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Cooked quinoa in a sliver bowl with someone spooning some out.

How to Cook Quinoa

Once you know how to cook quinoa to fluffy, tender perfection, you'll want to add this protein- and fiber-rich whole grain to your menu or meal prep every week.
Course Pantry
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings (1/2 cup each)
Calories 156kcal


  • 1 cup quinoa (see note 1)
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth (see note 2)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • To rinse the quinoa (if needed, see notes), using a large, fine-mesh sieve, rinse quinoa thoroughly under cold running water.
  • In a 2-quart or large pot, bring water and salt to boil. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat, fluff, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes to 10 minutes.



  1. Quinoa: Dry, uncooked quinoa (I love Bob’s Red Mill), any color you desire. If you can find pre-rinsed quinoa, that's ideal.
  2. Water or chicken broth: Water works wonderfully, and is free and sodium-free. For more flavor, cook quinoa in chicken broth; homemade or store-bought.
  3. Yield: This method for how to cook quinoa creates 3 cups, enough for six 1/2-cup side dish-sized servings.
  4. Storage: Transfer cooked, cooled quinoa to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  5. Freezer: To keep the cooked quinoa from clumping together as it freezes, spread it out on a sheet tray in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container and keep on ice for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg