How to Cook Quinoa

How to Cook Quinoa

Do you know about Quinoa?
Have you ever cooked with it, or even heard of it? The stuff is popping up all the place these days! I see it in my grocery store deli case made into a beautiful salads, I read about it online and MyHandsomeHusband keeps putting it in all kinds of things. 
Because the man can not live on Cinnamon Roll Cake alone.
And neither can his wife. 

Quinoa is pronounced “Keen-wah”. It is considered a whole grain but is actually a seed that grows in a plant similar to spinach. Not only is it packed with vitamins and nutrients, but also provides the full spectrum of nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein. It has a texture similar to brown rice, but is light and fluffy with a bit of a nutty flavor. You can cook Quinoa in about 10-15 minutes, which is much less than the time it takes to cook brown rice. It can be used in salads, to thicken soups, as a side dish or as a replacement for rice.

“Why would I make this instead of rice?” you are thinking. 
“Why is Jamie Cooks It Up using ingredients I’ve never heard of!?!?!?! My kids will never eat this. For. The. Love.”

Hang in there with me. I’ve got all kinds of family friendly food waiting in the wings here for you. And who knows, maybe your kiddos will like Quinoa. You never know. Stranger things have happened.

Quinoa can be purchased in most grocery stores, but is a little bit expensive. It’s most budget friendly if purchased at Costco. This 4 pound bag of Quinoa costs around $10.

I have a wonderful salad recipe using Quinoa that I plan to post tomorrow. But for today, let me show you just how easy this little protein packed grain can be to cook. 

Time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: about 3 cups


1 1/2 C  Quinoa
3 C water
1 chicken bullion cube (or 1 t bullion granules)

1. Pour 1 1/2 C quinoa into a medium sized sauce pan.

2. Add 3 C of water to the pan.

3. Toss in about a teaspoon of chicken bullion granules, or one bullion cube.

4. Get that pan on the stove and bring it to a boil over medium high heat.

5. Reduce the heat to low, making sure it’s still simmering. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes…

or until the liquid is gone and the Quinoa seeds are translucent. 
6. Remove the pan from the heat, place the lid on and let it sit for 5 minutes. 

7. Fluff the Quinoa with a fork and you are ready to use it. 

Thanks so much for dropping by today. Look for a yummy salad recipe using Quinoa tomorrow. Have a great day, everyone!

Post a comment!


  1. 1
    January 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Great suggestion. there are a ton of healthy food websites out there. Why don't we just let them be and just stick to the yummy “real” foods we've come to know and expect from you?Just sayin'?

    • 2
      January 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Donna,
      Thanks for your suggestion. I am always interested in what my readers want to see. Have a good one!

  2. 3
    January 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I love that you are sharing new and great things! You have an amazing talent of making difficult things look easy and yummy-thank you!!!

  3. 4
    January 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Yay! I bought some about 6 months ago but then didn't know what to do with it. Looking forward to some recipes for it.

  4. 5
    January 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    We just started using Quinoa about 6 months ago–we love it. In fact, I just tried homemade chili and added quinoa to it last night. Turned out great! I'm excited to try the recipes you have using it. We love trying new grains and such that are not the ordinary things we use.

  5. 6
    January 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I have wanted to try quinoa and just never really known much about it. I love your recipes and your blog and I am excited to see what you come up with using it!! Because of what “we've come to expect from you”, I'm sure it will be fantastic! Thanks!! – Katie

  6. 7
    Amy F.
    January 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I'm not a health nut, but I do like to feed my family nutritious food, so I am happy for you to teach us how to cook with quinoa. I also bought a bag a few months ago and have never opened it. So, maybe this will give me the courage to actually do something with it!!

  7. 8
    January 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I've been eating this all week mixed with some black beans, corn and cilantro. It saves really well, and makes one tasty and easy to warm up lunch! It's also great cold. Can't wait to see what you've got!

  8. 9
    January 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I am excited about this! My 11 month old is allergic to wheat and dairy and is getting a little burned out with rice and oatmeal. Can't wait to try this with him!

  9. 10
    January 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    We love quinoa! I use it to bulk up pretty much anything that I used to use rice in. We also found an awesome recipe for Coconut & Quinoa cookies…they are a hot item at our house!

    • 11
      January 12, 2012 at 3:48 am

      can you share that cookie recipe! sounds yummy and nutritious!

  10. 12
    January 12, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Jamie, i love quinoa. I sometimes eat it for breakfast with brown sugar and peaches. I cook mine in my rice cooker using the white rice instructions. It turns out perfect every time.

  11. 13
    January 12, 2012 at 3:34 am

    I was just going to ask if it could be made In a rice cooker & Trenna answered my question. I bought some a few weeks ago since I've been hearing so much about it, so I'm excited for some fun new recipes!

  12. 14
    January 12, 2012 at 4:12 am

    We recently tried Quinoa. It was an ingredient in new soup recipe we were trying. The soup was AWESOME! We thought we would tried Quinoa plain. Huge mistake. It was so horrible. SO in things I am sure it will be great…not so much on it's own. By the way, I love your recipes. We make em' regularly around here.

  13. 15
    January 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm

  14. 16
    January 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned, but is on the package, is that you should rinse quinoa before cooking. It has a “protective coating” that leaves a bitter flavor. “The New American Heart Associaton Cookbook” has a wonderful Curried Quinoa, Cranberry, Almond Salad.

  15. 17
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