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Pot with cooked quinoa topped with chopped parsley and pepper. A spoon is in the pot.
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5 from 3 votes

How to Cook Quinoa

My go-to method for cooking quinoa so it's perfectly cooked and fluffy. Use this quinoa in place of rice, for salads or as an easy side!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: quinoa
Servings: 3 cups


  • 1 cup dry quinoa any color
  • 1 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • optional toppings: ground pepper olive oil fresh herbs, etc.


  • Rinse: Rinse and drain quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. I have a hand-held one that works great.
  • Cook: Place quinoa, water and salt into a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover and let it cook for 15 minutes.
  • Serve: Remove from heat after 15 minutes and place quinoa in a large bowl to cool. Adding toppings before serving or use in any recipes that call for cooked quinoa.
  • Store: Once cooled, place quinoa in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for about 1 month. 


  • Toast the quinoa before cooking – I rarely toast my quinoa unless a recipe calls for toasting, but it is a good way to bring out the oil and nuttiness of the quinoa, adding a depth of flavor. To toast quinoa simply rinse and drain well, then add the quinoa to your dry pot over medium heat and sauté the quinoa, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes or until the quinoa is aromatic, then add your water and salt and continue to cook according to the recipe.
  • Cook the quinoa in broth instead of water – the flavor of the broth will add a depth of flavor to the cooked quinoa. 
  • Stir in toppings – once cooked you can stir in a variety of toppings to add flavor. I like adding a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice or a sprinkle of cheese.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 13mg | Fiber: 5g