Cooked Quinoa


Cooked Quinoa

Quinoa is actually a seed from South America. It’s super high in protein and has a lovely ‘chewy’ texture. It only takes about 15 mintues to cook but I like to make a batch on the weekends to use for breakfasts and lunches during the week. It’s great both with sweet and savoury seasonings.

makes about double the dried weight
takes: 15 minutes

approx 250g / 7oz quinoa

1. Bring a medium pot of water to the boil.

2. Meanwhile, Place quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well under running water. Drain.

3. When the water is boiling, add the quinoa and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until quinoa is tender.

4. Drain and allow to steam and cool.

5. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge until ready to use.


different colours – quinoa comes in red, black and white. I’ve used a combo of all three in the picture. To be honest I can’t taste much of a difference between the different varieties.

savoury – season the hot, drained quinoa with a few tablespoons each of extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar and soy sauce.

sweet – season the hot drained quinoa with a few pinches of brown sugar and a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. You could also simmer a cinnamon stick in with the quinoa.

milky – simmer in milk or half milk half water instead of just using straight water. A cinnamon stick or vanilla bean wouldn’t go astray.

can’t find quinoa? – you could do the same thing with brown rice or barley or even spelt. The cooking times will vary for larger grains, probably more like 30-45 minutes or even longer.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

quinoa – can be kept in the pantry.

Usage Suggestions

breakfast – serve either cold or warm with natural yoghurt, berries and possibly some roasted almonds.

carby side – serve anywhere you’d normally serve steamed rice such as curries, stir fry’s or slow cooked dishes.

egg fried quinoa – brilliant alternative to rice in egg fried rice.

salad – use cooked quinoa in any salad that called for canned lentils or beans such as salmon & butter beans or this brown rice salad. Note: one can = 240g (9oz) cooked quinoa.

broccolini salad – one of my all time favourites.

Leftover Potential?

Brilliant!. Will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Problem Solving Guide

hard / crunchy – sounds like undercooked quinoa, pop back in the saucepan with some fresh water and simmer until tender.

sticking together – this hasn’t ever happened to me, but I assume if you overcook quinoa it could turn mushy. Not much you can do at this stage. But next time set yout timer and be more vigilant.

bland – it’s important to season the quinoa before using. You can go either sweet or savoury..

serving suggestions

Serve with yoghurt and berries for breakfast OR with fried eggs and chilli oil for a savoury breakkie. Use it pretty much anywhere you’d use cooked rice or other grains.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet Hope March 17, 2014

Also, is it possible to microwave quinoa for the same results?


jules March 28, 2014

I don’t see why not Janet..,.

I’m not a microwave owner though so you’re on your own there!



Janet Hope March 17, 2014

Hi Jules, what’s a reasonable serve of the cooked quinoa for one person breakfast?
With porridge oats we go on about 1/3 cup per adult serve before cooking – would that be about right for quinoa too?


jules March 28, 2014

Good question Janet…

I’d probably start with 1/4 cup and see how you go because I have a feeling quinoa will expand more than oats



Hannah Merton May 24, 2013

What could you add to cooked quinoa to make a slow-carb breakfast?


jules May 27, 2013

Hi Hannah!
I serve mine with natural or coconut yoghurt and a handful of nuts. If you want to try making your own yoghurt there’s a recipe over here:

The other option would be to serve it with coconut milk or cream.

I’d also think about adding stevia to sweeten or cinnamon or vanilla.



Maeghan Gershey March 13, 2012

I never thought about sweetening my quinoa! I must try that immediately.


jules March 16, 2012

It’s so good Maeghan!


jules March 6, 2012

I only mixed the colours because I didn’t have enough of each!

Weird that you’ve had it mushy and sticky. I always use more water than it absorbs and haven’t had a problem..

At a guess, it sounds like it’s been overcooked… like when you overcook rice. If you keep it ‘al dente’ like pasta I think you’ll be fine regardless of water ratio or whether you start with hot or cold water.


Trudy March 5, 2012

Wow! this quinoa is so beautiful. As much as I cook quinoa it never occurred to me to mix the colors.

Your savory variation sounds really good. Sometimes I have it warm — sprinkle with salt & pepper and a dollop of kefir or drizzle olive oil.

I have had my quinoa get mushy and sticky, I thought it was due to too much water or starting with hot water instead of cool. I don’t use the hot water anymore. I’ll try this method. I put enough water to be fully absorbed by the quinoa — a 1:1.5 ratio, quinoa to water.


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