What happens if you eat expired quinoa? (+3 Tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “What happens if you eat expired quinoa?”, and how to tell if cooked quinoa has gone bad?

What happens if you eat expired quinoa?

Eating expired quinoa won’t make you sick because quinoa(uncooked) stays good years past its expiry If stored correctly. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of quinoa past its expiry.

(Raw)In the pantryIn the fridge In the freezer
Past Printed DatePast Printed DatePast Printed Date
White quinoa 2-3 years2-3 years
Red quinoa 2-3 years2-3 years
Black quinoa 2-3 years2-3 years
(Cooked)In the pantry In the fridge In the freezer
Quinoa 6-7 days 8-12 months 

Read on If you want to know how to store quinoa to get the longest out of its shelf-life and how to identify spoiled cooked quinoa.

How to properly store quinoa?

When it comes to storing quinoa, keeping it dry is the best practice for uncooked quinoa. For extremely dry food products such as quinoa, even a tiny bit of moisture will be absorbed by this super grain and then the rest is history. 

Moisture will promote the growth of molds and it will just be catastrophic from thereon. Just store the quinoa in a cool dark place, away from the sources of direct light. Constant changes in temperature also decrease the shelf life of stored products.

When quinoa is dry and uncooked, it will last for a good 2-3 years before it even starts to go bad. There would be a best by the date mentioned on the packaging. 

This best-by date is just a rough estimate for a top-quality product and does not mean that the product will immediately go bad as soon as this date passes. 

Under proper storage conditions, the quinoa will still be good for months after this date has passed. 

It is also important to store fresh if you want to store it at all. Don’t just leave them sitting at the dining table, take care of them! Wait for the dish to cool down for 10-20 minutes if it’s hot, and then place it in the fridge.

Can you freeze cooked quinoa?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze cooked quinoa. But you should take into consideration the precautions that you need to take before storing any item in the freezer. First and foremost, you need to decide how long you want to store it. 

If you want to store it for 3-4 days and are going to put cooked quinoa in the freezer, you will simply be wasting time on freezer bags and other wrappings and then thawing it again. 

Make sure you keep the cooked quinoa in an airtight container. You can also use freezer bags or plastic wraps for this purpose. When quinoa is stored like this in the freezer, there is a good chance that it will last for 8-10 months in the freezer. 

When you take out frozen quinoa, the best and the recommended way is to defrost them overnight in the fridge. This is because the fridge will ensure an even temperature throughout the night, eliminating the chances of contamination.

How to tell if cooked quinoa has gone bad? 

Do you have cooked quinoa that has been sitting in the fridge or the freezer for a while now? You don’t even remember putting them there in the first place, so what should you do now? Well, there are several key indicators that you need to keep in mind when analyzing cooked or uncooked quinoa. 

  1. Discoloration: You can easily tell if cooked quinoa is spoiled by looking at the appearance of your dish. If the texture is not smooth and the color of your dish has changed, it means that your quinoa has gone bad. 
  1. Odor: If the aroma of the dish is not the same as it was when you cooked it, it means that your quinoa has gone bad and you need to discard it.
  1. Mold: When quinoa is cooked, it does absorb moisture and the nutrients become more available. This, in turn, increases the chances of mold growth. 

The presence of mold can be detected by the appearance of colored patches. They are usually black, pink, or grey-ish in color. If you see such a change in your cooked quinoa, you should immediately discard it.


In this article, we answered the question “What happens if you eat expired quinoa?”, and how to tell if cooked 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.