Friday, January 17, 2014

Kitchen Tip: How To Cook Quinoa

how to cook quinoa recipe
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has been given a lot of attention over the past few years. Have you tried it yet? While technically not a grain (quinoa is really a seed) it can be prepared as both a side dish and a main dish. (Side note, did you know there are 8 grams of protein in a cup of cooked quinoa?!) It is a healthier, higher protein substitute for the starchier rices and pastas.

I have some new quinoa recipes coming up on the blog in the near future and I decided that a quick how-to for basic quinoa would be a simple way to start.  Are you a fan of this nutty grain?

Already familiar with quinoa? Check out these great recipes for more ideas: Lemon Herb Quinoa, Mango Quinia Salad and the Unforgettable Chocolate Quinoa Cake. (Don't be a doubter, that cake is truly fantastic and the readers that have tried it have been just as impressed!)

At its most basic, quinoa cooks just like rice. Depending on how I plan to serve the quinoa, it can also be sauteed for a few minutes in a hot skillet with a dab of butter before adding the water. This will result in a toasted and slightly more nutty taste. Feel free to substitute chicken or vegetable broth for the water, if you'll be using the quinoa in a savory dish. If your quinoa tastes bitter, rinse it well in a mesh strainer prior to cooking. The organic quinoa that I've been buying for the past few years has never tasted bitter, so I rarely rinse mine anymore.

How To Cook Quinoa
Yield: about 3 cups

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine quinoa, salt and water in a large saucepan. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes Remove from the heat and leave covered for at least 5 minutes. (I often leave mine covered for up to half an hour and it will stay warm until I'm ready to serve it.) Fluff with a fork and serve. Enjoy!

how to cook quinoa recipe

Click here for printable directions

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ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Sriracha Honey Roasted Broccoli


  1. Mary - Please check my blog if you get a chance.

  2. I made the cake with quinoa, and it is very good. I did not know anything about rinsing the quinoa, and when I ate the extra that i made for the cake, it was very bitter. Within 24 hours I broke out in hives. After researching the seed, I realized I needed to rinse! My bad!! want to try it again! but this time I will seek out the organic :)

  3. Thank you so much for this post! I have wanting to learn how to cook this correctly.

  4. I'm starting to warm to quinoa---I made a few salads last year and I was impressed with how it held up and didn't get soggy, even after a day or two in the fridge.

  5. Just wondering if it would cook well in a rice maker?

    1. Yes! You can cook it in a rice cooker. 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water, turn it on and fifteen minutes later you should have perfectly done quinoa. Here's a link for more ideas:

    2. Great thanks Mary, will give it a go - saw black quinoa in the supermarket the other day that looked very appealing.