How to Cook Quinoa

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How to Cook Quinoa

Here is a very simple, quick way to cook this powerfood. Learn about all the benefits you will get from eating Quinoa Powerfood 

Cooking Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
  1. Rinse quinoa and drain.*
  2. Add 2 cups of water, bring to a boil.
  3. Add a pinch of salt.
  4. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Fluff with a fork and serve.

I usually just serve it the same I do with rice with vegetables. I have been known to eat a bowl full all by itself because it tastes so good.


Always Rinse Quinoa, although highly nutritious, is actually coated with the toxic chemical saponin; you must rinse the quinoa thoroughly. Saponins can be challenging to the immune system and stomach. Commercial processing methods remove much of the bitter soapy saponins coating quinoa seeds, but it is best to rinse again to remove any of the powdery saponins that may remain on the seeds.

How often to eat quinoa?

Like all good foods, we need variety so best not to eat it every day.  A few times a week is good enough.

Please do not cook a huge pot of quinoa or any other grain to last you all week. Refrigerating cooked grains imparts a waxy texture and washes out their subtle flavors. Freshly prepared foods satiate and energize; stale and leftover foods make us feel stale and leftover. May you be well nourished.

quinoa sprouts 3

This is my favourite quiona, see the list and you will see why I love it.

truRoots Organic Quinoa 100% Whole Grain Premium Quality.

  • Pre-Washed (so no rinsing), Organic (all grains are best organic)
  • From farms that use best practices and time-honored tradition. (Eco friendly is high on my list)

Deluxe Quinoa Pudding is easy to make and delicious.

Quinoa Coconut Almond Porridge – Sugarless is a great breakfast.

Quinoa is is one of the essential foods in our Alkalize Your Body BootCamp and the  One Month Online Healthy Diet and Detox  Get hands on experience and knowledge from the  comfort of your home.

Copyright ©Diana Herrington

By | 2017-10-29T15:42:10+00:00 November 2nd, 2010|Gluten Free, Grains, Recipes|35 Comments

About the Author:

I am the Founder and Author at Real Food For Life. Have been teaching cooking classes worldwide since 1982. Create original, healthy recipes and menus, which are gluten free and white sugar free. Also, the author of the GREEN means LEAN and Balance Your Body e-books. I turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar free, gluten free eating and cooking.


  1. Quinoa Diet November 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Cooking quinoa is so simple and that's what I like about it.
    You can mix it with everything.
    Go quinoa!!

  2. Diana November 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Wow, you have a lot of good information and recipes about Quinoa!

  3. Ruth Vandersall May 13, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I cook quinoa, whole buckwheat, millet, in a combination of all three, or separately
    with one part grain to 4 parts water; as 1/2 cup grain add 2 cups water. After starts to boil
    cook on simmer til water is absorbed. This will be soft. Can be soaked overnight to digest
    even better. Add greens like kale, collards, or brussels sprouts at proper time so they are
    done, not too done. Very good topped with one or two eggs when grains are done or nearly
    done. Let sit a few minutes til eggs are done. If you like eggs more done or if you forgot
    to add soon enough, make a hole, add the egg and cover with grain. Enjoy!

  4. Elisabete May 14, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Eggs over hot freshly cooked quinoa… Lovely tip! Thanks.

  5. Diana Herrington May 19, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you Ruth for sharing your recipe. Sounds yummy.

  6. Pierre Trudel August 20, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Pierrette loves to sprout Quinoa best.It only takes 1 day and we add it to everything.
    Thanks Diana for your great tips.
    Thee Quest

  7. Bernadette Washington August 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Cool! Thank you for this recipe tip on quinoa. I just remembered I did buy some the other day and have not used it yet. Thanks for reminding me that it has so much protein!

  8. Diana Herrington September 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I am happy the article reminded you as I love quinoa of all of the grains the best.

  9. Joy Markman April 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Hi Diana – Earlier Comment is right, it is better to soak Quinoa overnight, & throw off the water, but don’t rinse it again.

  10. Renee April 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Thank you so much for teaching me how to prepare Quinoa. Now I look forward to something different, yet healthy for my breakfast.

  11. Diana Herrington April 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Joy!
    For those with digestive problems; it maybe a good idea to soak overnight; most of us will probably not remember to do it even though it would be good. 🙂

    Let us know how the quinoa goes for your breakfast Renee.

  12. Annette November 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Found your website. My nurse advised me to look into Quinoa. She knows that I am looking for ways to get away from red meat and chicken, too. I bought some at the store, (Walmart), and it did not have the seasonings in it. It’s just Quinoa. The instructions on the package said to go ahead and cook it. There is nothing on it about rinsing, so I guess they did that. I will try a taste and see if it tastes soapy, or if I can just eat it.

