Learn how to cook the perfect quinoa easily on the stove. Once cooked, this super food ingredient can be added to a wide variety of recipes.
The first time I made quinoa I had no idea what to expect. It was a several years ago when quinoa was becoming all the rage. All I knew was that my friends who were super into green smoothies were raging about it. I was skeptical. I was pronouncing it wrong (Quinn-Noah). And I was sure my kids would hate it.
But I gave it a go. Mistake one: I didn’t rinse it first. Mistake two: I had no idea what it was suppose to look like when done, so I simmered it WAY too long. The result: a really gross tasting mush. I gave up on quinoa for years.
Fast forward a few years and things got a little better. My friend made a quinoa dish that actually tasted good. I told her about my experience and she gave me some tips and encouraged me to try again.
Nowadays I make quinoa about once a week. If you know what you’re doing it is really easy. Once cooked, there are so many magical options of how you can use it.
Salads! Breakfasts! Side Dishes! Main Course!
The options are actually endless. So lets dive in and learn some tips:
Tips for Cooking Perfect Quinoa
- The first and most important thing to do when cooking quinoa is to rinse it in water first. Place the quinoa in a fine sieve and run it under cold water for about a minute. Each quinoa grain is naturally coated in a chemical called Saponin. This is created by the plant to naturally ward off bugs. Great, I hate bugs. But it doesn’t taste very good. I’ve actually read many blog articles about how rinsing isn’t actually necessary. They mention that most of the times the quinoa has already been washed or that the saponin doesn’t actually taste that bad. As a person who has tried both–I would recommend rinsing it first. It is fast and easy. Don’t take the risk of ruining your whole dish with bitter tasting quinoa.
- Spray the pot that you are cooking quinoa in. Quinoa is sticky, by spraying the pot you will avoid a layer of quinoa stuck to the bottom of your pot.
- Adding seasoning to quinoa is easy and fun! If you want your quinoa to be flavored, simply add seasonings in with your water. Using broth, instead of water, can give quinoa a more savory flavor. Cumin and garlic are great if you are using it in a Mexican dish. Think about how you’ll use the quinoa and extra flavor would be delicious.
- When cooking on the stove, the water ratio is 2 parts water to 1 parts quinoa. For example: 1 cup of quinoa would need 2 cups of water.
- Cooked quinoa doubles in size, so plan accordingly when deciding what size pot to use.
- Quinoa must be cooked in a pot that has a fitted lid. This keeps all the necessary steam in the pot.
- When quinoa is done, you will see little rings around each grain.
How to cook Quinoa on the Stove
Cooking quinoa on the stove can be broken down into three stages:
1. Boiling Stage
Begin by adding the rinsed quinoa and water to a pot on the stove. Turn the heat up to high and let the contents come to a boil. Quinoa doesn’t need to boil long, so once it starts, immediately move on to stage two.
2. Simmering Stage
Right when the quinoa starts boiling, cover the pot with the fitted lid and turn the heat down on the stove to medium/low. Let the quinoa simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water looks like it has all been absorbed. Then you’re ready to move to stage three.
3. Resting Stage
Remove the quinoa from the heat, but keep the lid on for at least 5 mins. This lets the final bits of water get absorbed and the quinoa to be fully tender.
Now you’re quinoa is ready to eat. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. You are ready to go! You know how to cook quinoa on the stove!