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How to Cook Quinoa

Quinoa is versatile and can be served alongside anything, including stews and curries, and can be combined into salads and roasted vegetables. Cook it for lunch or dinner or simply make a big batch as part of your meal prep.


What is Quinoa

Pronounced "keen-wah", Quinoa is a nutritious seed (not a grain) with a light nutty flavour that comes in a variety of colours and types. It is very nutritious and high in protein and as it is naturally gluten-free, it is often used in gluten-free dishes. Quinoa is also made into Quinoa Flour and Quinoa Flakes.

Below shows white quinoa and tri-coloured quinoa, however, it also comes in red and black.


Preparing Quinoa

It is best to prepare quinoa before cooking by first rinsing or placing it into a bowl of water, stirring it a few times and then draining it. Rinsing well reduces the saponin and gives it a loevly nutty flavour.

Perfectly Cooked Quinoa
  1. Firstly, rinse the quinoa well.

  2. Secondly, use exactly twice as much water as quinoa. So, 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water OR 2 cups quinoa to 4 cups water and so on. The cooking time will vary depending on the quantity.

  3. Thirdly, it is important not to add any oil as this will make the quinoa gluggy.

  4. Fourthly, turn off the heat, cover and allow the quinoa to steam. This allows the quinoa seeds to pop open and become fluffy.

Watch How to Make It

Grab my Mexican Quinoa Salad Recipe

How to Cook Quinoa

Serves 3 cups of cooked quinoa

Prep 2 minutes

Cook 8-15 minutes

Formula: 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water


1 cup quinoa uncooked, (white, red or tricolour)

2 cups water

½ teaspoon sea salt


1. Place quinoa in a fine mesh colander and rinse under water.

2. Drain well and then place into a saucepan.

3. Add water and sea salt and bring to a boil.

4. Once boiling, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook until all the water has been absorbed*. Remove any impurities with a spoon.

5. Turn off the heat, cover the pot with the lid and allow it to steam for 10 minutes.

6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve or allow to completely cool if adding to a cold dish, such as a salad.

*Note: smaller size quinoa can absorb the water whilst cooking within 8 minutes and larger size quinoa can take up to 12+ minutes.

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Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare


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