How To Cook Quinoa: Perfect, Fluffy Quinoa Every Time!

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!

What is quinoa?

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.

What you’ll need

  • Quinoa – It’s one of the most popular health foods for a reason! It’s gluten free, high in protein and fiber, packed with antioxidants and contains all nine amino acids!
  • Water or broth – The ratio is super important when cooking quinoa. You want to use two cups of liquid to one cup of quinoa.
  • Seasoning – You’ll need salt and pepper, plus whatever spice you want to use. I love using turmeric, but you could use something like cumin, chilli flakes or garlic – whatever you like!
  • Oil – This is optional. You can totally make this an oil free recipe if you’d like.

How to cook quinoa

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.

Quinoa recipe ideas

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!

For more staple recipes, be sure to check out my Eggs 10 Ways and Toast 10 Ways.


Perfect Quinoa

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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 tbsp oil (olive, avocado or coconut work great)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of sea salt and black pepper to taste
Course Side Dish
serves: 4
Print Recipe Save Recipe Leave a review


  • First, rinse off the quinoa to get rid of the bitter coating. Check the package as some are sold pre-rinsed.
  • In a medium sauce pot, on low heat, add in oil (optional), turmeric and quinoa. Stir to coat and slightly warm up and toast for 1-2 minutes to infused the flavour.
  • Next, add in your water or broth using the ratio of 2 cups of liquid to 1 cup of quinoa.
  • Cook on high to bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Keep covered and remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes for the quinoa to absorb any excess liquid and get super fluffy! Fluff quinoa with a fork or wooden spoon and you're ready to serve either hot or cold.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe

    no comments