Here is what I did:

  1. Heated 1 cup quinoa in olive oil for 1 minute after rinsing it.
  2. Added 2 cups water till it boiled.
  3. I set the heat to the lowest setting and closed it with a lid.

After 15 minutes, the quinoa is still crunchy and the water has gone. If I let it stand for a few more minutes it gets burnt. I've tried this a few times and get same result - the quinoa is half cooked and inedible. What am I doing wrong?

Note: I'm very new to cooking. About 3 weeks since I entered the kitchen.


3 Answers 3


As Sobachatina said, it's cooked like many grains, and behaves very similar to rice.

You could try continuing the steaming method, and if it does not get done by the time all the water has turned to steam, start it with a bit more water. Sobachatina's suggestion of a tight lid is also worth considering, but pay attention to the pot then, so you don't get it boiling over.

An alternative is to use a boiling method. With or without toasting it first, add 3.5 parts of water to 1 part quinoa. Cook until soft, and put through a sieve to discard the superfluous water. The upside is that, unless you are using too high a temperature, there is no way to burn it.


Quinoa is cooked exactly like rice. In fact- if you have a rice cooker you can use that and not worry about it. Your procedure is ok. This is the way I make my quinoa.

Toasting grains in oil before steaming them is delicious and results in grains that are more nutty and more individual. Rice is nice this way so there is less risk of making rice paste.

If you are having trouble with your grain not rehydrating properly, the first thing to try would be to skip the oil step. It isn't required.

If you find that your water is evaporating before the quinoa is steamed then it is likely that your lid isn't tight enough.

  • Yes, I was going to suggest skipping the oil. I have never made quinoa with oil in this way, and mine always comes out fluffy. Using a rice cooker is a great idea, too!
    – franko
    Apr 16, 2015 at 16:00

Cook uncovered the entire time. When all the water is soaked up, take it off the heat and then cover it. That’s when it opens up the kernels and gets fluffy.

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