You’re going to love quinoa! It’s a delicious, protein-packed grain that’s a great addition to any meal. Plus, it’s super easy to prepare! Let’s learn how to cook quinoa.
I decided to write this article because every time I tell someone they should start eating quinoa, they look at me with a weird stare. Like if I told them to eat flies. It’s baffling because it’s not expensive, it doesn’t take more time to cook than rice, and most of all, it’s incredibly healthy!
So why wouldn’t you want to eat something that nourishes the body so well?
That’s why this tutorial has been made: to show you how easy it is to cook your own quinoa at home.
Over the years, quinoa has become very popular; it is even considered to be a Superfood. So it is not surprising at all that this seed is so sought after.
Quinoa is pretty versatile when it comes to cooking. It’s simple, tasty, and nutritious. In addition, it is a complete plant-based protein source. The best part about quinoa is its versatility and ease of use. It can be used to prepare many dishes and can be easily prepared by almost anyone.
Well, you can make mistakes with almost anything you cook. And it’s especially easy to make mistakes if you’re new to cooking. So, I’ll give you some tips on how to get started with quinoa cooking.
As always, I suggest you read the complete article for useful tips and tricks. However, you can find the detailed recipe with exact ingredients and step-by-step instructions below.
What Is Quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) is an ancient ‘grain’ that is high in protein and easy to prepare. However, 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 delicate, fluffy, and nutty.
There are many varieties of quinoa, and the seeds are in many colors; even though white is the most popular here in the USA, we can also find black and red seeds.
White quinoa, red quinoa, and black quinoa are the 3 main types of quinoa available at your local grocery store. White quinoa has the mildest flavor and the softest texture of all the quinoa varieties. Red quinoa has a crunchier texture and a more earthy flavor. The black quinoa has the most flavor and texture. Quinoa comes in three varieties, each of which can be prepared in the same way.
Quinoa’s Nutritional Value!
Quinoa is a 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.
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:
- Simple Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Salad With Creamy Chipotle Ranch Dressing
- Mexican Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- Breakfast Quinoa Bowl With Berries
- Artichoke Quinoa Salad
- Kale Quinoa And Artichoke Salad
- Blackbean And Quinoa Patties
- Mexican Quinoa Casserole
How To Cook Quinoa?
Before cooking quinoa, wash the seeds using a fine mesh colander unless the package says it has been prewashed.
You should wash quinoa seeds because the outer layer has a protective coating called saponin. Saponin helps to protect the plant from animals insects that want to eat it. However, 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.
What Are the Best Ways to Eat Quinoa?
Quinoa is one of my favorite foods, and I eat it on a regular basis. It’s similar to eating plain rice if you eat it plain. It only needs a little spice and should be served as a side dish rather than the main course! I enjoy experimenting with different additions to make my lunch salad more satisfying. Another fantastic way to consume this dish is in a taco bowl!
Quinoa can be served with a stew, like fried rice, salad, burger, stuffing, soup, bread, cakes, and muffins. Here are 25 Amazing Quinoa Recipes to try.
I prefer making a huge batch of quinoa and eating it throughout the week with curries, stew, soup, grilled vegetables, and salads. This meal staple is one of the tastiest and most convenient I’ve come across.
Don’t forget to try the delicious recipes that I often love to serve with quinoa:
- Ghanaian Red Red
- Vegan Gumbo
- Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- Chicken and Dumplings (Vegan)
- Vegan White Bean Soup
- Vegan Creamy Pumpkin Soup
- Instant Pot Vegan Mexican Meatball Soup
- Vegan Spinach Salad
- Vegan Kale Salad
Notes On Quinoa Cooking
- Before cooking quinoa, be sure to rinse it in a fine-mesh strainer thoroughly. This removes the seeds’ bitter saponin coating.
- How much you prepare when making it in the oven or on the stovetop will affect your quinoa cooking time. Quinoa cooked in a smaller quantity cooks faster than quinoa cooked in a larger quantity. So, every few minutes, check on your quinoa. It is done when there is no more liquid left.
- Cook quinoa in vegetable or chicken broth rather than water for a more flavorful result.
- 1 cup of uncooked quinoa yields about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
How To Store Quinoa?
Cooked quinoa can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or up to 2-3 months in the freezer. Do not leave quinoa out for more than two hours at room temperature for food safety reasons.
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 Enhance The Flavor Of Quinoa?
To enhance the nutty flavor of your quinoa:
- Toast it in a pan over medium heat before cooking. Or, over medium heat, stir rinsed quinoa until a nutty aroma emerges.
