red, and even purple varieties. They are all delicious and are interchangeable in your favorite quinoa recipes.

One more note: Since quinoa is a wheat-free seed, it is gluten-free. That said, if you are sensitive to gluten, it is best to check the packaging before buying quinoa just in case there was any gluten contamination during processing.

Our ultra-flavorful and satisfying quinoa salad recipe is packed with superfoods. It’s vegan, easy to make, and tastes incredible.

How to Prepare Quinoa for Cooking

Quinoa is easy to prepare. It’s cooked very similar to rice but takes a bit less time. There are also a variety of ways to cook it including on the stove, in the microwave, and in a pressure or rice cooker. We’ll hit all the methods below.

Before that, let’s talk about how to prepare quinoa for cooking. Don’t worry; it’s easy!

It is best to rinse quinoa before cooking. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which can make cooked quinoa taste bitter or soapy. Rinsing well before cooking reduces the saponin and produces a delicious nutty flavor. Some packages are labeled with the words “pre-rinsed.” Since we are pretty sensitive to the saponin, we rinse anyway.

Instead of rinsing, you can also add the uncooked quinoa to a bowl of cold water and swirl it around a few times. Drain the water, then repeat.

You may also enjoy our How to Cook Dried Chickpeas tutorial.

Now you’ve got rinsed and ready to cook quinoa, it’s time to cook.

For most cooking methods, you need two parts of liquid to one part quinoa. That means if you are cooking 1 cup of quinoa, you will need 2 cups of liquid. The liquid can be water, but try broth/stock for even more flavor. While it isn’t necessary, you can also add a pinch of salt to the liquid for seasoning. We love using our veggie stock to cook quinoa.

For even more flavor, try toasting the quinoa for a minute or two in a dry pan before cooking. This enhances the nutty flavor. You can also add a little fat like butter or olive oil to the saucepan and adding a few fresh herbs to the pot is always an excellent idea. I especially love adding a bit of butter and one bay leaf.

When you’re deciding how much to cook, keep in mind that 1 cup of quinoa will yield about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

Cooking on the Stovetop

To cook quinoa on the stove, add the rinsed quinoa and liquid (water or broth) to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat so that the liquid is at a low simmer.

Most packages recommend covering the saucepan at this point, but we’ve found that you can leave the pan uncovered and the quinoa turns out beautifully. It might even make it slightly more fluffy.

Cook the quinoa at a low simmer until all the liquid has absorbed. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. When the liquid has absorbed, slide the pan off of the heat and cover with a lid for five minutes. After five minutes, use a fork to fluff the cooked quinoa then use in your favorite recipes.

Cooking Quinoa in the Microwave

The microwave method takes a similar amount of time as the stovetop method, but I love that it’s possible to cook quinoa in the microwave! This would have come in handy in my college dorm room.

To do it, combine one cup rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water (or stock/broth) in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a microwave-safe plate then microwave until about half of the liquid has been absorbed. This takes about 6 minutes. Remove the bowl from the microwave, stir the quinoa, and then cover again and set aside for another 5 to 10 minutes or until all the liquid has absorbed. Fluff with a fork, and then enjoy!

Cooking Quinoa in a Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)

Just like when using the microwave, cooking quinoa in a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot isn’t much quicker than when cooking it on the stove. That said, both alternative methods allow you to do other things in your kitchen since they are so hands-off.

To do it, spray or wipe the bottom and sides of the pressure cooker with a little oil (this prevents sticking). Then add 1 cup of rinsed quinoa and 1 cup of liquid like water or broth. Stir well so that no quinoa sticks to the bottom, and then secure the lid. Program the pressure cooker to cook on HIGH for one minute, and then naturally release for twelve minutes.

**You’ll notice that we are using less water with the pressure cooker method than other methods. There’s less evaporation in a pressure cooker, so you only need 1 cup of water for 1 cup of quinoa. If you follow this method and the quinoa seems too hard, consider increasing the liquid by 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.

Cooking Quinoa in a Rice Cooker

When using a rice cooker, simply treat quinoa like rice.

To do it, spray or wipe the bottom and sides of the rice cooker with a little oil (this prevents sticking). Then add 1 cup of rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of liquid like water or broth. Stir well so that no quinoa sticks to the bottom, and then secure the lid. If you have the option, press the button used for cooking white rice, otherwise just press start.

How Long Does it Last?

Cooked quinoa will keep, if stored in a tightly sealed container, for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. It will last in the freezer up to two months.

What to do With Quinoa?

Quinoa has a variety of uses and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! When cooked it has a mild and nutty flavor. Here are some of our favorite ways to use quinoa:

  • Make a quinoa salad. Here’s our Superfood Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and our Easy Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
  • Swap out oatmeal and replace quinoa for breakfast. Top with your favorite toppings like blueberries, honey, and yogurt. Or for a savory breakfast, top fluffy quinoa with a fried or poached egg and veggies.
  • Scatter cooked quinoa over salads or swap out rice in rice bowls or stir-fries for a more nutrient-rich base of cooked quinoa.
  • We’ve also swapped brown rice in these veggie burgers with quinoa with great success.
  • Stir into soups, stews, and chili. Adding a cup to this turkey chili or this vegetable soup would be fantastic.
  • PREP 5mins
  • COOK 15mins
  • TOTAL 20mins

You can cook quinoa a variety of ways. We’re sharing how to cook quinoa on the stovetop below, but methods for using a microwave, pressure cooker, and rice cooker are all outlined in the article above.

Makes about 3 cups

You Will Need

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water or stock like chicken stock or veggie broth

Pinch fine sea salt, optional


    Add quinoa to a fine mesh strainer, and then rinse under cool water for 30 seconds to a minute. Alternatively, add the quinoa to a bowl and cover with cool water. Move the quinoa around the bowl, and then drain the water and repeat once more so the quinoa has been rinsed.

