Cooking quinoa is easy. Unless you bought fancy quinoa which specifically says on the packaging that there is no need to wash it, you should wash it. This gets rid of the coating which occurs naturally but discourages the bird and insects from eating it.
If in doubt wash it. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, but the coating has a bitter taste, which detracts from the flavors you want.
Once washed, you cook quinoa a little like rice. Measure on a ratio of 2:1 – two cups of liquid to one cup of quinoa. It is highly absorbent, and so will thicken stews and soups which means you should watch to be sure they don’t go dry.
Bring the liquid to boil and then set to simmer for approximately 20 minutes. It is done when it becomes clear-ish and soft.
Perhaps a better question than how to cook quinoa is what to do with it once it is cooked. Because it is here quinoa comes into its own. Pretty much anything you could think of where you might use rice, lentils, or couscous you can use quinoa.
Be aware that quinoa has a subtle, nutty flavor and it does carry through. So in a recipe where you want to focus on the main dish taste, you might prefer an alternative. Good news is quinoa can be cooked in rice cookers and in instant pots too.
If you’re still unsure of how to cook quinoa, there are some easy ways to avoid mistakes.
Drain it quinoa carries a lot of water if you don’t drain it, everything else is going to be watery too.
Let it rest this allows it to dry out and stops it from being clumpy. Keep it covered and it will stay hot.
Don’t overcook it no one likes mushy quinoa.
This is a versatile and flexible dish. Its nutty flavor adds to soups, stews and salads. Add some honey and you have an alternative to oatmeal on winter mornings. The amount of fiber means you will stay full longer helping anyone trying to get to a weight loss goal.
It is great in the summer as a salad dish. It is great in the winter when you add it to tasty soups and stews. It comes as flour and also as flakes, opening the door to all sorts of recipes. How long before we see quinoa krispies?