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10 New Ways to Cook Quinoa

by Tiffany in Recipes

ways to cook quinoaA few years ago I made my first dish with Quinoa. I made a rookie mistake and did not rinse the dry Quinoa thoroughly first so it had a bitter taste that no one in my family liked. Lately though I gave it another try and now it has become a weekly part of our menu. I rinse well, pop it in my VitaClay, and then add it to a variety of yummy dishes. My husband loves it with Ahi Tuna and green curry sauce. The kids and I love it in a salad. There are many ways to cook and eat this yummy grain.

Looking for some new recipes I asked on the NatureMoms Facebook page what the community’s  favorite way to cook Quinoa was. They gave me ten new ideas:

1. Cooked with brown rice in the rice cooker. Then topped steamed broccoli and sauteed veggies in sesame teriyaki sauce.

2. Wrapped in a burrito with corn and beans.

3. Steamed with fresh veggies and covered in a vinaigrette.

4. Mixed with black beans, scrambled egg, diced avocado and lots o’ hot sauce w/ a squeeze of lime.

5. In tabouli replacing the wheat.

6. Browned with a little butter first then cooked with with mushrooms, slivered almonds, and nettles.

7. Mixed half and half with homemade salsa.

8. After it is cooked… add black beans, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, sea salt, avocado, cilantro and squeeze some lime juice.

9. Fruity quinoa salad with yogurt, fruit, nuts, and dried raisins or cranberries. The quinoa is cooked w/water, apple juice, and cinnamon. YUM!

10. Cooked in chicken or veggie stock instead of water with several cloves of garlic and a bunch of my favorite herbs.

See anything you might like to try? Enjoy!

For more ideas checkout:

Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood

  • Victoria

    We love quinoa and was recently on the search for some new recipes, thank you!

  • I never had Quinoa before and I will now try one of the 10 ways to actually cook it.

  • Brooke

    Omg – I love quinoa!!!  My boyfriend won’t eat it though because of the “funny” name.  I like the name, but my boyfriend is a product of the mainstream food culture where anything out of the norm is weird.

    You have to try Angela’s High Protein Almond Berry Quinoa Salad on  It’s amazing!

  • I love tabouli, but can’t eat wheat any more, what a great substitute. I can’t wait to try it 

  • Nicoleritts

    My favorite way is to cook it then add sauteed spinach, garlic, and goat cheese.

    • susie

      that sounds delish i will have to try this i have never tried goat cheese before

  • Astra

    Awesome ideas, I’ll try the #9 for sure! I tend to pre-fry it for 10 minutes with a dash of sesame oil and minced garlic prior to boiling it. Once the water is added and it’s boiling, adding a bit of soy sauce makes it really tasty :)

  • Chatnoirrrr

    I make a pot of it at the beginning of the week and eat it for breakfast throughout the week…topped with almond milk, unsweetened shredded coconut, and raisins, zap in the microwave…it’s AMAZING!

  • alakat

    I like to dry roast it in a pan on the stove when I bring it home, the whole box.  It brings out a really nice subtle flavor.  Then just put it in a jar to use as needed.

  • Charlotte Ferreux

    I love this recipe and blog…I posted it on my community foodie blog. Hope you can come check it out

    Also, feel free to post you’re recipes or you’re favourite foodie tips on it whenever you like! 

  • Ridgley Goldsmith

    Thank you so much for this!  My husband bought a 10lb bag of quinoa at Costco and I thought I’d never end up using all of it, but now it seems possible!  My 2 year old loves it and I am headed to kitchen to cook it in apple juice and serve with fruit and yogurt.  Tonight with goat cheese and spinach as your commenter suggested.  Valuable info, thanks!

    • Mgrg40

       Okay, heading to Costco to buy that 10 pound bag! Thanks for all the great ideas everyone.

  • lorna

    Thanks for this – I kinda thought quinoa was meant to taste bitter! I didn’t know I should be rinsing first. DOH…

  • CaptainChaos

    If you’re going to mention a Facebook page, such as Nature Moms, would be nice to include a link.  I can’t find it.

    • CaptainChaos

      oops!  Sorry, forgot to mention though I enjoyed your article.  I’ve just started to cross over from terrible quinoa cooking to have created one recipe that people actually can’t wait to chow down on.  I’m looking forward to trying your suggestions to increase my Quinoa repertoire.

      • Facebook page:

        Big button at the top of the page that takes you there.

