Basics: Quinoa

Recipe: Basics: Quinoa

Makes : about 3 cups (4 side-dish servings) | Basics , Salads/Sides Dairy Free , Vegan , Vegetarian
In this most basic recipe, stir quinoa into simmering water and steam it gently for a quick and easy side dish. To vary the flavor, try using other liquids in place of the water. For instance, substitute chicken or vegetable broth or even carrot, tomato, or pineapple juice. (I’d probably start out with half juice/half water and see how you like it.) I also like to cook quinoa using the “pasta method”. If the urge strikes, bring a big pot of water to a boil, add the quinoa and a bit of salt, and boil for about 12 minutes. Drain the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, return it to the pot, cover and steam for about 10 minutes.


  • 1 cup ivory quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1) Put the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it well, rubbing the quinoa between your fingers, to remove any traces of saponin (a natural, slightly bitter tasting coating) that may remain. Let the quinoa drain in the strainer.
  • 2) Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Stir in the quinoa and the salt and return to a boil. Cover the pot and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer the quinoa until just tender, about 15 minutes. (When you lift the lid, you’ll notice a spiral white “tail” at the center of each grain indicating doneness.) Fluff the quinoa with a fork or a spatula. Replace the lid and let the quinoa steam off the heat for 5 to 10 minutes longer before serving.

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