    Shake the quinoa of any excess liquid. Combine the rinsed quinoa and water (or stock) in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa, 10 to 15 minutes. If you are making a large batch of quinoa, this may take closer to 20 minutes.

    Move the saucepan off of the heat and cover for five minutes. This extra time allows the quinoa to steam and “fluff up”. Uncover, and then fluff the quinoa with a fork.

Adam and Joanne’s Tips

  • For even more flavor, stir a little olive oil, coconut oil or butter into the cooked quinoa as well as some chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives or cilantro. A spritz of fresh lemon juice or lime juice is also nice.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 3/4 cup cooked / Calories 156 / Total Fat 2.6g / Saturated Fat 0.3g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 45.6mg / Carbohydrate 27.3g / Dietary Fiber 3g / Total Sugars 0g / Protein 6g AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

How to Make Quinoa

This step-by-step recipe explains how to make quinoa perfectly every time. Great on its own as a side dish, tossed into salads, and more!

Do you love quinoa? It seems to be having its moment, in American cuisine at least. According to some, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is one of the world’s most perfect foods, due to its high nutritional content. It’s high in protein, calcium, Vitamin B, and iron. It’s also gluten-free. And—fun fact—apparently the Incas thought it was sacred, because eating it regularly appeared to provide a long, healthy life.

Here at A Couple Cooks, we love quinoa and have used it in many of our recipes! It’s also great as a side dish, seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper. Here’s our master recipe for how to make quinoa: complete with a video of us making perfect quinoa in our kitchen!

Related: Try our Instant Pot quinoa method!

Watch how to make quinoa

Quinoa is very easy to prepare, but Alex and I have had some issues with it being too watery when cooked according to the package instructions. We did a little research and came up with a revised quinoa to water ratio and method for how to make quinoa that works every time! Here we are in our kitchen showing you how to cook this fluffy quinoa recipe: and we’ve thrown in another recipe for how to use it: our Loaded Quinoa Tacos.

Tips on how to cook perfect quinoa

Wondering how to make quinoa? Making perfect quinoa every time is easy, but there are a few things you should keep in mind to prevent the quinoa from becoming too watery or too dry. Here’s the best way to make quinoa:

  • Add dry quinoa to cool water—Unlike pasta, quinoa shouldn’t be added to water once it’s boiling. Instead, you need to bring the dry quinoa to a boil with the water to make sure it cooks through properly. What is the quinoa to water ratio? 1 cup dry quinoa to 2 cups water.
  • Put a lid on it—Once the quinoa has been brought to a boil, turn the heat down and put a lid on the pot to make sure none of the steam escapes. This will help the quinoa absorb the water more easily and will steam the quinoa near the end of the cooking time. This will make the quinoa extra fluffy!
  • Let the cooked quinoa rest in the pot—Once the quinoa has cooked through, turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit in the pot with the lid on. Again, this steams the quinoa and helps to make it fluffy.
  • No water should be left in the pot—To test whether it’s done cooking, pull back the quinoa along the edge of the pot to see if there’s any water still sitting at the bottom. If there is, the quinoa needs to be cooked for longer.

How long to cook quinoa?

Cook times for how to make quinoa will vary depending on the type of stove you’re using, whether or not the heat is up high enough, etc. But we’ve found that perfect quinoa is ready in 15 to 20 minutes. Once the quinoa has cooked, we then let it steam for another 5 minutes before serving. So your quinoa should be done in 20 to 25 minutes!

Got more questions? Scroll down to our Quinoa FAQ below.

Looking for more quinoa recipes?

After mastering how to make quinoa, looking for a few ways to use it? Here are some of our favorite ways to use quinoa:

  • 10 Easy Quinoa Recipes
  • Mango Black Bean Chili
  • Tropical Mango Quinoa Bowl
  • Artichoke and Quinoa Vegetarian Enchiladas
  • Go Green Bowls with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
  • Vegetarian Bibimbap Bowl with Quinoa
  • Veggie Packed Quinoa Fried Rice
  • Feta and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
  • Quinoa Black Bean Vegan Chili
  • Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Bowl

This recipe is…

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and plant-based.


This step-by-step recipe explains how to make quinoa perfectly every time. Great on its own as a side dish, tossed into salads, and more!

Scale 1x2x3x

  • 2 cups quinoa (white, red, or mixed)
  • 4 cups water
  • Kosher salt


  1. Rinse 2 cups quinoa using a fine mesh strainer, then drain completely.
  2. Place quinoa in a saucepan with 4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.)
  3. Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. If desired, add additional kosher salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side with a bit of olive oil and some herbs or spices.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: perfect quinoa, how to cook quinoa perfectly, quinoa cooking instructions, how long to cook quinoa

Is quinoa gluten free?

Yes! Quinoa is a gluten free grain (it’s actually a seed…see below).

Is quinoa a grain? What is quinoa made of?

Though often referred to as a grain due to its similar properties, quinoa is a seed, not a grain. It’s harvested from a plant that is a relative of spinach, beets and chard.

How to pronounce quinoa?

Quinoa is pronounced KEEN-wah.

Is quinoa keto?

No. Due to the high amount of carbs in quinoa, even though it’s not technically a grain, it’s not considered keto.

Is quinoa healthy?

Yes! Quinoa has a whole host of nutritional benefits, including being a complete protein.

Can dogs eat quinoa?

Yes, dogs can eat quinoa! Start with a small amount and if your dog reacts adversely, do not continue to feed them quinoa.

How much protein in quinoa?

