How to,  Side Dishes

How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly

Learn how to cook quinoa perfectly every time. The quinoa comes out fluffy and not at all mushy. Ready for use in other dishes or as a side dish to your dinner.

Quinoa grains in measuring cup

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What is Quinoa?

Quinoa acts like a grain, but it is actually a type of seed that is very nutritious. The origins of quinoa are in South America where it has been grown for thousands of years, but it became well-known worldwide in the last few years. Check out this articles from for more in-depth information on quinoa if you are interested: What is Quinoa? One of The World’s Healthiest Foods.

Types of Quinoa

According to some websites I read, there are thousands of types of quinoa, but the most well-know, and widely grown are are red, white, and black. I see this reflected in the quinoa I buy. Usually I get mine at Aldi where they have a pretty good selection of organic items. You can see here a package that already has the 3 types mixed in and a package that only has white.

Quinoa types in different packages

How to cook Quinoa

It’s so easy to cook quinoa. The general ratio of quinoa to water is 1 cup quinoa to 1.5 cups water. Using a measuring cup (mine are like these), measure out one cup of quinoa and wash it. I usually do this using a sieve and a bowl, which, I find, is the easiest way to wash such small seeds. Change out the water 2-3 times or until it is mostly clear.

Add the quinoa to a small sauce pan (I have this set). Then add 1 1/2 cups water and the salt. Bring everything to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to lowest setting, cover the quinoa with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Take off the heat once the quinoa is cooked and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Fluff it up with a fork and serve. Or let it cool and use in other dishes.

Cooked quinoa

How to Cook Quinoa

Step-by-Step instructions for cooking perfect, fluffy quinoa.
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Resting Time5 minutes
Total Time17 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to, Quinoa, Side Dish
Servings: 4


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups Water
  • Pinch of salt


  • Wash quinoa and put into a small sauce pan.
  • Add 1 ½ cups water to the quinoa and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
  • As soon as quinoa boils, reduce heat to lowest setting, cover with a lid, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let rest at least 5 minutes. Serve.

Check out my post about cooking rice for another easy, perfect side dish recipe.

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