How To Cook Quinoa Perfectly Every Time On The Stove Or In A Rice Cooker With Photos

by on January 23, 2012

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

Perfectly cooked fluffy white quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa) is a delicious low fat superfood grain (actually a pseudo cereal, it is not a grass like wheat is) that comes from South America and is closely related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds, believe it or not! This is also why it is gluten free. Quinoa is not related to wheat and does not contain any gluten at all either.

Perfectly cooked quinoa is something you can achieve! I’ve eaten quinoa cooked by many different people and there is a world of difference in the enjoyability of quinoa if it is mushy and overcooked, or light and fluffy. Generally what you see at vegan potlucks are mushy overcooked quinoa dishes, while at vegetarian restaurants you get these nice chewy perfectly cooked separate quinoa granules.

The BIGGEST mistake people make when making quinoa is using a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio. Quinoa absorbs much less water than rice, so it is unnecessary to cook it in so much water. Trust me, your quinoa will turn out perfectly if you do it this way (see recipe below).

Once you know how to make quinoa, you will enjoy eating it regularly. It’s an easy replacement for rice or couscous as a side dish and much more nutritious.

How do you know if you’ve overcooked your quinoa? Well it will probably be very wet (a result of too much water) and will be mushy and not light and fluffy. Quinoa doesn’t absorb as much water as rice so adding too much water can result in mushy quinoa.

So mix it up!

Let’s get started and teach you how to cook quinoa perfectly. Below are the best quinoa cooking instructions!

How To Cook Quinoa Perfectly Every Time Tutorial

Makes about 6 cups of cooked quinoa (Perfect for dinner and then leftovers or use the extra in cold salads)

For this recipe you will need:

1 1/2 cups dry quinoa (white, or red quinoa)
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth (low sodium or homemade)
1 tsp of salt or Herbamare (if desired)
fresh ground pepper to taste (if desired)
2-3 tbsp lemon juice or other seasonings like parsley flakes *optional


Measuring Cup
Pot with a lid or a rice cooker

This method will ensure that your quinoa is light and fluffy and never soggy or overcooked. You can make up a big batch for dinner and save extra portions for the fridge or freezer so you can reheat it easily. Using less water (1:1 ratio instead of 2:1) achieves the best results. I’ll show you how to cook it on the stove first, and then you can scroll down to view the rice cooker directions. Note, for black quinoa, I found that it was a little crunchy. So I would recommend using 1.25:1 ratio of water to black quinoa. 1 1/4 cups water for 1 cup of quinoa so it’s moister and softer.

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

Fluffy black quinoa

How To Cook Quinoa On The Stove Top Directions:

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

soaking quinoa

Step 1: Soak quinoa in a large bowl for 15 minutes in cool water.

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

Rinsing quinoa

Step 2: Using a fine mesh strainer, drain and rinse your quinoa until the water is clear and it’s not foamy anymore. About a minute or two and then dump it into a pot.

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

(Stovetop Directions Follow – Scroll Down For Rice Cooker Directions)

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

Step 3: Combine rinsed quinoa and water (use a 1:1 ratio) in a pot. Add seasonings. Turn on to medium heat.

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

Step 4: When the quinoa is simmering, cover it, reduce it to low heat and cook for 30-35 minutes.

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

Step 5: When all the water is absorbed remove the pot from heat. Let sit covered for 5 minutes to finish steaming.

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

(Finished quinoa after steaming)

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

Step 6: Fluff with a fork before serving.

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

Serve and refrigerate any leftovers for another dish or to sprinkle on salads.

How To Cook Quinoa In a Rice Cooker Directions:

I love my Zojirushi 5 ½ cup (dry) rice cooker. It can cook white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, porridge, steam vegetables and even bake cake!

I have owned many rice cookers over the years.  And while the cheap $10 ones might be ok in a pinch, they fail at cooking most things other than plain white rice. If you’re interested in cooking whole grains like brown rice or steel cut oats a better quality rice cooker does wonders. Zojirushi makes a number of rice cookers from small personal ones to ones large enough to feed the whole family. There are different settings for white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, sticky rice, porridge and cake. You can also program your rice cooker the night before and fill it with water and steel cut oats for homemade oatmeal every morning. It also handles all the timing for you, so unlike the cheap rice cookers you don’t have to keep checking it and pressing the lever to continue cooking. It has a smart “fuzzy logic” computer inside that knows how long to cook each grain and only turns off when it’s done.

Step 1: Soak quinoa for 15 minutes in cool water.

Step 2: Using a fine mesh strainer, drain and rinse your quinoa until the water is clear and it’s not foamy. About a minute or two.

Step 3: Combine rinsed quinoa and water (use a 1:1 ratio) in rice cooker. Add seasonings if desired.

Step 4: Set to white rice setting and cook.

Step 5: When the cooking cycle is complete, let it steam for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Step 6: Serve with your favourite entree or vegetables.

Update! I just made red quinoa with the same stove top instructions above (because I know some of you don’t have a rice cooker) 

Red quinoa has a much more rich flavour and is more moist and chewier. I wouldn’t say that I prefer white or red more than each other, they just taste a little different. I will continue to make both. I think red is a little stickier so I wouldn’t use it for salads. I think white quinoa would still be the best if you want a tabouli or cold quinoa salad as the grains are individual.

How To Cook Quinoa Perfect Every Time On A Stove Or In A Rice Cooker

Fluffy red quinoa


What do you think of this tutorial? What do you like to serve quinoa with?