A 3/4 cup serving of cooked quinoa has 6 grams of protein or 12% of your daily intake.

What does quinoa taste like?

Quinoa is a very small grain that turns out fluffy when cooked; the flavor is somewhat nutty. It can be slightly bitter plain, so make sure to season it when cooking.

Where to buy quinoa?

Quinoa is available in most standard grocery stores in the US near the rice and other grains. If you can’t find it, here’s where to find it online.

How to rinse quinoa?

To rinse quinoa, place it in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water, then shake it dry.

How to season quinoa?

Some easy ways are to drizzle with olive oil (or add butter) and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. A few other ways: add some lemon or fresh herbs. Or, try our Pesto Quinoa.

Is quinoa a complete protein?

Yes! This means that it contains all nine essential amino acids.

How to cook red quinoa?

It’s actually the same method as white quinoa: follow the recipe above!

Where is quinoa from?

Quinoa is an Andean plant that originated in Peru and Bolivia.

Is quinoa better than rice?

Not necessarily! But we love using it for variety as a rice substitute.

How to make quinoa salad?

Try our Mediterranean Quinoa Salad or Summer Quinoa Salad with Corn.

What is the quinoa to water ratio?

1 cup dry quinoa to 2 cups water

How long does cooked quinoa last?

Cooked quinoa lasts for 3 to 5 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

Ready in just 15 minutes, quinoa is a quick-cooking whole grain with a nutty taste. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) offers everything a busy cook could possibly need. Whether it’s a quinoa salad, quinoa veggie burger, or quinoa fried rice, quinoa holds its own as a side dish or as the base of the main course.

And cooking quinoa? It’s so easy. In fact, if you can cook rice, you know how to make quinoa. This step-by-step guide with photos shows you how to cook perfect quinoa three different ways: on the stovetop, in the rice cooker, and in the Instant Pot.

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Quinoa to Water Ratio

You hardly need a recipe to cook perfect quinoa. All you need to know is this simple quinoa to water ratio:

2 cups liquid
1 cup quinoa

This ratio yields 3 cups cooked quinoa or 6 (½ cup) servings. You can scale this ratio up or down, depending on how many servings you want.

For the liquid, you can use water or broth. For the quinoa, use white quinoa, red quinoa, black quinoa, or a blend of all three. Lastly, quinoa loves to expand in water-keep this in mind if you plan to add it to a soup, as you may quickly find that your broth has been soaked up.

How to Cook Quinoa on the Stove

Image zoom Photo: Elizabeth Laseter

The stovetop is the most common way to cook quinoa. Below, find a breakdown of the process from start to finish. Note: This recipe yields about 3 cups or 6 1/2 servings.

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

2 cups water or broth
1 cup quinoa
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt (optional)

Image zoom Photo: Elizabeth Laseter

Step 2: Bring to a boil

Combine water or broth, quinoa, and salt (if using) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Image zoom Photo: Elizabeth Laseter

Step 3: Simmer the quinoa

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. You’ll know when the quinoa is done because it will look like it has popped open, revealing the germ of the kernel.

Image zoom Photo: Elizabeth Laseter

Step 4: Fluff the quinoa

Remove the heat and let the quinoa sit (covered) for about 10 minutes. This step allows the quinoa to steam and keeps it fluffy and moist. Finally, uncover the quinoa and use a fork to fluff and separate the grains.

Get the Recipe: Basic Quinoa

Tips for Cooking Perfect Quinoa

Image zoom Photo: deymos / Getty Images

1. Give it a Quick Rinse

Quinoa grows with a bitter-tasting, protective coating called saponin. Though most quinoa you buy in grocery stores is prerinsed, another run under the faucet doesn’t hurt. Pour quinoa into a fine-mesh sieve and put it under cold water for a few seconds. Shake off any excess water before starting your recipe.

2. Toast to Maximize Flavor

Bring out quinoa’s nutty side with a quick skillet toast. For every 1 1/2 cups quinoa, heat 1 tablespoon of a neutral oil, like canola, in a skillet on medium-low heat. Stay vigilant: Stir the quinoa constantly to avoid burning, watching for that perfect golden moment, around 6 to 8 minutes.

Try our recipe for Quinoa with Latin Flavors to master the toasting method.

3. Mix Up the Liquids

Water is quinoa’s go-to companion, but other liquids-think low-sodium chicken, mushroom or vegetable broth-add flavor. Just keep the ratio 2 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa. Add a splash of dry white wine for further oomph: 1/2 cup wine plus 1 1/2 cups broth for every 1 cup of quinoa.

4. Watch the Time

Quinoa cooks quickly-in about 15 minutes. Some package directions tell you to turn off the heat once the liquid boils and you’ve stirred in the quinoa. We prefer to bring the cooking liquid to a boil, stir in the quinoa, then turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer gently, until all the liquid is absorbed. You’ll know when the quinoa is done because it will look like it has popped open, revealing the germ of the kernel.

See More: Delicious Quinoa Salad Recipes

How to Cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot

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Cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot (or any other multicooker) is the fastest way to make it. Like the ricer cooker method, Instant Pot quinoa is hands-off and completely foolproof. However, you’ll actually need to use less water to cook the quinoa than you would with other methods. The ratio we use for Instant Pot quinoa is 1 part quinoa to 1 1/2 parts liquid.

Simply combine quinoa and liquid in your Instant Pot, then cook on high pressure for one minute. Let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the pressure to release naturally. Fluff with a fork and enjoy! Yes, it’s that simple.

Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Quinoa

How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker

Your rice cooker is the perfect vessel for cooking tender, fluffy quinoa. This clever hack is completely hands-off, freeing you up to knock out other tasks in the kitchen. Simply combine your liquid and quinoa (use the 2:1 ratio) in the well of the rice cooker, choose the proper setting, then let it works its magic. Budget about 30 to 55 minutes of cook time, depending on the model.