  13. Diana Herrington November 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Annette, I would not assume that they rinsed the quinoa unless they state that they did. All the quinoa I buy needs to be rinsed. I just added a paragraph above about why you need to rinse it from the quinoa article
    I recommend that you read the article to learn more.

  14. April December 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks for the info Diana–I often wondered why unrinced quinoa tasted funny 🙂

  15. Diana Herrington December 19, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    You are welcome April. Many people do not know this.

  16. SoniaB January 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    It is great to know the Health Benefits, I tasted it knowly for the first time this week-end. I purchased some for dinner and hope it is as easy to prepare as stated.
    Thank you for the tip on rinsing it before preparation and the information on the health benefits.


  17. Diana Herrington January 18, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Happy to hear you SoniaB. Let us know how cooking it went for you.

  18. February 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

    “Cooking Quinoa | Real Food for Life” was a extremely pleasant article, .
    Continue writing and I am going to continue to keep viewing!

    Thank you ,Melvin

  19. salma February 16, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Hi Diana, I eat rice everyday and now have switched to quinoa. Is ii ok if I eat this everyday. It tastes just as nice as rice and even better is it is not so heavy. Thanks

  20. Diana Herrington February 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Quinoa is great and I love it too. As it is not a grain it is good to still good to have some brown rice and other grains too like millet and oats for example. It is important to get a wide variety of foods into us every day.

  21. elizabeth April 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I just made quinoa for the first time with a spanish sofrito(olives,garlic,red peppers,onions,a little tomato sauce) and garbanzo beans added with cilantro and it was delicious! Next time I’ll add chicken and Instead of making arroz con pollo I’ll make quinoa and chicken(pollo).

  22. Martha July 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    No idea where you got that “fact” about quinoa forbidden in Perú and rediscovered on the 80´s. Peruvians and other andean countries had never stop consuming it.
    A tip, drain the first boiled water, rinse and cook as directed,the water will be kind of yellow (even more if its organic quinoa), thats the saponins washing away.

  23. Diana Herrington July 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Elizabeth, that sounds delicious!

    Martha, it is true that they never did stop consuming it but under Spanish rule, quinoa and other native crops were suppressed and replaced with Old World crops and this is what nearly wiped it out.
    I had not heard of doing that extra rinse. Thank you, I will check it out.

  24. Martha July 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Glad tho that they are producing it by loads again!
    My mom taught me to cook quinoa that way, a trick she learned from one of the cooks from her childhood days. You know, here at Perú, we still have help!

  25. Maureen August 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    I visited Cusco, Peru in May/June 2013 and walked the 4 day Inca Trek to Machu Picchu. The local guides cooked Quinoa and vege soup a few days and I have fallen in love with this grain. I now add it regularly to my vege soups and sometimes add chicken … it is so delicious and very hearty and healthy. Love your site and the different ways of cooking Quinoa which I must try soon.

  26. Mary Garnham December 7, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I have an opened packet of Quinoa in an airtight container, it’s been there for almost a year. Is it still good enough to used?

  27. Cheryl March 16, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Do you just need a light rinse or a long scrubbing type rinse?

  28. Diana Herrington March 18, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I just rinse thoroughly. I put it in a sieve and run the water through it for a couple of minutes.

  29. Martha March 18, 2014 at 11:47 am

    If you forget to soak quinoa overnight you can always cook it and change the water as it starts boiling, the water will be yellow, thats the saponins, have boiling water at hand and replace it, finish cooking it, an old peruvian trick.

  30. Liz June 8, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I only recently introduced Quinoa into my foods and very much enjpy it with lunches and dinners. I cook mine in chicken broth, then add cooked, chopped asparagus, sauted red peppers, onions, and raisins – whatever vegetables I have on hand. I really enjoy it. Thank you to all for sharing your knowledge.

  31. chie August 26, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    i love to eat quinoa with chopped vegetables..but as i’ve read from your it not good to eat it everyday?

  32. Diana Herrington September 4, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    It is not that quinoa is particularly not good for us to eat everyday. Most foods are not good to eat every day. We need variety to get all the possible nutrients.

  33. Joy Kendra January 26, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Not sure if anyone else mentioned this, but I find 1 c. quinoa to 2 cups water (which most recipes recommend) to be total MUSH. I always just do 1:1 and cook at a very low temperature, with a heat diffuser under the pot so it doesn’t burn. Just google “heat diffuser” there are many options. This makes light fluffy quinoa every time!!

  34. bob franks April 1, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Hello Diana
    I have yet to try quinoa so I am not sure how to use it……My doctor said I am on the road to Diabetes and its best to leave out white rice. Does one use Quinoa like rice?

    Mr Franks

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