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  • How To Cook Quinoa

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    Learn how to cook quinoa quickly and easily on the stovetop. Simple to make, this gluten-free grain is the perfect addition to main dishes, salads and is great for meal prep.

    stovetop cooked quinoa in a bowl

    Quinoa is a staple in our house because it is so versatile. It works with so many dishes. It’s a great base for beef stew and adding quinoa to salads is a quick and easy way to make them more filling.

    Cooking quinoa is super quick and easy, you just need water and dry quinoa, and it’s ready to serve in 15 minutes. It’s simply the best recipe for quinoa.

    What is Quinoa?

    Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a grain crop and its seeds are edible. It isn’t technically a cereal grain, so it’s a great alternative for those who are intolerant or sensitive to gluten.

    It is rich in protein, so it’s a great thing to include in a vegan or vegetarian diet, and it is a great source of fiber, vitamin B1 and B2 as well as lots of other minerals.

    What you need

    • Quinoa
    • Fine mesh sieve
    • Pot
    • Water
    uncooked quinoa

    How to cook quinoa on the stove perfectly every time

    Cooking a batch of quinoa is so simple! It’s a hands-off process, so you can get on with the rest of the meal while it is cooking. Here are my simple quinoa cooking instructions.

    • Rinse quinoa thoroughly under running water.
    • Combine quinoa and water in a pot, and bring the water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat.
    • Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until ready or all water has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
    • Remove the pot from the cooktop, cover, and let the quinoa rest and steam for 5 minutes. 
    • Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Season with salt, pepper and other seasonings.
    how to cook quinoa perfectly

    Why do you have to rinse quinoa before cooking?

    Quinoa has a natural coating, called saponin. This coating can make the quinoa taste soapy and bitter if it is not rinsed off. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and run it under cold water for a minute or so.

    How long does cooked quinoa last?

    When I cook quinoa, I often make a double batch as it keeps really well, making it perfect for meal prep.

    Refrigerate

    Let the quinoa cool to room temperature before transferring it to an air-tight container. It will keep well in the fridge for up to a week.

    Freezing

    Cooked frozen quinoa will keep well for up to 6 months. Freeze it in an airtight container and thaw it in the fridge overnight before using.

    boiled quinoa in a bowl

    How much water do you need to cook quinoa?

    The general rule of thumb for quinoa to water ratio is 1:2. So, for 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, you need 2 cups of water. For 2 cups of quinoa, you need 4 cups of water. This is the perfect quinoa to water ratio.

    How much quinoa per person?

    1 cup of uncooked quinoa will make 3 cups of cooked quinoa, which will serve between 3 and 4 people.

    How to use quinoa

    You can use quinoa in

    • salads to make them more filling
    • in grain bowls
    • in burrito, wrap, or taco
    • Added to soups for more texture
    • In stuffed vegetables like peppers, zucchini, squash
    • in veggie burgers
    • or simply as a side dish
    close up image of cooked quinoa

    Nutrition benefits of quinoa

    What makes quinoa so unique among other grains is that it is a complete protein, meaning that it provides all 9 essential amino acids your body can’t make on its own. This makes quinoa an excellent food for anyone following a plant-based diet!

    Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free, making it a great carbohydrate option for those on a gluten-free diet.

    This old-world grain is highly nutritious, and rich in micronutrients and dietary fiber.

    TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

    Recipe Notes and Tips for the best fluffy and tasty quinoa recipe

    • Once the quinoa is done cooking, take it off of the heat and place a lid on it for a few minutes. This will help the quinoa to absorb any excess liquid.
    • To make it even more flavorful, you can use chicken broth instead of water.
    • Before serving, fluff the quinoa with a fork to separate the grains.
    • Season the quinoa with salt, pepper, and stir in a little bit of olive oil, coconut oil or butter. You can also add in fresh chopped parsley, chives or minced garlic clove to make it taste even better. Other seasonings I like to add are: thyme, oregano, rosemary or Italian seasoninig.

    Easy Quinoa Recipes

    If you liked this tutorial on how to make quinoa, check out these delicious salads that use quinoa.

    How To Cook Quinoa

    Lean how to cook quinoa quickly and easily on the stovetop. Simple to make, this gluten-free grain is the perfect addition to main dishes, salads and is great for meal prep.
    Prep Time 2 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 17 minutes
    Servings 3 cups
    Calories 209kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Rinse quinoa using a fine-mesh sieve thoroughly under running water. Drain quinoa well.
    • Combine rinsed quinoa and water in a pot, and bring the water to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until ready or all water has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
    • Remove the pot from the cooktop, cover, and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes. 
    • Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Season with salt, pepper and other seasonings.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Once the quinoa is done cooking, take it off of the heat and place a lid on it for a few minutes. This will help the quinoa to absorb any excess liquid.
    • Before serving, fluff the quinoa with a fork to separate the grains.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 319mg | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 3mg
    Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
    Cuisine American
    Keyword how to cook quinoa
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