Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa) is a delicious, low-fat superfood grain (actually a pseudo cereal, it is not a grass like wheat is) that comes from South America and is closely related to beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds, believe it or not! This is also why it is gluten-free. Quinoa is not related to wheat and does not contain any gluten at all. How do you know if you've overcooked your quinoa? Well, it will probably be very wet (a result of too much water) and will be mushy and not light and fluffy, but perfectly cooked quinoa is something you can achieve! I’ve eaten quinoa cooked by many different people and there is a world of difference when it is mushy and overcooked, or light and fluffy. Generally, what you see everywhere is mushy overcooked quinoa dishes, but what you want is perfectly cooked separated quinoa granules! The BIGGEST mistake people make when making quinoa is using a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio. Quinoa absorbs much less water than rice, so it is unnecessary to cook it in so much water. The ratio of water to quinoa should be 1:1. Once you know how to make quinoa the right way, you will enjoy eating it regularly. It’s an easy replacement for rice or couscous as a side dish and much more nutritious. Let’s get started and I'll teach you how to cook quinoa perfectly. Below are the best quinoa cooking instructions!
How to Cook Perfect Fluffy Quinoa Every Time
- 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa (white or red quinoa)
- 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth (low sodium or homemade)
- 1 tsp of salt or Herbamare (if desired)
- fresh ground pepper to taste (if desired)
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice or other seasonings like parsley flakes *optional
- Soak quinoa in a large bowl for 15 minutes in cool water.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, drain and rinse your quinoa until the water is clear and it’s not foamy anymore. About a minute or two and then dump it into a pot.
- Combine rinsed quinoa and water (use a 1:1 ratio) in a pot. Add seasonings. Turn on to medium heat.
- When the quinoa is simmering, cover it, reduce it to low heat and cook for 30-35 minutes.
- When all the water is absorbed remove the pot from heat. Let sit covered for 5 minutes to finish steaming.
- Fluff with a fork before serving.
- Serve and refrigerate any leftovers for another dish or to sprinkle on salads.
- Soak quinoa for 15 minutes in cool water.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, drain and rinse your quinoa until the water is clear and it’s not foamy. About a minute or two.
- Combine rinsed quinoa and water (use a 1:1 ratio) in rice cooker. Add seasonings if desired.
- Set to white rice setting and cook.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, let it steam for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
- Serve with your favorite entree or vegetables.
For black quinoa, I found that it was a little crunchy. So I would recommend using 1.25:1 ratio of water to black quinoa. 1 1/4 cups water for 1 cup of quinoa so it’s moister and softer. Red quinoa has a much more rich flavor and is more moist and chewier. I think red is a little stickier so I wouldn't use it for salads. I think white quinoa would still be the best if you want a tabouli or cold quinoa salad as the grains are individual.