Here’s all the info you need about How to Cook Quinoa! I’ve compiled all of the simple steps to make sure you have the very best quinoa every time. Use your quinoa in bowls, salads, as a side dish, or in one of the recipes I have listed below!

A bowl filled with cooked quinoa is placed on a woven placemat.

How to Cook Quinoa

Stop buying those microwavable bags of quinoa – you deserve so much better than that! While I know that those little bags do come in common when you’re in a real time crunch, it’s easy to make quinoa yourself while also quicker and easier than you may think. With this easy cooking method, you’ll always have light, fluffy, chewy, and never mushy quinoa.

I through quinoa into so many different recipes. It’s just one of those ingredients that I keep stocked in my pantry at all times. For some of my favorite recipes that feature quinoa, keep scrolling to find them listed at the very bottom of this page! I make it so often that this cooking method is like second nature to me, so I thought I’d share it with you, too.

Soon enough, you won’t even need to reference this recipe because it’ll come naturally to you as well! You can also change up the ingredients I have listed to make your quinoa best fit your personal tastes. For example, I like to cook my quinoa in vegetable stock, but you can swap that with water or another type of stock if you’d like. This is one of those ingredients you can dress up in a million different ways.

Water is rinsing quinoa through a sieve.

How to Cook Quinoa

Here’s a quick look at the process! Scroll to the bottom of this page for more detailed ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions.

  1. Rinse the quinoa. Place all of the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Rinse it thoroughly under water, then drain well.
  2. Toast it. Melt the butter in a pan over high heat. Once melted, toss the quinoa in it until all of the water evaporates and the quinoa begins to turn golden.
  3. Boil. Stir in the water (or stock) and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover and cook. Reduce the heat to low, then stir in salt. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Rest. Remove the pan from the heat. Low the quinoa rest for 5 minutes while still covered. PRO TIP: Do NOT peek, or the quinoa could turn sticky and gummy!
  6. Fluff. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
A pot is filled with cooked quinoa.

Tips and Variations to Try

Check out these notes before making your quinoa:

  • No peeking! Once the quinoa has been removed from the heat and is sitting covered with a lid for 5 minutes, leave it alone. Do not lift the lid! If you do, you’ll risk ending up with mushy, gummy quinoa.
  • What if there’s still liquid at the bottom? If you uncover the pan and find that there’s still liquid, don’t panic. Simply cover and return to the heat for 5 more minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Rinse it. Don’t skip this step! Quinoa is naturally covered in something called saponin which protects it from fungus. It gives the quinoa a bitter flavor if not rinsed off prior to cooking.
  • Cook it in stock or water. Water is usually my go-to, but vegetable stock or even chicken stock both also work well for some added flavor.


Let your quinoa fully cool to room temperature prior to storing in an airtight container in the fridge. Properly stored, cooked quinoa will keep in the fridge for 5-6 days.

A spoon is placed in a bowl filled with quinoa.

Use your quinoa in any of these easy recipes!

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A bowl filled with cooked quinoa is placed on a woven placemat.

Get the Recipe: How to Cook Quinoa Recipe

Fluffy, easy quinoa is so simple when following my steps. Use it as a side dish or the base for a quinoa salad.
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  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 3/4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1 saucepan


  • Place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly under running water. Drain.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the quinoa and toast until the water evaporates and the quinoa starts to turn golden, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the water or stock and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat to low and stir in the salt. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the quinoa to rest for 5 minutes, covered. (Don’t peek or the quinoa could turn sticky and gummy.)
  • Uncover and fluff with a fork. If there’s still liquid in the bottom of the pan, cover and return to the heat for 5 more minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.


Quinoa is a great side dish or the base for a grain bowl and salad.
Calories: 121kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 117mg, Potassium: 160mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 0.002g, Vitamin A: 62IU, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 1mg