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March 31, 2022

by Alyssa

How to Cook Quinoa

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Struggle to cook fluffy quinoa? We've got you covered with the complete guide on how to cook quinoa. It includes step-by-step instructions and photos, as well as storage tips and our favorite ways to use it.

quinoa with herbs on top

I've been honing my quinoa cooking game for years, which is probably no surprise.

So if you're looking for the best tips and tricks to make perfect quinoa every time, you've come to the right place. This post includes everything you need to know about how to cook quinoa.

And good news: it's simple and easy!

What You'll Learn In This Post:

measuring up and water with dry quinoa in a bowl

What Equipment do I need?

You don't need much in the way of equipment to make the best quinoa. All you need is:

  • A small saucepan
  • A fork

That's it! Grab your quinoa, and you're ready to get cooking.

Stainless Steel Sauce Pan with Lid

My Favorite Saucepan

This stainless steel saucepan from All-Clad is the perfect pot to cook your quinoa in!

adding water to a pot of quinoa for cooking

How to Cook Quinoa: Step by Step Instructions

Combine the quinoa and water. Simply add your uncooked quinoa (any variety) into the pan with your water (or broth).

Bring to a boil. As soon as you reach a boil, reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. You're done when the water is absorbed and the grains are fluffy and expanded.

Remove from the heat. Take the pot off of the heat and remove the lid. Let the pot rest for five minutes, then use your fork to fluff the grains. Now you're ready to eat!

cooked quinoa in a saucepan

How Much Quinoa and Water should I Use?

The right ratio of quinoa and water is important. Too much water, and your grains will be soggy and sticky. Too little, and you'll probably burn the quinoa on the bottom of the pot.

This post explains the perfect quinoa cooking ratio. I use 1 cup of quinoa for every 1.75 cups of water.

cooked quinoa on a spoon

How Long Should Does it Take?

If you're cooking a smaller amount of quinoa, 1 cup or less, check after 8 minutes of cooking. For 1.5 to 2 cups, check after 10, and for larger quantities, you may need up to 15 minutes.

The best way to know that your quinoa is done is to check it! Look for grains with the seed separated from the hull. Then you know it's done.

Storage Suggestions

Once your quinoa is fully cooled, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

Having plenty of cooked quinoa on hand is a great way to round out your meal prep. It's great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Can I Freeze Quinoa?

Yes! Freeze portions of cooked, cooled quinoa in airtight, freezer-safe containers for up to six months. Defrost in the fridge overnight or in the microwave.

bowl of cooked quinoa

How to Use Cooked Quinoa

I have tons of recipes that will put your grains to good use. Here are some of the most popular:

Of course, quinoa is an endlessly versatile grain! Try any of these 35 Best Quinoa Bowls, or the 30 Best Easy Quinoa Recipes.

If you use this formula for How to Cook Quinoa, be sure to let me know how it works for you with a comment below!

How to Cook Quinoa

Use these step-by-step instructions to make perfect quinoa on the stove!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 156kcal
Print Pin
cooked quinoa on a spoon
5 from 4 votes



  • Add you water and quinoa into a small saucepan.
  • Turn on high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer for 8 – 12 minutes (depending on how much quinoa you are cooking).
  • The quinoa is done cooking when the water has been absorbed and the germ has separated from the seed.
  • Remove from the heat, remove the lid and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork and enjoy!


Serving: 0.25cups | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 2mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

Interested in Healthy Eating? Grab our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!

With a week’s worth of simple and healthy meals, Eat Clean will help you see just how easy living a life full of whole foods can be. Recipe are 100% gluten-free and vegan!

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