How To Cook Quinoa

by | Jan 12, 2012 | 11 comments

Cooking Quinoa

Quinoa Seeds


I have been buying quinoa and quinoa flakes for a while now. Sadly, the packets die a slow death in the pantry. Honestly, I can’t tell you why I am so apprehensive to cook it. Maybe my fussy offsprings are to blame. But I still buy quinoa, like clockwork. Maybe I am an eternal idealist. Maybe I have too much going on in my pantry. Well this is the year, that changes.

Believe it or not, but quinoa makes me think of Heidi Swanson. Lateral thinking at its very best. Her blog 101 Cookbooks was where I first read about it and realised that quinoa, amaranth and millet were actually all different. My mum used to give me a breakfast bar that we used to call “guldhani” and I can’t be sure whether it was made of quinoa or amaranth. I must admit at this point that as a child I wasn’t a big fan of those breakfast bars but my mum seemed to love them a lot. And maybe that is the reason why I shied away from cooking quinoa because I feared history would repeat itself with my progeny.

Quinoa in water.

Seeing the art of quinoa condensed to three sentences in a little box in Heidi’s Super Natural Every Day Cookbook, I decided to take a leap of faith. It looked non-daunting and suddenly I wanted to make a big bowl of quinoa. Cooking quinoa is very much like cooking couscous, except you actually cook it on heat. So I cooked quinoa, stored it in the fridge for 3 days and made Garlic And Thyme Quinoa Patties for a snack after we returned from a sun kissed trip to Whale Beach.

Rivs who is growing taller and ganglier as he approaches eight, proclaimed he wanted to eat the patties for dinner every night. He wolfed down quite a few and really took a shine to them. Gummi Bear whose main food group is dairy in cheese, milkshake, yogurt and more cheese format; tried. He really did and I was proud of him for that. But he has a while to go before he can love quinoa. At least, there is hope.

Cooked, fluffy quinoa.

Quinoa Curlicues

How To Cook Quinoa - Cook Republic


Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Course // Meal Prep, Pantry, Seed And Grain, Staples
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 cups


  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes


  • Wash and rinse the quinoa several times in cold water. This removes the bitter outer layer of the seed.
  • Add washed quinoa, water and sea salt flakes to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and and 15-20 minutes until water disappears, the quinoa is tender and you can see the little curlicues.
  • Remove from heat. Cool and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.
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I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul

    This is a great guide. It took me a while to also get the hang of cooking with it but now I feel quite comfortable. Gorgeous clicks Sneh!

  2. Martyna @ WholesomeCook

    Great shots Sneh! I have been buying and cooking quinoa “rice” for the kids and I for a while, but it’s the Mr who doesn’t quite trust round grains. Quinoa and all types of cous cous are served very sparingly on his plate. The patties sound good though!

    • Sneh

      ha ha, men are big babies aren’t they? The patties might convert him though.

  3. Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    I know what Quinoa is, I see it in recipes, but as yet have actually had a go at using it myself. Thanks for your easy guide to cooking it, has made it a lot easy for me to give it a go.

  4. K&B

    Quinoa is cooked almost exactly like rice, thats what we love about it. Simple ingredients, cooked in the simplest ways.

  5. Nikki

    For a little extra nuttiness to your quinoa, put a little oil in the pot and toast the quinoa first. Then add the water & salt and continue with the recipe. It also adds flavor to it if you do 1/2 chicken broth instead of all water. I eat quinoa almost every day.

    • Sneh

      Love these little hints. Thanks Nikki!

  6. marla

    A great post ~ I cook quinoa often. Awesome tips on how to make it perfect every time!

  7. wendy

    Ive always wanted to try to cook quinoa but I been a bit apprehensive…..I think I might give it a go now….thank you for this post



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