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Cooking Quinoa


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How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly

We are sure that you know by now that quinoa is pronounced Keen-wah and not Keen-o-ah. And you probably know that it is protein packed, and easy to cook. Or maybe not?

I keep meeting people who asked me how to cook quinoa and this puzzled me at first. But when I looked online I realized why they might be confused. Recipes out there vary hugely and some yield horrible results!

We have seen recipes that suggest so much water that you will end up with a soft, porridge like mush. Others skimp on the liquid component and you end up with undercooked grain.

And by the way, it isn’t actually a grain at all, although we treat it as one. Read more about Quinoa itself in our Explore an Ingredient section.

Quinoa cooking in a pot
Close up photo of fluffy, well cooked Quinoa.
Properly cooked Quinoa should be fluffy, moist and consistent in texture. The two images above show white quinoa.

30 Minutes to Perfect Quinoa

Because we love it so much and want you to be able to enjoy it as much as we do, we thought we would give you a primer on cooking it. The end result will be fluffy separate grains in less than 30 minutes total.

Not bad for possibly the most nutritious thing you are going to eat today.

Scallion quinoa- how to cook quinoa.
Adding some green scallions to your quinoa makes a tasty alternative. This is red quinoa in the above image.

For a very simple dish using quinoa, check out our Quinoa, Greens & Bell Pepper Puff.

For an unusual use of quinoa, check out our Roasted Kabocha with Crispy Quinoa Crumbs.

We also love it in soup, like our Turkey Quinoa Meatball Soup and stuffed into peppers.

We even have Quinoa Pancakes!

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Quinoa cooking in a pot
5 from 3 votes

Cooked Quinoa

Learn how to cook quinoa so that you get perfect, separate, fluffy grains every time.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 3 cups (465 g) cooked quinoa; serving size 1 cup cooked (155 g)

Makes: 3 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson


  • 1 cup (170 g) quinoa, black, red or white
  • 2 cups (480 ml) water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Check package or labeling on bulk bins and if quinoa is “pre-washed”, skip the next step.
  2. If it needs to be washed, place dry quinoa in a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swish it around, then pour into a fine-meshed strainer and rinse further under cool running water. You can’t over-rinse it, so give it a good washing.
  3. Pour the quinoa into a small saucepan, add 2 cups (480 ml) clean water and salt and give it all a quick stir. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat down to very low and allow to cook, as you would rice, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; quinoa is ready to serve or use.
  4. For dishes that require cooled quinoa, either leave to cool in the pot or to hasten the process, scrape out onto a clean sheet pan and refrigerate until cooled.
  5. Cooked quinoa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.



  • If you are a rice cooker fan, you can use yours to cook quinoa as well. Use the same ratios of water to grain as above and follow your unit’s manufacturer’s instructions.
  • You can also use Low FODMAP Vegetable Broth or Low FODMAP Chicken Stock in lieu of water.
  • As an alternative way of preparing, you can sauté the dry grain in olive oil or Garlic-Infused Oil for a couple of minutes before adding water. This will yield a pleasant “toasty” flavor.
Course: Basic, Side Dish
Cuisine: American


Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 202mg | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 5mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.

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