- Quinoa that has been cooked in vegetable broth has a richer flavor than quinoa that has been cooked in water. If you’re using salted broth, there’s no need to salt the pot any further.
- While the quinoa is cooking, you could add dried spices and herbs to the pot. Cooking quinoa with cumin and chili powder is one of my favorite ways to serve it.
- Mix minced garlic, fresh herbs, or lime juice into warm quinoa after it has been cooked to add flavor.
- Make quinoa porridge with cinnamon, pure maple syrup, and vanilla extract for breakfast.
- Add a few ingredients to boiling water, such as sea salt, tamari or soy sauce, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, spices, herbs, and so on, to make your quinoa taste amazing.
What Happens If Quinoa Isn’t Rinsed?
Rinsing the quinoa removes the saponin and, as a result, the bitter flavor. However, rinsing quinoa is inconvenient. It also prevents you from toasting your quinoa unless you are willing to wait hours and hours for it to dry.
Is Quinoa A Healthier Alternative To Rice?
To be honest, I don’t like referring to one food as “healthier” than another — it’s all about moderation!
On the other hand, quinoa is loaded with vitamins and nutrients that other grains simply can’t match.
Quinoa contains twice as much protein as white rice in the same amount. Plus, it’s got about 5 grams more fiber and satisfies you more quickly.
Quinoa is an excellent addition to salads or as a side dish because it allows you to consume fewer calories while still tasting delicious.
Is Quinoa Like Rice When It Comes To Water Absorption?
It certainly does. Quinoa would require a different cooking time than white rice, but it would absorb water similarly to white rice.
Is Quinoa Helpful in Weight Lose?
Gluten-free pseudo-grain is beneficial for cardiovascular and digestive health. It may also aid in the maintenance of blood sugar levels and long-term weight loss. In fact, quinoa is frequently recommended as an alternative to high-carb grains by nutritionists and health practitioners as a way to lose weight.
What’s The Secret To Making Quinoa?
Bingo! Here’s how to make quinoa that’s perfectly fluffy: use twice the amount of water as quinoa and cook without a lid until the water of quinoa has absorbed. Depending on the quantity, cooking time will differ. Remove from the heat once all of the water has been absorbed, cover it, and set aside quinoa for steam for 5 minutes.
Is Quinoa That Has Been Overcooked Still Nutritious?
It’s particularly important not to overcook this quinoa. Not only will the texture of your food be unpleasant, but you will also lose nutrients if you overcook it. When serving quinoa, make sure it’s light and fluffy.
Can Quinoa Be Eaten Every day?
Quinoa is a versatile grain that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. However, it is better to have a healthy meal before bedtime, such as quinoa. Because of its high protein and magnesium content, it works by relaxing the muscles and inducing sleep.
One to two cups of cooked quinoa per day is adequate. Also, if you get a stomach ache, itching, or vomiting after eating quinoa, you should stop eating it. “That person could be allergic to quinoa,” says the expert.
Which Is Healthier, Quinoa or Oatmeal?
Quinoa and oatmeal both have health advantages and may be included in a well-balanced diet, but there are a few nutritional distinctions between the two grains that may influence your choice of grain.
Quinoa has a higher protein content per serving than oatmeal, which is one of its key nutritional benefits. Cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein per cup, compared to 6 grams in an equivalent amount of cooked oatmeal.
Quinoa and oatmeal are equally high in fiber, while quinoa has slightly more per serving. Fiber not only enhances digestive health by preventing constipation and aiding in the treatment of digestive illnesses such as diverticulosis, but it also fights hunger, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.
It contains 5 grams of fiber per cup of cooked quinoa, which is enough to meet 14 percent of women’s required daily fiber consumption and 20 percent of men’s recommended daily fiber intake.
Does Quinoa Expire?
Unopened quinoa keeps well for months. And there isn’t much difference when you open the package. Quinoa has a two- to three-year shelf life and can easily last months over the expiration date.
After cooking, store in the airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Cooked quinoa can be frozen and used later if you need additional time.
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- Energy: 156 kcal / 652 kJ
- Fat: 3 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Carbs: 27 g
- Preparation: 5 min
- Cooking: 15 min
- Ready in: 20 min
- For: 4 Servings
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups vegetable broth, or water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, (optional)
- Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and wash under running wash, shake off excess water.
- 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.
- Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover pot and allow to sit for 5 more minutes
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.
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.
I love quinoa! I cook with it multiple times every week usually. I love how versatile it is!
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!
YES! I love quinoa. Thanks for the great back-to-basics post and some recipe ideas!
You are welcome Kelli, hope you enjoy
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. :)
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!
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!!
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.
Thanks a lot for the article post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.