How To Cook Quinoa (Instant Pot, Stovetop & Rice Cooker)

Learn just about every method on How To Cook Quinoa in one convenient place! Everything you could want to know about quinoa, and how to get fluffy quinoa.

Three varieties of quinoa spilling over wooden bowls onto a wooden table.

#feast-advanced-jump-to {z-index:999;border:none;opacity:0.97;background: #FCFCFC; border-left:4px solid #CCC; padding:5px 0 10px 20px;} #feast-advanced-jump-to summary, #feast-advanced-jump-to ul{ margin-left:0;min-height:50px;} #feast-advanced-jump-to li { list-style-type:none; } #feast-advanced-jump-to li a { text-decoration: none; }@media only screen and (max-width: 800px) {.single h2 { display: block; position: relative;padding-top:83px;margin-top:-83px;}}

Jump to:

What Makes Quinoa So Great?

  • Easy. Rinse, pour, add quinoa, and cook.
  • Gluten-Free. Naturally gluten-free food.
  • Versatile. Can be prepared in so many different ways.
  • High In Fiber. 5 grams of fiber per serving.
  • High In Protein. 8 grams of fiber per serving.

What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a simple, delicious and nutritious seed that you can cook and enjoy as a side, as part of a main dish or even as a dessert.

This complete protein is lauded as a “super food” and is loaded with plenty of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Plus it’s a naturally gluten-free food.

Is Quinoa A Grain?

Quinoa is a seed that comes from a flowering plant in the amaranth family, though it is often confused as a grain.

Quinoa is grouped in with the “Ancient Grains” such as farro, millet, barley, oats, chia, buckwheat and amaranth, where all of them have changed very little over recent millennia and are praised for their health benefits.

What Does Quinoa Taste Like?

Quinoa has a mild, nutty flavor that is perfect by itself, but what makes cooked quinoa very versatile is that it takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with. There’s not as much of a quinoa taste per se, as what it is cooked with. So you will see quinoa recipes for both sweet and savory dishes that are equally good.

Types Of Quinoa

There are lots of different varieties of quinoa (roughly 120), but only 4 types that are most widely available to purchase. Here’s a quick breakdown of the various types:

  • Red Quinoa – Red quinoa is known to hold its shape after it has been cooked, making it especially good for cold salads. It is slightly chewier and has a richer taste than white quinoa.
  • White Quinoa – White quinoa is the most common type. It’s the most widely available variety in stores, has the mildest flavor and is more fluffy than other types when cooked.
  • Black Quinoa – Black quinoa has an earthier flavor than white quinoa. It’s also a bit sweeter.
  • Tricolor Quinoa – Tricolor quinoa is a combination of red, white and black. I like tricolor because it’s pretty and it elevates the appearance of the dishes it’s used in.
  • You can also find other preparations such as quinoa flakes which are flattened quinoa grains.

Quinoa To Water Ratio

One of my favorite things about cooking quinoa is that the quinoa to water ratio stays the same no matter what type of quinoa you’re cooking. The liquid to dry quinoa ratio does, however, vary depending on the cooking method, as does the cooking time.

Here’s a simple breakdown of the ratios you will need to get perfect quinoa each time:

  • Instant Pot – 1 cup water + 1 cup rinsed quinoa
  • Stovetop – 1.75 cups water + 1 cup rinsed quinoa
  • Rice Cooker – 1.5 cups water + 1 cup rinsed quinoa

One cup of dry quinoa yields about 2.75-3 cups of cooked quinoa and should cook in about 20 minutes. You can also use chicken or vegetable broth to add more flavor to the cooked quinoa.

No matter how you decide to cook quinoa, for perfect quinoa, you’ll want to add in a teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of either ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, or butter.

You can also use either water, chicken broth, vegetable broth, or homemade bone broth for your cooking liquid.

How To Rinse Quinoa

  • How to Rinse. Rinsing quinoa is really no different than rinsing rice. However, since quinoa is so small, you’ll need to use either a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter to rinse and strain it. OXO also makes a colander that’s made specifically for quinoa and other small grains. You really do need a fine mesh sieve for this so don’t try to use your large salad colander for this!
  • Saponin. It’s important to rinse the uncooked quinoa (even if the box says it has been prewashed) in order to get rid of the natural saponin that coats the quinoa. If you don’t rinse off the saponin, the quinoa will taste very bitter.

