How to Cook Quinoa

Quinoa is such a versatile grain (that’s technically a seed!) that packs a nutritional punch with its high fiber and protein content.

It’s a great alternative to rice if you’re looking to switch things up. Plus, cooking it is extremely easy, especially with these few helpful tips I’ll share.

You can choose to soak your quinoa ahead of time to speed cooking time and increase digestibility (see notes!). Or, buy sprouted quinoa at the store to save time (my preferred).

Let me show you how to make perfect quinoa every time.

How to Cook Quinoa

How to cook perfect quinoa tutorial with soaking tips, a step-by-step guide, and an instructional video to help you get fluffy, tender quinoa every time.Author Minimalist Baker Print SAVE SAVED

4.67 from 3 votes Prep Time 2 hours Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes Servings 8 (1/4-cup servings)Course SideCuisine Gluten-Free, VeganFreezer Friendly 1 monthDoes it keep? 5-6 Days

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US Customary – Metric


1 cup sprouted quinoa (or soaked quinoa*)1 ¾ cup water1 Pinch salt1 Pinch curry powder (optional)


If using sprouted quinoa, add quinoa to a small saucepan and toast over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, being careful not to burn. If using quinoa that’s not sprouted and you’d like soaking instructions, see notes*. Otherwise, proceed to step 2.Then add salt, curry powder (optional), and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Be sure the quinoa isn’t boiling, but cooking at a gentle simmer. Set aside off heat, uncovered, to cool – at least 10 minutes. Then it’s perfect for use in things like salads, bowls, falafel, spring rolls, veggie burgers, stir-fries, and more!Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5-6 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.



*Soaking grains helps to remove some of the naturally occurring phytic acid in the grain, which helps improve digestibility and speed cook time. To soak: Rinse quinoa thoroughly then add to a large mixing bowl or pot and cover with twice the amount of lukewarm water (2 cups water, 1 cup quinoa). Soak uncovered at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Then drain and rinse once more. For cooking soaked quinoa, you’ll add 1.5 times as much water as quinoa to a saucepan, which in this case would be 1.5 cups. Bring water to a boil, then add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Then lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until water is completely absorbed and quinoa is tender – about 12-18 minutes. Drain off any excess water if there is any. I like to turn off the heat and remove the lid for 10 minutes so the quinoa gets fluffier. Then return the lid to keep warm until serving.
*Prep time reflects soaking for 2 hours. If using sprouted quinoa or not soaking your quinoa, prep time is 0 minutes.
*Recipe as written yields about 2 cups cooked quinoa.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 quarter-cup serving Calories: 78 Carbohydrates: 13 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 1 g Saturated Fat: 0.15 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.34 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 10 mg Potassium: 119 mg Fiber: 1.5 g Sugar: 1.3 g Vitamin A: 2.98 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 12 mg Iron: 0.97 mg

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