Recipe/ Vegetarian

How to Cook Quinoa

March 24, 2020 (Last Updated: June 8, 2020)

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Quinoa is an ancient grain that can be eaten by itself or added to many dishes. Learn how to cook quinoa and find a collection of recipes you can use with quinoa. 

A bowlful of cooked quinoa in a white bowl.

Quinoa is one of those foods that’s pretty non-assuming and takes on the flavors of other ingredients.  It is often substituted for rice or barley in recipes. Cooking it isn’t difficult, but there are a few tips you need to follow so your quinoa isn’t bitter tasting and is cooked correctly. 

Once cooked, quinoa can be stored in a covered container and refrigerated. You can add quinoa to recipes or make it the star of the show! I use cooked quinoa in salads, main dishes and often add it to everyday recipes, like pancakes to give a little extra protein and nutrition to dishes.

Types of quinoa

There are three main types of quinoa – red, white and black. White quinoa is the most readily available and is what I use most often. 

How to cook quinoa

What’s so great about quinoa?

Benefits of quinoa include:

  • High in protein
  • Gluten Free
  • High fiber
  • High in magnesium
  • Contains all 9 essential amino acids
  • High in other vitamins, calcium and iron

How do you cook quinoa?

The best way to cook quinoa:

  • Always rinse quinoa first to remove a bitter coating
  • Measure 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water
  • Boil for 12 minutes in a covered pot
  • Let sit off heat with lid on for an additional 15 minutes
  • Fluff with a fork

Quinoa rinsed and being drain with a fine sieve.

Ways to use quinoa:

Some uses of quinoa:

  • Eat as a side dish with a bit of soy sauce
  • Add a tablespoon to scrambled eggs before cooking
  • Sprinkle a tablespoon over a green lettuce salad

Recipes that use cooked quinoa:

Cooked Quinoa ready to be used in a recipe.

Don’t forget to PIN for later!A bowlful of uncooked quinoa.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Check out all my delicious recipes!

How to cook quinoa

How to Cook Quinoa

Method on how to cook quinoa
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 12 mins
Rest Time 15 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 3 cups
Calories 104 kcal



  • Place quinoa in a large bowl. Cover with water. Use fingers to rub grains between your fingers, gently massaging grains.
  • Pour into a fine meshed sieve and continue rinsing with running water.
  • Place quinoa and 2 cups of water into a pot.
  • Bring to a boil and cover pot. Boil for 12 minutes.
  • Turn off heat. Do not remove lid. Allow quinoa to sit covered with heat off for 10 minutes.
  • Remove lid and fluff with a fork.


  • Can use chicken or vegetable broth in place of water.
  • Once cooked, quinoa can be stored in a covered container and refrigerated.


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 104kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 160mgFiber: 2gCalcium: 16mgIron: 1mg
Keyword how to cook quinoa, quinoa
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


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  • Reply
    Katie Jane
    May 17, 2020 at 8:49 am

    5 stars
    Great tips! I use a lot of quinoa so I’ll use this as a reference!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    January 27, 2019 at 5:18 am

    Quinoa is one of those things that I often forget about…but I love it! These photos are excellent, Kathy. Have you ever tried toasting dry quinoa in a skillet before cooking it? It legitimately smells like peanut butter. I have no idea why! Give that a shot next time you make quinoa. Thanks for the tips and the reminder to make quinoa soon! 🙂

    • Reply
      January 28, 2019 at 5:40 am

      I haven’t tried it toasted, but that is a great idea!

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