Get the Recipe: Rice Cooker Quinoa

Quinoa Health Benefits

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Pictured Recipe: Black Bean-Quinoa Buddha Bowl

A 1/2-cup serving of quinoa has 111 calories, 2 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein and 3 g fiber.

Though protein is quinoa’s calling card, it’s not the total protein content but the type of protein that gives the grain its healthy rep. Quinoa has all nine amino acids essential for human nutrition. This combo is common in meats, but rarely found in plant-based foods. Quinoa also boasts a good dose of fiber and iron.

Read More: 5 Facts About Quinoa Nutrition

How to Buy Quinoa

Quinoa is available in most grocery stores, and you’ll most likely spot it in the grains aisle. It’s also available in most natural-foods stores. Quinoa grows in a rainbow of colors, but the most commonly sold are red quinoa, black quinoa and white quinoa.

Taste and nutrition between different types of quinoa are similar, but there are a few differences to note. White quinoa tends to cook up fluffier, while red quinoa and black quinoa have a crunchier texture and the grains don’t tend to stick together as much.

Cooking with Quinoa Flour and Quinoa Flakes

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Pictured recipe: Almond Butter-Quinoa Blondies

Ready to push the quinoa boundaries? Two extensions of the quinoa grain are quinoa flour, a great option for gluten-free baking, and quinoa flakes, which look and cook similarly to rolled oats. Find both products in bigger supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Interested in DIY quinoa flour? To make it at home, grind white quinoa in a clean coffee grinder until it becomes a fine powder. Though not as fine as what you get in the store, your homemade flour will work in recipes for cookies and bars where the fine texture won’t matter.

Related: 10 Delicious Ways to Jazz Up Whole Grains

Quinoa Recipes & Ideas

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Pictured Recipe: Quinoa Power Salad

Now that you know exactly how to cook quinoa, what should you do with it? While you can enjoy quinoa as is, there are endless ways to dress it up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start your day with a hearty breakfast quinoa bowl piled high with fresh fruit. Make a big quinoa salad at the beginning of the week for easy, healthy lunches all week long. Or whip up quinoa burgers for a vegetarian dinner and pair with a simple green salad. Quinoa can also be incorporated into desserts like whole grain whole grain blondies and creamy quinoa pudding.

Check out our Healthy Quinoa Recipes for more delicious and easy ways to cook with this versatile whole grain.

Love quinoa, but the lack of stove, or the cook time holding you back? Cook your quinoa in the microwave in just 8 minutes! All you need is quinoa, water, a microwave safe bowl, and a lid!

Ahhhhhhhhh if only I would have known this trick in college… life in the dorm room would have been complete! I could have steamed my veggies and had it over quinoa :P. But seriously- this how to cook quinoa in the microwave will save your life during busy weeks! It is the EASIEST and (least messy) way to cook quinoa!

I’m super excited to announce a new FFF partnership today with Ancient Harvest Quinoa! Remember when I participated in their cook-off a few months back? Yah, I still dream about that Jalapeño Bacon Quinoa Mac on a daily basis. Quinoa is one of those ingredients that I’ve been sharing recipes for since day 1 on FFF. Actually- my first “viral” blog post is called 10 Healthy Quinoa Recipes, and 3 years later, I’m still quinoa strong 😛

So this recipe is SUPER SIMPLE. You don’t have to be a magnificent chef to get PERFECTLY cooked quinoa. Heck, you don’t even need a stove to get perfectly cooked quinoa!

What you need to cook quinoa in the microwave..

  • Ancient Harvest Quinoa (any color) <– I used Inca Red
  • Water
  • Microwave Safe Bowl (I used a very large Pyrex Measuring Cup)
  • Microwave Safe Top/Dish (I used a plate!)

Then all you need to do is microwave (covered), stir, microwave more, and let steam!


How to Cook Quinoa in the Microwave

Prep your lunch or dinner for the entire week with these Healthy Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken Bowls

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 mins
  • Total Time: 13 minutes

Author: Lee Hersh Yield: 4 servings 1x

  • 1 cup Ancient Harvest Quinoa (any color), rinsed
  • 2 cups water (or vegetable/chicken broth <—savory)
  1. First, begin by rinsing your quinoa under warm water to remove residue.
  2. Then, place in a microwave-safe bowl or container and add in 2 cups of water. Cover with a lid (I used a plate) and cook quinoa for 6 minutes. Remove and stir. At this point, more than half the water should be absorbed. Place back in the microwave for about 2 more minutes. Then, let sit covered for an additional 5-10 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: ~ 1 cup cooked
  • Calories: 636
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 36
  • Fat: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 117
  • Fiber: 10
  • Protein: 22


I know you guys love quinoa as much as I do because the quinoa recipes on FFF are some of the most popular, so get ready for a bajillion and one quinoa recipes coming your way! For now, get inspired and make one of these lovely quinoa casserole recipes!

Get a $1 using Ancient Harvest’s coupon HERE.

This post is sponsored by Ancient Harvest Quinoa. I was compensated and all opinions are my own.

How to cook quinoa on the stove-top with all my tips & tricks to make it light and flavorful every single time!


If you aren’t familiar with quinoa, it is a naturally gluten-free seed that makes a great substitute for rice and other grains. It’s gaining popularity due to how healthy it is and is even considered a “superfood”.

Quinoa is pronounced “KEEN-wah” and is so easy to prepare! I’ve been making and experimenting with quinoa for years and it’s one of my family’s favorite grains. I’ve shared dozens of recipes over the years and today I’ll share how to cook quinoa, my go-to quinoa recipe, helpful tools, answer commonly asked quinoa questions, and share links to my other quinoa recipes!

