Don’t cook quinoa as it says on the pack!!!

I know, controversial, but I never ever cook quinoa as the packs says. When I have, either there isn’t enough water and the pans runs dry and the quinoa gets burnt if you don’t catch it; or, and this one is the most typical, there’s too much water and it’s cooked for far too long and your quinoa ends up mushy and tasteless.

You may completely disagree with me, and that’s fine, but I like my quinoa so that the grains separate and have texture and is something to actually eat and chew properly. This way you’ll make the most of it’s lovely nutty flavour too.

So, this is what I do…

I take just under a mug full of uncooked white quinoa…

Then I fill the same mug with water to the top…

I put the quinoa and water into a pan, over a high heat and bring the water to the boil…

Once it’s boiling, I turn down the heat so that the water is simmering, put the lid on, and leave it to simmer for 6 minutes, yes, just SIX minutes…

After 6 minutes, turn the heat off, leave the lid on and leave the pan for 20 minutes. I’m sure you’ll be tempted to test it and you’ll find the grains not quite cooked, have no fear! The steam will continue to cook the quinoa.

After 20 minutes, remove the lid and fork up the quinoa and you should have a perfectly cooked pan full of lovely, textured grains….


Of course, if you like it how you already cook it, feel free to ignore me, but it’s not just me saying this… read this post for more info


79 thoughts on “Don’t cook quinoa as it says on the pack!!!

  1. M-R

    I think this is REALLY interesting, Elaine – and I shall employ your method next time I make anything with quinoa in it. It’s because of that very lack of flavour you mention that I recently changed a recipe from containing quinoa to containing rice (and it was still yummy); but I know quinoa has more going for it. X !


  2. Susan Sutphin

    I’ve always done well with rice, but not quinoa, which has made me avoid it in general. I have some in the pantry and am going to try it your way. I’m one of those who has been following the directions but haven’t liked the consistency when done. Thanks


  3. kyangel17

    Elaine, thank you so much. I kept wondering if it was supposed to taste like that. Finally just switched to black rice. Now I’ll go back to the quinoa and try it your way. See? This is why I follow food blogs.


  4. suzjones

    That’s sounds very similar to how I cook brown rice. I do mine in the microwave in our rice bowl/cooker thingy. Just cover rice with water. Cook for 12 minutes. Remove from microwave and then sit aside for a further half an hour. Drain off water and you have perfectly, fluffy rice grains.


  5. kellie@foodtoglow

    I tell people the same thing in my nutrition classes! Slight difference (8 minutes wee simmer, then 12 sitting) but I’m sure both of ours are fluffy and fab 🙂 All packets I’ve ever seen are for making mush. When people say they don’t like quinoa I ask two questions: 1) did you rinse it well? and 2) did you follow the stupid packet direction?. You will have transformed a lot people’s opinions with this post, elaine.


      1. deelightfullyveg

        The first thing I did was not to read the instructions written on the pack as your post title just stuck to my mind 🙂 Yes and after that reading your method did help but I kept the proportion of water like for rice, would like to reduce the water proportion by a bit 🙂 Thanks for asking!


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  7. Malar

    Elaine, I did wonder if those 6 mins are enough to cook, but the outcome as per your method was perfect. Not even a single pearl of the quinoa stuck to the base of the pan and it came out fluffy and not mushy. Thank you so much 😀


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  11. Morgan

    Thanks so much for this tip! I’m going to try this with the Organic Black Quinoa my lical grocery store just started stocking! Hoorayyyyy for FoodBod blog!!!! ♡Namaste♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      That’s brilliant, thank you 🙂
      All I would say is that I used white quinoa, I can’t comment for black quinoa, it’s quite different, the texture and consistency is very different from white quinoa, so you may need to play with it.
      Thank you for your lovely comments x


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  13. sallybr

    I love you!

    my gosh, I’ve had my fair share of quinoa fights, and will try your method this weekend…. I have a dinner party planned and quinoa salad will be my side dish

    Can hardly wait!!!!!!


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