How to cook Quinoa correctly - Quinoa Base Recipe

JULY 14, 2020

Quinoa - The Perfectly Healthy Vegan & Gluten-Free Meal Base

I fell in love with Quinoa a few years ago. Since then, the mini "pseudo-grain" has become an important staple in my diet. The gluten-free pseudo-grain isn't only super healthy, but also adds a wonderful, mildly nutty flavor to your meal. I love using Quinoa for example for salads (especially my colorful rainbow bowls), as well as a simple side to any sort of roasted vegetables. And of course, Quinoa also works perfectly for fancier vegetarian dishes like these

Types Of Quinoa And How They Differ In Taste

Red, Black, White or mixed - you decided which Quinoa you want to use. In my personal opinion, they all taste pretty "similar". Generally, the darker you go, the crunchier it gets. Black Quinoa normally keeps its crunchy texture after being cooked, whereas white Quinoa becomes pretty soft. I highly recommend you to give all of them a try and then decide which Quinoa based on your decision on what to serve it with. 

How To Cook Quinoa Correctly and Is It Necessary To Soak Quinoa?

YES, if you can, you should soak your Quinoa thoroughly before you enjoy it. Quinoa, like other pseudo-grains, is particularly rich in saponins, tannins and several other naturally occurring phytic acids, which bind nutrients and negatively affect their digestibility (especially if consumes in large amounts).

To get a maximum nutrient-level from your Quinoa, you should therefore always wash and also try to soak it for about 0.5-2 hours. Below you find a step-by-step guide on how to soak your Quinoa properly. (If you click on the link, you will find more in-depth information on the science behind soaking grains, nuts, seeds and legumes).

Once you have soaked and washed the Quinoa, it is ready for cooking. The cooking time varies based on how long you soaked your grain as well as your desired Quinoa texture. Generally, estimate 15-20 min for the cooking process. (see recipe on the bottom of the page). 

Quinoa Hacks - How To Make Your Quinoa Perfect

You can always "spice" your Quinoa up during the cooking process. Your options are pretty much endless at that point. Depending on what I will eat with my Quinoa, I love to experiment with 

- Herbs:  Add herbs (Parsley, Cilantro, Chives) after the cooking process, alongside with a bit of extra virgin olive oil for example

- Spices: Try to use curry powder, chili or any other spice of choice to give the mix additional flavor

- Add Flavor: Besides herbs and spices, I sometimes add homemade veggie stock or soy sauce to my Quinoa (the soy sauce after cooking, the veggie stock during the cooking process). Both add great flavor as well. 

My Favorite Quinoa Recipes

There are so many incredible Quinoa recipes out there. My "Go-To's" are definitely easy cooked Quinoa as a salad / rainbow bowl or marinated veggie side. To give you some inspiration, here my 

- Favorite "Sweet Potato-Quinoa Tartar"

- Quinoa as part of a Rainbow Bowl

- My beloved Quinoa Breakfast Bowl creations

Share Your Love

How do you prep your Quinoa? Do you have any other ideas on what to do with the delicious Superfood Quinoa?  If so, let me know. Also, I would love to see your delicious Quinoa food stories. Comment below or tag me in your healthy "Quinoa Food Story" on social  Happy Quinoa Everything!

xx, Karo

How To Cook Quinoa Correctly - The Ulitmate Quinoa Base Recipe
Have you ever wondered how to cook the Superfood Quinoa correctly? It is super easy and doesn't require any fancy equipment or ingredients. For a very simple "base recipe", all you need is a pinch of salt and water. Of course, you can add all the spices you like into the mix later on but the base remains the same - Water, Quinoa and Salt!
    • -  
      100g Quinoa
    • -  
      200ml Water
    • -  
      1 Pinch of Salt
    • -  
      Fresh Herbs (Cilantro, Parsley,..)
    • -  
      Dried Herbs
    • -  
      Spices (Curry, Chili, ..)
    • -  
      Soy Sauce (adds a delicious flavor for Quinoa in a salad bowl for example)
  1. Prepare your Quinoa for cooking by either washing it thoroughly with hot water or, if possible, by soaking it for 0.5-2h. (see instructions above)
  2. Add the Quinoa to a pot filled with 200ml water and bring to a boil. Add the salt, then reduce the heat.
  3. Let the mix simmer for 15-20min until soft. (You can extend the cooking time for as long as you wish if you feel your Quinoa isn't soft enough yet. Plus, feel free to add additional water if necessary.)
  4. If you want to add any spices, also do it during the simmering process. If you wish to add fresh herbs, add them after the cooking process to preserve a maximum nutrient content.

Did you try it?

Leave me a comment below!

Your Recipes Rating

Newsletter! Yay!

Join the community and be the first to get my latest plant-based recipes straight to your inbox.

Time to talk about Cookies!
We use cookies to personalize your user experience on this site. To comply with worldwide privacy guidelines, we have to ask for your consent to use browser cookies. If you click “accept” you consent to the usage of essential cookies on this site. If you wish to change your data preferences, click on cookie details below.