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How To Cook Quinoa

How To Cook Quinoa

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x


My favorite method for how to cook quinoa!  See notes above for various seasoning options, plus my favorite quinoa recipes.




  1. Bring water to boil.  Heat the water over high heat in a saucepan until it is boiling.
  2. Simmer the quinoa.  Add the quinoa, salt (plus any optional aromatics, see below) and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a vigorous simmer.  Cook the quinoa for 12-15 minutes, or until it is chewy and tender to the taste and looks translucent.  (The white curlicue germs should also be poking out from the seeds.)
  3. Drain the quinoa.  Drain the quinoa completely through a fine-mesh strainer.
  4. Steam the quinoa.  Tranfer the quinoa back to the saucepan.  Remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a clean dishtowel, and rest for 5-10 minutes so that the quinoa can steam.
  5. Fluff and season the quinoa.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork.  Taste, and season with extra salt if needed.
  6. Serve warm.  Serve and enjoy!


Optional aromatics: To add more flavor to the quinoa, feel free to add a bay leaf, 1-2 whole cloves of fresh garlic, chicken or veggie bouillon, and/or any of your favorite herbs or spices to the water.  (Then be sure to discard the aromatics before serving the quinoa.)  Or you can also simply use chicken or vegetable stock in place of water.

Larger batch instructions: To double or triple this batch size, just double or triple the ingredient amounts and cook as directed in the instructions.  The quinoa to water ratio will not change with a larger batch.

Storage instructions: To store the quinoa, spread it out on a flat surface (like a large plate or a baking sheet) and cool to room temperature.  Then transfer to a food storage container and refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Source: Thanks to Bon Appetit and The Kitchn for their great tips with this method!