How to cook quinoa

How to cook quinoa

We love “keen-wa” – that’s the way you say it – from Peru where it is highly valued as a staple. And rightly so, for it is rich in protein. It’s a complete protein in fact, high in magnesium, a good source of fibre and gluten free. You may think it’s a grain, but it’s actually a seed. It has a wonderful mouthfeel – fluffy and nutty with a bit of bite.


  1. Rinse 1 cup quinoa in a sieve until the water runs clear. Bring 3 cups water (or stock if you prefer, chicken or vegetable) to a boil in a suitable saucepan.

    Step 1

  2. Add ½ t salt and the rinsed and drained quinoa. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and translucent and the germ separates from the seed. The germ will look like a tiny curl. Resist the temptation to stir it.

    Step 2

  3. Drain and return to the pan. Cover the pan with a clean tea towel and replace the lid. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, then fluff up using a fork. Serve it as a side instead of rice or pasta.

    Step 3

  4. You can also turn it onto a platter and pile with roasted vegetables such as Mediterranean sweet peppers, brinjals and baby marrows. Or autumn-style, with chunks of pumpkin and butternut, carrots and parsnips. If you like, serve it with basil or coriander pesto, or a hot sauce such as harissa. Or try this sweet breakfast quinoa.

    Discover more quinoa recipes here

    Step 4

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