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Have you ever tried to cook quinoa? How do you cook and serve it? What recipe do you like the best?

Quinoa has been becoming more and more popular, it's high in protein, it's not a wheat but a kind of seed. Quinoa is very versatile, you can make salad with it, you can eat it like rice to serve with other main course. The best part is that it's so healthy and good for you.

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  1. Hoping you get some good responses. I bought a bag and cooked it once but it was kind of sticky and didn't come out that well.

    It is really good for you though so I'd like to learn more about how to cook it!

    1. We eat it every day—it's our go-to grain. I bring quinoa and 2x chicken stock (Better Than Bouillon) to a boil, lower heat, cover, simmer till done. SO EASY. I make tons and we use the leftovers all week: in my three-year-old's lunch, for breakfast stirred with a soft-cooked egg and soy sauce, or on the side of a protein and veg.

      13 Replies
      1. re: sweetpotater

        A little more details on how to do you use cooked quinoa will be much appreciated. You have given pointers but it doesn't click any recipe in my head.

        Due to my health issues, I am going Vegan (and gluten-free) so bought a bag of it. Only thing I find online is salad and I hate bland salads. I am trying to Indianize Quinoa but failed so far (I have embraced Indian cooking style as I found its most Vegan friendly).

        1. re: vegiefudie

          I personally REALLY like Quinoa Upma. Upma is a South Indian savory breakfast dish usually made with cream of wheat (rawa or sooji), is also excellent with bulgur wheat (daliya), and is great with quinoa.

          Rough recipe:
          1 C quinoa, cooked in water with salt. Don't overcook. Keep ready.

          In large pot or skillet, heat:
          1 T vegetable oil, sizzle 1/4 tsp hing, 1/2 t mustard seeds, 2 green chillies minced, 1 T ginger minced, 5-6 fresh curry leaves. Add a few halved cashew nuts and toast them.

          Add 1 small onion finely diced. Typical upma veggies include small diced potatoes that will cook quickly and green peas but I just throw in a handful of frozen mixed veg.

          Add 1/2 of a 15 oz can finely diced tomatos or equivalent fresh. You can add the whole can if you don't mind the soupier texture and predominance of tomato - I like it that way actually. Stir to mix.

          Once the veggies are cooked, add the quinoa, mix well, let it all heat up. Check the salt etc.

          Add a sprinkle of lemon juice, and garnish with cilantro.

          Serve hot with (optional) soy or coconut yogurt on the side (plain, not sweet) and masala chai or South Indian filter coffee (non dairy milks) whatever you like. Or just eat it as is. Stays well in the fridge and reheats well.

          If you do try this, tell me if you like it.

          1. re: Rasam


            Thanks for the recipe. I made this tonight ( with a few substitutions(--no hing, whatever that is--used frozen szechuan veggies--galangal instead of ginger) accompanied by roasted salmon and it turned out well.

          2. re: vegiefudie

            Quinoa actually works really well in Indian cooking, I've also made upma with it, and also used it to make a veggie Biriyani instead of using rice. We eat it in lieu of our usual rice too, like dal, chicken curry, etc. I just saw a recipe for quinoa tortillas, and it gave me the idea to integrate it into my rotis. Planning on trying it tomorrow night for dinner.

            1. re: boogiebaby

              I never thought of using it to replace basmati rice, but thats a great idea! I really should stick to low-GI so I'll be trying this soon. :)

              1. re: eviemichael

                You can really use it to replace any type of rice. It also works in tabbouleh in place of bulgur, and the size & shape make it a great substitute for couscous as well.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I can see it as a great replacement for couscous, but does it work as well as a replacement for bulgur, which is such a hearty grain? Isn't bulgur healthy too?

                  After the crazy decadent food I've had these past few weeks, all grains sound so good to me now...

                  1. re: eviemichael

                    Bulgur is fine - I just thought I'd mention it as an alternative.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      thanks :) I have PCOS and love carbs, so I'm trying to learn about all low-GI grains.