{ 133 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chucks September 3, 2016 at 5:35 PM

I guess everyone’s entitled to their own preference, but 1:1 is far too little in my opinion. I used my own Zojirushi cooker at 1:1 and was thoroughly disappointed. The beads, granules or whatever they’re called were underwhelmingly small and rather chewy. Even my package of quinoa says to cook at a 2:1 ratio. I had very good success on my 3 cup zojirushi cooker by cooking 2 cups, filling the water to the three cup white-rice line and cooking on white rice mode- a 1.5 ratio, I believe.. I think the Zojirushi’s can compensate for a lot of differences. I suggest you try using two Zojirushi cups, filling to 3, cooking on white rice and seeing what you think.


2 Veronica Grace October 5, 2016 at 4:31 PM

Perhaps you didn’t rinse your quinoa enough. It is always very mushy when I use a 2:1 ratio, and many people who follow the package instructions have complained about it being mushy. I don’t like hard/very chewy quinoa, and find it perfect with a 1:1 ratio BUT it must be thoroughly rinsed first.


3 Maria Marques February 5, 2017 at 10:14 AM

I cook rice every day @ 2 water : 1 rice ratio. Any other way it turns out bad.

I cooked regular yellowish Quinoa four times already with different ratios on the regular stove

3 water : 1 Quinoa = muchy, muchy
2 water : 1 Quinoa = still muchy
1 water : 1 Quinoa = Perfect like you said it would be (appearance and taste)


4 Marguerite W. April 15, 2016 at 2:58 PM

Hi Veronica, Thank you for sharing a great recipe along with fantastic photos. All the information was helpful to this first time quinoa ‘chef ‘. I’ve cooked both regular and red according to the stovetop recipe with perfect results. I also enjoy the comments, ideas, and suggestions of the other readers. I look forward to exploring your site for all it has to offer.


5 Kim March 5, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Greetings Veronica, I found your page while searching for how to cook perfect quinoa. Only thing, I omitted was the lemons because I was making vegetable fried quinoa. This is the @nd time I am trying your instructions for cooking quinoa. The 1st time which was Sunday February 28, 2016, it scorched a bit but besides that all was perfect, and you barely noticed it was scorched a bit. The 2nd time which is today March 5, 2016 it came out perfectly. Oops zi forgot I made another change, I used organic vegetable broth.

I put it in the fridge then made vegetable fried quinoa the next day. Both my roommate and colleague at work said it was delicious. I’m making vegetable fried quinoa again but this time I am adding shrimp, yum. Bottom line, I sincerely thank you for sharing this recipe because it defitely work; it does require patience but is well worth it and I cooked mine on the stove top.



6 Lainey February 24, 2016 at 12:01 PM

What a BRILLIANT recipe! Just made it and couldn’t wait to share, as it taste much better than the shop bought one from Tesco!! So easy to follow… I used white Organic Quinoa, from Holland and Barrett ,which was thoroughly washed in Kangen Water (which thoroughly cleans all fruits and veg by removing pesticides and chemicals – even when companies state that food has been pre washed you still find the water is not clear when you wash through with Kangen water. I added 2 cloves of crushed fresh garlic and a sprinkle of dried thyme as well as a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper to the vegetable stock ( made by using 1 vegetable OXO cube, then let it cool) Followed the recipe …Just tasted it ( a big taste ..2 tablespoonsful lol and I have to say, for me this is PERFECT. Soo delighted…Immediately signed up to this site… I think we could also add some chopped red and green bell pepper for some extra colour and taste …I do make my cous cous this way and its delicious.. This is the first time I have really enjoyed Quinoa. Thank you. thank you . Thank you!


7 Milena January 23, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Thanks for this. I tried it in my Zojirushi using white rice setting and came out perfect! I had tried in the past using 2:1 ratio and it would turn out wet and heavy.


8 leslie sanger October 1, 2015 at 11:55 AM

I was really glad to find this. I found this to be the best recipe for quinoa preparation that I could find online, and I refer to this page every time I cook it! The 1:1 ratio makes it light and fluffy. I also cook mine on the stove and it works perfectly!


9 Carolyn July 14, 2015 at 1:54 AM

I tried your suggested setting of white rice on my zojirushi 5 c. Fuzzy logic cooker. It did not cook my quinoa. I then tried it on the brown rice setting and it came out perfectly. I don’t think the white rice setting is long enough for quinoa. I’ve also cooked purple sticky rice to perfection using the sweet rice setting.


10 Veronica Grace August 13, 2015 at 9:06 PM

Quinoa takes much less time to cook than brown rice, so I am surprised. Did you check the ratio of water and make sure it wasn’t on the quick cook setting? I’ve never had a problem on the white rice setting


11 lima May 28, 2015 at 5:37 AM

I always got it burnt,did not know need to cook it right in a Philip cooker.Always ending up eating the good n throw away the burnt.


12 Audax Artifex May 21, 2015 at 4:12 AM

Worked perfectly – I soaked the quinoa for 15 mins in cool water, rinsed the soaked quinoa until the water ran clear. Then boiled water, used 1:1 ratio of quinoa and boiling water, placed the quinoa/boiling water in a heavy-based pot onto the hob on the lowest setting and cooked for 30 mins then turned off hod and let steam for 5 mins. (My hob retains too much heat so if I start with cool water and the soaked quinoa and bring to boil the mixture boils for a long time that is why I use boiling water and start with a cold hod).

I ruined one cup of quinoa using the packet directions (1:2 ratio of quinoa:water and 15 mins of simmering) obtained 3 cups of wet mushy starch lol. Googled “how to cook quinoa perfectly” and got your blog.

Well done – will use your method from now on. Thanks for the information.

Yours Audax in Sydney Australia. 🙂


13 Veronica Grace May 22, 2015 at 1:49 PM

Glad to hear it worked out!