  • marie

    quinoa made in the same way that they make arroz con leche which is similiar to a rice pudding. This is a very popular way to eat it in Peru, one of the places quinoa originates.

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  • Laceylady

    I just found your site through pinterest. I have a huge bag of Quinoa from costco, cooked w/ it once and the family didnt care for it. You’ve inspired me to give it another try I cant remember if I rinsed it or not so I’ll forsure be doing that.

    • Molis

      I always buy the bag from costco too and it actually doesn’t need to be rinsed first. It doesn’t have much taste if not cooked in a stock of some sort or served with a dressing. 

    • Brany84

      Look for a recipe of quinoa and ground turkey meatloaf. Talk about a power punch of yummy protein

  • Thank you for sharing. I’ve been trying different grains to substitute rice. Currently I’ve been cooking polenta a lot. I’m going to try quinoa with your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Melo

    I make it for stuffed peppers or with fire roasted tomatos and eggplant. Super easy and high in protein. 

  • I love it with feta, tomatoes, cucumber, and freshly ground black pepper. Yum!

  • Katedgiffin

    I have never rinsed mine. I sautée chopped onions in olive oil then pour in the dry quinoa to toast it a minute or so then add chicken broth(14 oz), bring to a boil then turn to a simmer, cover it for 15 minutes and it’s PERFECT. I love it! Thanks for the other ideas.

    • Mbakerlmp

       I have never rinsed mine either… But I guess I don’t eat it plain to taste the bitterness. Always as a filler in salad, or with a stir fry.

    • Christinezantow

      Some quinoa comes pre-rinsed.  I usually find good deals on it, cheaper and less work!

  • Dawn Blum

    I sneak some into my risotto! just rinse it and put it in at the beginning with the rice

  • Mkennel28

    Is there actual recipes for these? I can’t find them…

  • Stephberry2002

    cooked in chicken (or veggie) stock and mixed with chopped spinach and diced zuchinni. Finish with a pat of butter and salt and pepper to taste. YUM!

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  • Alli

    I just made a pumpkin quinoa muffin with raisins OMG it was so good!!!! recipe is here 

  • Debbie Arnold

    Try my Taramahoota Sopa con Pollo over quinoa,  YUM!

  • njbaker

    I love quinoa caprese salad.  Just add tomatoes, mozzarella, and shredded basil with a bit of olive oil to cooked and cooled quinoa. Salt and pepper to taste and it is so clean and fresh.

  • AMFabre

    These are some great ideas for quinoa.  Thanks!

  • Carmen

    We tried this plain to supstitute rice did not like it, but I will try some of these suggestions and see if it changes Our minds about it. Thanks

  • Irishroselabs

    I make a crockpot alfredo chicken.  Like to serve it on rice.  Didn’t have rice, but had quinoa.  I now have a great replacement for rice.  Did not know you need to rinse it first.  Was not bitter and was delicious with the alfredo sauce.

  • Roxanne

    Great cooked with chicken broth, when it is done add freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped green onions, ummmm.

    • Tina

      what is your blog?  I am interested in your GF and DF recipes.

    • Connerlora

      So do you still gota rinse after boiling w/ chicken broth?

      • Yes. You want to get the saponins off.

  • Jeschica7

    I made sushi with quinoa instead of rice!!!  Just sticky enough!!! YUM!

  • Pocket Trainer

    Quinoa is such a great protein, I have been using it for a few years now and I am happy so many people have come around to it! Great recipes!

  • Puentear

    has anyone ever had an allergic reaction to Quinoa?  I just had the worst allergic reaction of my life and the only thing I had eaten the day before was a quinoa salad.  I am currently in Peru and the doctor told me that they remove the shell of the quinoa with a sort of powder and that I may be allergic to.  I’ve never had a reaction to Quinoa before though, in fact I love it (but have never over done it eating it).  Has anyone ever heard of this type of allergic reaction or perhaps I should try eating it again in a different form to see if it is Quinoa or not that I am allergic too. 

    • elanorh

      There are people allergic to things as seemingly innocuous as rice, so quinoa is a possibility (or the powder the doctor mentions).  Be careful if you try it again, you may want to consult with a doctor or allergist first. 

      You may want to start keeping a food diary so that if allergic reactions occur again, you have a clear idea of what you have eaten.  Allergies can develop to foods which people have eaten for years with no issues…..

