I cooked quinoa like rice and ate half of it. I am planning to have the other half for breakfast. Is it safe to leave it in room temperature overnight (I don't have a refrigerator)?


3 Answers 3


There's some good advice here:


In summary, everything goes bad, quinoa is no exception. To be safe, refrigerate when possible. Leaving food at room temp is asking for trouble.

  • Slightly OT but do you rinse your quinoa first to remove the saponins? I imagine some trace residues could be left behind, however, that could still trigger an allergy. I always wonder how much saponin is left after a vigorous soak.
    – lemontwist
    Commented Oct 6, 2012 at 10:29
  • 2
    This is too vague. How does, "everything goes bad" help me? I doubt that our knowledge of how long a cooked grain-like food can remain safely outside of refrigerator is so vague. I would like to test it myself but I don't know how.
    – Zeynel
    Commented Oct 6, 2012 at 23:02

In its homecountries of Bolivia and Peru, few people have fridges to keep their cooked quinoa, and having leftovers stay overnight (or longer) is a fact of life. Also facts of life there are foodborne infections, as many tourists visiting there will tell you in graphic detail...

As a cooking instructor I would always advise to use refrigeration, or other aseptic procedures (for example, taking part of the content of a pot while it's still vigorously boiling, closing it with a lid and leaving it sealed constitutes a sort of a pasteurised container that has more chances of being safe overnight in a coldish kitchen than using a contaminated, dirty cup to take a portion of a cold broth and then leaving said broth in a warm kitchen - this later scenario almost assures an infection)


I left cooked quinoa seasoned with veggies overnight. The temperature in my basement home was 7 degrees last night. I found the quinoa not smelling strange and the texture not changed. So I reheated it and had it for lunch.

Well, maybe when temperatures are higher in summer it would be wise to refrigerate cooked quinoa. If animal products have been added to it I would strongly suggest storing leftovers in the fridge.

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