How to Cook Quinoa with Video

Learn how to cook quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) which is not technically a true grain so I am separating quinoa from the other grains. It is my opinion that this one stands alone by its own rights. It is an amazing wonder food! The origin of this ancient food comes from the Andean region of South America which is where I learned how to cook quinoa. It has been a staple food along with corn and potatoes for 6000 years. The Incas held the crop to be sacred and referred to it as “the mother of all grains”. The local Inca emperor would traditionally sow the first seeds.

How to Cook QuinoaHow to Cook Quinoa

Quinoa has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12% to 18%). It is a healthy choice for many vegetarians and learning how to cook quinoa is simple. Four ounces, about ½ cup will provide a child with enough protein for a day. It is also very high in calcium, magnesium, and iron, and a relatively good source of vitamin E and the B vitamins. It is gluten free and unlike other grains, Quinoa contains a balance set of amino acids for humans. It is a good food for dietary fiber and phosphorus.

Watch me wash quinoa above

When you purchase quinoa, check to see if it has been prewashed. If not it will need to be washed before using. The coating on the whole grains leave a bitter taste if not washed thoroughly. It is a simple procedure and in many dishes can be used while still wet. If grinding into flour it needs to dry out thoroughly before grinding.

Watch me grind quinoa into flour


I started learning how to cook quinoa several years ago. I have tried it in many casserole recipes and many dessert recipes. All have turned out delicious! As a whole grain, you can substitute it for rice.

Because of the high protein in quinoa you do not need meat in this broccoli casserole recipe to get protein.

  • 2 Cups whole quinoa
  • 1 Medium chopped onion
  • 1 Cup chopped celery
  • 2 Cups coarsely chopped broccoli
  • 4 Cups chicken broth (or 4 cups water and 4 bouillon cubes)
  • ½ Cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a greased casserole baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until quinoa is tender and broth has been absorbed.


For each serving sauté:

  • 1 Cup hot cooked quinoa
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ Cup chopped green pepper
  • ½ Cup chopped onion
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons chopped basil
  • 1 Small chopped tomato
  • Salt & pepper to taste

To serve, line plate with 1 cup of hot cooked quinoa. Put sautéed vegetable over top. Top vegetables with freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • 2 Cups quinoa
  • 4 ¾ Cups water
  • Salt (Divided)
  • 1 Stalk lemongrass
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 Cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 12 Ounces tofu (Cut in ½ inch cubes)
  • 1 Small head broccoli (Small florets and thinly sliced stems)
  • ½ Red bell pepper (Seed and mince)

Wash quinoa in cold water; drain in mesh strainer for a few minutes.

Bring 4 ½ cups water to a boil in medium saucepan; add 1 teaspoon salt and quinoa.

Cover pan, REDUCE HEAT to low and cook 15 minutes; set aside.

TO PREPARE LEMONGRASS cut off bottom third of stalk; remove tough outer leaves.

With a sharp knife cut into thin slices and mince remaining lemongrass.

NOTE: Tough parts are good to cook in soup stock.

Heat oil in a large skillet; add and stir in the ginger and garlic for 2 minutes.

Add minced lemongrass, ground ginger, black pepper, ground cloves and tofu.

Stir mixture adding enough salt to taste; stir fry over medium high heat for 3 minutes.

Add broccoli and REMAINING ¼ cup of water; cover and let steam over LOW for 5 minutes.

Add quinoa and red pepper and quinoa to skillet; add more salt to taste if needed.

Stir mixture until hot and serve; serves 4.


  • 1 Cup quinoa
  • 2 Cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Small red onion (Chop fine)
  • ¾ Cup red bell pepper (Seed and chop)
  • ¾ Cup cucumber (Peel, seed and chop)
  • ¼ Cup minced fresh basil
  • ¼ Cup orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Red leaf lettuce and pecan pieces for garnish

Wash quinoa in cold water thoroughly; drain well in mesh strainer.

Bring stock to a boil in medium size saucepan; stir in quinoa and return to boil.

REDUCE HEAT, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Let quinoa stand in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.’

Add to bowl the onion, pepper cucumber and herbs.

In a small bowl combine orange juice, vinegar, peel, salt and pepper.

Whisk oil into the orange mixture; pour over quinoa mixture and toss well.

Serve on lettuce leaves and top with pecans; serves 6 side dishes.