Here’s my trick for how to cook quinoa that turns out perfectly fluffy. Quinoa can be used in so many recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so it’s a great staple to have.
I love including quinoa in my recipes. I mention it all the time in my cookbook (like my Baked Crispy Quinoa Chicken Fingers, Farmer’s Market Bowl and Almond Orange Quinoa Oatmeal), but I know it can sometimes be tricky to get it just right. If you don’t use the right technique you can end up with mushy or overdone quinoa, which is definitely not tasty! Read on to discover my method for how to cook quinoa so that it turns out perfectly fluffy each and every time. I do have a video on this too, but be warned – it’s pretty old haha!
While I often use quinoa as if it was a grain, it’s actually a grain-like seed. It has a delicious nutty flavour and you can find it in a variety of colours, like black, red, white, or a mix of all three. The colour doesn’t matter though – they all cook in the same way. Lighter varieties have the mildest flavour, so if you’re just getting started with quinoa you might want to try white quinoa before you try red or black.
Firstly, you want to rinse off your quinoa. Some quinoa comes pre-rinsed, but if not there can be a really bitter tasting coating on it that you don’t want in your food. Once it’s rinsed, add your quinoa to a medium sized saucepan. Add in your spice and, this is optional, a little bit of oil (I like using avocado, olive oil, (non toasted) sesame oil or coconut oil), and then toast on low for 1-2 minutes. The reason for toasting with your spice right at the beginning is it allows the quinoa to soak up and seal in all those flavours.
Now, add your water or broth and cook on high to bring to a boil. Another optional step is to add salt and pepper at this point. I like adding pepper with turmeric because it helps absorb the health benefits from the turmeric.
Once your pot is boiling, go ahead and lower the heat to low and simmer covered with the lid on and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the water is all absorbed. Keep covered and remove from heat and leave it to rest for 5 minutes to absorb any excess liquid and get super fluffy. Then you can fluff it with a fork or a wooden spoon, but be careful not to squash it! Transfer to a bowl and you can enjoy your quinoa hot or cold, it’s delicious either way.
There are tons of ways to enjoy quinoa! I love it not only because of the health benefits, but because it is such a versatile food. Here are some recipe ideas for you to try out. Be sure to share a photo on social media of your quinoa creations and tag me @healthnutnutrition #healthnuteats so that I can see what you’ve made!
What’s your favourite way to enjoy quinoa? Let me know in the comments!