How to cook quinoa on the stove

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Quinoa has come an extended way — from the rear shelves of food stores to national supermarket aisles. Its high protein content, sweet and nutty flavor, and delicate texture have made quinoa a well-liked substitute for starchier pasta and rice (although once you are trying it, you’re unlikely to consider it as a “substitute” again!). Quinoa is a simple grain to like .

Several folks here at Kitchen wish to make an enormous pot of quinoa on the weekends and eat it throughout the week with curry, grilled vegetables, or braised meat. It’s one among the foremost delicious, fast-cooking lunch staples we all know . Here’s the way to cook great quinoa — not mushy or bitter, but delicate and perfectly fluffy.

What Is Quinoa?

Cultivated within the Andes for over 5,000 years, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has been called “the mother grain” and “the gold of the Incas.” Technically, it’s not a grain but a seed, although it’s utilized in virtually all an equivalent way as other whole grains. the recognition of quinoa has grown steadily over the years, as people have discovered its pleasant nutty taste and superfood qualities. As an entire protein source also high in iron, magnesium, and fiber, quinoa isn’t just one of our healthiest pantry staples, but also one that’s incredibly easy and quick to cook.

Which Quinoa to Buy?

I’ve read that there are 1,800 (!) sorts of quinoa, but there are three main types found in markets within the U.S.: white, red, and black. White quinoa has the foremost neutral, easy-to-love flavor — start with this one if you’ve never tried quinoa before. Red and black quinoa both have their distinct personalities, and that I find them to be a touch bolder and earthier in flavor than white quinoa. They’re fun in salads or other dishes where their color pops!

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The standard cooking method outlined below will work for any kind of quinoa you find.

Quinoa (Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Why Rinse Quinoa?

Quinoa features a natural coating, called saponin, which will make the cooked grain taste bitter or soapy. Luckily, it’s easy to urge obviate this coating by rinsing the quinoa just before cooking. Boxed quinoa is usually pre-rinsed, but it doesn’t hurt to offer the seeds a further rinse reception. Some cookbooks suggest soaking the quinoa, but in our experience, this is often unnecessary.

What Can we Do with Quinoa?

Use quinoa even as you’d the other grain, like rice or barley! It makes an incredible retirements for nearly any meal — especially if you cook it with broth rather than water and add a herb to the pot. I prefer serving it as a bed for stews or baked fish. Quinoa also can be utilized in casseroles, breakfast porridge, and salads.

Basic Quinoa Facts

  • How much-cooked quinoa do I cup dry quinoa yield? One cup dry quinoa yields about three cups cooked quinoa.
  • How much liquid do I want to cook quinoa? To cook one cup quinoa, you would like 1 3/4 cups liquid.
  • How long does it fancy cook quinoa? One cup quinoa will cook in about 20 minutes.
  • How do I make quinoa less bitter? Nearly, if not all, of the natural bitterness of quinoa’s outer coating, are often removed by an active rinsing during a mesh strainer.
  • How do I make better-tasting quinoa? Quinoa is basically excellent when cooked in vegetable or chicken stock. Also, add about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to every cup dried quinoa when cooking. Try adding other spices and aromatics during cooking also, sort of a clove of smashed garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary, or a touch of black pepper.
  • Can I use my rice cooker to form quinoa? Yes! Just use an equivalent liquid-to-quinoa ratio and follow the instructions on your rice cooker.

Tester’s Notes

Many readers found that our original recipe, which involved 1 cup quinoa and a couple of cups water, resulted during a gummy product. After testing the first also as multiple other quinoa-to-water ratios, I discovered that 1 cup quinoa to 1 3/4 cups water is that the perfect ratio for perfectly fluffy quinoa. we’ve updated the recipe to reflect the change.


How To Cook Quinoa

How To Cook Quinoa

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 27 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes


4 to 6 persons



  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (any variety — white or golden, red, or black)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups water or low-sodium broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Rinse the quinoa. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly under cool, running water. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.
  • Toast the quinoa in a saucepan. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the drained quinoa and cook, stirring constantly, to let the water evaporate and toast the quinoa, about 2 minutes.
  • Add liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in the water or broth and the salt. Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Lower heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered. Don't peek!
  • Fluff and eat! Uncover — You should see tiny spirals (the germ) separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork and serve. If any liquid remains in the bottom of the pan or if the quinoa is still a bit crunchy, return the pot to low heat and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.



Fine-mesh strainer

2-quart saucepan with lid



Leftover quinoa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

An other recipe: Quinoa Salad

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