How to Cook Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa

Cooking quinoa perfectly is super easy to do, once you know these steps.


I’ll admit, it can be easy to mess it up, especially if you don’t rinse it properly. But even if you do that, I promise you’ll never do it again and you’ll learn the lesson fast.

Tip #1: Rinse really well be you start cooking

Quinoa has a coating on it which tastes really sour and unpleasant. This coating needs to be rinsed off completely before cooking. If you don’t rinse properly your quinoa will taste sour and no amount of tasty toppings will make it better.

Depending where your quinoa is sourced from will depend on how well you need to rinse it. Use a sieve and pay attention to the water colour, it will go from a bit murky and cloudy to clear. That’s how you know your quinoa is ready to be cooked.


Tip #2: You need an accurate ratio for it to work

Cooking quinoa is like cooking rice. You need an accurate ratio for it to work. A perfect ratio means you end up with a fluffy steamed bowl of quinoa at the end and not a soggy mess.


Tip #3: Toast your quinoa before you add water

Toast your quinoa before you add water. This will add a nutty flavour to your quinoa and make it taste nutty and delicious. You can do this toasting step will all of your grains / rice.


Tip #4: Use a very well fitted lid

A well fitted lid and exactly 15 minutes. We’re cooking quinoa with an absorption method, which means, with a perfect ratio of quinoa : water + a good lid + 15 minutes. Your quinoa will be cooked to perfection.


Tip #5: Rest

Rest – once quinoa is cooked leave the pot to rest for 10 minutes with the lid on. It’s important you don’t peek or lift the lid. You want all the heat and steam to stay in the pot and gently finish cooking the quinoa.


How to Cook Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa

Learn how to make the most perfectly fluffy quinoa, every time with this ratio.
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lunch Lady Lou


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cups water / broth / stock
  • Optional flavour boosters - 1 bay leaf / garlic clove / lemon slices


  • Rinse quinoa well using a sieve until water runs clear.
  • Add quinoa, water and optional flavour boosters to a pot with a good fitting lid.
  • Bring to boil, put lid on and simmer for 15 minutes.

Once 15 minutes is up, allow quinoa to rest (with lid on, don’t peek) for another 10 minutes.

  • ** if this is your first time cooking quinoa, you may want to take a quick peek inside the pot and see if it looks cooked and the water has absorbed. It should look wet, but not soggy or any water visible. If there is, put lid on and cook for up to another 5 minutes. The sweet-spot for cooking quinoa is between 15 - 20 minutes - this will vary depending on the kind of stove top you use and your pot.
  • Use quinoa is salads, soups or one pot oven dishes. Store quinoa in fridge for 3-5 days.
  • If you don’t eat all the quinoa, portion into serves and freeze in snap lock bags or containers for later use.
Tried this recipe?Mention @lunchladylou or tag #lunchladylou!


Hey I'm Lou

Hey, I’m Lou

Lover of crispy bacon, homemade popcorn and Mama to BJ.  I’m here to empower you to cook delicious and doable meals for the modern day – even when you’re busy.

can’t find time to cook? this is for you.. it’s free!

The Meal Matrix is a free downloadable guide to help you create effortless meal ideas and flavour combinations

Download Your Free Meal Prep Guide Here.