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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 300kcal
Author Chelsea


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of your favorite spice or spice blend, Note 1
  • 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)


  • Measure out one level cup of quinoa. Pour the cup of quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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).
  • 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.


Note 1: Seasoning blend: We like lemon pepper seasoning, turmeric, half chili powder/half paprika, Tuscan seasoning blend, etc.


Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 203mg | Potassium: 466mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 3mg