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Master Recipe: Perfect Quinoa

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Master Recipe: Perfect Quinoa

Quin-o-what? If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re probably already familiar with this tasty grain (actually truly a seed, but who’s counting?). But while it’s gaining popularity, it’s not so much of a household word quite yet…though hopefully someday it will be!

According to some, quinoa (KEEN-wah) is one of the world’s most perfect foods, due to its high nutritional content. Compared to other vegetables, it’s high in protein, calcium, Vitamin B, and iron. It’s also gluten-free. And — fun fact — apparently the Incas thought it was sacred, because eating it regularly appeared to provide a long, healthy life.

Whatever the case, it’s also a delicious way to get those nutrients your body needs. We love incorporating it in recipes (like salads), but it’s a great side dish option. It can be prepared in about 20 minutes and tastes wonderful with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Quinoa is very easy to prepare, but we’ve had some issues with it being too watery when cooked according to the package instructions. We did a little research and came up with a revised method that works every time! (At least, it hasn’t failed yet…) Give it a try for a quick, healthy side, or try quinoa in one of these recipes:

Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl with Peach Salsa
Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas
Roasted Harvest Vegetables with Quinoa

Perfect Quinoa
Serves about four as a side

What You Need
2 cups quinoa (white, red, or mixed)
3 cups water
Kosher salt

What To Do

1  Rinse the 2 cups quinoa and drain completely. (This step is optional, since we’ve omitted it and still had good results).

2  Place quinoa in a saucepan with 3 cups water and a few pinches kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot, and simmer for about 13 to 15 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed.

3 Turn of the heat and let sit covered to cool for about 5 minutes (make sure to leave the lid on the entire cooking and sitting time). After 5 minutes, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and add some salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as a side with a bit of olive oil and some herbs or spices, or as part of another recipe.

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Comments 12

  1. Mary

    I enjoy quinoa but have never cooked it this way. Next time :-). I am new to your blog so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your users and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  2. Ashley

    This is almost exactly how I cook quinoa, and you’re right, it is perrrfect! I use 1:2 ratio of quinoa:liquid and cook for 15min. :) SO fluffy! This works for millet too! [cook time is about 20min though]

  3. Anonymous

    This really does make the best, most perfect, fluffy quinoa.

    I used to make perfect quinoa but recently I lost my touch and it’s been turning out wrong every time. I then tried many variations with cooking time and water ratio. But none have been this good. I was getting frustrated and stopped cooking quinoa until now :-)

    Thank you for giving me back quinoa.

  4. Nadine

    Finally!! A recipe that works…i have tried so many, but this is the best. Light and fluffy quinoa. Thank you!

  5. Katie @ Whole Nourishment

    Yep, I’ve had the most success cooking quinoa this way as well, using way less water than the package directions call for and letting it fluff up covered off the heat. Glad to know this has been tested and is true for others as well. And I’ve found rinsing is necessary when the package directions call for it. I think some companies pre-rinse their quinoa (i.e. Costco brand?) while other companies don’t.

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