Exactly How to Make Perfect Quinoa

Rinsing removes this gluten-free pseudo-grain's natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter. (Quinoa is technically a seed.) Although most boxed quinoa is prerinsed, it doesn't hurt to give it an extra rinse at home. Allowing the quinoa to steam helps it absorb any remaining traces of liquid and plump up.

Perfect Quinoa
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa

  • 1 ¾ cups water

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Place quinoa in a fine wire-mesh strainer; rinse under running water 1 minute. Drain. Bring quinoa, 1 3/4 cups water, and salt to a boil in a saucepan over high. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until liquid is mostly absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat, and let steam, covered, 10 minutes. Drain any excess cooking liquid.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

156 Calories
3g Fat
27g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 156
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 6g 12%
Total Fat 3g 4%
Sodium 122mg 5%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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