    • Rebecca A

       My hubby broke out in the hives the first time I served quinoa.  I had rinsed it thoroughly.  D=

  • Dani

    Such a great substitute for rice. Cooks well in a crockpot too :) I just recently put together quinoa , marinated chicken and black beans in a crockpot, let it cook on a high for a few hours and it perfectly made a tasty little chicken taco alternative. Was REALLY tasty and added so much texture.

  • Cori

    Dumb question, but when you say “cooked with mushrooms, slivered almonds and nettles,” how is it cooked?  By adding stock or water?  if so how much? or  cooked dry?  

  • Allisha

    I made this chicken broccoli quinoa casserole, that I found on Pinterest, this week. It was AMAZING! Even my 2 picky boys loved it.

  • Bets

    It’s really good with eggs – but these ideas are not new – It’s just substituting quinoa for rice…

    • Fmly1st

      They are new to me!

  • wanda Harrisgolfnuts

    bought this did not know how to prepare this week cleaning cabinets threw out wish i had read this first

  • I LOVE quinoa. It’s my favorite gluten-free ingredient in the entire world. I use it for everything. I recently came up with this gluten-free flatbread recipe that uses quinoa flour and it’s amazing. My blog, which is totally gluten and dairy free, focuses primarily on quinoa and all the ways you can use it. The best ingredient on earth!

    • Faeryknight

      I’m assuming the moderator took out her blog address. Not fair. I’m always looking for GF and LF blogs. 

      • pac

        Click on her name. It’ll take you to her twitter page : )

  • Christine

    I add cooked quinoa to batters…great in pancakes, the kids love them, and it keeps them moist and fluffy.

  • Swallowdance Nw

    I use it in my breakfast parfait. Just layer with plain greek yogurt, and fresh fruit (I like blueberries and strawberries), top with nuts and dates.

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  • Pdohaney

    I like to toast the quinoa before using.  
    I simmer onion, garlic and cumin in a saucepan add the quinoa and veggie or chicken broth. This makes a delightful savoury dish.  I have been known to add dried cranberries and chevre to this lovely quinoa for a great dish. 

  • Anonymous

    Quinoa is one of my favourite ingredients to cook with. Thanks for shedding light on so many ways to use it! I have some great recipes up on my blog for anyone interested.

  • Thehurleys1998

    I would love to try Quinoa. Where do you buy it? Can someone tell me some brand names of this grain. Thanks so much

    • Quinoa advice

      that’s a tough one, there are loads of brands that sell it. For starters you could go to your local natural food store and buy it in bulk, or a package. Failing that, if your local grocery store has a natural or organic section that could be another place look (I’ve been finding that mainstream stores are carrying it more and more often) or as some posters stated above check out costco for that 10lb bag…

      • Jbsmom

        I just bought some at Walmart, it was by the rice.

  • Thehurleys1998

    I would love to try Quinoa. Where do you buy it? Can someone tell me some brand names of this grain. Thanks so much

  • Jen

    Some of those don’t tell how to cook it first though – like #2 that says wrap it in a burrito with corn and beans – but how do I cook it before I do that?  I have never had quinoa and am clueless on what to do with it.  :) 

    • Jen, you cook Quinoa just like rice and typically in a rice cooker. Most Quinoa packages will have directions.

  • Teri

    May I pin to my pinterest board?

  • V-ronica

    try quinoa in a casear salad…d-lish:)

  • starlaabbey

    I make mine with a little bit of a mexican twist..  Add 1 can of drained kidney beans, 2 cloves of sautéed garlic, 1 small jar of pimentos, and 1 small can of diced green chilies with cooked quinoa.  Add cumin, salt and pepper to taste.   Love all these ideas.  Mahalo for sharing!

  • I have substituted Quinoa anywhere I’d use rice…even in my sushi bowls. Just season it like sushi rice, throw it in a bowl with all the same items you’d pop in a roll and enjoy!

  • Jes

    I used Quinoa to make a rice pudding with coconut milk, Turned out very good

  • I much prefer the brown and black types.  Heartier and tasty!

  • C B Jnny

    It’s not a grain. Just fyi :]

  • Stacy W Hutch

    Ive used quinoa to make the family classic of mac and cheese! its delicious, just rinse and cook as normal — add milk, grated cheese stir it all up and place in oven to melt the cheese. I usually top it with a thin layer of bread crumbs to add a little crunch. 


    I tried quinoa once and it was a disaster.  I am going to try it again.  i am always looking for new and exciting ways to cook.  