14 Joelle May 6, 2015 at 5:07 PM

Hi, I need some help with rinsing crunchy gravel out of my quinoa. I can’t seem to find a brand that doesn’t have some sort of crunchy (gravely) texture. I use the smallest steel mesh strainer but of course the quinoa is so small that the dirt or whatever doesn’t strain out. Any suggestions?


15 Veronica Grace May 22, 2015 at 1:50 PM

I’m sorry but I have never found gravel in my quinoa. I’m not sure where you are buying it from.


16 Nikki April 29, 2015 at 1:44 AM

I have been doing it all wrong 2:1 – Looking forward to trying this and hoping to get a light and fluffy quiona 😀


17 Maria J. March 9, 2015 at 3:22 PM

Can it be that I’m the only person in the world who gets perfect quinoa from a rice cooker, using 2:1 water to quinoa???

I never soak mine. I also never rinse it– I recall that horrible bitterness, back in the 80s (!!!) when I first tried the then-exotic “grain.” I think most modern quinoa is pretty well-washed, though, and I just use it as it comes. For the last couple of years, I’ve bought the big bags of organic quinoa at Costco, and I’m quite sure it’s well-rinsed in advance. I don’t taste the nasty bitterness I recall from yesteryear, and wonder if the warnings are now unnecessary. (They are to ME, anyway!)

I toast it in a dry pan first, until there’s quite a bit of popping and a lovely toasty smell. Then I just dump it in my Zojirushi, into which I’ve put 2 c water for every 1 c quinoa. I use the “quick cook” setting (which I also use for brown rice). I push the button, and when it’s done (probably half an hour, although I haven’t ever really paid attention– slower than the stove), I toss it, and allow it to sit in its steam.

This gives me perfect, non-mushy, fluffy quinoa. It’s perfectly cooked– unlike the undercooked quinoa I’ve been served in recent years in restaurants, as it’s become the darling of the restaurant world. I’ve just assumed it was being cooked by people who didn’t actually eat it themselves. Maybe it’s a misplaced attempt to serve it “al dente.” In fact, that’s what brought me to this blog today– I was wondering what other quinoa lovers think of the crunchy, barely-cooked quinoa presented in many restaurants!


18 Veronica Grace March 9, 2015 at 3:49 PM

I do not eat or enjoy crunchy undercooked quinoa. It is also not al dente. Some people prefer softer food and use more water to cook their rice or quinoa, it’s up to them. But I have had so many people complain about overcooked and mushy quinoa and the reason was they were using too much water. Quinoa is very small in comparison to rice so it does not actually require a 2:1 ratio to cook. I also have a zojirushi and especially with using a rice cooker it traps in all the moisture and steams it, try it and see it’s not crunchy and undercooked. I always rinse it anyway, as any grain or lentil or bean should be as you never know what it’s come into contact with.


19 Bar February 24, 2015 at 5:52 PM

Hi – quick question … When you use the 1:1 method, do you use a dry measuring cup for the quinoa and a liquid measuring cup for the water and does the same approach apply to both stovetop and rice cooker? (For example, some of the Zojirushi recipes say to measure the rice and water in equal amounts using the measuring cup they provide for both rice & water.) Thanks! 🙂


20 Veronica Grace February 24, 2015 at 5:59 PM

1:1 ratio means use the same amount of water as Dry goods. Generally rice and grains are measured in the rice cup. Yes same exact amounts.


21 Dean January 25, 2015 at 12:14 PM

Glad I found you and this post. Funny, but I have the opposite problem for most of the commenters here, I use the 1:1 ratio, but at the end of the cook time always seem to be adding another tablespoon of water, and another, and another… Just can’t seem to get the “crunch” texture out of my Quinoa. I’ve tried at least 4 different brands too. Do you have any other tips to get past “crunchy” to reach the light n’ fluffy that everyone seems to be achieving?


22 Veronica Grace January 30, 2015 at 9:53 AM

Are you not rinsing your quinoa well? Also are you cooking on a gas stove, or in a glass pot where water is dissipating faster? It’s important to not cook the quinoa on high and let it simmer and steam at the end, so ensure you are cooking at a low temperature.


23 Sasha January 1, 2015 at 4:48 AM

Oh, my love recipe! Very easy but so tasty, you can also do it simpler, because I know that traditional ways of cooking and too slow…. I saw how my friend used Redmond 4502 multicooker – it is very fast! When we were buying meat, it had made rice – fantastic!


24 Laurie Thomas December 6, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Thanks for the tutorial. I was hooked on the pre cooked, packaged quinoa from Costco until suddenly it was gone! So….today I finally decided…no more! I WILL cook it myself! I love Mexican food, so here is one of my favorite ways to use quinoa. I put the already cooked quinoa in a skillet with a can of black beans (rinsed), chopped zucchini, and a fresh salsa. I use LaMexicana brand, it is absolutely the best fresh salsa you can buy and it comes in mild, medium or hot. I let the mixture heat until the zucchini is cooked to the texture I like it. It’s great stuff…wrapped in lettuce or even a corn tortilla (if you don’t mind the extra calories). Throw on a little low fat grated mozzarella cheese and…. voila! Super low cal, low carb, high protein & muy delicisio quinoa taco! Enjoy 🙂


25 roxx December 3, 2014 at 6:02 PM

I’m gonna try this next time! I’ve had some trouble coocking it witouth a mushy result 😉 thank you very much!


26 David November 25, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Thank you for this simple, succinct stove-top preparation method. If I’d seen this recipe first–before being presented with the ebook offer–I would have bought it.


27 Lisa November 8, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I have to serve 20 people, is the ratio still the same?