Let’s dive in!

How To Cook Quinoa

Cooking quinoa is very similar to cooking rice. Check out the steps below to make quinoa light, fluffy, and flavorful every single time!

Step One: Measure

Measure out one leveled cup of quinoa. There are over 120 known varieties of quinoa but the most popular varieties are white, red, or black. The photo above is a tri-colored quinoa (combining all three!). So what’s the difference between the varieties?

  • White Quinoa: most common variety available in stores (you’ll often see it just called quinoa)
  • Red Quinoa: holds its shape after cooking a bit better than white quinoa, making it great for cold salads!
  • Black Quinoa: a bit earthier and sweeter in flavor than white quinoa

Step Two: Rinse

Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which can make it taste bitter. Pour the cup of quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly for 30 seconds to one minute.

Even when quinoa says it’s been pre-rinsed, I’ll still give it another quick rinse!

TIP: if you have the extra time/patience, you can soak your cup of quinoa in water for a couple of minutes before rinsing to really ensure that outer coating is really gone.

Step Three: Flavor (optional)

If you’re making quinoa as a stand-alone dish, then I’d recommend adding seasonings to it so it’s more flavorful. However, if you’re using the quinoa in a salad, soup, casserole dish, or any other recipe, then adding seasonings isn’t necessary.

To add seasonings to the quinoa, first add 1 tablespoon oil (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, etc. – any oil works!) to a pot. Put over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add in 1 teaspoon of spices. Use your favorite spice blend, or a single seasoning. Some of my favorite seasonings to use are tumeric, curry powder, paprika, chili powder, and Italian seasoning. Experiment with different seasonings to find the ones you like the best!

As a substitute for spices you can add a teaspoon of minced garlic.

Once you add the seasonings/garlic to the shimmering oil, stir for about 30 seconds and then add in the rinsed and dried quinoa.

Toast the quinoa by stirring it frequently in the oil/seasoning mixture over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Step Four: Cook

Quinoa cooks by boiling, and then simmering, in liquid over the stove. While water works just fine to cook the quinoa in, I prefer to use vegetable or chicken stock for extra flavor.

With the quinoa in a pot, add 1 and 3/4 cup of liquid and bring the quinoa to a boil. Add a bit of salt and pepper at this point to flavor (just a pinch of each if I’m using a stock and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of each if I’m using water). As soon as the quinoa is boiling, cover the pot, and lower the stove to its lowest heat setting. Let cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.

The quinoa is done cooking when most of the liquid has been absorbed (the small amount of remaining liquid will absorb after removing from heat). As the quinoa is cooking, try to remove the lid as little as possible (that will become easier as your experience with cooking quinoa grows:)

Step Five: Let Stand and Fluff with a Fork

Remove the pot from the stove and, while keeping the lid on, let it stand off the heat for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and enjoy!

5 from 5 votes How to Cook Quinoa Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 15 mins Rest Time 5 mins Total Time 20 mins

How to cook quinoa on the stovetop and all my tips/tricks to make it light, fluffy, and flavorful every single time!

Course: Side Dish Cuisine: American Keyword: how to cook quinoa Servings: 3 cups cooked quinoa Calories: 249 kcal Author: Chelsea Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite spice or spice blend, optional*
  • 1 and 3/4 cup water, vegetable or chicken stock/broth
  • Kosher salt and pepper (I use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)


  1. Measure out one leveled cup of quinoa. Pour the cup of quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse for 30 seconds to one minute.

  2. If you have the extra time/patience, you can soak your cup of quinoa in water for a couple of minutes before rinsing to really ensure that outer coating is gone.

  3. In a small pot, add in 1 tablespoon oil and once the oil is shimmering, add in 1 teaspoon of a spice or spice blend mix. Stir for about 30 seconds and then add in the rinsed and dried quinoa. Toast the quinoa by stirring it frequently over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add 1 and 3/4 cup water, vegetable or chicken stock, or broth and then bring the quinoa to a boil. I also like to add some salt and pepper at this point (just a pinch of each if I’m using a stock and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of each if I’m using water; add to your preference). As soon as the quinoa is boiling, cover the pot, and lower it to your lowest heat setting. Let cook for 15-20 minutes (depending on the actual heat of your stove).

  5. Remove the pot from the stove and, while keeping the lid on, let it stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and enjoy. If adding to a salad, let cool completely first.

Recipe Notes

*We like lemon pepper seasoning, tumeric, half chili powder/half paprika, tuscan seasoning blend, etc.

My Favorite Quinoa Recipes:

View ALL of my quinoa recipes here.

Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad: roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, spinach, cranberries, and avocado salad topped with a healthy and delicious lemon vinaigrette.

One reader said: “I love this salad a lot! Amazing flavours and it’s my go to for friends lunches! I’m obsessed with the dressing and am actually using it on my green salads too. Perfect excuse to use my stash of herbed mustard jars! Thank you so much for sharing!”

Bruschetta Chicken: balsamic marinated chicken topped with bruschetta and fresh avocado, served over quinoa. This bruschetta chicken is fresh, flavorful, and made with good-for-you ingredients!

One reader said: “By far one of the best dinners I’ve made!! It was a huge family hit”

Crockpot Quinoa Tacos: one of the easiest & quickest recipes ever: throw everything (quinoa and veggies) into a crock pot; cover and forget about it. Add your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!

One reader said: “Oh my goodness, this recipe is so good. I’m not a big fan of quinoa, but I had some in the pantry so I thought I would give this a try. I wasn’t expecting much. We have had it two nights in a row now. Leftovers were just as good as the first day. This will definitely become one of our go so dinners. Thank You!”

