How to cook quinoa like a pro in 5 easy steps

May 19, 2015

Ever had quinoa gone wrong? Bitter? Hard? Dry? No more. As part of my new video series, How-To Like A Pro, I’m going to show you how to cook quinoa like a pro in 5 easy steps.

These new videos are short by design. They give a quick overview of how to cook or prep something like a pro in just a few easy steps. But, of course, you know me: I’ll always elaborate a little bit to make sure that you get it just right. Here are a few notes on each quinoa-making step.

How to cook quinoa like a pro in 5 easy steps | One Hungry Mama

Step one: I know that it’s tempting, especially when you’re moving fast, but do not skip the rinse. There’s a coating on quinoa that, if not washed off, will give your cooked quinoa a bitter taste. As you rinse, rub the quinoa together in your hands to help it shed the coating. Watch how I do it in the video!

Step two: You know you’re done toasting the quinoa when it starts to pop like popcorn! It should also be dry. If you add spices—garlic powder, turmeric, that kind of thing—be sure to keep tossing the quinoa as it toasts so that the spices don’t burn.

Step three: When you add water, the pot should be hot. Be careful because the water will steam, spit, and sizzle at first. Watch for info on the ratio of quinoa to water. And, by the way, you can also cook quinoa in broth, if you prefer. You can even add a splash of wine to your liquid, if you’re crazy like that.

Step four: Bring the quinoa to a boil uncovered. Then, once you cover the quinoa, two things are important: 1) Reduce heat so that the quinoa is simmering, not at a roiling boil the whole time, and 2) don’t uncover the pot again until you’re checking if it’s ready. If you keep peeking, the steam release will impact the cooking—in a bad way.

One cup of quinoa will need to cook for 15 minutes covered and yields 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

Step five: After the cooking time is up, quickly peek to see if the quinoa is cooked and water gone, then cover the pot again and allow the quinoa to rest for at least 5 minutes. Then, uncover, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and serve!

If you like this video, I hope that you’ll check out the rest of my videos on the One Hungry Mama YouTube channel.

And, if you are inspired to make dinners using your perfectly cooked quinoa, here are a few recipes that me and my family love.

Quinoa Fritter Pita with Cucumber Yogurt and Pickled Red Onion | One Hungry Mama

Quinoa Fritters in Pita with Cucumber Yogurt Spread and Quick Pickled Onions


Quinoa, Black Bean, and Mango Salad | One Hungry Mama

Quinoa, Black Bean, and Mango Salad with Lime Vinaigrette


Quinoa Fried Rice Style | One Hungry Mama

Fried Rice-Style Quinoa

3 Responses

  1. yosi says:

    me like

  2. Bela Pele says:

    Very interessanting… delicious!!

  3. Bianca says:

    Tried cooking quinoa for the first time using your method and it turned out perfectly. I added roasted garlic powder (good thing you put the idea in there) and cooked it in vegetable broth. Perfect. Meal prep done and extras in the freezer. Thanks!

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