Thank you


28 Christina October 22, 2014 at 4:49 PM

I just had to comment! I LOVED this. I cooked it in veggie broth, added a tiny bit of salt and some pepper, then I sprinkled a little vegan parmesan on top when it was done….PERFECT. I had planned on mixing it with my vegetarian chili tonight, but NOPE. I ate it as is. I have tried to make quinoa before and it never turned out well, but I was determined to keep trying because it is so good for you. Thanks for this great recipe. Now this will be a staple in my house.


29 MeaLynn August 9, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I have never cook quinoa before and I followed your instruction and it came out fantastic, I will be cooking more from now on, since I know how now. Besides eating it, it taste great!! 🙂
Thank you for sharing


30 karen July 12, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Your recommendation for a 1:1 ratio (quinoa to water) and using the white rice setting on the Zojirushi rice cooker was perfect! Thanks for sharing this tip!


31 Roberta June 19, 2014 at 6:07 AM

Is the 1:1 one dry cup measure to one liquid cup measure?


32 revi g May 28, 2014 at 3:53 PM

I love love love quinoa but ALWAYS had the mush problem making it no matter what I did! Worse still, in my rice cooker, it would be burnt on the bottom and mushy throughout. SO GROSS!

I used your method with great success. I did have to add2 tbsp if water beyond the 1:1 ratio. I have a cuisinart rice cooker and it even tends to get too hot on the bottom for rice, so the extra water kept the burn from happening.

Best quinoa I’ve had. Thank you for the tips!


33 Ramona Perez April 28, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Great post! Have you experienced any problems using your Zojirushi rice cooker? A few days ago I contacted Zojirushi and inquired about their quinoa cooking instructions. I received a response today informing me that they do not suggest cooking quinoa in their units: “Cooking quinoa may clog the steam vent and damage the unit.We do not recommend cooking any other types of grains or ingredients other than short grain white rice (or short grain brown rice). We have not tested other type grains in our rice cookers and they may overflow and damage the unit or discolor the inner cooking pan. They are primarily for cooking rice only. However, we have additional recipes on our website. These recipes are approved.” Now, I’m not sure whether or not to cook quinoa in my Zojirushi!


34 Veronica Grace April 28, 2014 at 10:04 AM

I don’t know if it’s for legal reasons they have to say that or what. I have cooked steal cut oats in it, it is a bit messy when it bubbles up but no clogging issues, and I have cooked quinoa many times and it does not bubble up and has not caused any problems clogging either. I have done it many times, but I have the 5 1/2 cup rice cooker, not the small 3 cup cooker so mine is never full you may want to consider the size of your cooker and use your judgement.


35 Richard August 20, 2014 at 10:08 AM

The key is not to try to cook to0 much for anything other than short grain rice. For instance, Zoj warns not to use more than two of the included rice cups, which are about 3/4 the size of a standard 8-0z measuring cup, for steel cut oats in the 5-1/2-cup cooker or more than one in the 3-cup cooker. This is to allow for boil-over. Steel-cut oats is more likely to “foam up” than quinoa, so I have had no problems cooking two 8-oz dry cup of quinoa in the 5-1/2-cup Zoj.


36 Kate September 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

If you add a little fat (I use coconut oil) it doesn’t bubble up when cooking steel cut oats either. I assume because the fat breaks the surface tension of the water so it can’t form bubbles.


37 Veronica Grace October 14, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Yes perhaps, but we don’t use oils in recipes on this blog or for low fat diets. 🙂

38 Jamie March 30, 2014 at 8:41 PM

First time making quinoa in a rice cooker. Came out perfect! Thanks for the advice.


39 jenny February 28, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Cooked it the first time with the directions on the box and it was a big mushy pile of gunk then I came across this website and tried it once more with these instructions and it came out awesome! Thank you 🙂


40 Preci February 27, 2014 at 1:08 PM

I saw my daughter mke quioa with 2 cups of water and 1 cupquinoa. she kept on mediium heat once it started boiling she reduced the flame and kept on simmer on low heat and closed the lid she kept it on heat for 15 to 17 minutes. then keep it off the heat and keep it for 5 minutes closed and then fork it up – that is how i make it and serve

Now I bought a prewashed organic quinoa and the instruction on it is given as follows
Cook 1 cup quinoa in 1.5 cup water. Bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes.

I have never soaked 1uinoa and have always closed the lid while the quinoa is simmering on low heat.
please let me know if the instructions are right


41 Veronica Grace March 30, 2014 at 9:00 PM

It cooks better in a 1:1 ratio. Every package has different instructions and different amounts of water. Quinoa does not need to absorb much water unlike rice so I find 1:1 ratio is the best.


42 Lynn February 2, 2014 at 6:52 AM

This is awesome advice – I could never figure out why my quinoa took FOREVER to cook when I used 2:1 water to quinoa and then turned out not fluffy at all.


43 Dave January 22, 2014 at 11:30 AM

well I am amazed! The packet of Quinoa I got from Sainsbury’s says:

“Rinse under cold water. Allow 40g per serving. Place in a medium sized pan. Add 200ml of boiling water per 40g serving. Bring to boil cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes until all water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender”

Well what a horrible soggy mess, although I did eat it.

Next time I will try your method.


44 Judy December 30, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Perfect result! I’ve tried various methods guaranteed to result in fluffy quinoa but this is the best by far. Mine was cooked (all water gone and quinoa quite dry) in 20 minutes. This is the only method I will use from now on. Thanks for sharing.


