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How To Cook Quinoa

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook the quinoa and use it in your recipes, this blog post will walk you through it.

Quinoa is an easy ingredient to use in a variety of recipes. It can be cooked easily on the stove or in a rice cooker.

Close up of quinoa in a bowl with a spatula near the bottom.

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is often referred to as a superfood and is a great ingredient to add to almost every meal. Contrary to popular belief, quinoa isn’t actually a grain. It’s a seed that is often consumed like a grain. Quinoa is gluten-free and can be easier to digest than whole grains.

How To Use Quinoa

Quinoa can be used in a variety of recipes. From salads to breakfast, and even dessert!

A white pot with cooked quinoa inside and a small spatula.

How To Make Fluffy Quinoa That Isn’t Mushy

It’s easy to make mushy quinoa that doesn’t taste very good. I’ve done it in the past and when I do, I rarely want to eat it. But there’s actually a simple trick to making quinoa that is fluffy and has the perfect consistency.

  1. While the quinoa is cooking on the stove, don’t stir it. Not even a bit!
  2. Let the quinoa cook and absorb all the water, but don’t mix. Seriously!
  3. When it looks like the water is almost fully absorbed, take a spoon and gently move the quinoa to the side to see if there’s any water at the bottom of the pot.
  4. If the water is all gone, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  5. After 5 minutes, take a fork and fluff the quinoa. This will create the perfect consistency!

Cook Quinoa In A Rice Cooker

If you prefer, you can cook it in a rice cooker. Add 1 cup of uncooked quinoa along with 2 cups of water. Cook for 25-40 minutes depending on the style of rice cooker you have. 

Recipe Tips

  • When preparing quinoa, you can soak it in water for at least 30 minutes prior. This will help release the phytic acid – an enzyme in quinoa that our bodies have a hard time digesting.
  • If you have a bulk foods section at your grocery store, skip the packaged quinoa and buy in bulk. This will usually help to save on your grocery bill! Typically if I’m buying a packaged version, I grab it from Costco (it’s the cheapest version I’ve found locally). I recommend shopping around to see where you can buy quinoa as it can be expensive in some places.
  • Toasted Quinoa: The uncooked quinoa seeds can be lightly toasted before cooking. This creates a lovely flavor. Place them in a frying pan without oil over medium-low heat. Toast for a few minutes, keeping an eye on them as you go. Once toasted they can be added to a pot with water to boil.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Cooked quinoa can also be frozen and then thawed to use at a later date.
A white bowl with cooked quinoa inside.

More Recipes

Use up that quinoa in a variety of delicious recipes!

Did you love this recipe? Be sure to leave a rating below!

Fluffy Quinoa Recipe

Quinoa is an easy ingredient to use in a variety of recipes. It can be cooked easily on the stove or in a rice cooker.
Print Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

Rinse The Quinoa:

  • Add the quinoa to a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water. Drain then add to the pot. (This step is optional – some quinoa brands are already pre-washed and don't require it. Be sure to check the package)

Cook The Quinoa:

  • Add 1 cup uncooked quinoa to a pot along with 2 cups of water (or broth). Bring the pot to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes. Do not stir the quinoa during this time (stirring creates mushy quinoa).
    Two images of a white pot, first with uncooked quinoa and water. Second with a blue lid on top.
  • Check the bottom to see if the liquid is all gone, then remove from heat.
    Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Now you can fluff the quinoa with a fork.
    Two images of a white pot with cooked quinoa and a spoon.
  • Add to a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Use in your recipes or serve as a side dish. Enjoy!
    Cooked quinoa in a white bowl with a spatula.

Recipe Notes:

  • When preparing quinoa, you can soak it in water for at least 30 minutes prior. This will help release the phytic acid – an enzyme in quinoa that our bodies have a hard time digesting.
  • Toasted Quinoa: The uncooked quinoa seeds can be lightly toasted before cooking. This creates a lovely flavor. Place them in a frying pan without oil over medium-high heat. Toast for a few minutes, keeping an eye on them as you go. Once toasted they can be added to a pot with water to boil.
  • Cook Quinoa In A Rice Cooker: Add 1 cup of uncooked quinoa with 2 cups of water to a rice cooker. Turn on, or cook for 25-40 minutes depending on the rice cooker. 
  • To Serve: We love to serve plain quinoa drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Quinoa can be served in a similar way that you would eat rice.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Cooked quinoa can also be frozen and then thawed to use at a later date.
Nutrition
Sodium: 8mg | Calcium: 24mg | Vitamin A: 6IU | Fiber: 3g | Potassium: 239mg | Calories: 156kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 3g | Protein: 6g | Carbohydrates: 27g | Iron: 2mg

Please note these nutritional values provided above are just an estimate. Actual numbers will vary based on brands and ingredients you choose, and your preferred portion sizes.

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