What Is The Proper Way To Cook Quinoa?

There is no “proper” technique for cooking quinoa. Quinoa is such a versatile food, you can cook it in several different ways. The methods I will cover are:

  1. Instant Pot
  2. Stove Top
  3. Rice Cooker

No way is better than another, it all depends on your personal preference and which kitchen gadgets you have at home.

How To Make Quinoa In The Instant Pot

Using the Instant Pot is, without a doubt, my favorite method for cooking quinoa. It’s the quickest, simplest method and takes almost no time to make.

  • Rinse. Rinse the dry quinoa thoroughly. It is important that you rinse the quinoa, even if the box says that it has already been rinsed.
  • Add. Add the quinoa, water or vegetable broth, salt, and the ghee, olive oil, coconut oil or butter into the Instant Pot.
  • Cook. Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure-release valve. Select MANUAL and set the pot at HIGH pressure for 1 minute. When cook time is complete, let the pot release pressure naturally for 5 minutes, and then release all remaining pressure.
  • Fluffy Quinoa. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Want a great quinoa Instant Pot recipe? Check out my recipe for Instant Pot Quinoa Pudding.

How To Make Quinoa On The Stovetop

If you don’t own an Instant Pot, cooking quinoa on the stovetop will probably be the easiest and most convenient method. It’s still quite easy and is done in about 20 minutes.

  • Rinse. Rinse the dry quinoa thoroughly. It is important that you rinse the quinoa, even if the box says that it has already been rinsed.
  • Add. Add the quinoa, water or vegetable broth, salt and the ghee, olive oil, coconut oil or butter into a pot.
  • Cook. Bring the pot to a boil. When the water boils, reduce the heat so that your water is at a gentle simmer. Allow it to cook for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  • Rest. Cover the pot and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Fluffy Quinoa. Fluff with a fork and serve.

How To Make Quinoa In A Rice Cooker

Another great option for cooking quinoa is a rice cooker. Similar to using an Instant Pot, you can let the rice cooker do all the work for you without having to babysit it.

  • Rinse. Rinse the dry quinoa thoroughly. It is important that you rinse the quinoa, even if the box says that it has already been rinsed.
  • Add. Add the quinoa, water or vegetable broth, salt, and the ghee, olive oil, coconut oil or butter into the rice cooker.
  • Cook. Cook on the QUINOA setting. If your rice cooker doesn’t have a quinoa setting, set it to the RICE setting. The water will boil and continue to simmer. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes after cooking.
  • Fluffy Quinoa. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Want Keto Quinoa Recipes or Low Carb Quinoa Recipes?

Though quinoa is considered a “superfood” it isn’t a Keto or low carb superfood. It is too high in carbohydrates to fit in a ketogenic diet.

So if you’re looking for these recipes, you may want to save your time and find something that better fits your low carb lifestyle like my Keto Tabouli.

Tips & Tricks for Perfect Quinoa Everytime

The difference between soft, fluffy quinoa and mushy quinoa, comes down to three things.

  1. Correct liquid to quinoa ratio. Quinoa will absorb a lot of water if you allow it to. Mushy, overcooked quinoa has an unappealing mouthfeel.
  2. Correct cooking times. It is definitely possible to overcook quinoa. If you limit the amount of water, cooking times are less critical–unless you undercook and end up with crunchy quinoa.
  3. Fluffing the quinoa. When the quinoa is cooked, it will be a slightly sticky mass of cooked grains. Take a fork and fluff up the quinoa a little. This is akin to the gentle motion of whipping up eggs. Just move your fork around so that the cooked quinoa grains aren’t stuck to each other.

