How to Cook Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a healthy grain-like seed that has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains. It has been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America. The Incas were able to run such long distances at such a high altitude because of this powerful seed.

Quinoa is high in protein and fiber and makes a fantastic alternative to rice, couscous or any grain.

Store dry, uncooked quinoa in a cool, dry, dark place in a tightly closed glass jar for up to one year.

Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Saponin, when removed from quinoa, produces a soapy solution in water. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use.


Place quinoa in a grain strainer and rinse thoroughly with water.


Place 1 cup rinsed quinoa in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil

Cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.


Let it stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.


Here is how to cook quinoa

Prep time: 2 minutes    Cooking time: 15-20 min    Servings: 4


1 cup quinoa

2 cups water or vegetable stock

1/2 tsp salt (optional)

1 tsp ghee or butter (optional)


1. Place rinsed quinoa with water, salt and ghee/butter (if using) and bring to a boil

2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

3. Let stand for 5 minutes.

4. Fluff with a fork.

How to use quinoa

1. As rice: quinoa can be used in place of rice.

2. Breakfast porridge: reheat with a splash of nut milk for breakfast porridge; you can add dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon for a sweet treat.

3. Cooling salad: add finely chopped raw vegetables and dressing for a cooling salad.

4. As a side dish: add chopped, cooked, root vegetables for a warming side dish.

5. Try my Indian Style Quinoa recipe. It’s delicious!

Time saving tips

To save time, cook a lot of quinoa at once, and eat it as leftovers. It keeps in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days.

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