How To Cook Quinoa in Rice Cooker, Instant Pot, Microwave & On Stove

Quinoa is a gluten-free seed that you can cook using many different methods if you are looking for the best and suitable way to cook quinoa, you are in the right place. Now let’s learn together how to cook quinoa in 4 different ways.

1. How To Cook Quinoa & FAQs 

   What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is a type of seed derived from a blooming plant known as goosefoot. When it comes to cooking, quinoa seeds serve as whole grains. Therefore, the cooking process used for barley or brown rice can be applied for cooking quinoa as well.

Quinoa is available in the market as seeds, flour as well as flakes. They may be white, black, red or golden. The incredible amount of dietary fiber, protein, Vitamins & minerals present in quinoa surpasses several whole-grain varieties. That said quinoa is somewhat costlier than other grains.   

   Is Quinoa better for you than rice?

Yes, when compared to white rice, quinoa is much better. The reason being that quinoa comprises of higher amounts of protein, extensive fiber, and is more nutritious than white rice. Additionally, quinoa has lesser calorie content and carbohydrates than white rice.

In terms of brown rice, both share similar amounts of micronutrients, dietary fiber, and calorie count. Yet, quinoa is a tad bit healthier as it is a complete protein while brown rice consists of some amino acids. Moreover, quinoa has lesser carbohydrates than brown rice.

   Do you have to rinse quinoa?

Yes, quinoa needs to be rinsed before cooking. Rinsing the quinoa helps clean it by removing residues or impurities. Additionally, rinsing quinoa is necessary to remove the seed’s bitterness.

Certain brands sell rinsed quinoa seeds which can be cooked directly without rinsing. So, check your quinoa packet before rinsing.

    How to rinse quinoa?

Before rinsing the quinoa seeds, soak them in a bowl of water for 1-2 minutes. Then, transfer the soaked quinoa to a mesh strainer or colander. Place it under running cool tap water and rinse for 30-40 seconds. While rinsing, rub the quinoa seeds with your hands to get rid of the bitterness. Drain or shake off the excess water.

   Is Quinoa good for weight loss?

Yes, quinoa can significantly assist in losing weight- 

  • Quinoa being protein-rich, it aids in boosting the body’s metabolism. Thereby, helps curb hunger pangs.
  • Quinoa being fibrous helps in digestion which in turn plays a vital role in weight loss. It makes one feel fuller for longer duration and reduces odd-hour snacking.

Furthermore, various health professionals & nutritionists suggest gluten-free quinoa for weight loss. It is a healthy substitute for various whole grains that contain high amounts of carbohydrates.

2. How to Cook Quinoa in the Rice Cooker


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • A pinch of salt (optional)
  • A rice cooker & a fork

How long to cook quinoa in the rice cooker

It takes 30 minutes to cook quinoa in the rice cooker.


Step 1: After you have rinsed the quinoa, put it in the rice cooker.

Step 2: Add the water and season with salt. Mix everything and ensure the quinoa seeds are submerged in water rather than sticking to the sides.

Step 3: Now, plug in the rice cooker, close the lid and turn on the cook button. (*If your rice cooker has a ‘white rice’ button, you can press that instead).

Step 4: The quinoa will be ready in about 30 minutes. (There is no need to babysit the quinoa as the rice cooker will automatically switch to warm mode after the quinoa seeds are done)

Step 5: After the quinoa is cooked through, turn off the rice cooker, and let it sit for 2-3 minutes covered. Then, remove the lid, fluff up the quinoa, and serve.

Quinoa Recipes

Tip: If you want to make sure the quinoa seeds don’t stick to the rice cooker, spray a few drops of olive/coconut oil in the rice cooker’s bowl before adding the quinoa seeds. The oil also adds a distinctive flavor.

3. How to cook Quinoa in the Microwave


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • A microwave-safe bowl/container with lid & a fork

How long to cook quinoa in the microwave

It takes 8 minutes to cook quinoa in the microwave.


Step 1: Put the rinsed quinoa seeds in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the water and cover with the lid.

Step 2:  Place the bowl in the microwave and set the timer to 6 minutes on high (or maximum power).

Step 3:  After the 6 minutes are over, take out the bowl from the microwave, remove the lid, and stir the quinoa.

Step 4:  Cover the bowl with the lid and transfer it back to the oven for 2 more minutes.

Step 5:  When the cooking is over, take the quinoa out of the microwave, and let it sit on the kitchen top covered for 5-10 minutes. To finish, uncover, fluff the quinoa with a spoon/fork, and serve.

Tip: 1 cup of quinoa yields about 3-4 cups of cooked quinoa which can serve 6-8 members. Hence, measure and cook accordingly.

4. How to cook quinoa in Instant Pot


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1½ cup of filtered water

How long to cook quinoa in Instant pot

It takes just 15-16 minutes to cook quinoa in an instant pot.


Step 1: After the quinoa is rinsed properly, transfer it to the instant pot, and pour 1½ cup of water. Next, close the lid and turn the valve to ‘sealing’.

Step 2: Now, press on manual mode (or you may choose pressure cook mode) and cook for 1 minute on high pressure. (*The 1-minute timer will begin after about 4-5 minutes as the Instant pot needs that time to build the pressure inside)

Step 3: After the 1 minute cooking time if over, allow the instant pot to release the pressure naturally. (*natural pressure release takes about 10 minutes)

Step 4: Once the pressure is released, uncover the instant pot, fluff the quinoa, and serve.

Tips: For more flavor, you may substitute the water with an equal amount of chicken/vegetable broth.  

5. How to cook quinoa on the Stove


  • 1 cup quinoa seeds (rinsed)
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth (or water)
  • A pinch of salt (optional)

How long to cook quinoa on the stove

It takes about 20 minutes to cook quinoa on the stove.


Step 1: Pour the vegetable broth in a medium-sized pot. Add the rinsed quinoa seeds, season with salt and mix.

Step 2: Place the pot on the stove on high heat and bring it to a rolling boil.

Step 3: As soon as you notice the bubbling water, adjust the heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for 14-15 minutes.

Step 4: Turn off the stove but do not uncover the pot. Let the cooked quinoa rest for 10 minutes. Lastly, uncover, fluff up, and enjoy. 

Tip: A good indication of the quinoa’s doneness is that once the seeds are cooked, they open-up making the kernel’s germ visible.

If you know how to cook quinoa, you can easily have a good meal. Because it is flexible for cooking with different methods, you can do it very often during the week. I hope you all can learn and apply the recipe well.  Thank you for reading.

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