Basic Quinoa

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Unadorned but appealing. I love the tiny stars it makes.



Unlike millet, which positively requires pantoasting to be at its best, quinoa’s flavor is plenty good as is. Still, it does gain an extra dimension when pan-toasted. Alter washing and draining, place it in a dry cast-iron or nonstick skillet and toast, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until it is slightly more golden in color, more aromatic, and making a popping, cracking sound (about 3 minutes). Then proceed as for basic quinoa.




Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, healthy, high fiber, kosher, low-fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Moodstressed, tired

Taste and Texturelight, nutty, savory


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water, preferably spring or filtered
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly several times, swishing the grains with your hand. Drain well.

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a saucepan and drop in the washed, drained quinoa. Stir once and let the water return to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the individual grains have turned translucent, bordered by the white germ, making tiny little stars if you look closely.

Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes. Fluff and serve.



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