Learn how to cook quinoa perfectly every time with these tips! This ancient grain is so easy, you’ll be done with this easy, healthy side dish in just 15 minutes. Great for meal prep, too!
If you keep up with my blog, you know that I’m a quinoa fanatic. Ever since learning the best way to cook quinoa, I have made my whole family super fans of this magical ancient grain, too! I’ve got all the tips and tricks make perfectly fluffy, flavourful quinoa any night of the week!
I have, however, received many questions from readers as to how to cook their quinoa properly and complaints that theirs was too dry, or too wet, or too bitter, or just undercooked.
I have put together this post as a more in-depth look on how you can become a fan of quinoa and learn how to cook quinoa perfectly every time.
In short, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a seed that has been around for at least 5,000 years and originated from the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Columbia and Peru. Think couscous in texture, or even oats in the way it absorbs the liquid.
Quinoa seeds are actually really really good for you. They contain essential amino acids like lysine and great amounts of calcium, iron and phosphorus. Quinoa is also high in protein AND is gluten free!
Whether you’re making a little or a lot of quinoa, the ratio of seeds to water is always the same!
For 1 cup of quinoa, you want 2 cups of water. You can always add a little flavor and use 1 cup quinoa, 1 cup water, and 1 cup broth. Either way, it’s 2:1 liquid to quinoa every time.
If you want to make less, you can easily use 1/2 cup raw quinoa with 1 cup of liquid. When it’s done, 1 cup of quinoa makes about 3 cups of fluffy, cooked quinoa.
To be honest, I don’t like to describe anything as “healthier” than another food — it’s all about moderation!
However, if we’re talking pure nutritional value, quinoa is packed with so many vitamins and essentials for any diet that other grains just can’t give ya.
Compared to white rice, quinoa has twice the protein as the same amount of rice. Plus, it’s got about 5g more fiber and fills you up faster!
Quinoa is a great side dish or salad addition because it can let you eat less and taste great, too.
Once you learn how to make quinoa, you’ll make it forever! The rich nuttiness is so much better than brown rice or cauliflower rice.
To cook quinoa perfectly, you want to add the dry quinoa seeds to a pot of water. Bring it all to a boil, then reduce and simmer covered for about 15 minutes. The FULL instructions are below in the recipe card.
If you’re making red quinoa, it will likely take an extra few minutes to cook. As a general rule of thumb, if the water has evaporated, the quinoa should be done if the ratio was right.
Pro tip: The key is to set the lid slightly to the side so that you allow liquid and steam to escape. When it’s finished, you want to fluff the quinoa with a fork, which gives it a great cloud-like texture!
Quinoa is very versatile and can literally be used in every meal of the day; breakfast, lunch, dinner, in casseroles, in desserts, in salads — the possibilities are endless!
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.
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