How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly Every Time

I have to admit that I used to make a lot of soggy, heavy, or burnt quinoa. 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. I used to just cook quinoa like pasta in an unmeasured pot of water and then toss it in a strainer. No. Let me share with you my secrets for how to cook quinoa perfectly EVERY time.

Three Tips for Perfectly Cooked Quinoa:

  • Measure! It’s also important to take the time to measure out a 1:2 ratio.
  • Simmer: 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. 
  • Steam: 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. 

To Rinse or Not to Rinse?

Many people like to rinse quinoa before cooking it, because the grains have a natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter. I don’t usually bother, because most store bought quinoa is generally pre-rinsed. However, if you are finding that it has a bitter taste, just place it in a fine mesh strainer and run it under water until the water is clear.

How to Cook Fluffy Quinoa Every Time:

How to Cook Quinoa on the Stovetop

  • If you want your quinoa to be fluffy and light, take the time to measure out a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water in a saucepan or small pot.
  • Simmer it on low heat, covered with a lid, for 15-20 minutes, or until the water is almost gone.
  • When the water is gone but before it starts to stick, turn off the heat and keep it covered it with a lid. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to let it steam inside the pot from the residual internal heat. This is important for letting the quinoa steam and fluff itself up. It works every time!
  • Fluff it with a fork and store in a covered container in the fridge until ready to use.

How to Cook Quinoa in the Instant Pot

When cooking quinoa in the Instant Pot, you need less water, because there isn’t any evaporation with pressure cooking. Use 1.5 cups of water for every cup of dry quinoa. To prevent sticking and foam, it helps to spray the inner pot with oil before cooking quinoa. Cook at high pressure for 1 minute, and use natural pressure release. When you account for the time to come to pressure and the natural release, it takes 15-20 minutes to cook in the IP.

Quinoa Recipes You’ll Love:

Quinoa Breakfast Cookies
These healthy quinoa breakfast cookies are a great way to use up leftover quinoa!
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Squash & Pomegranate Quinoa
Veggies | Fruit | Grain
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One Pot Southwest Quinoa
This easy one pot southwest quinoa comes together in under 30 minutes and is packed with vivid, punchy flavors. Perfect for a weeknight!
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Cherry & Almond Quinoa Salad
Fruit | Grain | Protein | Fat
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Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Grain | Protein | Fruit
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  1. Pingback: 15 Ways to Use Leftover Cooked Quinoa | Katie's Conscious Kitchen

  2. Pingback: One Pan Southwest Quinoa | Katie's Conscious Kitchen

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