How To Perfectly Cook Quinoa

By Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I still remember the day I first discovered quinoa.
How to Perfectly Cook Quinoa | thedomesticblonde.comThere were so many rumours about it floating around… it’s like rice that’s good for you, it’s an ancient grain that has just been re-discovered by the Aztecs, it’s a superfood that can replace meat… and some of it was true. Just some.

Being the noodle/rice/carb-aholic that I am, I wanted to try it immediately. This was the first time I’d ever made it at home. I’ll never forget making that recipe, which has become a staple in our household. I LOVE it. It’s funny to go back and read that post from four years ago. I described quinoa as a “cross between couscous and barley”. Accurate!

And then of course I perfected the recipe here. And took better photos.

Butternut Squash Galette |


Anyway, on to today’s topic – how to perfectly cook quinoa. I have had my ups and downs, and people often ask me how to cook it. The truth is, it’s not hard – very similar to rice – but there are some extra steps that are helpful in getting is just right.

Let’s get a few of the basics straight right away:

  • Quinoa is a seed, not a grain like rice.
  • Quinoa always needs to be rinsed. The little seeds has a bitter coating that is removed when rinsed.
  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa yields 3 cups cooked quinoa.
  • Quinoa is packed with healthy nutrients – 1 cup cooked has 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, plus a ton of other minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

Now let’s get to it – your step-by-step guide to perfect quinoa, every time.

  1. Measure your quinoa. Typically, you’ll get three times as much when it’s cooked.
  2. Rinse the measured quinoa in a sieve or colander (with holes tiny enough that the quinoa won’t slip through).
  3. Add water – use a 2:1 ratio (water to quinoa). For example, if you have 1 cup quinoa, add 2 cups water.
  4. Bring water and quinoa to a boil.
  5. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Don’t touch the lid after this!
  6. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. You shouldn’t need to drain quinoa.
  7. Fluff with a fork and you’re done!

Butternut Squash Galette |


This is a fool-proof system I’ve mastered over the last four years. If you have any tips or tricks, leave a comment below!

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