How to Cook Super Fluffy Quinoa

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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 ready to use in a variety of recipes! 

How to Cook Super Fluffy Quinoa. Make the perfect quinoa with these simple tips!

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.

How to Cook Super Fluffy Quinoa. Make the perfect quinoa with these simple tips!

Cooking Methods

Tips:

  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!

How to Cook Super Fluffy Quinoa. Make the perfect quinoa with these simple tips!

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!

How to Cook Super Fluffy Quinoa. Make the perfect quinoa with these simple tips!

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.

How to Cook Super Fluffy Quinoa. Make the perfect quinoa with these simple tips!

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.

Recipes

These are some of our favorite Quinoa recipes:

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6 Comments

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.

Have you tried making it in a pressure cooker? When we make it in the pressure cooker, there is no bitter taste at all!