How to Cook Red Quinoa

People ask me all the time how to cook red quinoa.The truth is that you can cook red quinoa just like you cook white quinoa.I must confess that the first time I cooked red quinoa didn’t go so well though.While most “experts” say that there is not a difference between red and white quinoa, I think they are a little different.

Red Quinoa vs White Quinoa

Nutritionally speaking, there is no difference between red and white quinoa.However, I do think that red quinoa is a bit firmer and my experience is that it can take slightly longer to cook.I have also found that I need to rinse red quinoa a little more, but this is probably because the only place I ever find red quinoa locally is in the bulk bins at Whole Foods. When looking at red quinoa vs white quinoa, it is important to remember that most quinoa recipes are written for white quinoa, so you many need to make slight adjustments to your cooking time if you are using red.

If you don’t get all of the saponin off the quinoa, it will taste slightly bitter.It can also really do a number on your stomach.(I learned this the hard way.)A great way to rinse quinoa that I just tried for the first time is to put in the blender and pulse it.You aren’t trying to chop the seeds, just to agitate them.Works like a charm!

How to Cook Red Quinoa – My Favorite Method

I have published this method before for quinoa salad, but I really do think it is the best method for cooking red quinoa.I wish I could take credit for coming up with this method, but It is not my own.I actually found it in a recipe on Epicurious.com, and since then I find myself using this method more often than not.There is an extra step and it takes a little longer but I love the texture that you get when cooking quinoa this way.(Especially red quinoa!)

  1. Before you cook red quinoa, make sure it is thoroughly rinsed.
  2. Bring a pot of water and salt to a boil and add quinoa.  Boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse quinoa in a Stainless Steel Strainer with cool water.Put a small amount of fresh water in the pot and bring it to a boil. Place the strainer and quinoa over the water and cover with a clean dish towel. Put a lid on your pot and steam for twelve minutes. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out some of my great red quinoa recipes!

Cooking Quinoa Tip!

Did you know that if you by boxed quinoa rather than bulk, chances are that it has been pre-rinsed?This can save you some time but you are paying for the convenience.Bulk quinoa is considerably cheaper than buying quinoa by the box.  However, you can’t beat Bobs Red Mill Quinoa, which is organic.