How to cook quinoa

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Quinoa is more commonly known as the little rice of Peru. It used to be available in health stores before it became so popular. Quinoa is now thought of as a healthier substitute for rice and pasta. It has a delicate texture, is high in protein content and is quite easy to prepare which makes it a favourite especially of vegetarians.

Here is the step by step guide on how to cook quinoa that is fluffy and delicious:


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups of water or broth
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)


  • Saucepan (with lid)
  • Strainer
  • spoon



1. Rinse the quinoa grains in water.

Place the grains in a strainer and use running water to rinse for 2 minutes.

If you bought quinoa that comes in a box, you may skip this step.

Rinsing is done to remove the saponins which give a bitter flavour to quinoa if it is not removed

2. Toast the quinoa.

Use a drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat to toast the dried quinoa. Stir for about 1 minute.

3. Cook the quinoa.

4. Add the water or broth and the salt and let it boil.

5. Lower the heat and let it cook for 15 minutes. Cover the pan.

6. Take the quinoa away from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.
7. Uncover, fluff and serve.


  • Cooked quinoa should look fluffy, with the germ (tiny spirals) separating from the seeds.
  • Cooked quinoa is also used for salads, porridges, curry and pilafs.
  • 1 cup of dry quinoa = 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup dry quinoa = 2 cups of liquid
  • The total cooking time for 1 cup of quinoa is about 20 minutes
  • Cooking quinoa in a rice cooker is basically the same as cooking rice as long as the 1(quinoa):2 (liquid)  proportion is followed.

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