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Here’s how to season quinoa so it tastes irresistible! This recipe will convince even quinoa haters take another bite.

How to season quinoa
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Are you a quinoa fan? Quinoa quickly went from a niche food to one of the most popular whole grains out there! Whether you’re a lover or a hater, one thing is true. Quinoa right out of the pot is pretty bland. You’ve got to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make it taste amazing. Here’s our number 1 way of how to season quinoa: just a few simple ingredients transform it from bland to bursting with flavor! Even quinoa haters will want to take another bite…promise.

How to season quinoa: our top tips!

Here’s the thing: quinoa can taste a little bitter. Rinsing the quinoa before cooking it can help, the flavor can still have a twinge of bitterness right out of the pot. We’ve got a few tricks for how to season quinoa to perfection. What can you add to quinoa to make it taste better?

  • Butter: The lightly sweet flavor and richness of butter perfectly offsets the bitterness and dryness of quinoa. You can use coconut oil or olive oil for vegan. Olive oil can have a bitter aftertaste, so we prefer coconut oil.
  • Garlic powder: Garlic powder adds a nice savory note to quinoa. You can also use a bit of minced fresh garlic.
  • Dried oregano: Oregano adds a nuance of flavor and a Mediterranean flair.
  • Kosher salt: One of the biggest mistakes people make with quinoa: they don’t add enough salt! Add just enough so it tastes flavorful but not salty.
  • Feta cheese crumbles (optional): Take quinoa over the top with a sprinkle of savory feta cheese! It’s optional but makes it completely irresistible.
How to season quinoa

Best fresh herbs to serve with quinoa

The ingredients above work for the base method for how to season quinoa. Want to take it over the top? Add fresh herbs! Finely chopped fresh herbs add the very best fresh, herbaceous flavor to quinoa that take it to superstar status. Here are the best herbs to pair with quinoa:

Cooked quinoa

Variations: more ways to season quinoa!

So, that’s how to season quinoa! The butter and dried herbs are probably something you already have on hand. If you have fresh herbs, even better! This way to season quinoa is the one we use the most: it’s perfect for making quinoa into a side for easy weeknight dinners. But looking for something different? Here are a few variations on how to season quinoa:

Let us know if you try this method for how to season quinoa in the comments below. What else do you like to use?

Perfect Seasoned Quinoa

More recipes with quinoa

Love quinoa and want to use it in more recipes? Here are some of our favorite quinoa recipes:

  • Quinoa Salad Our go-to! A mix of crunchy Mediterranean-style veggies and fluffy quinoa.
  • Kale Quinoa Salad Full of healthy ingredients and tastes incredible! Meal prep this easy plant-based lunch idea for meals all week.
  • Quinoa Tabbouleh This bright, Mediterranean-style salad is a deliciously healthy side dish.
  • Loaded Quinoa Tacos A delicious vegetarian taco recipe, featuring quinoa taco filling, bell pepper slaw, spicy sour cream, and feta.
  • Quinoa Fried Rice Uses protein-packed quinoa as a delicious alternative to rice! It’s full of veggies and an easy way to a healthy meal.
  • Vegetarian Enchiladas with Quinoa A major crowd-pleaser! Stuffed with satisfying quinoa and artichoke filling.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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How to season quinoa

How to Season Quinoa

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Here’s how to season quinoa so it tastes irresistible! This recipe will convince even quinoa haters take another bite.


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry)*
  • 1 tablespoon butter (olive oil or coconut oil for vegan)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional: ¼ cup finely chopped fresh herbs, like chives, basil, dill, oregano, thyme, cilantro, or Italian parsley, ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles


  1. Rinse the quinoa using a fine mesh strainer, then drain completely. Place quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 15 to 17 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.
  2. Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  3. Stir in the butter, dried oregano, garlic powder, and kosher salt. If using fresh herbs, stir in the herbs (and feta cheese, if using). Taste and add additional salt if necessary.


*Other seasoning options: Mix the quinoa with ¼ cup basil pesto, or stir in 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, herbes de Provence, or Greek seasoning.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Judy says:


  2. Gabby says:

    Thank you for this recipe, it is delicious! Have struggled to get through finishing any quinoa I’ve made until now, so good!

  3. Gina De La o says:

    I just want you to know this is the first time I’m making quinoa and it turned out great! I seasoned it as you suggested and added a couple drops of lemon juice.

  4. Margaret says:

    Thank you for this most help and comprehensive guide to seasoning cooked quinoa. It was just what I was looking for.

  5. Teresa Daniel says:

    How much water do we use if it’s 2X’s amount of your recipe? Thanks ahead of time.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      4 cups

  6. Melissa T. says:

    Followed this recipe exactly and it turned out so yummy and tasty! I’m hooked now, thank you!

  7. Macho Garcia says:

    Thank you so much! Today was my first time cooking quinoa and I googled “how to season quinoa” and your blog helped me so much. Came out delicious!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad to hear it!

  8. Laurie Deming says:

    Quinoa….ugh! Tried it again with your suggestions. Lots better! Then put butter and ‘everything bagel’ on it. Yum! Thanks for getting me to taste it again!

  9. Sandra says:

    SO GOOOOOD! I just finished eating it, so so delicious!! Thank you!

    1. Val Rosenbaum says:

      Thank you for really doing such a nice job making the food and recipe the star of your blog. Also, this was delicious. Your tips a various ways to do recipes really is just well done!

    2. Annabell says:

      Thank you 😊

    3. Heather baldwin says:

      Great recipy