Quinoa Salad: an avocado, cucumber, and tomato quinoa salad recipe that is simple to make, kid-friendly, and healthy.

One reader said: “Made this for lunch today, as I had on hand all the ingredients. It was fantastic! My husband loved it. Thank you, for this amazing recipe. I will definitely be making it again in the future, as it was easy, quick and delicious.”

More Quinoa Recipes (& A Detox Quinoa Salad)

One reader said: “I have made this salad 3 times now and it is my all time favourite, easy to make and low in calories. I am taking it to a party Friday night as well.”

*While I have my background in Exercise and Wellness (B.S.), all the content in this post is for informational purposes only. Please consult a doctor or dietician for any specific dietary needs/questions.


*Soaking grains helps to remove some of the naturally occurring phytic acid in the grain, which helps improve digestibility and speed cook time. To soak: Rinse quinoa thoroughly then add to a large mixing bowl or pot and cover with twice the amount of lukewarm water (2 cups water, 1 cup quinoa). Soak uncovered at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Then drain and rinse once more. If For cooking soaked quinoa, you’ll add 1.5 times as much water as quinoa to a saucepan, which in this case would be 1.5 cups. Bring water to a boil, then add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Then lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender – about 15-25 minutes (will depend on whether or not the quinoa was soaked). Drain off any excess water if there is any. I like to turn off the heat and remove the lid for 10 minutes so the rice gets fluffier. Then return the lid to keep warm until serving.
*Prep time reflects soaking for 2 hours. If using sprouted quinoa or not soaking your quinoa, prep time is 0 minutes.
*Recipe as written yields about 2 cups cooked quinoa.

Quinoa is a brilliant, tasty grain, packed with both protein and fibre – and it’s also gluten-free.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to learn how to cook quinoa. Dress simply while still hot with lime or lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt and black pepper, and you’ve got the foundations for a delicious meal. Nutty and fluffy, it’s a great alternative to rice, served with chicken or fish, or livened up with simple, fresh ingredients to make a satisfying salad.

But with so many different grains out there, each with their own cooking method, it can be confusing to know how to cook quinoa properly for ultimate flavour and texture. Never fear, we’ve got you covered! Follow our easy step-by-step guide below, then check out this quinoa, feta & broad bean salad recipe to turn it into a delicious lunch.


  1. Rinse the quinoa under cold running water to remove its bitter flavour
  2. Tip into a pan and add double the amount of salted water
  3. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil
  4. Reduce to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender and the liquid is absorbed
  5. Fluff it up with a fork, then pimp it

Got leftovers? Cold, leftover quinoa is a brilliant filler in nut roasts or veggie burgers, too. Or, use it as a base for roasted veggies, or simply grilled fish or chicken thighs. Yum!

Now that you’ve mastered how to make quinoa, put your skills to the test with this delicious Superfood salad:

Learn how to cook quinoa with helpful techniques for making it on the stove top perfectly light and tender every time. This superfood seed contains all nine essential amino acids for a high-quality protein-packed side dish. A healthy gluten-free and vegetarian option to accompany any meal.

Quinoa is a superfood king that has found a special place in many kitchens as it has grown in popularity over the years. It’s not a surprise because this pseudocereal has numerous health benefits when incorporated into diets, for most people. It’s somewhat of an acquired taste and texture, as the spherical seeds have a nutty flavor, earthy flavor, and slight bitterness.

It’s a straightforward method to cook quinoa correctly. However, there are some critical preparation steps that you don’t want to skip before the cooking even begins. Learn how to prepare quinoa so that the eating experience is positive, maximizing the nutritional goldmine by incorporating it as a side dish or into various recipes.

Cooking quinoa is very similar to preparing rice in that it uses the simmering method. Here are the keys steps to making quinoa on the stove top that is light, fluffy and tastes good.

1) Soak and Rinse

Unless it’s marked as rinsed on the bag, you’ll want to cover it in a bowl of cold water for 2 minutes to remove the outer shell. Then rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer with cool water for 30 seconds. Drain the excess water and transfer quinoa to a cooking pot.

2) Simmer

Add a liquid of choice and some salt to the pot with the rinsed quinoa–about 2 cups for every one cup of dry quinoa. Bring the water (or stock, for more flavor) to a boil in a saucepan. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium-low heat, so the liquid simmers. Wait 15 to 20 minutes, and check to see if all the water has absorbed and the grain is translucent and tender. If so, you’re finished. If not, keep it on low heat until all the water (or liquid) is absorbed.

3) Sit and Separate

Turn off the heat and allow the cooked quinoa to sit and stay covered for at least 5 minutes. This step enables the last bits of water to be absorbed and let the steam and heat generated in the closed pot to finish the cooking process. This will ensure that the seeds are cooked through and become translucent in appearance. Use a fork to separate and fluff up the quinoa right before serving.

More quinoa recipes

  • Salmon with Vegetable Quinoa
  • Stuffed Peppers with Turkey
  • Chicken Tomatillo Quinoa Bowls

View all Quinoa recipes

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #jessicagavin on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Always Rinse the Quinoa

No matter if the quinoa is labeled as “prewashed” you want to give it a quick rinse under cold water. This is because the seeds have a coating called saponin that has a bitter flavor. Most of the coating is removed when processed before packaging, but the extra steps ensure that the bitterness is minimized.