45 Tiffany December 12, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Hi Veronica Thanks very much for your instructions. I had just cooked some quinoa with directions on the packet 3 of water to 1 of quinoa. What a gluggy mess. I read your instructions and it turned out perfectly on the stove. I threw the other mess out and rang the company who sold the quinoa to let them know their cooking instructions were incorrect.
Thanks again and I look forward to enjoying your other recipes. regards Tiffany


46 Claire December 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Hi, this was helpful but I was a little confused about the 1:1 ratio for quinoa and water. That’s because my original measurement was 1 cup of dry sprouted quinoa but after soaking the quinoa measured 1-3/4 cups. So I used 1-3/4 cups of water. The finished quinoa is sticky and almost mushy. I’m guessing I used too much water. Should I have used just 1 cup of water?


47 Veronica Grace December 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Yes, use 1 cup of quinoa to 1 cup of water and it won’t be mushy.


48 Claire December 14, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Veronica, I tried again and the quinoa turned out beautifully, fluffy and with individual kernels. Thanks!


49 Veronica Grace March 30, 2014 at 9:04 PM

It’s 1 cup of DRY quinoa to 1 cup of water. It doesn’t matter what it measures after soaking, if it’s already sprouted you probably don’t need to soak it. Just rinse it.


50 Kira December 3, 2013 at 5:17 PM


Every recipe called for 2:1 ratio and being a whole grain lover I was a bit worried of a mushy outcome. You’ve got it down to a science. Thank you. Tender, fluffy and delicious.!


51 Wild4Stars November 21, 2013 at 5:21 AM

I eat quinoa fairly frequently and I have to admit when I saw these directions I was skeptical. However, here I sit eating the lightest, fluffiest, best quinoa I have ever had. Thank you.


52 Garo October 19, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I recently cooked, for breakfast, organic Quinoa Flakes (1/4c) with chia seeds (2tbsp), pine nuts ( 4tsp. crushed) and Cinnamon powder (1/4tsp) in a 1 cup boiled water for 90 seconds. Please comment on the amount of water I used and the cooking time. Thanks!


53 Jen @ Fresh from the... October 16, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Made quinoa for the first time the other night using this method for the rice cooker, and it turned out perfectly!

Question, though, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, do you think that is the right amount or should the milk and water be halved so it’s the 1:1 ratio? Wondering if milk makes a difference or perhaps the people making the recipe did not know the 1:1 ratio is better. Hmm.


54 Veronica Grace October 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I have never seen using milk in a quinoa recipe. I would still go 1:1 liquid unless you are using a thick or fattier liquid. Most recipes use far too much liquid and the quinoa turns out mushy and people end up having a bad perception of quinoa. So try 1:1


55 Sarah October 3, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Hurray! Thank you for this. I’ve recently started cooking Quinoa because I’ve had to stop eating gluten and I haven’t been enjoying it at all, especially that bitter aftertaste. I’m looking forward to my next batch being much better 🙂


56 Jen Gilbert November 10, 2013 at 2:07 AM

That aftertaste may mean you aren’t rinsing your quinoa thoroughly enough — I experienced that, too, and thought it was a dealbreaker. Try rinsing a bit longer and see if that helps. 🙂 You can also make quinoa in pineapple juice to sweeten it up a bit.


57 Emily Stahrrtrail September 28, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Thanks so much for your great instructions! The pictures are great n steps are so easily understood 🙂
It turned out perfect on my stovetop! Funny how my packet said 3:1 ratio water to quinoa and also said to cook for only 15 mins!!
Has never turned out so good before. Fantastic! Thanks


58 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 28, 2013 at 5:30 PM

You’re welcome, it took me a few times before I stopped using the instructions on the quinoa package. I just think they are flat out wrong! Wow 3:1 water to quinoa is just crazy it would be so mushy. If you have a rice cooker try these instructions too I always do that and it turns out perfect. I like light fluffy quinoa that can still absorb a little sauce still too.


59 Cathy August 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I did not put my glasses on, readers, and cooked millet with this method by mistake and WOW! Best way to cook millet too! Thank you, I use this method all the time now.


60 Amanda S August 14, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Thanks so much!!! I finally cooked amazing quinoa that actually looked right and tasted right (and just in time for college too)! I almost had given up on quinoa after following directions on the package a few times but was so determined to get some more variety in whole grains. Glad I found the site – can’t wait to find some recipes here too. 🙂


61 Angie August 12, 2013 at 8:27 AM

I make this in the rice cooker using your directions. I make a large amount and freeze it in baggies. When ready to use, microwave 1-2 minutes, add to skillet to dry it out a little. This step is a must! Now it taste like freshly made. I also do the same with brown rice. Don’t forget to dry it out in the skillet.


62 BreezyBree July 21, 2013 at 8:04 PM

The recipe came out FANTASTIC! Quinoa will now be a staple part of my diet Haha.


63 BreezyBree July 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM

This is a very thorough and detailed article! Thank you! I’m going to use it to prepare some quinoa right now for the first time (:


64 Sally Peabody June 6, 2013 at 8:17 PM

These directions are really helpful for cooking quinoa in a rice cooker. I have noticed that if I leave the quinoa in my basic Zhojirushi rice cooker to steam after cooking (no settings other than cook and steam on my model) the bottom of the quinoa gets browned, even a little burned around the edges of the non stick pan. Are you aware of anyone else having this problem? Next time, when the cooking stops and it flips to ‘steam’ I wonder if I should unplug it and just let it sit for a few minutes before serving without the ‘steam’ function.


65 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica June 6, 2013 at 8:22 PM

I haven’t noticed that it “burns” to the bottom… But after it steams it’s usually soft on the bottom, perhaps it’s crispy right away but I guess I let it sit until the rest of my meal is ready and by then it’s not crispy on the bottom. Because it’s non stick it just comes right out. I still cook it on the stove a lot of the time, but sometimes in the Zojirushi when I’m away from the kitchen.


