Here is everything you need to know to cook perfect quinoa effortlessly every time. Once you nail the perfect quinoa liquid ratio, you'll be making fluffy and tender grains in your sleep.
If this is your first time cooking quinoa, then welcome to the wonderful world of my favorite grain. Quinoa has a lot going for it. From its naturally nutty taste to its fluffy and chewy texture, not to mention its impressive protein content, quinoa is called a superfood for a reason. Plus, quinoa is gluten-free and cooks up in less than 15 minutes.
The only secret to making perfect quinoa is nailing the quinoa to water ratio. As long as you use 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, you can make as many servings of this healthy grain as you like.
The Perfect Quinoa Liquid Ratio that Works Every Time
Just remember this golden rule and you'll be less than 15 minutes away from fluffy quinoa at any moment:
One Part Quinoa to Two Parts Water
For example, to feed four, 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water will make four 1/2-cup servings. From there, you can use this handy quinoa liquid ratio to scale up and down to meet your needs.
Why is this ratio so important? It all comes down to texture. Add too little water and your grains may burn on the bottom of the pot before they cook through. Add too much water and you'll end up with soggy, overcooked, and mushy grains.
What Liquids can I Use to Cook Quinoa?
You'll notice that I mention the quinoa to liquid ratio, not the quinoa to water ratio. That's because you can use a number of different liquids to cook quinoa with more flavor than water alone.
Some of my favorite liquids to cook quinoa with added flavor include:
- Vegetable or chicken broth or stock. You can replace all of the water with broth or stock to cook perfect quinoa.
- Coconut milk. This adds a delicious creamy texture to your quinoa that's perfect for breakfast porridge.
- Other non-dairy milk. Experiment with other dairy-free milk, including almond, cashew, and oat milk, for a sweeter take. If your milk contains thickeners, use half water, half milk to prevent burning.
- Wine. You can also add a splash of wine to your cooking liquid to give your quinoa an elegant aroma and flavor. Note that red wine will dye your grains a deep purple color.
Should I Season the Cooking Liquid?
If your cooking liquid is not already seasoned (such as salted broth), it's a good idea to add a pinch of salt along with the quinoa. This helps infuse the grains with flavor as they cook.
Your quinoa seasoning can be as simple as salt or as flavorful as chili powder, cayenne, cinnamon, or any of your favorite dried spices.
Equipment for Cooking Quinoa
Aside from the quinoa liquid ratio, you'll need a couple of very basic pieces of cooking equipment to make perfect quinoa:
- A pot with a lid. Make sure your pot is large enough to fit your quinoa and water with space for growth. Quinoa will more than double in size as it cooks, so a bigger pot is always better. In addition, make sure your lid is tight-fitting, so the steam gets trapped inside the pot to cook the grains evenly.
- Fork. This is my favorite tool for fluffing the grains afger they're cooked (see how in the video below).
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Try The Perfect Quinoa to Liquid Ratio
Now it's your turn! Watch this how-to video to see the easy way I cook quinoa at home using the quinoa liquid ratio. Then make one of my most popular quinoa recipes and share a photo with me in the comments below.