How to Cook Super Fluffy Quinoa

We love trying and using alternative grains, but we always come back to Quinoa.  It is so easy to make, delicious in a variety of recipes, and a great substitution for rice (which we eat a lot of)  I change up the method I use to cook quinoa depending on what else I am making and if I am already using the stove, etc.  Each method has its advantages, but I think that to make SUPER fluffy quinoa, cooking on the stovetop wins.  The fastest method is to cook in a pressure cooker.  A rice cooker is extremely simple and a more common appliance.  Which ever method you choose to make your quinoa, it will come out fluffy, delicious and read to use in a variety of recipes! Quinoa Final with Text.jpg

These are the three most common varieties of quinoa.  I read somewhere that there are actually over 1,400 varieties!  Aside from color, there are really only a few subtle difference between the three.

White Red Black Quinoa.jpg

 Cooking Methods


  1. For all of these methods, a critical step is to rinse your quinoa thoroughly.  The outside of quinoa has a bitter taste that is easily removed by rinsing well.  You will want to use a fine mesh strainer so that the tiny seeds can’t escape through the holes when you are rinsing.
  2. You will use a 2:1 ratio of liquid to quinoa.  For every cup of quinoa, you will need 2 cups of liquid.  You can use water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth to add a savory flavor.  It is also delicious when you use aromatics like garlic, or fresh herbs.  You just need a little to go a long way :)

Stove Top:

This method has the most steps, but I love the incredibly fluffy quinoa it produces!

Quinoa Steps.jpg

Stove Top:

  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Add 1 tsp of oil and rinsed quinoa to a pot. Toast for 1-2 minutes until the quinoa is dry again.
  3. Add your liquid.  2 cups for every 1 cup of quinoa.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.  Let stand for an additional 5 minutes before lifting the lid.
  5. Fluff!

Rice Cooker

A rice cooker is a common appliance in many kitchens, requires only 3 steps and does the work for you!

Rice Cooker Steps.jpg

Rice Cooker:

  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Pour quinoa, and liquid into your rice cooker.
  3. Follow the directions for your rice cooker, and cook!
  4. Fluff with a fork when done.


Pressure Cooker

A pressure cooker is a great appliance to have, because it cooks food so much faster.  In a rice cooker and stove top, quinoa takes about 20 minutes. In a pressure cooker it takes twelve minutes!   It also makes your food incredibly tender.  The ratio of quinoa to water is a tiny bit different than other methods.

Pressure Cooker Steps.jpg

Pressure Cooker:

  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer.
  2. Pour quinoa, and liquid into your pressure cooker.  You will need 1 1/2 cups quinoa + 2 1/4 cups liquid
  3. Follow the directions for your pressure cooker, and cook!
  4. Fluff with a fork when done.



These are some of our favorite Quinoa recipes:

Quinoa Pumpkin Pancakes

Quinoa Coconut Granola Bars

Coconut Cranberry Quinoa

Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Boats

Summer Quinoa Salad


Products Used

Fine Mesh Strainer  Cuisinart Pressure Cooker Zojirushi Rice Cooker
Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer Colander Sieve with Handle for Kitchen Food Rice Vegetable,set of 3 Zojirushi NS-RNC10 Automatic 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer
                     $11                        $99                       $95





Susie Frank

My chef/husband rinses the quinoa, sautes some shallots and minced garlic in olive oil, then adds the rinsed quinoa for a few minutes, then adds the low sodium organic chicken broth. NOTE: He uses 1:1 = 1 cup quinoa and 1 cup chicken broth. Then he puts some dried savoury in and puts the pot in the oven at 350 F for 35 a 45 minutes.
This is a drier way to serve quinoa where the grains are separate – not wet.
Leftovers become a salad where we reheat the quinoa before adding the salad dressing and fresh vegetables.


I agree with Susie, 1:1 quinoa to liquid is the correct ratio. Your quinoa will come out fluffier and tastier. 2:1 is a mistake that keeps getting repeated on the web for some reason.


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