How to cook quinoa in a rice cooker- this trick makes cooking quinoa hands off and even easier! No more worrying about your water boiling over, and perfect fluffy quinoa every time.
You might be surprised to hear that your rice cooker is good for more than just cooking rice- though I do have 7 rice recipes for you to use on the blog. We also love cooking quinoa in the rice cooker!
Rice cooker quinoa is such a revelation- absolutely perfectly fluffy each and every time, and you don't need to watch a pot on the stove...just push a button and walk away!
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Reasons you'll ♡ this method
- it gives you perfect quinoa
- it won't boil over
- you won't be tempted to peek
- it makes cooking hands off so you can focus your attention on other things
- quinoa- comes in multiple varieties including black, white, red, and tri-color. This recipe has only been tested with white quinoa (the most commonly available type), though it should work perfectly fine with the others, as they have relatively similar cook times.
- water- we've used water as a cooking liquid here, but you could use chicken or vegetable stock (or homemade bone broth) for added flavor and nutrition.
- salt- adding salt to the cooking liquid helps each seed get perfectly seasoned.
- oil- helps to prevent the quinoa from sticking to the bottom of the rice cooker.
Step by step directions
- Spray the rice cooker insert with oil- I find it really helps to keep the quinoa from sticking and drying. My faves are either coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Rinse the quinoa- often boxed quinoa comes pre-rinsed, but I like to give it another quick rinse in a colander before cooking. This helps remove saponins from the surface of the quinoa, which can cause it to taste soapy.
- Add the water- use the same ratio as you do for stove top quinoa- 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. For Instant Pot quinoa, we use a different ratio.
- Cook- If you have a choice between white or brown rice, select 'white rice'. If your cooker only has one button, push the button. That's seriously how easy it is.
Storage & meal prep
After cooking, cool the quinoa completely before storing.
- fridge- store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days
- freezer- store in a sturdy freezer bag, meal prep container or reusable silicone bag for up to 3 months
- reheat- add a tablespoon of water, and loosely cover the container (if it has a lid leave it slightly ajar). Heat your quinoa in the microwave until steaming hot, then fluff it up with a fork.
Food safety tips
- do not reheat your quinoa more than once
- discard quinoa that has been left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours
- discard quinoa if it develops an 'off' smell, or has mold growing on it.
- read more quinoa food safety tips here
Hands down my top pick for a rice cooker is the Aroma 8 Cup. It is small, the lid is super easy to wash, and it cooks basmati rice in under 30 minutes.
If you have a large family, I'd advise going for the Aroma 20 Cup model. When they say 8 cups, they are talking fully cooked rice. So that's maybe 2 cups uncooked rice you can do.
You want 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa you cook. Check the capacity of your cooker so you do not overfill.
It depends on the model. For my 8 cup rice cooker, I can cook at most 2 cups of uncooked quinoa. This will make 6-7 cups of cooked quinoa.
Quinoa actually triples in size!
For 2 cups of cooked quinoa add ¾ cup of uncooked quinoa
For 3 cups of cooked quinoa add 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
Ways to use your quinoa
- Quinoa Egg Muffins (High Protein)
- Broccoli Salad Recipe with Almonds and Quinoa
- Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
- Refreshing Quinoa Black Bean Salad
- Apple Quinoa Breakfast Bars
- Cheesy Spinach Quinoa Cups (with Video)
- Strawberry Caprese Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Charred Corn Salad with Feta, Mint and Quinoa
☆ Did you make this recipe? I'd love to hear how it turned out! Leave me a review and star rating in the comments below. Your reviews help so much!
How to Cook Quinoa in a Rice Cooker
- Spray the rice cooker insert lightly with oil (optional but I find it helps keep the quinoa nice and fluffy all the way through).
- Rinse quinoa under the tap for 20 seconds in a fine mesh sieve. Shake off excess water and add to the pot.
- Add a pinch of salt, then 2 cups of water.
- Cook rice using the 'white rice' function (if your rice cooker has that option; otherwise just press cook). After cooking, fluff it up and enjoy!