  • ST

    I have that book and I *LOVE* it! So many amazing ways to add the goodness of quinoa into a variety of dishes, from breakfast to dinner to dessert. Highly recommend!

  • Myrahein

    I love quinoa, and use it for many things.  One of my favorites, is to make stuffed cabbage with it instead of rice.  Sometimes, I will replace the cabbage with collard greens and make a light lemon sauce for the top.

  • britters27

    Cook quinoa with vegetable stock then add PESTO, parmesan cheese, and a little cream.  BEST EVER.  The addition of some lemon juice, peas, and pepper are great too.

    • Jitterbuug48

      That sounds awesome!

  • Marty

     I like it cooked and cooled, then stir in dried cranberries, chopped celery, and some mayo.  To make a meal add cubed chicken.  Hubby doesn’t like it, but I do.  I will have to try quinoa for breakfast, I have multiple food allergies and get mighty sick of eggs every day.

    • Elainecharbonneau

       I have quinoa for breakfast every morning…mashed banana and cooked quinoa in microwave for fifty seconds, then I add 1 tbsp of peanut butter and melt it in microwave for thirty five seconds and pour over quinoa banana…I love it and it keeps me from starving for a few hours…I love it!

  • Kim Cashin

    I just recently tried quinoa and love it!  Thanks for the suggestions.  :)

  • Shannon

    I like toasting it in the frying pan after I cook it.  Then add chopped red onion, cilantro, corn, black beans.  Sometimes chopped tomatoes.  Sort of “southwestern”.

  • Barlaah

    While having fun with food I made tacos out of the red quiona with my favorite taco mix. I also pan seared them until they were crunchy great flavor and a nice crunch to a salad.  They do pop when cooking so a fry screen is needed.

  • I’m partial to the new salad that CPK is doing with quinoa. The quinoa is cold with cilantro, feta, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, pine nuts & tossed with a vinaigrette. It is a nice cold dish to serve during this hot summer!

  • Lonestaraida

    Where do you buy it , can’t fnd it at my WalMart ?

  • Joceline

    Awesome! Thanks :)

  • k’smama

    I’ve got a question:   all of my colanders have holes too large for quinoa.  are you just covering it in water, swishing it around, then draining it?  Been wondering about this for a little while.  Thanks!!

    • I use a mesh strainer or mesh colander. The holes are too small for the Quinoa to pass through. Here is an example of one:

  • June522

    That bitter film you washed off of the quinoa is called saponin, a natural insectaside that the plant produces.  Interestingly, that same saponin is in “Soap Nuts” a natural way to wash your clothes.  So….don’t eat it, but save the rinse water and do a load of laundry with it.  Really!

    • payton

      Interesting. Thanks for the tip!

  • For tasty and easy to make quinoa try urbane grain….sundried tomato & basil is one of the 6 flavors

  • steph

    I really like cooking it with spinach and adding feta cheese on top!

  • nannaworley

    I have to eat high protein and I have been told that this is as high as eggs. I would love a change, would it work for me?

  • Kimberly W

    Thanks for sharing.
    All the best,Kim
    A Spicy Boy, A Cat, and My Fat Ass

  • Rochelle ‘shelly’ Durski

    i love using quinoa instead of rice when making my rican rice and beans.

  • Laudulitosh

    I don’t know how people eat quinoa and like it. I tried it once and almost die!!! My hubbie did too. I didn’t like the taste or texture, maybe it was the recipe but it’s at the top of my “Never eating that again” list. Nice blog :)

  • Kelliefish13

    Yay lots of nw recipes to try. You can also get Quinoa cereal (ground up) that makes great baby food especially when mixed with banana or stewed apple. Just cook it the same way as rice cereal.

  • Jacquelyn Peterman

    I’ve had it with smoked salt, spinach and arugula leaves, tomatoes and a cranberry vinagarette.

    Also I had it with brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Tastes like oatmeal.

  • newbie

    While it is still warm, stir in fresh spinach, cranberries and walnuts…yum

  • Anna @GreenTalk

    I love toasting it first then cooking it in broth.  So much better than water.

  • Joellx2

    Never heard of it, what is it.  After rinseing it, does it have any kind of flavor on its own, or is it something that you add to food like flax seed.

    • It is like rice with an earthier flavor. You typically add it to other foods just like you do rice.

  • mygirl

    I make it in my rice cooker and add an extra 1/2 cup of water. I serve it with steamed veges and chicken in a ginger,garlic,honey and sweet chili marinade. Or with lemon juice and steamed green veges. Yummy