Perfect, Fluffy Quinoa

How to Cook Perfect, Fluffy Quinoa

Struggling to cook quinoa? It always comes out crunchy, or too mushy? Here's how to cook perfect, fluffy quinoa – without a any headaches or special equipment!

By Mindy, Contributing Writer

I posted a recipe for quinoa pancakes last month here at Keeper of the Home that called for three cups of cooked quinoa as one of the ingredients. Some readers asked how to cook quinoa, so today I wanted to share with you my tried-and true-method for how to cook perfect, fluffy quinoa.

We’ve eaten quinoa in our household regularly for several years now. However, it took me at least a year of serving either overdone and mushy quinoa or underdone and crunchy quinoa before I finally perfected my method.

Now I am happy to say that our quinoa turns out just right every time!

So without further ado, here are my simple steps for how to cook perfect, fluffy quinoa (that’s quite delicious as well!).

The Basics

  • Dry quinoa to cooked quinoa ratio is approximately 1:3. So 1 cup of dry quinoa will yield 3 cups cooked quinoa.
  • Quinoa has a natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter. A very thorough rinsing in a mesh strainer will wash away the saponin and let the delicious nutty flavor of the quinoa shine through without being masked by any bitterness. (Sometimes the package of quinoa will say pre-rinsed. I always still rinse it anyway;, I have noticed a bitter flavor before even when the package says this.)
  • Your quinoa will taste delicious if you cook it in water. However, cooking it in chicken broth will take it up to a whole new level of yumminess!
  • To cook quinoa you will use 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid. So to cook 1 cup of quinoa you will use 2 cups of water or chicken broth.
Perfect, Fluffy Quinoa
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Perfect, Fluffy Quinoa

Step by step instructions for making 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
Course: Side Dish
Author: Ann Timm



  • Place the quinoa in a mesh strainer, and rinse it very well with clean running water.
  • After it is thoroughly rinsed, place the quinoa, 2 cups of liquid and salt in a medium-sized saucepan.
  • Turn the pan on high and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a tight lid, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • When 20 minutes is up, remove pan from the heat and remove the lid. Cover the pan with a dish towel and allow to sit for another 10 minutes.
  • Once that 10 minutes is up, remove the dish towel and fluff the quinoa with a fork.

Following these simple steps will give you perfectly cooked, fluffy quinoa that tastes delicious!

How to Cook Perfect, Fluffy Quinoa

Here are some yummy-looking recipes featuring quinoa for you to try!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Quinoa

Spring Quinoa Salad

Crock Pot Creamy Turkey and Quinoa

Quinoa Cranberry Pilaf

And here is another interesting link about how to grow quinoa!

Have you ever cooked quinoa? What are some of your favorite ways to use quinoa?

natural mothering bundle 600x 400 saleSpeaking of cooking, there are some amazing eCookbooks in the Natural Mothering Bundle. But if you’re interested,today is the LAST DAY to get it! The sale will end tonight at 11:59 EST!

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  1. I’m learning to embrace my love of quinoa – it was new to us before THM but now we love it! Thanks for the great tutorial. I was wondering about the ratio of dry to cooked. THANK YOU! 🙂

  2. I love to cook quinoa in my rice cooker. It is simple and hands off. I use broth and add in spices, kale or whatever I want.

  3. I’ve always used my rice-cooker to cooke my quinoa and it comes out perfectly every time (I use the white rice setting). I agree, using chicken broth greatly increases the flavor!

  4. Thanks for the info – I’ve always wondered how much quinoa is yielded with one cup, and have just been plain lazy to really determine it for myself. I’m a big fan of making “quinoa cups” on busy weeknights, which are basically quinoa muffins. I throw quinoa, a couple eggs, cheese, and whatever ingredients I have on hand (sometimes I go Mexican with salsa or Italian with olives and seasonings), into a bowl, and divvy it all up into a greased muffin tin and bake in the oven. Fast, easy and tasty!

  5. Nice to see a simple easy to cook quinoa recipe. If you are short on chicken broth, you can also flavour your water for cooking with a savoury stock cube.

  6. We’ve been eating a lot more quinoa. I buy the multi-colored version. It’s really tasty and my daughter now requests it. When I’m out of chicken broth I drop in a few drops of olive oil and seasonings such as onion powder, thyme, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

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