Want to cook fluffy, perfect quinoa without a recipe? All you need is this quinoa to water ratio, which works every time.

Quinoa to water ratio

Wondering how to make quinoa without a recipe? All you need is that quinoa to water ratio, which works every time. Here is is:

Quinoa to water ratio:
1 part quinoa to 2 parts water

That means if you’re planning to cook 1 cup of quinoa, you’ll combine it with 2 cups of water in a pot. Simple as that! Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Should you rinse quinoa before cooking? There are mixed opinions, but we say Yes, rinse! We find the quinoa cooks more evenly.
  • Do you have to boil the water first? No! Place the quinoa and water in a pot together and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer.
  • How long do you cook quinoa? 15 to 20 minutes, once the water is all cooked out. (You can check with a fork while it’s cooking.)

Want a recipe? Scroll down to our full recipe below!

Quinoa to water ratio

Quinoa serving sizes

But how much quinoa to cook? It’s all in the math. Here are a few handy formulas to remember:

  • How much does 1 cup of dry quinoa make? 1 cup dry quinoa = about 3 cups cooked quinoa. Quinoa increases in volume about 3 times when it’s cooked.
  • How much is 1 serving of quinoa? If you’re serving quinoa as a side dish, plan for ¾ cup to 1 ½ cups per person.
  • How much dry quinoa do I need for 2 cups cooked? Since quinoa increases 3 times when cooked, divide the cooked volume by three. 2/3 cup dry quinoa = 2 cups cooked quinoa

Quinoa recipes

Now that you know the quinoa to water ratio, here are a few of our favorite quinoa recipes to use that quinoa!

Got a pressure cooker or Instant Pot?

You can make quinoa in an Instant Pot too! That’s got a different quinoa to water ratio; here’s our recipe! Instant Pot Quinoa

Want to see the quinoa to water ratio in action?

See the video below the recipe! We’ll show you how to make quinoa, and then whip up our fan-favorite quinoa tacos recipe.

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Quinoa to water ratio

Quinoa to Water Ratio

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Want to cook fluffy, perfect quinoa without a recipe? All you need is this quinoa to water ratio, which works every time.


  • 1 cup quinoa (white, red, or mixed)
  • 2 cups water
  • Kosher salt


  1. Rinse quinoa using a fine mesh strainer, then drain it completely.
  2. Place quinoa in a saucepan with 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 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.)
  3. Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste, or a drizzle of olive oil as desired.
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Quinoa to Water Ratio, How to Cook Quinoa, Quinoa Recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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