66 Jen June 3, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Thank you for posting this! I have been wanting to try quinoa in my Zojirushi (aka my new boyfriend). I used the 1:1 ratio, using veg stock for the liquid, and on the quick cook mode. Perfect, fluffy quinoa! Thank you for helping me learn one more way to use my new favorite kitchen appliance!


67 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica June 3, 2013 at 8:35 PM

lol isn’t it great when your man can cook? Yes I love my Zojirushi as well. My bf uses it to cook quinoa as he finds it’s easier than watching it on the stove. lol


68 Chris August 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Thanks to both of you for posting. Just cooked up my first batch of Bob’s Red Mill quinoa in my Zojirushi using a 1:1 ratio with chicken stock on the quick cook mode and it came out perfectly….actually its my first time trying quinoa, but it came out super fluffy and tasty, which is perfect for me! Thanks again.


69 Alexis May 20, 2013 at 8:14 PM

I just tried this and wow So good! I used Red Quinoa from Trader Joes, did as you said. I used Low Sodium Vegetable Broth, I did add chopped Garlic and Lemon to the Broth. It taste Wonderful!!!!!


70 melissa May 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM

thanks so much. this worked out beautifully. i could not figure out why mine was mushy and i love the quinoa salads that i can get at health food stores — now i can make them myself!


71 Johnette Beaver May 9, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Thank you for the directions!! I am rather new to quinoa but my husband and I both love it and I can only begin to imagine how much we are going to love it even more when it is cooked in the right manner :))))))


72 Susan DeMatteis April 24, 2013 at 5:48 PM

SOOOOO GOOOOD! Thanks for the detailed, photo instructions! First time I made it and it is great. Could not have done it without specific instructions. Thanks 🙂


73 Paulette April 16, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Cooked to perfection! Thank you for the CORRECT directions!


74 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 16, 2013 at 7:08 PM

You’re very welcome 🙂


75 Kathy March 30, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Thanks for the info. I just cooked a batch of overcooked quinoa; 2 to 1 ratio as my recipe suggested. What a gluey mess! I’m going to throw it out and start from scratch with your method. Looking forward to perfectly cooked quinoa!


76 Stephanie September 3, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Dont’t throw it away when ik happens again! Overcooked quinoa is perfect for yammie quinoa burgers. Search on internet for recepes. good luck.


77 Jo Huynh March 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I will try your directions. This helps. My first time making quinoa was soggy.


78 Alicia March 7, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Hi Veronica,

I’ve used your method for cooking quinoa in my rice cooker and it comes out perfect every time. Thanks for the recipe!


79 marty March 1, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Just tried your stovetop remcipe for red quinoI will have to get one now. a…worked great! Thanks! Also the steamer information was very intetesting.


80 Kym February 13, 2013 at 12:13 AM

Thanks for this! I had just made a batch of quinoa for a roast vege salad and it was terribly gluggy. I threw it out and started again with your directions and it turned out perfectly! Loving quinoa now 🙂


81 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica March 1, 2013 at 10:44 PM

That’s great to hear Kym!


82 Felix January 24, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I always use a pressure cooker for all my pulses, rice etc, have you tried a pressure cooker for quinoa , what sort of times do you suggest ?


83 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica January 24, 2013 at 4:18 PM

A pressure cooker is kind of overkill for little quinoa. It is very easy to get overcooked… From google I can guess about 2 minutes. I am not sure if it’s worth doing because it may take more time to get up to pressure and cook and release than cooking it just on the stove. So up to you.


84 Rachel December 15, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Hello! I didn’t rinse the quinoa because the package said it wasn’t necessary (is that ok?). I did the 1:1 ratio. At about 20 min, it already seemed finished but a little overcooked because it turned out a little mushy. What did I do wrong? Thanks! 🙂


85 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica December 15, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Hi Rachel. Rinsing the quinoa helps it taste less bitter by rinsing the suds away.

I think you cooked it on too high of a temperature then. Just make sure you turn it down to very low. Some stoves are hotter.


86 Rachel January 13, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Thanks! I will try that. Hopefully next time I will get it right 🙂


87 Barbara Lowell November 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Hi, I sprout it for a day and then it only takes takes 12-14 minutes to cook, plus steaming for a few minutes afterwards by just leaving the lid on. Also I have to use less water since there is more water in the sprouts.


88 Laurie November 12, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Thank you for sharing this? I think I may have written earlier that I made a batch on Sat night (at my boyfriend’s) and it came out perfectly using the 2:1 ratio. I tried it at my house on Sunday…two batches were mushy. I googled mushy Quinoa and found your write up. I had a repairman coming to my house this morning before work, so since I left a bit later than usual, while waiting for him, I made a batch using your method. PERFECTION! The bottom got a tad burnt, but it was otherwise perfect. And, the burnt part tasted great on its own to much on, but wouldn’t want to mix it in with the rest. Thank you!


89 Laurie November 11, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Thank you for posting this. I made quinoa for the first time last night (over at my boyfriend’s) and it came out perfectly. I made two batches at my House today and both were mushy. No idea why the drastic difference. Will try our method tomorrow.

The two batches I made today- one was jut like I made last night. The other I made with breakfast in mind (half water half soy milk. Cinnamon. Brown sugar. Just a sprinkle of each). I used the 2:1 ratio per the package.

Looking forward to your method proportions. .


90 Nathalie Tolentino November 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I cooked quinoa a couple of times before reading this article and it was a nightmare. I was a little bit nervous about the 1:1 ratio but I can’t believe that I actually cooked for the first time the perfect quinoa thanks to you !!!!!