4.15 from 14 votes How to cook quinoa with helpful techniques for making it perfectly light and tender every time. A healthy gluten-free and vegetarian option to accompany any meal. Prep Time5 mins Cook Time20 mins Total Time50 mins Course: Side Cuisine: Argentinian Servings: 4 servings Calories: 182kcal Author: Jessica Gavin

  • 1 cup quinoa, (194g)
  • 2 cups water, (480ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, (3g)
  • Place quinoa in a medium-sized bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 2 minutes.
  • Transfer soaked quinoa to a fine-mesh sieve. Rinse quinoa under running cold water for 30 seconds until water runs clear.
  • Shake the sieve to remove excess water.
  • Transfer rinsed quinoa to a medium-sized pot fitted with a lid.
  • Add 2 cups of cold water and salt to the pot.
  • Bring water to a boil over high heat.
  • Once the water boils, immediately reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Cover pot and simmer until quinoa absorbs all of the water and is tender about 15 to 20 minutes. If the quinoa still looks wet, continue to cook, checking every 5 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and let stand, covered 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork to separate the grains.
  • Toasting Option: Once quinoa is rinsed, it can be sauteed in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes before adding in water add salt. This will accentuate the slightly bitter and nutty flavors of the quinoa.
  • Chicken, beef or vegetable stock or broth can be substituted for water to add more flavor the quinoa.

Nutrition Facts How To Cook Quinoa Amount Per Serving Calories 182 Calories from Fat 27 % Daily Value* Fat 3g5% Sodium 303mg13% Carbohydrates 32g11% Fiber 3g12% Sugar 3g3% Protein 6g12% Calcium 20mg2% Iron 1.8mg10% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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How to Cook Perfect Quinoa

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While today’s superfood trends typically come and go in a blink of an eye, perhaps no superfood has become a bigger—and more permanent—part of our home cooking and restaurant menus than quinoa. Though quinoa was once the punch line of health food jokes, it’s become an essential ingredient that is both extremely healthy and versatile. Given its neutral flavor and texture, quinoa can be served in a huge breadth of recipes, and allows home cooks to get creative with their mixins and toppings.

While you might want to start integrating quinoa into your healthy homemade meals, it can be intimidating to master a new kind of base after years of relying on pasta and rice. Luckily, quinoa is super simple to prepare, and once you get the hang of it can be easily cooked to fluffy perfection time after time.

Despite the fact quinoa is a technically a seed instead of a grain, it still received the nickname “the mother grain” for its rich culinary history going back thousands of years. In fact, quinoa has been cultivated in the Andes Mountains for more than 5,000 years and was a big part of the diet of the ancient Incas. While there are a whopping 120 varieties of quinoa, the kinds you’re most likely to spot on your grocery store shelves are white (also known as golden), black, and red quinoa. White quinoa is the one that most likely comes to find when you think of the seed, and is the best kind to begin with if you’re just learning to cook the faux grain.

WATCH: How to Make Kale Caesar Quinoa and Chicken Salad

In addition to its subtly nutty taste and soft, pillowy texture quinoa has also been long considered one of the healthiest foods in existence. Even scientists in the 1950s—long before quinoa became the uber-trendy food it is today—stated that, “While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom.” This superfood is a complete protein—containing all nine amino acids—that’s packed with fiber, iron, and magnesium, and is also naturally gluten free. However, if you have a severe gluten intolerance make sure to check the label to ensure it didn’t come into contact with gluten during its processing and packing.

Before you begin cooking your quinoa, this ingredient needs to be rinsed thoroughly, unlike rice or pasta. This is because quinoa has a naturally occurring coating that if not rinsed off can affect the flavor of the ingredient in negative ways—giving it a soapy taste or bitter flavor. To rinse, pour the quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and run it under cold water, using your hand to move the quinoa around to remove the coating. If you’ve got plenty of time, soaking the quinoa over numerous rounds—covering it with water in a bowl and transferring it to a fresh bowl of water a few times—will remove the coating most effectively, but rinsing thoroughly works fine if you don’t want to wait it out. Each cup of the dry seeds will produce about three cups of cooked quinoa.

Once your quinoa is rinsed and ready to go, add it to a saucepan and cover with the appropriate amount of water. As a rule, for each cup of dry quinoa you’re making, add 1-3/4 cups of water to the pan. While many instructions call for 2 cups of water, this can make for soggier, more water-logged quinoa in the end. To create some extra depth of flavor, you can also opt to cook your quinoa in broth or stock, giving the final product a more savory sensation.

Bring your pan of quinoa to a boil before covering and reducing it to a simmer for about 15 minutes. After your quinoa has absorbed the water, remove the pan from heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes before fluffing your quinoa with a fork and serving. You can also choose to cook your seeds in a rice cooker, following the same liquid-to-quinoa ratio.

For an extra boost in flavor, you can choose to toast your quinoa before adding your water or stock. Add it to your saucepan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toast until the quinoa has turned a light brown color. Then, add your liquid and cook as usual.

Another easy way to enhance the flavor of your quinoa is to add seasonings, herbs, spices, and other aromatics to the pan while cooking the ingredient, which will infuse it with a hint of these flavors. Try adding a sprig of thyme or rosemary, salt and pepper, or a clove of garlic for next level grainy goodness.

Quinoa can be used as a neutral base, like rice, or dressed up to become a more show-stopping main or side dish. Dish it up with oatmeal fixings like brown sugar, nuts, and raisins for a nutritious breakfast, or serve it savory in recipes like Quinoa Panzanella with Wild Salmon, Quinoa and Roasted Pepper Chili, Spicy Grilled Shrimp and Quinoa Salad, and Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Chiles. Your friends and family will be so satisfied, they’ll forget they’re chowing down on one of the world’s oldest and most prolific health foods.

Quinoa is what’s known as a pseudocereal as it’s the seeds of a leafy plant a bit like spinach, but cooked and eaten like cereal crops such as rice, oats or wheat. Other pseudocereals include chia, buckwheat and amaranth.

