Quinoa is one of our favorite gluten-free grains to pair with healthy meals. It’s great as a side dish, easy to throw on salads, and perfect as a substitution for rice or pasta. Not to mention that it’s loaded with nutrition. We love it!
So what’s the secret to cooking quinoa to fluffy perfection? Today, we’re sharing an easy-to-follow guide that will tell you everything you need to know about quinoa, from what it actually is, to how to cook it, to delicious recipes you can pair it with!
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What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a healthy carb option that’s perfect for pairing with your choice of protein and vegetables! It can be used to replace rice in recipes, as it is higher in protein and healthy fiber.
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Is quinoa a grain?
When it comes to healthy recipes, quinoa can be treated as a gluten-free grain. While quinoa is technically a seed, it is most often treated like it is a part of the grain family due to the way that it’s used and prepared!
The 2 ingredients you need
Quinoa is SUPER easy to make, requiring only 2 ingredients: water, and quinoa. Another option is to add a little bit of salt to the quinoa while it’s cooking for flavor.
How to cook quinoa
To cook quinoa so that it’s perfectly fluffy, use a 1:2 ratio.
For example, 1 cup of quinoa should be cooked with 2 cups of water! Here’s the best method for cooking quinoa:
1. Bring the water to a boil.
2. Add in the quinoa and salt (optional, to taste).
3. Let cook in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes.
4. Lower the heat, cover, and continue to simmer for another 7-10 minutes.
The trick to perfectly fluffy quinoa is to make sure that it has absorbed all of the water!
One way to do this is to let the quinoa sit, covered, for an extra 3-5 minutes after removing from heat. Check the quinoa and use a fork or spatula to “fluff”. Serve and enjoy or refrigerate for easy meals throughout the week!
Other tips and tricks
1. Use the right size pot
A small, deep pot like this one is a great option for cooking quinoa!
2. Store quinoa in the refrigerator
Quinoa can be meal prepped and stored in the refrigerator all week long! Feel free to reheat it for warm meals or add it cold to salads.
3. You don’t always have to cook quinoa
You can also purchase pre-cooked quinoa that simply needs to be heated up or is ready to go! This is great if you’re on-the-go a lot or just don’t have the time to make homemade quinoa. Our favorite option is this one from Thrive Market!
Our favorite quinoa recipes
- Easy Quinoa Salad With Feta Cheese
- Chili Mango Zesty Quinoa Salad
- Vegan Turmeric Quinoa Power Bowls
- Vegan Meal Prep Black Bean Quinoa Bowls
Love this method for cooking quinoa? Be sure to give it a rating in the recipe card below!
How To Cook Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- sea salt (to taste)
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Add in the quinoa and salt to taste.
- Let boil for about 3-5 minutes.
- Lower the heat and cover with a lid.
- Continue to let simmer for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and let quinoa continue to sit (covered) for another 3-5 minutes, or until the quinoa has completely absorbed the water.
- Use a fork to fluff the quinoa, then serve and enjoy!
- To cook quinoa so that it’s perfectly fluffy, use a 1:2 ratio.
- The trick to perfectly fluffy quinoa is to make sure that it has absorbed all of the water after cooking! If it hasn’t, let the quinoa sit, covered, for an extra 3-5 minutes after removing from heat.