91 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica November 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM

I’m so glad. Yes overcooked quinoa is terrible! It’s nice to always have perfectly cooked quinoa as a side dish. 🙂


92 Steph October 24, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Hmm…I was not so lucky with this recipe. The quinoa was crispy on top and mushy on the bottom.


93 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica October 24, 2012 at 1:29 PM

@Steph Did you soak the quinoa for 15 minutes in water first? Did you cook it for 30-35 minutes over low and then remove it from heat and let steam for 5 minutes at the end?

I have made this many many times and it always turns out great. It sounds like too much heat or heat for too long on the bottom if it turned it mushy and if the top is crispy it didn’t soak or have enough water to cook the top.


94 Merrill October 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM

I tried this tonight and it worked great. The quinoa was light and fluffy and tasted great. I have made quinoa previously using a 2:1 ratio water to quinoa and it has come out mushy and so it didn’t really like it much. This however, tasted great! Thanks for the post.


95 Niall Murray October 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Used the stove recipe, perfection, thank you so much


96 erica September 24, 2012 at 4:50 AM

thank you! mine turned out perfectly and was delicious!!!


97 Vatinee September 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Hi, I undercooked my quinoa. I used the rice cooker and when it was done I pull of the cooker right away so it didn’t have time to steam. Some are cooked well and some are crunchy and they are not translucent like they should. Can I still eat it? Thanks.


98 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Are the ones on top still crunchy? You can eat it, but the crunchy ones won’t taste very good. I would just scrape them off.


99 Sheila September 5, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Thank you so much!!! I had no idea that I was making quinoa wrong…..I have been making it for years and never really cared for it but ate it anyway because it’s healthy. After reading your instructions I made it again and it came out DELICIOUS!!! Like it wasn’t even the same quinoa. My husband and I loved it (so did my dogs)!!!! Your fantastic….and, the pictures made me see that I was making mine like mush and yours was so separated. You have a wonderful blog and I am so happy that I found it 🙂


100 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 5, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Hi Sheila,

I am so happy to hear this! I know I’ve been to so many potlucks where people overcook the quinoa and it’s so watery and mushy and totally gross, but whenever I had it at a restaurant it was always perfectly cooked. So I decided to make sure I perfected cooking the quinoa.

Often even the back of the box is incorrect on quinoa packages and they say to add way to much water. It’s not like rice and doesn’t need much water at all.



101 Ashley August 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I came across this recipe while trying to find out if it was possible to cook quinoa in the rice cooker. It is and this worked out perfectly! Thank you! I posted a link to this post over on my blog…great tips!


102 Betty July 16, 2012 at 8:35 AM

If you overcook it, regard it as porridge. Add milk of your choice and there you go! Good as can be.


103 Tom McGohey June 9, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Is it ok to eat overcooked, mushy quinoa? Does it retain any nutrition if overcooked? Is overcooked Q harder to digest? Thanks!


104 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica June 12, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Of course you can still eat it. Quinoa is also cooked in it’s water and not drained so I’m sure there are still nutrients in it. Some get destroyed by cooking, but quinoa can’t really be eaten raw.

I just think it tastes better when it’s not overcooked. It can be pretty unappetizing when it’s mushy and squishy.


105 Cathy May 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I am glad I found this article, to soak first and not to use 2-1 as recommended at the health food store. I had a gut feeling 2-1 would make it mushy and like my grains cooked and a tad bit on the dry side. I thought I would try quinoa for health reasons and added it to my mixture of 1-1 of medum brown rice and white rice. I find that brown rice fills me up faster and it also isn’t quite as “nutty” (crunchy) when mixed with rice. I added the usual, a few dashes of salt, olive oil and white vinegar. (Rice vinegar works great, too). I do 1-1 with white rice and 2-1 with brown rice. It turned out very nice. It’s a less expensive way to add more nutrition to a meal as quinoa is expensive!


106 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica May 8, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Yes quinoa can be expensive, but we buy ours in bulk at Costco, it’s much more affordable this way. I prefer cooking quinoa in seasoned water or vegetable broth and spices instead of using oil to cut out the extra fat and calories. Grains don’t need oil to taste good.


107 Cathy June 20, 2012 at 8:36 PM

I used to use only water for cooking rice until I tried the recipe with olive oil, salt and vinegar. My son raved about it, so I cook it that way all the time. I don’t like to use broth because I love the flavor of rice. As far as fat is concerned, I don’t worry about it because I use very little oil, just enough so the rice doesn’t stick to the pan and is fluffier. I only use olive oil because it’s not suppose to break down in heat like other oils. Since I added the quinoa to my rice, it was just a habit to use oil. I rarely eat fried food, so am not worried about calories, except with sweets. 🙂


108 Tyra March 22, 2012 at 1:34 PM

So that’s why I keep getting mushy quinoa. Thank you for the correct water to quinoa ratio.


109 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

You’re welcome!


110 maggi February 14, 2012 at 6:53 PM

also, when i cook quinoa i add boiling water, bring to boil, simmer for 10 minutes, turn gas off and leave for 10-20 mins and it is fine. i have always used 2:1 water to quinoa and it is fine – tried reducing water and not as fluffy but will persevere! if i want to eat it straight away i will cook a little longer, up to 15 mins but have never needed to cook for any longer!


111 maggi February 14, 2012 at 6:48 PM

i make my own muesli with oats, sunflower, pumpkin, seseme and flax seeds, cocoa, hemp, ginger, cinnamon, wheat germ all soaked for 24 hrs in prune juice. i also add some quinoa – it tastes fine with all the soaking, but is it ok to eat it ‘raw’? would you add/leave out anything else from this?


