How to Cook Quinoa

How to cook quinoa on the stovetop and all my tips/tricks to make it light, fluffy, and flavorful every single time!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword how to cook quinoa
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rest Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 cups cooked quinoa
Calories 249 kcal
Author Chelsea


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite spice or spice blend, optional*
  • 1 and 3/4 cup water, vegetable or chicken stock/broth
  • Kosher salt and pepper (I use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)


  1. Measure out one leveled cup of quinoa. Pour the cup of quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse for 30 seconds to one minute.

  2. If you have the extra time/patience, you can soak your cup of quinoa in water for a couple of minutes before rinsing to really ensure that outer coating is gone.

  3. In a small pot, add in 1 tablespoon oil and once the oil is shimmering, add in 1 teaspoon of a spice or spice blend mix. Stir for about 30 seconds and then add in the rinsed and dried quinoa. Toast the quinoa by stirring it frequently over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. 

  4. Add 1 and 3/4 cup water, vegetable or chicken stock, or broth and then bring the quinoa to a boil. I also like to add some salt and pepper at this point (just a pinch of each if I'm using a stock and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of each if I'm using water; add to your preference). As soon as the quinoa is boiling, cover the pot, and lower it to your lowest heat setting. Let cook for 15-20 minutes (depending on the actual heat of your stove).

  5. Remove the pot from the stove and, while keeping the lid on, let it stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and enjoy. If adding to a salad, let cool completely first.

Recipe Notes

*We like lemon pepper seasoning, tumeric, half chili powder/half paprika, tuscan seasoning blend, etc.