How long to cook quinoa?

In the brief guide, we are going to answer the question ‘How long to cook quinoa’ with a detailed analysis of what safety measures are to keep in mind when preparing it.

How long to cook quinoa?

It takes about 10 to 20 minutes to cook quinoa (small amounts of quinoa will take about 10 minutes while larger amounts take between 15 to 20 minutes to cook). 

Which Steps are important to know when cooking quinoa?

Rinse the quinoa

You’re probably wondering why we rinse the quinoa before cooking it. Quinoa can be bitter if not thoroughly rinsed before cooking because it has a natural coating of a substance called saponin that prevents birds from eating it. Simply place 1 cup quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under cool water a few times.

Use the proper cooking liquid and ratio

Begin with a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water or other cooking liquid (chicken broth, milk, etc). I use one cup of quinoa and two cups of liquid to make about three cups of cooked quinoa. If you want to make a larger batch, you can double the recipe. Using different liquids adds more flavor dimension to the quinoa, but water is also delicious:


When I make breakfast quinoa, I usually cook it in milk. I’m especially fond of coconut milk!


If I’m making it as a savory side dish, I’ll cook it in a chicken or vegetable broth to bring out the flavor of the salt.


Cooking your quinoa in water works well as well (and is what we’re doing in this tutorial).

Quinoa should be readily cooked

If you’ve ever wondered how long to cook quinoa, I’ve got the exact timing as well as a tip for you! Here’s how to go about it:

  • Bring quinoa and water or broth to a boil in a pot.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover, and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat after 15 minutes and leave it covered for another 5-10 minutes. No snooping!

Using a fork, fluff the quinoa

When the quinoa is cooked, it will pop and expand. Fluff the quinoa with a fork to help separate the grains. 

How to cook quinoa in a rice cooker?

Simply place your quinoa in the rice cooker, turn it on, and leave it alone. There is no need for a timer, temperature adjustments, or boiling over. Follow these simple steps for more information.

  • Thoroughly rinse the quinoa.
  • Butter or cooking spray the inside of the rice cooker.
  • 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid should be added to the rice cooker.
  • Turn on the rice cooker and select the white rice setting.
  • When the rice cooker indicates that the cycle is complete, open it up and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Quinoa, unlike rice, cannot be kept warm in the rice cooker. Remove the quinoa from the rice cooker immediately so it does not become mushy.

How to cook quinoa in an instant pot?

Quinoa cooks almost as quickly as rice in the Instant Pot. We’re talking about a 1-minute pressure cook time (although the entire cycle takes about 15 to 20 minutes). Simply follow these steps, keeping in mind the liquid-to-quinoa ratio: this method requires equal parts quinoa and liquid.

  • Thoroughly rinse the quinoa.
  • Butter or cooking spray the inside of the Instant Pot.
  • To the insert, add 1 cup quinoa to 1 cup liquid in a 1:1 ratio.
  • The lid should be closed and locked.
  • Set the timer for 1 minute.
  • Allow the steam to naturally escape.
  • Open the Instant Pot, fluff the quinoa, and then remove it from the pot.

How to cook quinoa in the microwave?

  • Thoroughly rinse the quinoa.
  • To make 1 cup of quinoa, you’ll need 2 cups of liquid, so use a bowl large enough to hold at least 4 cups of liquid so it doesn’t boil over.
  • Cover the bowl with a plate and add the quinoa. Then keep 6 minutes in the microwave. Cover the quinoa after carefully opening it and stirring it.
  • Cover again and microwave on high for 3 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving or incorporating into a recipe.

How should cooked quinoa be stored?

Allow the quinoa to cool completely before placing it in an airtight container. Then simply place it in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Can cooked quinoa be frozen?

Yes, allow it to cool completely before placing it in airtight, freezer-friendly bags or containers to freeze. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before reheating in the microwave.


In the brief guide, we discussed answering the question ‘How long to cook quinoa’ with a detailed analysis of what safety measures are to keep in mind when preparing it.


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.