How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly!

If you are like me, food being good just isn’t enough.  I put a lot of effort into cooking and I want everything to be perfect!  Because cooking quinoa is something I do all the time, I set out to learn how to cook quinoa perfectly.

Most methods of cooking quinoa call for a 1:2 ratio between quinoa and liquid. For a long time, I thought this was the best method to cook quinoa perfectly. What I found is that I like quinoa a lot more when I used less liquid, lower heat and cooked my quinoa for longer.  Unlike some methods which yield a softer (and sometimes soggy!) quinoa, this method yields a fluffy quinoa.  When I am short on time I will still use the old method, but as long as I have the time I find that the results are well worth the effort.
This method is a bit different than most quinoa recipes that you will come across, so you will have to make adjustments when necessary.  The good news is that quinoa is very forgiving, so quinoa cooking experiments are pretty hard to mess up!  Read on for how to cook perfect quinoa!

How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 3

Serving Size: 1 cup cooked

Calories per serving: 196

Fat per serving: 3.2

How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1.25 cups cooking liquid

Instructions

  1. If you are working with unrinsed quinoa, you want to start off by soaking your quinoa. (You can buy quinoa that is prerinsed if you want to skip this step.) You can soak for an hour or more without a negative impact but 15 minutes will do the trick. After soaking, rinse for two or three minutes in a fine metal strainer. If you do not have a colander that is fine enough, you can line your regular colander with cheesecloth to get the job done. If you are using pre-rinsed quinoa you can skip this step.
  2. Add one part quinoa to one and a quarter parts liquid. As always, choose the liquid that best suits the dish you are making. Depending on the ad ins you are using, you may or may not use a bit more liquid. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to low. Cover and cook for between 30 and 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for an additional five minutes. Fluff and add to your favorite dishes. If you are cooking quinoa in bulk and are going to be placing your quinoa in the refrigerator, you will want to know how to cool quinoa. The best method that I have found is to place the quinoa on a rimmed cookie sheet until it is completely cooled. Once your quinoa is cooled you can transfer it to a container for storage.

Notes

34.2 Carbohydrates, 7.5 g Protein, 3.7g Fiber

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How Do You Cook Quinoa When You Are Short on Time?

People sometimes ask me why this is not the method that I use in most of my recipes.  The truth is that even though this is how I cook quinoa,  I forget sometimes when I am writing the recipes because the 1:2 ratio is so ingrained!  One thing that I have found is that even if you have only 15 minutes to cook your quinoa and want to use the boil/simmer method, it tends to work better if you use a little less water.  I use a 1:1.75 ratio when I’m in a hurry.  Bring the quinoa to a boil, reduce heat cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

In summary, when considering how long to cook quinoa, first decide how long you have!  If you are short on time, use higher heat!

If  you have tips on how to cook quinoa you would like to share I’d love to hear from you!

Easy No Fail Method to Cook Quinoa in Bulk

Over the last two years, I’ve developed the habit of cooking a large batch of quinoa once a week so that I can easily throw it into anything from wraps, pancakes and salads.  Although I love the method above, sometimes I just want something fast that doesn’t require measuring.  When this is the case I will simply rinse the quinoa and then place it in a pot of water.  Bring it to a boil and allow it to boil for about eight minutes.  Drain the water off and return it to the pot.  Cover it and let it sit off the heat for about 10 minutes.  Perfect quinoa every time!

So, the next time a friend or family member asks you “How do I cook quinoa?” you can tell them with confidence regardless of the situation!

Now, you may already know this but quinoa is also available in quinoa pasta, quinoa flour and quinoa flakes.  Check out this post if you are wanting to know how to cook quinoa pasta!

Tags/Common Misspellings:  howtocookquinoa, how to cook quinoa, cooking quinoa, how to cook quiona, how long cook quinoa, how to cook quinou, how to cook quinoe, quinoahow to cook

  • luiz leonardo

    Thanks Wendy! Wonderful recipes for a healthier life. Happy 2014 to you and your family!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Happy New Year to you too Luiz!

      Sent from my iPad

  • Joan

    Good tip. Sounds much better than what I have been doing. No mess!! Thanks, Beth.