How to Cook Quinoa

A plate of cooked quinoa on top of a linen towel with a spoon

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:

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How to Cook Quinoa

A plate of cooked quinoa on top of a linen towel with a spoon

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.

  • Author: tastendash
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. 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 is produced to keep the insects away.
  2. 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.
  3. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. 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. 

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– 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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