Does quinoa go bad? (+5 health benefits)

In this article, we will answer the question “Does quinoa go bad?”, and how to tell If the quinoa has gone bad?

Does quinoa go bad?

Yes, quinoa goes bad. But It has a pretty long shelf-life. Uncooked quinoa won’t go bad unless you help it. Cooked quinoa has a shorter shelf-life than its uncooked counterpart. Read on If you want to know more about the signs of spoilage, shelf-life, storage of quinoa.

How to tell If the quinoa has gone bad?

  1. For uncooked quinoa, altered texture and smell are obvious signs of spoilage. 
  2. For cooked quinoa, hard or slimy texture, mold growth, and discolorations indicate spoilage. Such quinoa should be immediately discarded.

How to store quinoa?

  • An unopened package of uncooked quinoa needs to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from sunlight and stovetop. A pantry or a kitchen cabinet works fine. Make sure the storage temperature is consistent.
  • Cooked quinoa should be kept in the fridge. Let the quinoa come to room temperature after cooking. Storing hot quinoa in an air-tight container will trap the moisture inside which favors mold growth. According to the USDA, cooked quinoa should not be kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Can you freeze cooked quinoa?

  1. If you want to store the quinoa for weeks and months, freezing is a good option. Follow the steps below to freeze-store-cooked quinoa safely.
  2. Cook quinoa according to your favorite recipe.
  3. Divide the quinoa into meal-sized portions and let it cool down for about 10-20 minutes.
  4. Once the spread out and portioned quinoa has come to room temperature, transfer it to the freezer bags.
  5. Squeeze out the air from the bags. 
  6. Label the bags and chuck them into the freezer.

How to defrost frozen quinoa?

Plan ahead and thaw the frozen quinoa overnight in the fridge. If you are in a hurry, try the following defrosting methods.

  1. Place the cooked and frozen quinoa on a microwave-safe plate pr dish. Microwave it with a glass of water so that the quinoa doesn’t dry out. Alternatively, add a splash of water to the quinoa. Microwave until uniformly heated.
  2. Defrost the frozen quinoa on the stovetop using a non-stick pan.
  3. Steaming quinoa in a covered pot is a time-consuming method for thawing.

The shelf-life of quinoa

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of cooked and uncooked quinoa.

In the pantryIn the fridge In the freezer
Past printed date Past printed date Past printed date 
White quinoa 
Red quinoa 
Balck quinoa 
(Cooked )In the pantry In the fridge In the freezer 
Quinoa Not recommended 6-7 days 8-12 months 

What is quinoa and how to eat it?

Quinoa is a gluten-free seed rich in carbs and proteins. It contains all the essential 9 amino acids along with the essential nutrients like folate, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin, manganese. Therefore, it is referred to as ‘Superfood’.

Quinoa puffs up when cooked, hence, treated like a grain. Quinoa seeds come from the  Chenopodium quinoa plant. It is a great alternative to wheat, barley, and rye due to the absence of gluten.

  • To jazz up your salad bowls, add cooked quinoa. They also boost the nutritional value of the salad.
  • Quinoa can be added to breakfast porridge along with fruits, nuts, and yogurt.
  • Quinoa binds well. It can be mixed with beans, herbs, and vegetables to make veggie patties. 
  • Cook quinoa with salsa, spices, and herbs and at it as a taco meat alternative.
  • Quinoa is a great addition to your buddha bowls.
  • When added to soups and stews, quinoa adds volume to the end-product while providing a whole load of nutrients and flavor.

Health benefits of quinoa

  1. The two flavonoids, kaempferol, and quercetin, present in quinoa have excellent anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer, and anti-depressant properties.
  2. A cup of quinoa provides 2.5g of Fiber. Fibre regulates blood sugar, bowel-movements, cholesterol and assists in weight loss.
  3. One cup of quinoa provides 8g of protein. It is a complete protein with all the nine essential amino acids.
  4. Quinoa has a Glycemic Index Value of 53, which is considered low on the GI scale. Though quinoa is high in carbs, it reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases due to a low GI value.
  5. Quinoa provides magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. The antinutrients, namely phytic acid, present in quinoa affect the bioavailability of these minerals. The level of phytic acid can be reduced by soaking the quinoa seeds before cooking.


In this article, we answered the question “Does quinoa go bad?”, and how to tell If the quinoa has gone bad?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.