This article will show you how to cook quinoa so it has a perfect, fluffy texture and you can use it in many different quinoa recipes!
The other day I got a message from a friend who was making my Sweet Potato Black Bean burgers. They call for cooked quinoa, and she wasn’t sure how to cook quinoa.
Sometimes, I take for granted that not everyone knows cooking basics. Then I remember that at one time, I didn’t know the basics. I had no idea how to cook quinoa the first time I bought it.
How would I? It’s not like our parents grew up cooking quinoa, right? Grandma sure wasn’t teaching me how to cook quinoa!
So today I’m posting a very basic recipe for how to cook quinoa. It easy, but the first time, like anything, you need a little guidance. I’m happy to provide that.
Sidebar: any other basics you need help with? Let me know in the comment section!
How to Cook Quinoa
Step 1: measure and rinse
First, you want to measure and rinse your quinoa. Quinoa is small, so you’ll want to use a fine mesh strainer, like this one. If you use a regular colander, the quinoa will fall right through those holes. You don’t want that.
The rinsing part is CRUCIAL. You must rinse your quinoa. Even if you got a brand that says, “pre-rinsed: no rinsing required.” To that I say: LIES. If you don’t rinse it, it has a weird bitter flavor. Rinse it and rinse it well. I let the water run over the quinoa for about 30 seconds.
Step 2: add liquid to your quinoa
The ratio of liquid to quinoa is 1:2. So you want to use double the amount of liquid compared to the amount of dry quinoa you are using. 1 cup of quinoa=2 cups of liquid.
You can cook your quinoa in plain water or vegetable or chicken stock for flavor. It really depends what you’re going to use it for. How to cook quinoa with chicken broth is the same as cooking it with water–just keep the ration 1:2.
I like to cook it with water when I’m making a big batch so I can use the cooked quinoa for breakfast as a porridge (a sweeter variety) or in salads or as a side dish. It’s very versatile when you leave it plain!
If you’re cooking quinoa as a side dish, I recommend using broth and a little salt for flavor.
Step 4: cook the quinoa on the stovetop
Bring the quinoa and liquid to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10-20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Larger batches will take longer, smaller batches cook more quickly. 1 cup of dry quinoa will typically cook in 10-12 minutes.
After the liquid is absorbed, remove it from the heat and keep the lid on the quinoa for 5 minutes to continue steaming. This helps the quinoa have a perfect, fluffy texture.
Step 5: fluff the quinoa
Use a fork to fluff the quinoa. You are now ready to serve, use in another recipe, or store your quinoa. Cooked quinoa will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week, which makes it perfect for meal prep recipes!
Frequently Asked Questions About Quinoa
Now that you know how to cook quinoa, let’s make sure you know some basic facts about this healthy pantry staple!
What the heck is quinoa, anyway?
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-Whah) is a seed that is often called a pseudo grain because it acts very much like a grain and our bodies handle it like a grain.
Is quinoa healthy?
Like most foods, that depends who you ask. I love it because it’s a whole food and helps me add a larger variety of plant foods to my diet. Variety is good! It also is packed with nutrients. Here’s what you should know about the nutritional value of quinoa:
- Quinoa one of the few foods in the plant kingdom that is a complete protein all on its own, containing all nine of the essential amino acids.
- Quinoa is gluten free.
- Quinoa is a high in fiber.
- Quinoa is a great source of magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E.
What can you use quinoa for?
Quinoa can be used much in the same way that rice or other grains are used. It’s great as a side dish, in salads, and even as a porridge for breakfast. Please read below for some of my favorite quinoa recipes!
Favorite Quinoa Recipes
These are all recipes that quinoa is either the star or that use cooked quinoa as an ingredient. Some of these have been family favorite recipes for years!
Quinoa Dinner Recipes
Vegan Mexican Stuffed Peppers (slow cooker recipe)
Quinoa For Breakfast
Quinoa Snack Recipes