How to Cook Quinoa

Back to basics with quinoa and learn how to cook your favorite healthy food. Quinoa is one of the most versatile gluten-free seeds, easy to prepare, is a great carb side dish, or even as the main protein, and you can add to any meal.

As you know from my last recipe, I am taking it back to basics to help you get started with simplifying your diet and improving your eating habits. For my second post in this new series, I wanted to share how easy it is to cook quinoa, a staple in my pantry that I always have on hand.

So What is Quinoa?

One question I get asked all the time- “What is quinoa and is it a grain?”

Quinoa is technically a seed and treated as part of the whole grain family. Quinoa comes in many colors; white, black, and red are the three most popular, and you can find them at the grocery store.

Once you know how to make quinoa, you can make a big batch on Sunday night and have it ready for the week. Add to salads, soups, serve as a side dish with any protein or even have with breakfast in place of oatmeal.

Nutritional Value of Quinoa

Quinoa is considered a superfood and is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids, packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa is gluten-free and extremely popular with health-conscious folks. Because it is so nutrient-dense, quinoa is a perfect choice for vegans, gluten-free, or any healthy diet.

One cup of quinoa is 222 calories and contains a little over 8 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fat, and 5 grams of fiber.

If you want to learn more about this superfood, check out this article.

Ingredients Needed to Make Quinoa

Two simple ingredients are needed to make quinoa- quinoa and water or broth. Yep, that’s all you need.

  • Quinoa: you can choose white, black, red, or even tri-color that contains all three. White seems to be the most popular where you will find it in most stores. White quinoa has a fluffier texture and a lighter taste. Red quinoa is richer in taste, slightly chewier, and heartier texture. Black quinoa has a slightly sweeter taste and earthy flavor. I honestly can’t tell the difference in taste and prefer to use the tri-color in most recipes.
  • Water or broth: either can be used. I like to cook quinoa in broth if I’m adding in a savory meal. 

How to Make Quinoa

  1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a mesh colander to remove the saponin, the natural coating which can taste bitter.
Rinsed quinoa in a mesh colander

2. On medium-high heat, add quinoa and water (the ratio is always two cups liquid to one cup quinoa) to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork, let sit for five minutes.

What to serve with Quinoa

Instead of serving rice or a baked potato, try this the next time. Drizzle some olive oil on top with fresh herbs like basil and parsley, a dash of salt and pepper, and some crumbled goat or feta cheese on top. You can also add chopped nuts, minced garlic, and lemon juice.

Here are a few favorite quinoa recipes:

How to Cook Quinoa

Back to basics with quinoa and learn how to cook your favorite healthy food. Quinoa is one of the most versatile gluten-free seeds, easy to prepare, is a great carb side dish, or even as the main protein, and you can add to any meal.
Course Side Dish
Keyword how to cook quinoa
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 3
Author tastendash

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa white, black, red, or tri-color
  • 2 cups water or broth

Instructions

  • Rinse quinoa under cold running water in a mesh colander for about 30 seconds and drain well. Doing this will remove the bitterness caused by the naturally occurring saponins that are produced to keep the insects away.
  • Add the rinsed quinoa and water or broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low to simmer, and cover with lid.
  • Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and let sit for another 5 minutes.

Notes

 
  1. You can store cooked quinoa in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to one week or stored in the freezer for up to 8 months. 
  2. Serve as a side dish- drizzle some olive oil on top with fresh herbs like basil and parsley, crumbled goat or feta cheese, and a dash of salt and pepper. You can even add some chopped nuts, minced garlic and a splash of lemon juice. 

Disclosure. This site contains affiliate links that I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions expressed are solely my own and this post may include products that I use and recommend.

– Melissa

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Hi, I’m Melissa. I’m an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Food Blogger. Here you will find Simple >> Healthy >> Delicious recipes.

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