How To Cook Quinoa

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Over the years Quinoa has become very popular, it is even considered to be a superfood. It is not surprising at all that this seed is so sought after. Afterall it is very versatile and can be used to prepare many dishes.

How To Cook Quinoa

What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa ( pronounced ‘keen-wah’) is an ancient ‘grain’ that is high in protein and easy to prepare. It is not a true grain but actually a seed from a species of plant called goosefoot.

Other plants that are also members of the goosefoot family are spinach, Swiss chard, and beets.  It is the perfect alternative to starchy rice, potato, and pasta and it is also gluten-free.  It is it is delicate, fluffy and nutty.

There are many varieties of quinoa and the seeds are in many colors, even though the white is the most popular here in the USA, we can also find black and red seeds.

Quinoa Nutrition:

Quinoa is very nutritious ‘grain’, having many health benefits it has been enjoyed for thousands of years by the Incas. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Quinoa is rich in iron, iron is needed to produce red blood cells, iron carries oxygen from one cell to another.

Quinoa is rich in fiber, unlike animal protein which is devoid of fiber. Fiber is necessary for proper bowel function, preventing bowel cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

The fiber in quinoa makes you feel full for longer and it helps with weight loss.

How To Make Quinoa

Quinoa is great to substitute everywhere you use rice, you can prepare a lot of creative recipes with quinoa. I have several favorite recipes using quinoa:

How To Cook Quinoa

How To Cook Quinoa

Before cooking quinoa wash the seeds using a fine mesh colander unless the package says it has been prewashed.

The reason why you should wash quinoa seeds is that the outer layer has a protective coating called saponin. Saponin helps to protect the plant from animals, insects that want to eat it. Saponin gives the seed a bitter taste. Some people are sensitive to this coating and may develop an adverse reaction if not washed.

It is so easy to cook fluffy quinoa by following my simple quinoa to water ratio: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water.

After quinoa is washed, place quinoa in a pot and add twice the amount of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Using a fork fluff quinoa then cover and allow quinoa to sit for 5 more minutes before serving.

Quinoa can be served with a stew, like fried rice, salad, burger, stuffing, soup, bread, cakes, muffins. Here are 25 Amazing Quinoa Recipes to try.


How To Prepare Quinoa

Where To Buy Quinoa

Quinoa can be purchased at any local health food store or most local supermarkets. It can also be purchased online on Amazon.

How To Prepare Quinoa





Per serving

Energy: 156 kcal / 652 kJ
Fat: 3 g
Protein: 6 g
Carbs: 27 g

Cooking Time

Preparation: 5 min
Cooking: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
For: 4 Servings



  1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and wash under running wash, shake off excess water.
  2. Transfer quinoa to a medium pot and add water and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 or until quinoa is tender.
  3. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover pot and allow to sit for 5 more minutes
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. Craig
    July 16, 2019

    I grew quinoa last year on Haida Gwaii, BC – over 2 liters/quarts from a patch about 6×7 feet.
    Didn’t know how to get the bitter layer off. That simple, huh?


    • Michelle Blackwood
      July 16, 2019

      Wow Craig that’s awesome, It’s a pity Florida is just too hot for it to grow. I’m happy you found my post useful. Thank you for sharing your feedback.

  2. Kathryn - FoodieGirlChicago
    May 20, 2018

    Quinoa is such a great base and add-in for so many things. Great tips on how to make it just right!

  3. Rezel Kealoha
    May 20, 2018

    Everyone forgets to wash the quinoa and I think doing that leaves that bad after taste. Thank you for writing this up!

  4. Femi. O
    May 20, 2018

    Oh yes we love quinoa! Have it almost every other week! Your recipe is really nice and straightforward so I’ll be sending it to my sister in college who’s learning how to cook and trying to step up her health food eating.

  5. Natalie
    May 20, 2018

    Quinoa is a staple in my house. I really love it. It pairs so nicely with almost everything. AND it’s super nutritious and healthy.

  6. Marisa Franca
    May 18, 2018

    We’ve been making quinoa for years!! We buy it in the huge bags at the membership stores. We love it and find it so versatile. You can sub it for any grain and we do that often.

  7. Kate
    May 18, 2018

    I love quinoa! I cook with it multiple times every week usually. I love how versatile it is!

  8. Amanda Mason
    May 17, 2018

    How easy you make this recipe look and sound! I love all your tips and the nutritional benefits…love! Great info! I’m so making this recipe!! I need a little easy in my life!

  9. Kelli Kerkman
    May 17, 2018

    YES! I love quinoa. Thanks for the great back-to-basics post and some recipe ideas!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      May 17, 2018

      You are welcome Kelli, hope you enjoy

  10. Dominique | Perchance to Cook
    May 17, 2018

    I always forget to rinse my quinoa with water! Yours looks so much fluffier than mine so I’m thinking I need to make it your way. :)

  11. Sharon
    May 15, 2018

    Great post about the history, benefits and how to cook quinoa. We love this grain in replacement of rice or potaotes for dinner. Perfect for meatless dishes too!

  12. Elaine @ Dishes Delish
    May 15, 2018

    Hubby and I are big fans of quinoa and try to incorporate it more into our diets. I love that you explained why it is important to wash it!! This was a great read!!

  13. Gloria
    May 14, 2018

    I love cooking and eating quinoa. It is a great alternative to meat, so it helps us have a few “meatless” days during the week. I even love it for breakfast.

  14. Cialischeap
    May 9, 2018

    Thanks a lot for the article post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.