Quinoa is special because it contains all the amino acids allowing it to qualify as a complete protein source. Find out more information on the health benefits of quinoa.

An easy method for cooking quinoa

The simplest way to cook quinoa is to boil it for 12-15 minutes in three times the volume of water. So for every 100g quinoa, add 300ml water. Once cooked, try serving it in place of rice alongside a curry or casserole.

It’s easy and quick to cook and the subtle nutty flavour lends itself well to both savoury dishes like salads or a binding ingredient for veggie burgers, but also in sweet recipes like porridge.

For best results, we would always recommend rinsing the quinoa first in cold water. Put the required amount in a sieve and run it under a cold tap until the water runs clear. This washes off some of the excess starch and stops it sticking together once cooked.

If you want to add extra flavour, why not try boiling the quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock (use the same volume as water) or for a porridge, you can sub out some of the water for the equivalent amount of almond or oat milk.

Cooked quinoa recipe

Serves 2

  1. Rinse 100g quinoa in cold water, this will help stop it sticking together.
  2. Tip the rinsed quinoa into a saucepan and cover with 300ml cold water.
  3. Bring it up to a rolling boil and cook for 12-15 mins, or until all the water has evaporated and the grains have doubled in size.

Quinoa comes in red, white and black varieties and all of them cook in the same way. Use quinoa in savoury recipes as you would couscous or in a sweet breakfast porridge.

Try this technique in our herby quinoa, feta & pomegranate salad or one of our other favourite quinoa recipes.

Quinoa recipe inspiration:

Cardamom & peach quinoa porridge
A healthy breakfast of oats and quinoa with fresh ripe peaches. Almond milk makes its suitable for dairy-free and vegan diets

Mushroom & thyme risotto
Using a mixture of quinoa and rice gives this dish a light texture and lovely nutty flavour

Kale & quinoa patties
These veggie burgers are scrumptious and simple to make – top with fresh pesto and goat’s cheese for a light lunch or dinner

California quinoa & avocado salad
Quinoa can also be bought pre-cooked in pouches that can be used straight away in this recipe. If you want to cook the quinoa from dried, you will need 100g dried quinoa to 300ml water and boil for 12-15 mins. Cool down quickly then use in this recipe.

Vegetable & quinoa laksa
This high fibre dish counts as 3 of your 5-a-day, with a creamy and spicy curried sauce

Quinoa (it is pronounced “keen wah”) is a delicious and protein packed addition to your meals.

While Quinoa has been eaten for thousands of years, it’s recently become popular and fairly easily available, found in most grocery stores.

It is a wheat-free seed that can be cooked and enjoyed hot or cold and can be used in place of other grains in recipes including rice, barley or even noodles.

I love to have quinoa for breakfast with a bit of honey and nuts, or with brown sugar and raisins. You can add your “mix ins” during cooking or simply add them after. It is a great way to have a “cereal like” breakfast only super packed with protein to help you start your day!

Quinoa is so versatile, tender and delicious I know you will incorporate it into your weekly menu plan! Use it in salads, soups or simply by itself!

Quinoa is often thought to be a grain however in truth it is a seed (also known as a pseudo-cereal).

You can get traditional (also known as white or golden) quinoa (pictured above) or red, black, or tricolor quinoa.

With a mild, slightly nutty flavor, all varieties can be used interchangeably in recipes and there is no difference in flavor.

Quinoa can be found in grocery stores most often in the rice/grains aisle or it can be purchased online.

Is Quinoa Gluten Free?

In short, yes, quinoa is gluten free if it is truly 100% quinoa.

Although quinoa is gluten free as grown, according to Gluten Free Watchdog, it is a grain that has a risk of gluten contamination during processing.

In order to be certain your quinoa is truly gluten-free, be sure to check your packaging to confirm that it certified.

How do you Prepare Quinoa?

Preparation is very similar to cooking rice, only slightly faster, quinoa takes about 15 minutes to cook in a covered saucepan.

The ratio of quinoa:water is generally 1:2 and the water can be substituted with either stock or broth for extra flavor!

I often toast the quinoa in a bit of olive oil until lightly browned to add an extra dimension of flavor.

Why Do You Have to Rinse Quinoa?

Rinsing quinoa, it will help remove the saponin (a natural coating) which can make it taste bitter or soapy (and also cause it to foam).

Rinsing this delicious seed will create a milder flavor and a slightly softer texture.

How to Rinse Quinoa

Because the seeds are so small, you will need a fine sieve to rinse your quinoa.

An alternate method is to pour water over the quinoa in a bowl, swirl it around, then slowly drain off the water and repeat several times. If all the water does not drain off don’t worry because more water needs to be added before cooking. Check the package first as some quinoa is already pre-rinsed and you may not have to rinse it yourself

5 from 2 votes Review Recipe Prep Time 2 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 17 minutes Servings 4 servings Author Holly Nilsson Course Side Dish Cuisine American This simple seed can be served in place of grains or as a salad or side dish.

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or stock

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  1. Rinse the quinoa to remove any debris or dust.
  2. Combine quinoa and stock or water in a small saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes until water is absorbed.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Recipe Notes

Optional: To add extra flavor to the quinoa, place it in saucepan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Add stock/water and cook as directed. Nutrition calculated using water. Nutrition Information Calories: 156, Fat: 2g, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 239mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 6g, Calcium: 24%, Iron: 1.9%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

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Quinoa Nutrition

Quinoa is a superfood loaded with protein and fiber (and contains more fiber than most grains). It has more antioxidants than any other grain and is full of vitamins!

The one thing that quinoa is most known for is being high in protein. With 8g of protein per cup, quinoa contains all of the essential amino acids making it a real powerhouse food!