How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly Every Time

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been frustrated by soggy, heavy, or burnt quinoa. 🙋‍♀️ Yeah, I’ve been there. I used to think that getting fluffy, perfect quinoa was some sort of accidental unreplicable magic that only happened when the stars and planets were in perfect alignment.

But then I learned the simple secret: remove it from the heat after cooking and let it sit, covered with a lid for 5-10 minutes so it steams and fluffs itself up. Works every time. 

I used to just cook quinoa like pasta in an unmeasured pot of water and then toss it in a strainer. No. That’s a good way to get soggy, heavy quinoa. If you want it to be fluffy and light, take the time to measure out a 1:2 ratio. Cook on low heat, uncovered, and when the water is almost gone put a lid on it and set it aside for a bit. Voila! Perfect fluffy quinoa. 

I don’t personally rinse or soak my quinoa, although some people say that you should. I tend to be pretty lazy and not do things like that unless someone gives me a compelling reason to, and I haven’t heard a good enough one yet to get me to actually do it. I’ve never had any issues with unrinsed or unsoaked quinoa, but you do you.

How to Cook Quinoa

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Inactive Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water


  • Combine dry quinoa and water in a small saucepan in a 1:2 ratio of dry quinoa to water. I usually make a large batch for other dishes at the same time. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer.
  • Cook, uncovered, until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 10 to 20 minutes. How long it takes will depend on how much quinoa you are cooking. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. This will help it get nice and fluffy.
  • Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  • Use in your favorite quinoa recipes!
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A Few Yummy Quinoa Recipes:


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