112 Rena February 4, 2012 at 7:04 AM

Would the quinoa come out as good if I use water that has just come to a boil in my electric kettle and I pour it into the pot with the soaked and rinsed quinoa and let it simmer in the pot till the water is absorbed (for less time of course).


113 Veronica February 4, 2012 at 7:29 AM

I’m not sure, I’ve never tried that. Are you meaning that you just pour boiling water over it and let it sit, or that you cook it over the stove after you’ve put boiling water?

Most instructions I’ve seen say you need to cook it for at least 15-20 minutes.

The method I list lets the quinoa absorb the water slowly and doesn’t use too much water or heat so it doesn’t get overcooked and mushy. I’m not sure how it would turn out with your proposed method. You can always try and see.


114 Yvonne January 26, 2012 at 5:24 PM

I never knew that you had to soak it. Mine was also mushy. I will try doing all the steps and see how it goes.

Thanks for the clear instructions and the pictures.


115 Solveiga January 25, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Thank you, that was clear , usefull and good looking! 🙂


116 Morgan January 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM

This is a fabulous technique, thank you! Forgot to season mine and it was still excellent. Had some parsley, tomatoes, red onion and lemon, and made a really delicious tabouli with some of it. Can’t wait for the flavors to meld, and may not!


117 Em January 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Though I no longer ‘cook’, I still wrote down this recipe – I never know when someone will want to make it and is not quite sure how to do it. Maybe I’ll even make it for someone one day. Anyway, thanks for the ratio tips – I used to put way too much water!

Thanks for making it so clear and simple, Veronica… 🙂


118 Veronica January 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM

It’s nice to be able to make quinoa for other people especially since it’s so popular in vegan circles and gluten free. 🙂 Thanks for checking it out


119 Vashti January 24, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Great Post, Veronica, and timely too!

We have Australia day to celebrate on the 26th and it’s scheduled to be REALLY hot where I am. I was planning on doing a few different salad options, and hoping (but not entirely sure of how) to prepare quinoa.

Now I know EXACTLY how to do it! I reckon I’ll use a vege stock and ginger to cook it in, then add some chopped dried fruits, and some fresh herbs to toss through as a salad!



120 Veronica January 24, 2012 at 6:25 AM

Oh that’s great Vashti. I just store the leftovers in the fridge and it’s the perfect texture for salads. I would make salads with it more often, but so far I love it as a side dish and there is only a little bit extra.


121 Barbara Lowell January 24, 2012 at 3:54 AM

I rinse well, soak it until it sprouts, usually a day, rinsing several times a day. Then cook it 1 to 1 for 12 minutes and let stand for a few more minutes. The sprouting makes each grain separate and ver light, and veggie like. I like the red, black and white depending on what I am serving with it.


122 William Campbell January 24, 2012 at 2:16 AM

Quinoa can also be eaten raw after soaking and sprouting using standard sprouting procedures. It’s ready to eat when the sprout is about double the length of the seed size.


123 Kelsey January 24, 2012 at 2:01 AM

great tutorial! I did not know about the quinoa to water ratio. my struggle is always in rinsing the little buggers – half of them always end up getting rinsed down the drain! I think I need a finer strainer….


124 Veronica January 24, 2012 at 2:20 AM

Some of them do fall out of my metal strainer too. So I like to put a large bowl under neath and then I pour that water and the fallen pieces back into the strainer and it keeps a few more of them from going down the drain.

I love quinoa, but it’s a pain when you have little pieces stuck here and there. It’s normal!


125 Grace January 24, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Excellent, excellent post. Do you know if it matters if you use sprouted quinoa? I bought truRoots organic whole grain sprouted quinoa, and unlike all the other brands I have bought, it does not say anything about soaking or rinsing.


126 Veronica January 24, 2012 at 2:27 AM

I have not used sprouted quinoa before. But I have used sprouted brown rice and regular brown rice and I have noticed that the sprouted brown rice took WAY less time to cook. It has been soaked and sprouted before. When I cooked it like regular brown rice on the brown rice setting of my rice cooker, it was overcooked. So I cook sprouted brown rice like I do white rice, just rinsed and on the white rice cycle.

I would assume that you do not have to soak your quinoa if it is already sprouted. You may give it a rinse anyway to clean it and make sure there’s no foamy residue on it. Check the cooking time, it could be shorter as well.


127 Nancy S January 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Always wondered why my quinoa came out too mushy! Thanks for the helpful instruction.


128 Laura January 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Looking forward to giving this a try! Thank you 🙂


129 Lisa Jenkins January 23, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Thanks! I’ve never soaked it prior to cooking. Will definitely use this method in the next couple of days!


130 Margaret January 23, 2012 at 9:19 PM

When I cook quinoa it takes 10 minutes tops… Any longer and I burn it. Is the heat on too high? Thanks for the reminder on soaking – I would imagine it improves the digestibility….and reduces that quinoa “aftertaste”.


131 Veronica January 23, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Oh yes the soaking and rinsing is important to get rid of the bitter taste. It will taste much nicer if you do.

In my directions you heat it to medium heat and when you see the water bubbling you immediately turn it down to 1 or low on your stove (all the way down) and just let it sit there to absorb the water for 30-35 minutes. If you have a gas stove it may take less time as it’s hotter, but the key is to turn it way down to low to slowly steam and it won’t burn.


132 Brian Greco January 23, 2012 at 9:13 PM

QUINOA <3!!!!!
Awesome post V


133 Felix January 24, 2013 at 4:12 PM

I prefer to use a pressure cooker for all my pulses ,rice etc, do you have any times for cooking quinoa in a pressure cooker ?


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