                      1. re: eviemichael

                        Gotcha. Technically quinoa is a seed/grass, not a grain, and it's not inflammatory like bulgur or other wheat products so it's a great choice for you.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          Good to know, thanks. :-) I'm overwhelmed trying to re-structure my diet and regular weeknight meals to help my condition.

                          1. re: eviemichael

                            Just take it one day at a time, and please let me know if there's anything I can do to help - the focus of my nutrition practice is special diets for the management of health conditions.

        2. we just made quinoa tonight - we make it quite often. It's delicious if you rinse it and get the proportions right:

          rinse 1 cup quinoa in a strainer and put in pot with 1 3/4 cups of water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, cover and let sit for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes, fluff and you're ready to go.

          oh, also if your quinoa still has the coating on it you'll need to soak it. Also, red quinoa can be a bit gritty, so we stick with the yellow variety.

          3 Replies
          1. re: kazhound

            I've never rinsed it. What does rinsing do?

            1. re: sweetpotater

              There's a natural outer layer of saponin on it. The saponin helps protect the quinoa, otherwise the birds eat it while it is growing. The saponin is responsible for the bitter taste. Rinsing gets rid of the saponin.

              1. re: annabanana2000

                I rinse my quinoa 2-3 times, until the water runs clear:-)

          2. 1 cup Quinoa
            2 cups Chicken (or veggie) Stock
            2 tbsp Olive Oil
            1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
            1/2 cup nuts (pine, almonds, hazel etc.), lightly toasted
            1/4 cup Finely Chopped Red Onion
            1/2 cup Chopped Fresh Basil

            Place quinoa in strainer. Rinse under cold running water until water is clear. Transfer quinoa to a medium saucepan; add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.

            Transfer quinoa to large bowl; fluff with fork. Whisk together oil and lemon juice with some salt and pepper and stir in. Cool to room temperature. Mix in pine nuts, red onion and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

            Have also added spinach or chard that I sauteed with butter and garlic which is awesome.

            You can really add or subtract lots of things with this. Versatile, easy and yummy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jzone

              This (using toasted slivered almonds) + goat cheese and cranberries = delicious.

              Actually, we cook the onions to soften, then add the quinoa and toast for a minute or 2 before adding stock.

              We've done it with figs too instead of the cranberries, which was good but I prefer the cranberries.

            2. I seem to have more bitter taste buds, so I am more sensitive to the slight bitter taste to quinoa. So I cook the quinoa like pasta, which decreases the bitterness. Cook the quinoa in water (about 4 parts water to 1 part quinoa) for about 15 minutes. Drain well. Transfer the quinoa back into the pot, cover with a kitchen cloth and pot lid for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
              My favourite recipe is Tabbouleh with the quinoa substituting the bulgar.


              You should check out "Quinoa, 365" by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. The recipes look great. I just haven't had the time to cook from it.

              1. I made this Quinoa Chowder with Spinach, Feta, and Scallions again just a week ago. I got it from Madison's ' Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone". I have used both water and chicken stock and sometimes I add a poached egg instead of a hard boiled egg. I always really enjoy it. I even added a little left over browed bacon which was better than I anticipated. I found the recipe on chow to link:


                1. My dad used to throw a handful of quinoa into his veggie chili to up the protein content (while adding texture and absorbing liquid).

                  1. I've only used the recipe that comes on the box of Trader Joe's quinoa....You cook the quinoa as directed, let cool, add diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, black beans, avocado etc. and toss it with a lime cilantro dressing. It is such a lovely think to eat in the summer.

                    1. I like this recipe - with apricots, raisins, and pistachios.
                      If you're not going to eat it all at once, don't mix the romaine in - do that right before serving (or packing up a serving to take for your lunch...).

                      1. Great ideas from everyone!
                        I rinse mine before cooking one part quinoa to two parts liquid (stock or Better Than Bouillon) and use it like a pilaf. Have added onions, mushrooms, leeks, carrots, peppers along with thyme, sage, parsley and bay leaves.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MartiniGenie

                          The quinoa I bought from costco, on the bag it says pre-rinsed, so I don't have to rinse it every time. All these veggies and herbs sound delicious.

