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Ready in just 15 minutes, quinoa is a quick-cooking whole grain with a nutty taste. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) offers everything a busy cook could possibly need. Whether it’s a salad, veggie burger, or fried “rice”, this grain holds its own as a side dish or as the base of the main course.

And cooking this nutrient-dense grain? It’s so easy. In fact, if you can cook rice, you know how to make quinoa.

Quinoa to Water Ratio

You hardly need a recipe to cook quinoa perfectly. All you need to know is this simple quinoa to water ratio:

2 cups liquid

1 cup quinoa

This ratio yields 3 cups cooked quinoa or 6 (½ cup) servings. You can scale this ratio up or down, depending on how many servings you want.

For the liquid, you can use water or broth. For the dry quinoa, use white, red, black, or a blend of all three. Lastly, this grain loves to expand in water–keep this in mind if you plan to add it to a soup, as you may quickly find that your broth has been soaked up.

The stovetop is the most common way to cook this grain. Below, find a breakdown of the process from start to finish. Note: This recipe yields about 3 cups or 6 1/2 servings.


  • Gather the ingredients

2 cups water or broth

1 cup quinoa

¼ teaspoon Kosher salt (optional)

  • Combine water or broth, quinoa, and salt (if using) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. You’ll know when the grain is done because it will look like it has popped open, revealing the germ of the kernel.
  • Remove the heat and let the grains sit (covered) for about 10 minutes. This step allows the grains to steam and keeps it moist, light and fluffy. Finally, lift the lid of the pot and use a fork to fluff and separate the grains.