How to cook quinoa to perfection


Let’s talk quinoa.

Firstly, if you are saying ‘kwin-oh-ah’, you need this post!  Secondly, cooking quinoa is a tough gig, but with these fail-proof tips you will know exactly how to cook quinoa to perfection EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’, you’re welcome) is a super grain.  Well, actually, technically it’s not even a grain.  It’s a seed, and a mega source of protein.  Quinoa is a great option for those following a plant-based (vegan) diet due to it’s high level of protein.  And, because it is GLUTEN FREE, quinoa is the perfect option for those who are sensitive to gluten.

Nutrition facts (per 100g uncooked) – just over 1/2 a cup, which when cooked would serve about 2-4 people depending on what you are making:

Calories – 368

Protein – 14g

Carbohydrates – 64g

Sugars – 0g

Fat – 6g

MOST IMPORTANTLY – quinoa is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids.


I love cooking with quinoa as it is such a versatile food.  I have used it to replace rice in sushi, as a protein in salads, as a breakfast porridge, and it is featured in my healthy eating e-book.  The possibilities are just endless.


Prep tips – How to cook quinoa to perfection every time:

RINSE.  Ever tasted bitter quinoa?  It’s awful.  To cook quinoa to perfection you need to pop the uncooked grain into a sieve and rinse under running water until you no longer see the quinoa bubbling.  This is a crucial step for perfect quinoa!


RATIO.  The ratio of water to quinoa when cooking is a vital one.  Too much water and you will end up with sloppy quinoa, too little and your quinoa will be crunchy.  To cook quinoa to perfection you need a ratio of 1:2, one cup of uncooked quinoa to two cups of water/liquid.


FLAVOUR.  Quinoa absorbs water during the cooking process, so flavour that water.  If you are cooking quinoa for a savoury dish then flavour with savoury spices or a healthy veggie stock.  For a sweet quinoa dish use cinnamon, vanilla pod or your favourite sweet spice.  My favourite flavour combos are below.

Savoury quinoa flavour combos:

Natural vegetable stock

Cumin, turmeric, cracked Himalayan pink salt and lemon juice

Fish sauce, chilli, lemon juice and Fountain brand sweet chilli sauce (just a little)

Sweet quinoa flavour combos:

Cinnamon and stevia

Vanilla pod and stevia

All spice and almond milk

Orange juice, orange rind and all spice

How to cook quinoa to perfection, every time!
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to cook quinoa to perfection, every single time.
Serves: About 3 cups cooked
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • Your preferred flavour combination
  1. Measure out 1 cup of uncooked quinoa and transfer to a sieve;
  2. Rinse under running cold water. Bubbles will appear and then disappear once the quinoa is properly rinsed;
  3. Add two cups of filtered water to a stove pot and bring to the boil. Add your favourite flavour combo to the water and stir;
  4. Once boiling, add the rinsed quinoa to the water and reduce to a simmer;
  5. Place the lid on the pot and do not remove for the next 20 minutes;
  6. After 20 minutes remove the pot from the stovetop and set aside for five minutes;
  7. Lift the lid and fluff with a fork.
12 Responses
  1. I love the versatility of quinoa too Krissy. As gluten and I are not friends, I use this amazing little seed in so many ways, I would be lost without it!

    The rinse tip is so important – I forgot a few times early on & regretted it so much. Very unpleasant.

  2. Ahhh I wondered what the rinse was for?
    I cooked some quinoa up in the microwave during the week and it turned out perfectly, I’ll have to try your stove top method too Krissy.
    Loving all your suggested combos.
    Thanks for joining in the Fabulous Foodie Friday fun, can’t wait to see what you bring to the party next week!
    Have a gorgeous weekend xx

    1. Oh I wish I could bring myself to microwave rice and quinoa. I get too scared that it’s going to overflow or explode or something so I stick to stovetop. Do you use a similar method for the microwave? Is it the same cooking time or quicker? xx