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a white saucepan full of cooked quinoa

How To Cook Quinoa

A quick guide on how to cook this fluffy grain.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Western
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 344kcal


Stovetop Version

  • 1 cup (170g) quinoa
  • 1 ¾ cups (420ml) water or stock
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil optional
  • salt optional and to taste


  • Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh sieve.
  • Rinse under a running tap and thoroughly wash the quinoa (rubbing through it with your fingers) for 3 minutes to remove any bitter outer coating.
  • Let the quinoa drain for a few minutes to remove excess liquid.
  • Place the quinoa into a pot, add in water, oil, and salt and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes - you will see tiny spirals (aka the germ) coming out of the seeds.
  • Remove the quinoa from the heat, open the lid and fluff the grains. Then cover again and let stand for about 10 minutes.
  • The cooked quinoa should have a slight bite to it.

Instant Pot Version

Cook It In The Rice Cooker

  • Oil the rice cooker insert, add the quinoa, water, oil and salt.
  • Cover the rice cooker and press cook and let it cook until done.



  • If you have time, let the rinsed quinoa drain between 15-30 minutes to get rid of the excess moisture.
  • Toasting the quinoa before cooking adds an extra depth of nutty flavor.
  • Do not reheat cooked quinoa more than once.
  •  Store the cooled cooked quinoa in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  • If you omit the oil or replace it with a calorie-controlled cooking spray, there are 2 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in a serving of this.


Serving: 2servings | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 964mg | Potassium: 478mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 510IU | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 3.9mg