Is Quinoa Good For You? Quinoa Vs Rice

Nutritional Comparison
QuinoaRice
Calories222150
Carbs3933
Fiber51
Protein83
Glycemic Index5373
  • Carbs & Calories. One cup of cooked basmati rice has 33 carbs. One cup of quinoa has 34 grams of net carbs, so they’re really the same on the carb front. Rice has 150 calories and quinoa as 222 calories, so quinoa is a bit more calorific.
  • Protein. Rice has 3 grams of protein, where quinoa has about 8 gms of protein, making quinoa a much better source of protein.
  • Fiber. White rice has no fiber, but quinoa has 5.2 grams. Rice has a glycemic index of 73, which is considered high. Because of the fiber, Quinoa has a glycemic index of 53, which considered low.
  • Healthy Choice. Both rice and quinoa have their own health benefits, but quinoa pulls ahead in protein content and fiber, making it the better choice as long as you don’t mind the extra calories.

Ways To Fix Soggy Quinoa

Life happens. Sometimes your quinoa might not come out as great as you would hope. If you end up with soggy quinoa, here are some things you can do to salvage it:

  • Make oatmeal. I have a recipe for Instant Pot Quinoa Oatmeal, so adjusting your “fail” into a dish that tastes similar to this will taste like a win in the end.
  • Throw it into a salad. Add some extra protein and fiber to one of your favorite salad recipes
  • Mix with some eggs and veggies and turn into a delicious quiche or omelet.

Best Quinoa Recipes

Rice And Grain Recipes

Three varieties of quinoa spilling over wooden bowls onto a wooden table.

Now that you know how to cook quinoa, what do you plan on cooking with it? Let me know in the comments! Make sure to share this recipe with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook so they can enjoy it as well!

★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! Just click on the stars in the recipe card to rate. Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!

Three wooden bowls filled with different varieties of quinoa

How To Cook Quinoa | Instant Pot, Stove Top & Rice Cooker

Learn just about every method on How To Cook Quinoa in one convenient place! Plus learn everything you could want to know about quinoa and how to get fluffy quinoa each time.

.wprm-recipe-rating .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #ffffff; }

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Natural Pressure Release: 5 minutes

Total Time: 11 minutes

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Cooking Quinoa, How To Cook Quinoa, Quinoa Recipe

Servings: 3

Calories: 232kcal

Author: Urvashi Pitre
Click on highlighted ingredients or Equipment to see exactly what I use to make this recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, Red, white, black or tricolor.
  • 1-1.75 cups Water, The amount of water will vary depending on the cooking style. Please see the notes on “Quinoa To Water Ratio” for more details.
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Oil, You can also use ghee, coconut oil or butter.

Instructions

Instant Pot

  • Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. It is important that you rinse the quinoa, even if the box says that it has already been rinsed.

  • Add the quinoa, water, salt and the ghee, oil, coconut oil or butter into the Instant Pot.
  • Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure-release valve. Select MANUAL and set the pot at HIGH pressure for 1 minute. When cook time is complete, let the pot release pressure naturally for 5 minutes, and then release all remaining pressure.

  • Fluff with a fork and serve.

Stovetop

  • Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. It is important that you rinse the quinoa, even if the box says that it has already been rinsed.

  • Add the quinoa, water, salt and the ghee, oil, coconut oil or butter into a pot.

  • Bring the pot to a boil. When the water boils, reduce the heat so that your water is at a gentle, simmering bubble. Allow it to cook for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

  • Cover the pot and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.

  • Fluff with a fork and serve.

Rice Cooker

  • Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. It is important that you rinse the quinoa, even if the box says that it has already been rinsed.

  • Add the quinoa, water, salt and the ghee, oil, coconut oil or butter into the rice cooker.

  • Cook on the QUINOA setting. If your rice cooker doesn’t have a quinoa setting, set it to the RICE setting. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes after cooking.

  • Fluff with a fork and serve.

Quinoa To Water Ratio

  • Instant Pot – 1 cup water + 1 cup rinsed quinoa
  • Stovetop – 1.75 cups water + 1 cup rinsed quinoa
  • Rice Cooker – 1.5 cups water + 1 cup rinsed quinoa

Get support & connect with our community on Facebook!

Nutrition

Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 4g

Tried this recipe?Follow @twosleevers and Pin it!

Originally Published July 8, 2019

Don’t forget to check out my other Best-selling Instant Pot Cookbooks!

Indian Instant Pot, Keto Instant Pot, Instant Pot Fast and Easy, Healthy Instant Pot & Vegetarian Instant Pot.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here