                        2. I usually add whatever vegetables I have on hand to my quinoa. One trick I've found is that, if you're having the quinoa with any sort of roast meat, you can add some of the drippings to the quinoa instead of butter or olive oil. Very, very delicious.

                          1. I've tried cooking it in my rice cooker, but I think it needs more liquid, it always smells like it's burning...

                            1. i use it all the time. same as sweetpotater, i use BTB, and then add things to it: sliced scallions, minced shallots, toasted nuts, chopped cooked or diced raw veggies, chopped dried fruit, dried and/or fresh herbs, or any combo of the above. good chilled as a salad too - at which point i'll mix in a dijon vinaigrette.

                              1. Was shown a recipe by Heston Blumenthal where rinsed, cooked quinoa is partly blended (50% put in a blender/liquidiser) to make the seeds sticky. The quinoa is seasoned with a tangy ponzu and then a filling selected and the quinoa is smeared onto nori seaweed and rolled up into makizushi rolls.
                                Turns out that if you make really thin long rolls they're perfect finger food for small kids - it's beautiful with avocado and smoked salmon.
                                My daughter enjoys quinoa but when eaten by a still unskilled fork and spoon handler it gets EVERYWHERE. This part blended technique sticks it together so even if it isn't rolled in seaweed it's still easier for toddlers to feed themselves with.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: MoGa

                                  My toddler daughter likes her quinoa mixed with Greek yogurt. Stick enough to be eaten by herself with a spoon.

                                2. I cook Quinoa a lot. At first I was following the 1 cup to 2 cups of water.
                                  Then I realized that you only require 1 1/2 cups water. Otherwise it will get mushy.
                                  It is important to wash the quinoa few times with water in order to get rid of the bitter taste.
                                  Same way you would wash white basmati rice in order to get rid of the starch.
                                  You bring the quinoa and water to a boil (uncovered), once it has boiled you put the lid on and cook it on low (number 3 on electrical.
                                  I usually set the timer for 20 minutes.
                                  If you like Taboule, just follow the recipe and replace the bulgur with quinoa.
                                  I have even seen a recipe for Quinoa sushi but have never tried it.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Radha2009

                                    I use just soaked bulgur for tabouli that is squeezed to remove excess water. You can do that with quinoa? Or do you mean to use cooked quinoa to replace raw soaked bulgur?

                                      1. re: mscoffee1

                                        You cook the Quinoa and let it cool down for at least a good hour.
                                        Then of course you add all your chopped ingredients and dressing to the Quinoa.
                                        Transfer in the fridge for few hours.
                                        You can get creative and turn your cooked Quinoa into an Asian salad...
                                        Another good idea is to use it for stuffed vegetables instead of rice.

                                      2. re: Radha2009

                                        I make tabouli all the time with quinoa. So simple, and so good.

                                      3. We love this quinoa and black bean salad. So good and good for you. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                          1. can't be helpful at all sorry to say but do hope I can learn what this stuff is about.

                                            I do own it.
                                            have never attempted to make it.
                                            wouldn't know where to start.
                                            honestly knowing my husband I don't think he'd like it at all. certain texture things bother him.
                                            may attempt it but if much more time passes it may see Monday morning trash pick up.

                                            like sweetpotatoes recipe idea, think I could pull that off.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                              To be honest with you Quinoa is not my favourite grain and I don't enjoy it as much as brown rice.
                                              It is very light.
                                              You do get used it. It is neutral in taste and is the top grain nutrition wise.
                                              Maybe you can start by throwing a small amount to your soup.

                                            2. I treat quinoa like cous cous or even a risotto - heating up some oil, sauteeing some onions, garlic, maybe mushrooms or green peppers, adding in the quinoa and stirring it until toasted and flavorful, and then slowly adding in hot stock - either beef or chicken, whatever i have - until fully cooked.

                                              1. I don't think anyone has linked it yet. But Quinoa Salad was Dish of the Month in August 2012.

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