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How to cook quinoa


Quinoa is an ancient grain that is often referred to as a superfood for its nutritional qualities and is considered a healthier substitute for white rice and pasta. For the best results, rinse the quinoa before cooking to remove the outer coating, which can leave a bitter taste.


How to cook quinoa

5 minutes
10 minutes
Makes 2 cups

1 cup quinoa

1¼ cups water

Step 1

Place the quinoa into a fine sieve and rinse with water.

Step 2

Drain the water and place the quinoa into a saucepan. Add the 1¼ cups water. Heat over high heat until the water starts boiling. Then reduce the heat to medium and cook until you can see the quiona starting to rise above the water. Then cover with a lid that is slightly ajar to let some of the steam escape. Cook for 5 minutes.

Step 3

After 5 minutes it should look like all of the water has been absorbed. Turn the heat off and cover completely with the lid. Allow the pot to sit on the warm hotplate for 10 minutes to allow the steam to continue cooking the quinoa.

Step 4

Use a fork to fluff the quinoa and transfer to a large baking tray. Place the quiona, uncovered, in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (overnight is best though) if using for ‘fried rice’.

Quinoa is an ancient South American grain that has a super-high nutritional content, meaning it’s often referred to as a superfood. Quinoa is TECHNICALLY a seed not a grain, but it is considered a grain because it has similar nutritional properties and is eaten in the same way as cereal grains. 

It’s mostly produced in Bolivia and Peru, but it is grown around the world due its recent surge in popularity. 

You absolutely don’t have to boil the water before adding the quinoa when you cook quinoa. Unlike pasta, quinoa can be added to a pot of cold water and brought up to a boil, rather than waiting for your water to boil before adding your quinoa. 

It’s similar in the way you cook rice on the stove – there’s no need for pre boiling. Which means saved time, no pesky burns from water splashback and extra convenient quinoa cooking.

When we cook quinoa at Marion’s Kitchen, we use 1 cup of quinoa to 1¼  cups of water. When cooking quinoa you just want to ensure that the water doesn’t completely evaporate too quickly,  as this will leave you with uncooked and (most probably) burnt quinoa.

Some recipes recommend doubling the water to quinoa quantity, but 1¼ cups water to 1 cup quinoa works for us!

Yes, quinoa is gluten free and is therefore totally suitable for people with gluten intolerances or celiac disease.

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