Summary: learn how to make quinoa in your trusty rice cooker. We make it in our $20 six cup rice cooker and the results are consistently great. I’ve included the stove top instructions as well.
We prepared quinoa (pronounced “qin-wah”) at home for the first time in July 2011. It was so healthy and delicious, it has earned a spot in our regular dinner rotation. If you’re hesitant to try quinoa, here are a few reasons why you should give it a chance.
Why Eat Quinoa?
- Super healthy: one of the few plant foods that is a source of complete protein, high in fiber, and a source of calcium (good for lactose intolerant)
- Very filling: you’ll find yourself eating a smaller portion of quinoa than rice because it’s so nutritionally dense
- Very easy to prepare: you can cook it on the stove or in a rice cooker
- Tastes good: delicate nutty flavour with a subtle crunchy texture
- Pairs very well with seafood, especially salmon
- Adds a protein component to vegetarian dishes such as salads and stir frys
The first time I made quinoa, I cooked 2 cups quinoa with 4 cups of water and it boiled over in our 6 cup rice cooker. In the end, it made well over 4 cups of cooked quinoa, way too much for two people. I also learned that if you keep your quinoa on the “keep warm” setting of the rice cooker, the bottom gets overly browned. I’ve summarized my lessons learned below so your quinoa cooking will go smoothly.
How to Cook Quinoa in the Rice Cooker
Serves: 4 | Prep: 2 minutes | Cook: ~30 minutes, depending on rice cooker
1. Measure out 1 cup of quinoa into your rice pot and rinse it with water, like you would rice.
Note: double check your quinoa package, some don’t require any rinsing while some may need soaking. The Bob’s Red Mill brand I use doesn’t require rinsing but I do it anyway.
TIP: if you’re planning to use the quinoa in a vegetarian dish, add a bullion of vegetable stock to add great flavour to the dish. Also, the quinoa smells extra good when it is cooking.
2. Fill up your rice pot to the 2 cup line. Wipe the outside of the pot if there’s water on it and then place in the rice cooker. Turn on your rice cooker to the regular rice setting. For our rice cooker, it takes about 30 minutes.
3. When the quinoa is done, fluff with a wooden spoon and unplug your rice cooker. If you keep the quinoa on the “keep warm” mode, the bottom may overly browned. Serve immediately.
How to Cook Quinoa on the Stove Top
1. Bring the 1 cup of quinoa and 1 1/2 cups cups of water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Cover, reduce to LOW heat and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork.