Perfectly Cooked Quinoa
Perfectly cooked quinoa can be used as a base for delicious salads, breakfast porridges, pilafs–even baked goods and egg dishes. If cooking with broth instead of water, you may omit the salt. I do like to stick with water when preparing salads where I add a dressing later or when making a sweet or fruity recipe. A little oil or butter is a nice touch but may be omitted if you choose.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cups water (may substitute broth or stock of choice), plus water for rinsing
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, butter or oil of choice (optional but adds flavor when eating plain)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (omit if cooking with broth)


  1. Measure 1 cup of quinoa and 1 3/4 cups of water. Set the water aside.
  2. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly with cold water. I swish the quinoa around with my hand and sometimes plunge it (carefully, so the grains don’t float out!) into a bowl of water. The water should not appear cloudy. Drain very well.
  3. Add the liquid and oil (if using) to a medium-size pot and bring to a boil. Stir in the quinoa and the salt (if using) and return to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for 12 minutes. Check to make sure that most of the liquid has been absorbed. If it hasn’t been, cover, and let simmer for a couple more minutes.
  5. Once the liquid is almost completely absorbed, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Let stand for 5 minutes, covered, and then fluff the quinoa with a fork. You should see the germ–which look like tiny spirals–separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds.
  6. Serve immediately, as is, or in a recipe of choice. You may also cool and then cover and store in the refrigerator for later use. Cooked quinoa will keep in the fridge for about one week.


  • One cup of dried quinoa yields about 3 1/2 cups cooked.
  • To impart a toasted flavor, you may first sauté the rinsed and very well drained quinoa over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and you begin to smell a nutty aroma. When toasting, check the final cooking time several minutes early; in this method, the quinoa is already in the pot when the water is added and brought to a boil, so it cooks slightly faster. This method enhances the quinoa’s nutty flavor but, in the interest of time, I often skip this step and the quinoa still turns out beautifully.
  • To quickly cool the cooked quinoa for use in salads, spread it on a baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, until cool. This also helps remove any excess moisture and separate the seeds.

More recipes at