How to cook quinoa and get it perfect and fluffy every time! Sharing three important steps for perfect quinoa, and how to store it.
Quinoa is a staple in our diet and is an excellent (and more nutritious) alternative to rice. Today I’m sharing how to cook quinoa and the three important steps that will get you that perfect, fluffy quinoa!
Let’s just call quinoa a nutritional powerhouse! It’s a great source of fiber, carbohydrates, protein and all of the essential amino acids. It also contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Basically, quinoa is a great ingredient to add into your diet!
And the best thing is that quinoa is just as easy (if not easier) to cook than rice! Even though it is technically a seed, quinoa can be used in place of grains in many recipes.
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Reasons to love quinoa
- it’s gluten free and vegan
- it works great in place of rice and has so many great nutritional benefits
- you can meal prep with it and can even freeze quinoa!
How to cook quinoa
If you have a rice cooker, I highly recommend checking out my post on How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker!
Cooking quinoa is very similar to cooking rice. I’m how to cook quinoa with three important steps for perfect, fluffy quinoa:
1. Rinse your quinoa
Many types of store-bought quinoa comes pre-rinsed but I find my quinoa always ends up fluffier if I take the time to rinse it off before cooking. This helps remove traces of the outer shell. Rinse in a colander or immerse in a bowl of water for a minute.
Combine 2 parts liquid (I like using vegetable or chicken stock) with 1 part quinoa in a pot, and bring to a simmer (uncovered). Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the hot burner and place on a cool burner. Just like rice, quinoa benefits from resting (covered) for 10 minutes. This helps all the liquids in the pot distribute evenly, giving you perfect, fluffy quinoa!
Fluff with a fork and you are good to go.
That’s it! My method for how to cook quinoa in three easy steps.
How long does cooked quinoa last? When properly stored, quinoa is safe to eat for up to 5 days! I personally have a 4-day limit when it comes to cooked rice & quinoa.
- do not let cooked quinoa sit at room temperature for extended amounts of time (get into the fridge within 2 hours of cooking)
- store quinoa in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days
- reheat leftovers only once, and make sure they are steaming hot
Can you freeze cooked quinoa? Yes! I do this all the time. You can portion quinoa out in meal prep containers with stir fries, curries, or other freezer-friendly meal prep lunches, or you can freeze a whole batch or individual portions of quinoa. For individual portions you might wish to freeze in muffin tins, then transfer to a larger freezer bag.
- quinoa can be frozen for up to 3 months (I have gone longer with no issues)
Can you cook quinoa in a rice cooker? Yes! See this post I wrote with instructions on How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker!
How can I add more flavor to my quinoa? I like to cook my quinoa in vegetable or chicken stock for more flavor. Alternatively, you could try some of the flavor combinations in these 7 Easy Rice Recipes! The ratios would likely transfer over to quinoa since the same rice/water ratio is used.
Looking for quinoa recipes?
I have a LOT of quinoa recipes on my site. Here are some of my favorite quinoa recipes:
- Refreshing Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Apple Quinoa Breakfast Bars
- Strawberry Spinach Quinoa Jar Salads
- Berry Quinoa Yogurt Parfaits
- Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Cups
- Berry Almond Breakfast Quinoa
- Strawberry Caprese Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Egg Breakfast Muffins
- Fennel Pomegranate Quinoa Salad
- Charred Corn Salad with Mint & Quinoa
Tips & equipment for perfect fluffy quinoa
How to Cook Quinoa
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- Rinse quinoa in a colander under the tap for 1 minute.
- Add rinsed quinoa to a pot with 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock and salt.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove pot to a cool burner and allow quinoa to rest for 10 minutes.
- Fluff quinoa with a fork and serve.