How to Cook Quinoa

fluffy quinoa

Quinoa is a versatile grain* that is great-tasting, high in protein, and is one of the quickest whole grains to prepare. It can go from pantry to table in 20 minutes.

My no-fail method takes the guess-work out of cooking quinoa and prevents accidental scorching of this wonderful grain.

Simple Quinoa Instructions

  1. Measure 1 cup of quinoa into sieve or strainer with small holes.
  2. Rinse quinoa thoroughly to remove bitter-tasting saponins.
  3. Put quinoa in large sauce pan.
  4. Add enough filtered water to cover by 2-3 inches.
  5. Optional: toss in a vegetable bouillon cube.
  6. Bring water and quinoa to a boil.
  7. Turn heat down, and simmer at a low boil for 14-15 minutes.
  8. Remove quinoa from heat and drain into colander over the sink.
  9. Put drained quinoa into serving bowl and fluff with a fork.
  10. Season according to your preference (e.g., splash of liquid aminos; dash of sea salt; etc.) or use in your favorite recipe.

Voila! Super-simple quinoa!

This recipe works for any amount of quinoa. I just used 1 cup as an example. The secret is to use plenty of water for a good rolling boil without concern of boiling away all the water.

* Technically, quinoa is a seed

Your turn: Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe you’d like to share?

image: Fluffy Quinoa © 2010. Christianna Pierce.

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4 Responses to How to Cook Quinoa

  1. I want to try Quinoa, but don’t have a sieve. A friend told me today that if I cook the red Quinoa that it doesn’t have to be rinsed as well, and isn’t bitter. Have you tried the red?

  2. Betty Jo, I have cooked red Quinoa but I’ve always rinsed it before using. It may very well be okay not to rinse, but I have not tried skipping this step. Also, in place of a sieve, if you use a large enough pot, you can put the quinoa in the bottom of the pot, fill about half-way with water and pour the water out without losing much quinoa. Repeat several times and you will effectively remove the bitter taste.

    Additionally, Meg Wolff at the Huffington Post recently posted a quinoa recipe mentioning a brand called Tru-roots quinoa, which has been pre-rinsed. Here is a link to Tru-Roots:

    I hope this helps! Thanks for writing 🙂

  3. Christianna thank you so much for the reply. I’ll look this week for a sieve. I wondered if there is a pre-rinsed quinoa. I’ll check out Tru-Roots right away. Thank you too for your visit to my blog and your sweet comment.

  4. Avatar Ginny Eklund
    Ginny Eklund says:

    how  much  will one  half  a  cup quinoa  plus  one  cup  water  yield  ?