How To Cook Perfect Fluffy Quinoa

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By Amelia Cuell

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An easy step-by-step recipe to cooking fluffy quinoa perfectly.

Want to cook quinoa? You’ve come to the right place.

Cooking quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, can seem hard if you’ve never done it before – but it’s really not.

Since we’ve been cooking it a lot recently for our Health Kitchen recipes, it’s now become one of my top superfood swaps. For one, it’s high in plant-based protein compared to pasta or rice, and two, it fills you up for hours!

Here is the foolproof step-by-step method to cook fluffy (not mushy), delicious (not soapy) quinoa. The easy way.

Let's Cook Some Quinoa!

Cook time: 25

Serves: 2

Method: Boiling

Recipe Category: Side Dish


  • 1 cup dried uncooked quinoa (any variety — white or golden, red, or black)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Rinse the quinoa, and place it in a fine-mesh strainer. Run it under cold water and remember to rub and swish the grains with your hands to make sure all of them are really well washed.
  2. TIP: You need to wash the grains really well, because of their natural coating called saponin. This is what makes it taste bitter or soapy when it's cooked.
  3. Toast your quinoa by heating some oil in a small pan and adding the rinsed quinoa. Toast it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to evaporate all the water.
  4. Add your pre-measured water and bring the saucepan to a boil.
  5. TIP: For every cup of quinoa, add a cup and three-quarters of water.
  6. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cover with a lid or plate and leave it to cook on low for 15 minutes.
  7. When it's cooked, take the pan off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  8. TIP: No peeking! Leaving the quinoa covered will give you the fluffiness you’re after.
  9. Fluff up the quinoa gently with a fork, and serve it any way you like!

How long does quinoa last in the fridge?

You can keep cooked quinoa in the fridge for up to 5 days, so it’s a great option when you’re bulk-cooking on a Sunday. Then use it to make healthier fried “rice,” salads, or have it with curry.

What if meal-prepping isn’t for me?

If batch-cooking healthy recipes is way too much of a chore (we get it, life is busy), you’ll love our Health Kitchen recipes on this week’s menu. You can order a box or subscribe to Gousto and we’ll deliver healthy recipes with all the pre-measured ingredients to your door, any day of the week.

Let me know if you liked this recipe, and what you’d like me to cook next!


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